View Full Version : Do You Think Park Hopper Is Necessary Or Just A Way To Spend More Money?

05-23-2008, 01:43 PM
I'm trying to decide wether or not to pay the extra money for the Park Hopper option on the park tickets. I don't imagine we'll go to more than one park in one day. It will be dh, and our 2 daughters, 6 & 2. We are staying at Disney hotel.

05-23-2008, 01:49 PM
For us theyre a must as we go to non EMH park during the day and then hit the night time EMH park in the evening. (you dont need hoppers for EMH if youre staying on property) Not too mention that AKL & DHS are 1/2 -3/4 day parks but then those days would give you some good pool time too. If you dont plan on park hopping then yes, it would be a waste.

*UPDATE - to clarify - if you go to the EMH park that day you dont need a park hopper to attend EMH in that park that night. You can leave and return and still have quite a long day in a park. Sorry if there was any confusion . Now that Im reading it it DOES sound misleading :blush: If you want to go to a different parks on the same day you do need hoppers regardless of EMH.

05-23-2008, 01:50 PM
You can certainly manage without a park hopper but I prefer to have that option for the following reasons:

I spend the day at Animal Kingdom which closes early. With a park hopper, I can now hop to another park that closes late this evening.

I spend the day at the Magic Kingdom but want to dine at Epcot. Again, I can hop over to the other park for my dining.

I get to Disney Studios and find the crowds to be heavier than I expected. I can hop over to Epcot and spend time there if I find it's less crowded,

05-23-2008, 01:52 PM
We have always used the hopper because we like the option and 3/4 of the time we do hop...If you are thinking of one park a day then it would be a waste of $$$ but I think that it is worth it...:thumbsup:

05-23-2008, 01:56 PM
Absolutley necessary? No, not really.... however, I ALWAYS purchase the hopper, because I like to be prepared for the what ifs. :)

For example, the year my daughters were standing in line (forever) to see Lilo and Stitch and they pulled them for the day when my girls were the next ones to see them. We were at MGM and my girls (who were 3 1/2 at the time) were so :( :( about the whole thing. I found out that they (Lilo and Stitch) were going to be at AK later in the day, so we jumped on over there for the girls. Necessary, NO, but it is nice to have the option.

Also, sometimes it is nice to have the option if you missed a ride or two and just want to go to the park to do those rides and then go to another park.

05-23-2008, 01:56 PM
We get the park hopper options on our tickets because we view AK, The Studios, as partial day parks. Epcot and MK are full day + parks.

Since you have 2 little ones you have to ask yourself can they make it thru a 10-11 hr. day, day after day? If you're planning on going back to your hotel during the day you may not need park hopper. However, you are staying at a Disney hotel so you will have access to EMH in both morning and evening. With park hopper passes your flexibility increases 4 times. Also, it does take about 30-45 min. to leave one park get on bus and re-enter another.

05-23-2008, 02:03 PM
We feel they are a necessity. But then again, we are known as park kamikaze and we will be at the parks until the very last one closes for the night. That means if the park we are in closes at 7 tonight and there is another open until 9 we will hop over to that one to finish the day. However, we generally try not to hop during the day unless we absolutely have to because of a meal reservation. The only reason we don't hop during the day is the length of time it takes to get from one park to another.

05-23-2008, 02:16 PM
I really enjoy having the park hopper as an option. I usually go to WDW in December, and I usually travel solo. As soon as the sun sets, it can get pretty chilly. I consider the AK to be only a half day park for me. I usually stay in the Epcot resorts area because Epcot is my favorite park. I may visit AK in the morning and early afternoon. I may leave AK about 2:30
then go to my room. I will get rid of my sun visor, and sunglasses, pick up my sweatshirt, then go out to Epcot for the rest of the evening. The park hopper is handy.

I have also had the experience of being only a few hours in a park, and finding that it got WAY too crowded for my liking. I will then park hop to another less crowded park.

FromKnoxvilleto Disney
05-23-2008, 02:38 PM
We used to get them all the time and after a few years we realized we just didn't utilize them that much. We just started staying a couple of extra days and the days we leave a park early we go to DTD or enjoy the pool. This also kind of forces us to have a couple of shorter days for R and R. It is a nice option but we always save the money and stay an extra day or two.

05-23-2008, 02:39 PM
I don't imagine we'll go to more than one park in one day. It will be dh, and our 2 daughters, 6 & 2.

