Park Hopping Isn't Always Worth the Extra Cost. Here's WhyBy Amy Ziese, Sunday, March 12, 2017 05:35
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when choosing your theme park tickets for Walt Disney World is whether you’ll park hop or stick with a single park per day. Park hoppers are the more expensive option, but are they worth the price?
With a two-day park hopper you’ll pay a difference of $30 a day, as of the time of publication, for the chance to go between parks. With a ten-day ticket, that margin shrinks to just $7.50 per day. However, even that $7.50 could be a couple Dole Whips in a day or a new trading pin. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether a park hopper is the right pick for you.
Who’s in your party?
One of the most important considerations with your ticket selection is who’s in your party. While tickets for children age 3 through 9 are moderately cheaper, the premium for park hopping is the same. If you have a larger party, the price for park hopping will add up quickly. Even a difference of $7.50 a day will add up to $30 daily for a party of four, or $300 for these ten-day tickets. That’s a lot of extra Disney swag you could put your shopping bag.
If you have small children in your party, the perks of park hopping diminish further. Hitting more than one park in a day is exhausting for even the most seasoned travelers. If you have toddlers and young children in your group who need to rest during the day, you’ll lose a lot of the time that could be spent moving from park to park. Children or elderly family members who move slower will also make it more difficult to race from one park to another.
How many days are you staying?
The longer you’re staying, the less appeal there is in a park hopper ticket. If you’re staying at Walt Disney World for at least four days, there’s little need for park hopping, because you have enough time to dedicate an entire day to each park. If you’re staying more than four days, you’ll have extra time built in to return to your favorite parks at the end of your visit and catch up on anything you may have missed.
If you’re in Orlando for just a day or two, however, a park hopper is the only way you can see all of the Walt Disney World parks. A two-day park hopper will allow an energetic couple to easily take in all four parks in a weekend. Though park hopping is tiring, it’s manageable for a short visit of just a day or so, whereas it would become extremely trying toward the end of a week-long run.
Where is your resort?
If you’re staying on property, there’s a greater chance that you’ll be able to fully enjoy the benefits of park hopping. One of the biggest barriers to properly enjoying a park hopper ticket is the time involved in actually moving from park to park. If you have a car in the parking lot, you’ll have to shuttle to your car before you can even begin the journey, then navigate a new parking lot and make your way up to another set of park gates, typically via another shuttle. At the Magic Kingdom the process is even more complex, as you have to take a monorail or boat first before you reach the parking lot shuttle.
If you’re staying on property, you have park transportation right at your fingertips. You can hop on a boat, bus, or monorail at your resort to reach your first park, then use these same options to get from one park to the next. At the end of the day, you don’t have to track down your car for an exhausted drive back to your hotel. Disney’s free public transportation will get you back to your hotel room promptly.