Is Park Hopper a good addition to your Magic Your Way ticket?
One of the decisions you will have to make when you purchase your Walt Disney World theme park tickets is whether or not to buy the Park Hopper option. When added to your Magic Your Way ticket, the Park Hopper option allows you to visit multiple Disney theme parks on the same day. This includes the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios theme parks.
Even the best laid touring plans can quickly go awry for any number of reasons (good or bad) and the Park Hopper option gives you great flexibility in making the very most of your Walt Disney World vacation.
If you are trying to decide whether or not the Park Hopper option is right for you, here are a few things that you may want to consider that may help you make your decision.
You either have it, or you don't and this is an important factor to consider when it comes to the Park Hopper option. First and foremost, do you and/or your family have a lot of stamina? Visiting multiple parks in one day will require lots of staying power and it is not a feat for the weary. So if you are the type of Disney World citizen who likes to visit a single park for the day and are tuckered out by the end of that experience, then the Park Hopper option probably is not going to be worthwhile for you.
However, if you are the type who likes to visit one park early in the day, come back to your hotel for a mid-day siesta and then head back out at night to another park, then the Park Hopper option is something that you should consider because it will allow you to make the most of your day and do the things you want to do.
Length of Stay
The length of your trip is another factor that may help you to determine your Park Hopper needs. Generally speaking, if you only have a few days for your Walt Disney World visit, then you will definitely want to make the most of your time there. The Park Hopper option is really worth considering for shorter stays, because it will allow you to make the most of each and every day by packing in two parks (or more if you're up for it) on any given day.
Where are you Staying?
Location, location, location. Some resort areas are really well situated when it comes to the Park Hopper possibilities. For example, if you are staying at Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney's Yacht Club Resort, or Disney's Boardwalk Inn, then I would definitely recommend that you seriously consider adding the Park Hopper option to your ticket. When you stay in this area, you can walk to Epcot from your hotel and take a short boat ride to Disney's Hollywood Studios as well. It is very easy to do two parks in one day when you are staying at any of these hotels -- even for those with limited stamina. Spend a day at one park and then visit the other one for the nightime fireworks show. Park Hopper will make it very easy to go back and forth, which also adds some flexibility to your vacation schedule.
On a related note, because Epcot and Hollywood Studios are relatively close to one another, it makes it an option to visit both of those resorts in one day even if you are staying at a hotel further away. It will save you from making two visits over two days to the same general area (again, valuable if you have limited time at Walt Disney World).
For our family, we always get the Park Hopper option regardless of where we stay (we are usually at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort or Disney's Polynesian Resort). We like the flexibility that it offers and we like to take advantage of two parks in one day. We will go to the Magic Kingdom in the morning and then make a late-day trip to another park. Or, we will go to Epcot in the day and then make a quick trip to the Magic Kingdom just to watch the fireworks at closing time. The Park Hopper gives you the option to make spur of the moment decisions and to make the most of your time at Walt Disney World.
Hopefully this brief look at the Park Hopper option will give you some things to consider when you are deciding whether or not it is worth the extra money to add Park Hopper to your Magic Your Way tickets.
~ Mike Belobradic (Originally posted, December 2011. Updated April 2013.)