Judging by that sentence, it doesn't seem that it would be necessary for you. It really depends on the individual.
We really like the hopper, for many reasons, most of which have been already stated. Crowd levels, closing times, eating reservations, wanting a different park after our midday break, all these factor into our decision to add on the hopper.
How much is the hopper? $40 I think? That's $120 for the three of you (2 year old not needing a ticket). Look at your situation and what you plan to do. Will that $120 be better spent elsewhere, or not spent at all if that's an issue? Then you can see if it's worth it to you.

05-23-2008, 02:40 PM
We started out buying them but never hopped. We wasted so much money. Then one vacation we hopped and didn't like all the time it wasted. We got so many less attractions done each day plus it was tiring. We feel there is enough for us to do at each park for us that it was a waste of money. We haven't bought them in years and probably never will again.

With the way you have to make ADR so far in advance now we just make our ADR's and go to that park for the day.

You don't need park hoppers to leave the parks and go back to the pool to swim. You just have to get your hand stamped and go back to the same park you were in.

05-23-2008, 02:40 PM
We have always gotten the park hopper. It is nice to be able to go over to the MK for Wishes regardless of what park we are at during the day. Also, like others have said, you may find that you're kids like one park better and that way you could spend a 1/2 day at a park and hop over to their favorite in the evening or vice versa. Also having the hopper allows more flexibility with dining choices. We like to eat at many of the different countries in EPCOT and having the hopper lets us do that.

05-23-2008, 02:40 PM
you dont need hoppers for EMH if youre staying on property

Really? Where did I miss that?

Anyway, we could certainly not have PHs on every trip, but we like to be flexible. We will have our days set out, but if we get to a park where its overly crowded or we finish early, we prefer not to be locked into that park or just going back to the resort. Also, we LOVE the parks, but an entire day in one might make us a little "tired" of it, so we go to others.

That said, I am paying for our free dining trip w/ my parents. We discussed it, and we decided that instead of staying at a Mod or nicer, we'd get PH's and stay at a value, since park time is more important to us during this trip than resort time.

It is easy to have a trip without park hopping. It isn't a way to spend more money, like your title states. Its more of a personal opinion on how you'd want to spend your vacation. Some people eat at TSs for every meal, is that necessary? No. Is it a way to spend more money? Sure, but you're paying for the type of vacation you want. I see nothing wrong with that.

If you don't think you need PH, I wouldn't pay the extra for it. If you get there, and realize that you might need it, you can always add it on to your tickets (its a flat rate for any length, so the earlier you add on the better). If you purchase PH and never use it, then its a waste.

I hope you enjoy your trip! Any trip to Disney is a great one!

05-23-2008, 02:45 PM
We've gone on a couple of trips where we didn't use the hopper option enough to justify having it but we still always get it. We never really "plan" to hop but it's nice to know that the option is there. However, if you are on a tight budget or just know for sure that you aren't going to use it, it's not necessary.

Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong here but I think you can add the hopper option to base tickets even after you have started to use those tickets.

05-23-2008, 03:00 PM
To me, it's all about how much you enjoy the Disney bus transportation. I am one who does not enjoy waiting, and standing on buses. Therefore, to me, it's get to one park, stay there all day, and catch one bus back. We never seem to have a problem spending an entire day at a park. With the early closing of AK, we use that evening to do dinner at one of the resort restaurants. Also, as others have mentioned, the pool is an option for the rest of the day, as is DTD. It's pretty much all about the individual. Just depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it.

Grim Grinning Marathon Runner
05-23-2008, 03:07 PM
If you don't have a Park Hopper pass, can't you still leave a park and return to that same park later at no extra cost?

For example, if you stay in POR, you go to the MK for the day, and you go back to the POR for a midafternoon nap and dip in the pool.

Can't you then go BACK to the MK after your nap/pool break, and use that same ticket?

05-23-2008, 03:12 PM
Yes, you can definitely return to the same park on the same day even if you leave the park mid-day. You just can't enter a different park the same day unless you have the park hopper.

05-23-2008, 03:23 PM
I think Hoppers are essential and worth the extra money. Of course being a Passholder it's already included but it still doesn't change my views on hopping.

Here is a perfect example from a recent trip to WDW. I wanted to see SpectroMagic but it was only showing 2 night I was there since it was the off season. The night I planned to be in the MK it rain right before the parade and they cancelled it. Without a hopper I would have been out of luck but I was able to come back to the MK the next night and catch the later showing of the parade using the Hopper option. I have also spent the day at AK went to dinner and then headed to MK or Epcot for EMHs. So overall the flexibility and extra time in the parks make a hopper well worth the extra money.

