Not all Disney vacations are right for park hopping, but if you weigh your park-hopping options and decide to go the multi-park route, it’s important to plan appropriately. Taking a leisurely approach to seeing multiple parks in one day could result in a lot of time wandering with very few attractions included in your stay. Make the most of your money and your time with these tips for park hopping like a pro.
Watch the Extra Magic Hours
Whether you’re staying at a Disney Resort or not, Extra Magic Hours (EMH) are something you want to be aware of. If you are staying on property, EMH give you some extra time in the day’s select parks which will make your park-hopping experience even better. Consider starting at the park with morning EMH and ending where the evening EMH are taking place to make the most of this perk.
If you’re not staying a Walt Disney World resort hotel, look up the day’s EMH parks and avoid these, instead. If you can’t get in early to enjoy the extra time, this feature works against you. By the time you make it into the park, top attractions will already have a line. You’ll find a similar issue with the evening EMH. If you plan to end your day at a park that has extended hours you can’t enjoy, you’ll just get stuck in the swelling crowds at the end of the day and have to leave before you enjoy any real payoff from it.
Schedule your FastPasses early
If you’re planning to park hop, choose FastPass+ reservations that take place early in the day. Ideally, you’ll want to show up at the first park of the day when it opens, and use up your three FastPasses before lunch. If one of your must-see attractions doesn’t have passes till later in the day, reserve a pass for something else and commit yourself to standby. You can’t afford late afternoon FastPasses if you want to make the most of your park hopping experience.
If you’ve used up all your FastPasses at the first park before you hit the second, you can sign up for three new FastPasses on arrival at the second park. This is the best way to maximize your use of the FastPass+ system. While you’re more likely to have a couple longer standby lines in the process, it will allow you a good shot at utilizing six whole passes during your whirlwind park experience.
Watch wait times from afar
Download the My Disney Experience app to your smartphone and use it to keep a close eye on wait times throughout the day. This will help you spot attractions with shorter waits, even when you’re across the park. Park-hopping requires a little more dedication and organization than strolling about leisurely with one park on your agenda. You probably won’t have time for multiple laps, so it’s important to know where you’re going and what you can expect when you get there.
Using the app, you can also begin to scout out wait times at your second park while you’re still en route. With this information in hand, you can make a beeline for the attractions with the shortest wait times and make a smart decision about which FastPasses are most valuable for the second leg of your day.