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Park Hopper Pass or not?

Spruce Grove, Canada
Level Contributor
113 posts
395 reviews
Park Hopper Pass or not?

We're staying for 9 days in August at Art of Animation. We plan to do 6 days in the Disney Parks and 2 days at Universal/Islands of Adventure. I'm now wondering about the Park Hopper pass option.

Do most people use it if they have it?

If we have 6 days planned anyway, do you think we'll need it?

Also, we have just missed the free dining, not that it was applicable to the Art of Animation. We're also not seeing any of the discounts that the other hotels are staying, showing up for that resort. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Think any discounts/deals may apply yet, or Disney has put out what they will for that time frame already?

Thanks in advance!

aurora, co
Level Contributor
5,707 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?

If this is yur first time, don't bother with the park hopper. There is plenty to see for a first time visitor in each park. The only exception would be Animal Kingdom since it closes around 6 or 7, but then you could visit Downtown Disney which is free. Art of Animation might have fewer promotions since it is brand new.

Prince Rupert...
Level Contributor
310 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?

We just returned with using park hopper. We found 1 park was enough, but I see how having the park hopper could be useful.

A couple of time it rained in the afternoon, so after leaving the park after waiting it out, we weren't sure what to do. We did end up at downtown disney. another day we hopped aboard the boats to take a tour. we needed to return to our orginal park to catch the busses back to our resort because the transportation staging area was inside the park we ended up at. I think it was Hollywood studios.

If we had hopper tickets we could have validated our ticket to catch the bus.

Ventnor City, New...
Destination Expert
for Walt Disney World, Orlando
Level Contributor
4,524 posts
126 reviews
3. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?


If I understand you correctly, then I'm afraid you misunderstood how the transportation system works. None of the buses or boats or monorails are actually inside the gates of any of the Disney theme parks, which means you can use transportation to or from any park without using admission to get into that park.

Ventnor City, New...
Destination Expert
for Walt Disney World, Orlando
Level Contributor
4,524 posts
126 reviews
4. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?


I agree with wascolotraveler and m0mt0many in that if it's your first visit you probably won't feel the need to park hop.

The good news is that you don't need to decide in advance if you don't want to. If you decide you want to park hop during your trip, you can simply upgrade your ticket ... the cost of the upgrade is identical to the extra you would pay if you bought the ticket that way in the first place.

Edited: 5:48 am, May 06, 2012
gettysburg, pa
Destination Expert
for Gettysburg
Level Contributor
1,056 posts
58 reviews
5. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?

We did enjoy the park hopper pass on our first visit, but maybe that's because I'm slightly crazy. :) Loved it on our second trip, too. Both trips were in summer, so that might have contributed. Just knowing we could go someplace else if we wanted to kept us from getting hot and cranky. We used it on our first night--we had planned to go to Epcot, but there were 90 minute waits everywhere. So we went over to the Magic Kingdom and found things much calmer.

We also set up our trip plans to visit one park in the morning, return to the hotel and swim some afternoons, and go someplace else in the afternoon/evening. With two kids (10 and 4 on the first trip, 12 and 6 on the second), this worked out really well and kept them in good spirits the entire time. For example, we could go to Animal Kingdom during the early part of the day, then go on over to Magic Kingdom in the evening. We could do the early shift at Magic Kingdom one morning, and then go on over to Epcot in the afternoon.

Hope this helps! Have fun with your planning. Sorry I can't help with your discounts question...

Valley Stream, NY
Level Contributor
20,673 posts
70 reviews
6. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?

We always hop, even on our first trip. Many times we want to have dinner in Epcot, but were in a different park during the day. As others say, sometimes you start off in one park and after a break swimming you want to go to a different one.

I think with 6 days the hopper is definitely a great idea!

Kissimmee, Florida
Level Contributor
2,760 posts
127 reviews
7. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?

you can never go wrong with the hopper as you may want to see AKP in the am and then eat in MKP in the pm.

Halifax, NS
Level Contributor
716 posts
54 reviews
8. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?

We just returned last week, we did have the park hopper, but did NOT use it. I had totally planned to use it, but due to circumstances beyond my control (ie weather and illness), we only managed to do one park each day. In hindsight, it worked out better this way.

Ventnor City, New...
Destination Expert
for Walt Disney World, Orlando
Level Contributor
4,524 posts
126 reviews
9. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?

And me above scenario is exactly why I respectfully disagree with the idea that "you can never go wrong" buying the park hopper.

The thing that can go wrong is if you don't park hop you threw away $58.58 per person ... for a family of four that's more than $230.

I would say that you can't go wrong by buying the base ticket and upgrading to the park hopper if and when you will use it.

And don't get me wrong, I'm a park hopper myself. During our short three day trip a few weeks ago, we hopped during two of the three days.

Elk Grove Village...
Level Contributor
1,235 posts
66 reviews
10. Re: Park Hopper Pass or not?

I am going to disagree with the general statement that a first timer, as a matter of course, should not get the park hopper. I think there are a number of things involved in the decision of whether or not to get a park hopper that apply to first timers as well as to "veterans." Here are things to think about that apply to everyone, regardless of how many times they have visited the parks.

1) Will the park help you take better advantage of Extra Magic Hours and help you do more each day? Parks with EMH tend to be more full during day, but the EMHs themselves have comparatively small crowds. For example, during the 3 hours of EMH at Magic Kingdom on the night of December 30, we rode on 12 rides, including all of the big ticket rides except Splash Mountain (it was too cold to get wet). If you have the park hopper, it would allow you to be in a park without EMH (and therefore with lighter crowds) during the day, but still take advantage of EMH.

2) Where do you want to eat? A disproportionate share of our favorite restaurants are at Epcot. Having the park hopper option allows us enjoy some of those restaurants without committing to Epcot for the entire day. And more generally speaking, it means that wherever you choose to eat, having the park hopper means that you don't have to spend the entire day at that park.

3) Are you going back to your resort for the pool or naps during the afternoon? If so, having the park hopper adds additional flexibility. After pool/nap time, you can go wherever you want. You don't have to go back to where you spent the morning.

I agree that the park hopper isn't useful for everyone, and I agree that you would be able to find enough to do at each of the parks to fill all (or at least most) of a day. However, having the park hopper option does offer lots of additional flexibility, and I think it can be useful for at least some first time visitors.