05-23-2008, 03:37 PM
We like the flexibility that it gives us. We may not park hop every day, but we do it enough to justify the extra expense. During our last trip to WDW, we first went to MGM, which we also consider to be a 1/2 day park. We were finished with the park by 2pm, so we went to MK for the afternoon. Well, MK closed at 8pm that night, but EPCOT was having evening EMH, so we went to EPCOT and arrived just in time for Illuminations and then spent the next couple of hours enjoying the park. So that was 3 parks in one day.

For this trip, we're getting 10 day no-expiration park-hoppers. We'll use 5 days this trip and 5 on another trip, so that splits up the park-hopper expense over two vacations. It's a larger iniital outlay, but we don't have to buy tickets for our next trip and the average cost per day is less than buying non-expiring tickets. It's not for everyone, but it works for us.

Zone Stop
05-23-2008, 04:01 PM
you dont need hoppers for EMH if youre staying on property

Unless it's just been changed, this is wrong. Please don't make that mistake.

05-23-2008, 04:12 PM
I'm trying to decide wether or not to pay the extra money for the Park Hopper option on the park tickets. I don't imagine we'll go to more than one park in one day. It will be dh, and our 2 daughters, 6 & 2. We are staying at Disney hotel.

Well let me start by saying that if a non park hopper pass were given to me, I'd happily make do cause just being at WDW makes me happy.

But if I'm planning, I absolutely NEED Park Hopper. Not because I hop constantly. i do find one can lose a lot of time hopping between parks. BUT once you've invested a good day in each park, it's nice to be able to do two half days in two different parks. ADD TO THAT the fact that for us, dining at Epcot is a real joy, we often end up there for dinner no matter what park we've spent the day at.

All in all, we love Park Hopper and would not go without it. :thumbsup:

05-23-2008, 04:33 PM
the park hopper is a definate for us. like other people have said, it's nice to go to a less crowded park for the day and then maybe go somewhere else for dinner or for another parks fireworks. it's definatly worth the extra money. i have family members who didn't get the park hopper and were really stuck and it made things very difficult for them.

05-23-2008, 04:37 PM
Reasons to NOT need a park hopper

It's your first visit ( or first in a long time) visit to Walt Disney World. Being a "first timer" you can EASILY spend an entire day at any particular park as you explore places, shows, rides, attractions, etc that you've never seen before.

With younger children, you might be less inclined to hop from one park to another. You can still take the mid day break and go back to your resort to sleep, swim, relax. But you'll be limited to returning to the same park.

It's just not your style. Different families tour the parks in different ways. I would never assume one way was better/worse than another.

Possible reasons to want a park hopper

You are a veteran WDW visitor. You know the thinks in the parks you like, as well as the things you're willing to skip. Park Hopping add tremendous flexibility.

Your dining preferences do not coincide with your touring preferences. Quite often we'll spend the bulk of a day in one park, then hop over to Epcot to eat.

Additional Freedom. The ability to spend half a day at one park, and half a day at another. The ability to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, but not be tied to that park for the entire day. The ability to hop into a park for a quick visit to a favorite ride or attraction, then pop out again.

Personally, I always get a hopper. But that doesn't mean it's the right thing for everyone. Consider where or not you'll actually use it, and choose accordingly. Getting a hopper just because everyone else says to, then never using it is indeed wasting money.

05-23-2008, 04:47 PM
I love hopping parks, but I have an annual pass, so it's nothing that we have to pay extra for. I think if I didn't have AP's, I would be happy to save the money and just plan my day around the one park that has the events that I want to go to that day. It requires planning, but you can manage to do the parks with the EMH's as well as pick the ADR that corresponds to the park that you will be in without having park hopper tickets. If you do this for every day of your trip, you can see all 4 parks. Now if you are going for less than 4 days, park hoppers are a good idea if you want to do all 4 parks.

CU Tiger
05-23-2008, 06:28 PM
For us, the park hopper is useful only if we plan on going to AK or MGM. Those parks have become day parks for us. It is rare that we spend the extra cash for this option.:mickey:

05-23-2008, 06:42 PM
For us, they are a necessity. We hit WDW for a short time and the flexibility is worth the extra money.

If were were staying a week or longer, maybe not.

