Trying to decide whether Disney Park Hopper tickets are worth the splurge? Depending on the length of your trip, your family vacation style and how much you’ll “hop” around sometimes they’re not worth it. We break down the pros and cons of Park Hopper tickets and how to decide if the base ticket option is enough for your family.
What is a Disney Park Hopper Ticket?
Disney theme parks use the words “park hopper” to denote theme park tickets that allow guests to visit more than one Disney park on a single day. “Single-day” or “base tickets,” allow entry to one theme park. You may enter and exit the park where your ticket is valid as many times as you want on the same day. But just that one park.
With Park Hopper tickets you can hop from park to park. Park hopping at Disney World starts at 2 pm everyday. However, recently it was announced that parks might start earlier! Be sure to check the Disney calendar for park hopper availability to see if there’s room to bounce over early. Park hopping in Disneyland is available after 1 pm.
IMPORTANT: You must have Disney park pass reservations AND valid admission to enter any of Disney’s theme parks! Don’t forget to check availability in the reservation system before purchasing your ticket. Once you’ve purchased make your theme park reservation. With Park Hopper tickets you need to make a reservation for your first park of the day only.
Is Park Hopping Always Available?
From time to time Disney will reach park capacity and you will not be able to park hop to a second park. This is a rare occurrence. Capacity limitations most commonly occur during Spring Break and the holiday season. It is usually park specific meaning you might not be able to hop to Magic Kingdom but can get into Animal Kingdom. You can check the My Disney Experience app during your visit for capacity updates.
Because park hopping isn’t always available you want to be cautious when making dining reservations inside of parks that you don’t have reservations for. Something could fall through. Same with Genie+. You may be wasting money if you purchase an Individual Lightning Lane reservation for a park that you can’t get into.
Disney’s Florida and California Theme Parks
Disney World in Orlando has four parks:
- Magic Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disneyland Resort in California has two parks:
- Disneyland Park
- Disney California Adventure
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How Much Do Disney Park Hopper Tickets Cost?
As of this article’s publishing, a one-day, Park Hopper ticket at
Both California and Florida Disney Parks have gone to a tiered pricing system. Does your family want to visit on a weekend? Your tickets will cost more. Would you like to pop over on a Tuesday afternoon or a Wednesday morning? Your ticket may cost less. Tiered pricing allows Disney to charge more for holidays, weekends, and special events. It also encourages guests to consider looking at different dates to visit when it might be less crowded at the parks. This helps to spread out crowds across the calendar instead of during peak season.
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At both Disney destinations, the cost per day goes down if you buy park hoppers for multiple day visits.
What is the Disney Park Hopper Plus?
Park Hopper Plus is available at the
What Are the Rules for Disney Park Hoppers?
Next, let’s discuss the rules governing park hopper use. For tickets purchased separately from a hotel package, it’s possible to pick and choose which tickets to upgrade to Park Hoppers. However, if you work with a travel agent or book a package on your own, everyone in the party associated with the reservation must have the same features on their ticket. So everyone upgrades to a Park Hopper, or no one does.
Additionally, park hopper options are non-transferable just like tickets are non-transferable. Disney tickets are tied to a MagicBand or Key to the World card in Florida and to physical or e-tickets in California. Photos are taken of each guest at Disneyland Park to ensure that guests don’t transfer tickets among their traveling party.
Park Hoppers for Florida Residents
Florida residents can save even more on tickets, and that includes those with a park hopper add-on. Make sure to check the Disney World website for current ticket prices and specials if you are a Florida resident. Even when the specials end, ticket prices are still less for both regular tickets and multi-day tickets with and without a park hopper option.
The same great deals aren’t often available to California residents and Disneyland lovers. However, at times Disneyland makes available the Disneyland California Resident Offer to people living in southern California.
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Is Park Hopping Right for You?
Finally, how do you know if park hopping is right for your family? First, you need to consider your budget. The bottom line is that park hoppers are pricey. If it is going to bust the budget, it is simply not worth it.
Next, consider the number and ages of guests in your party. My family almost never uses park hoppers at Disney World when we visit with our kids. The parks and resorts are so spread out that it takes a minimum of 20-30 minutes to travel from one park to the other. When vacations are short or kids require breaks in between all the fun, that travel time seems like wasted time.
However, in Disneyland Park, we always get park hopper tickets. It is easy to visit both parks at the Disneyland Resort in California because they’re located near each other. It’s a short walk from one park to the other.
Lastly, consider your theme park plans. Consider whether there are any new attractions. If so, it may be prudent to park hop and avoid the masses gathering at newer areas. Additionally, if tackling as many rides as possible in a short amount of time is a goal, park hopping is the way to go.
Finally, if you purchased single-day tickets initially, but believe your party would benefit from a park hopper, visit guest services at your hotel, Disney Springs, Downtown Disney, or in the parks themselves. They are happy to sell you park hoppers for the remainder of your stay.
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