05-23-2008, 07:15 PM
No good plan goes un-changed....Actual scenario...Staying at CR....Spent AM and early PM at MK....back to rooms so DGK's could swim or nap....DS#2 comes running back to announce early opening of Mission Space.....He said it was awesome, and would be open only for an hour or so....And it was awesome....I made it by about 15 minutes, for my first pre-opening ride...
Another trip....Test Track was not running more that it was running....In the Studios when I overheard a CM say it was finally working.....got my first TT ride, and only one that trip because I could park hop.....
DW is a late owl....I wake up the roosters....I can do MK at opening, get in several hours, and meet her for breakfast....
If your family stays together the whole trip, and you do early or late EMH, but not both, perhaps park hopping is not for you....We can't imagine just one park per day.....If we didn't get the hopper the first day, we would need to add it by noon time on day two. Oh, did I mention wanting to avoid the large, rude flock of un-chaperoned crowd of kids in blue (or green, or orange....) shirts, pushing each other in front of other guests?.....They never have park hoppers, and having one yourself allows you to avoid them. We plan on PH's, and budget for it...it's worth the cost to us.

Polynesian Dweller
05-23-2008, 07:26 PM
An absolute necessity for us and we couldn't imagine doing WDW without it. As others have said its the flexibility it gives you. If you show up to say MK, and find it filled, you can go to another park and spend time there and go back to MK when its less busy.

Also, we love the flexibility of doing one park during the day and then heading over to a nice restauraunt in Epcot for dinner.

Its only $45 for the entire length of stay and is a great bargain.

05-23-2008, 09:26 PM
I also have 2 kids 6 and 2. Pre kids, we alwaysa got park hoppers. In 2006, we had them with both kids and never used them. I found that 1 park a day is about all they can handle. Parks like AK which close early allow down time at DTD or at pool. We also go to parks that are open late, later in the day. I personally would rather save the difference and use it for a nice dinner or gifts. Hence, we only get basic tix now. :mickey:

05-24-2008, 12:36 PM
Personally, I can't imagine going to WDW without park hoppers. I feel like the park hopper is necessary when we went in September because the shorter park hours, we needed to hop around to be able to get full days in.
However, from my understanding and the explanation of EMH on intercot info page, EMH are available to you as a Disney Resort Guest with your Keys to the Kingdom card. Having the park hopper option is not necessary to take advantage of EMH.

05-24-2008, 01:35 PM
you dont need hoppers for EMH if youre staying on property

Unless it's just been changed, this is wrong. Please don't make that mistake.Actually, if you go to the EMH (either am or pm) park in the am and stay there all day, you really don't need park hoppers. I think this might have been what the OP meant. You can even leave and come back for the EMH's as long as it's the same park you were at all day.

05-24-2008, 02:00 PM
As a former member of Guest Relations I will just tell you my personal opinion having dealt with this issue many times with our guests. Many times our guests come in and think the same as you one park in one day is plenty! But if now limits your options completely. There is nothing I enjoy more than a morning at one park and the evening at another. If one park is too crowded I can head off to one that maybe is not so crazy.
Once you have purchased the tickets and used your 1D/1P ticket if you should change your mind the cost is now more pricey to adjust. So its really important to know exactly what you want to do when you buy your tickets.
And if you do decide to get a park hopper ticket then use it to get your money's worth. It really is all about planning now when it comes to Disney vacations!
I have seen it from both sides now, those that bought the park hopper and did not use it, and those that had to upgrade to the PH. Only you know what you want from your trip. And if you are happy going to just one park a day, then go for it. The most important thing is you having a good time.
My personal opinion is that I would always get a park hopper. Is it necessary? probably not, but convenient? most definately!

05-24-2008, 02:56 PM
Actually, if you go to the EMH (either am or pm) park in the am and stay there all day, you really don't need park hoppers. I think this might have been what the OP meant. You can even leave and come back for the EMH's as long as it's the same park you were at all day.

Thanks for clarifying! That IS what I meant :blush: I just went back and updated my OP as it did sound rather misleading.


05-24-2008, 05:01 PM
For us, the park hopper is a definite necessity, as we are, and always have been a 2-park-a-day family. We do all we want @ one park in the AM, head back to our resort for a little "down-time", then do another park in the late afternoon/early evening and catch the end-of-the-day fireworks. If we miss something the first time, we know we'll be coming around again. That way, we're not so rushed, and can truly enjoy all the "World" has to offer!:thumbsup:

05-24-2008, 07:38 PM
We have always park hopped! :thumbsup: :mickey:

05-24-2008, 08:56 PM
:mickey: We've done it both ways, and we like getting the Park Hoppers, as it gives us more flexibility. Like one of the other posters said, with children as young as yours, you may find yourselves "done" by dinner and ready to crash... but you may also find that your 2yr old wants a nap mid-day and maybe afterwards the park you were at is about to close... or it's raining, so you'd prefer to go to a different park than you were at b/c maybe the one you were at had no indoor buildings but now you could go to Epcot... I'm a "contingency" kind-of person, so I like knowing I can bounce around, regardless of what my kids need or the weather throws my way. But that's just me - I'm sure you'll find what works for you! :thumbsup:

05-25-2008, 12:19 AM
We like the hoppers for end of day flexability...our kids are teens and like to do all the late night EMH. Furthermore, my wife is fireworks hound and wants to see either the MK or Epcot fireworks multiple times during our visits. So on our AK days we always park hop to finish the day off at one of those two venues. (Thou if you are creative you can find ways to view the MK fireworks without being in the parks, since there are multiple places to view them from at the various monorail resorts.)

05-25-2008, 12:39 AM
We park hop, because for us it is the way to make the most out of our park experience. We stay for many days and we enjoy spending the morning at one park and the evening at another, with breaks in between. We enjoy repeating our favorite attractions. Staying in one park all day makes it possible to finish off the park and do all the attractions, but it isn't as conducive to redoing favorites.

Also, different parks have different tempos- For example, MK has a lot of active big attractions in a row while Epcot offers a lot of walking and discovering new things between attractions. By mixing them up, you get more out of different parks instead of spending all day in one park that offers only one kind of experience.

05-25-2008, 02:56 AM
My personal opinion is that I would always get a park hopper. Is it necessary? probably not, but convenient? most definately!

I have to agree. While not having a hopper pass would not be the end of the world for me (sorry for the double negative), I really enjoy the ability to come and go among the parks as I please. The past couple of trips, We have planned out most days in the parks, but leave the last day to hit up as many of our favorites as we can. While Epcot and MK usually consume a full day (at least the first day we visit each), I like being able to split HS, AK, the water parks, and this year, Disney Quest.

05-25-2008, 03:13 AM
DH and I found park hopper extremely useful to us. We would go to one park during the morning, go back to the resort to relax during the afternoon, and the evening we would hit another park.

05-25-2008, 04:30 AM
It's all in the planning.
It's easy to spend one day at each park without hopping at all. There's plenty to do at the hotel or DTD without going to another park.
But at the same time, you need to hop to take full advantage of EMH.
I suppose it depends on your personal taste.

droopy d.
05-25-2008, 08:36 AM
We always get them, since we love to eat in Epcot so much. We think Epcot has the best food so we do another park during the day and hop to Epcot for dinner and to do an attraction or two.

05-25-2008, 09:01 AM
I did NOT by hoppers for our trip in September. One park a day is enough for us. We even scheduled our restaurants based on which day we are in which park. I don't want to spend any time in transport! :)

05-25-2008, 10:09 AM
1) Park Hopping is so individual.
2) Park Hopping - Yes
. . . money is no object
. . . you want to be on-the-run all day, every day
. . . you wan to jump between favorite rides and parks
3) Park Hopping - No
. . . you want to save money
. . . you have visited enough that you can plan a park for one day

NOTE: We do not spend extra for Park Hopping. When we do parks like AK, we go for 3-4 hrs then spend the rest of that day swimming or at DTD.

05-25-2008, 01:40 PM
We always park hop. We do one park in the morning go back to the resort swim for several hours and do another park at night.
We like doing this as it breaks up the day and your starting a whole new park that night.
We always do two different parks in a day and actually the past two years we have done 3 parks in one day. Went to Epcot in the morning, hit soarin and test track took boat over Hollywood Studios did a couple of things than back to resort and at night over to the Magic Kingdom!

05-25-2008, 05:56 PM
We don't like to park hop. It just takes up too much time. Plus, you can leave one park b/c it's too crowded, go to another park and find it's even more crowded there.
We find, with planning, staying in one park works well for us. :thumbsup:

05-25-2008, 08:25 PM
Personally I can't imagine NOT park hopping. I've even done all 4 parks in one day. I like the flexibility of jumping around if one park is too busy or closes early.

Sean Riley Taylor's Mom
05-25-2008, 08:57 PM
Before kids we always got Park Hoppers. We bought them the first time we brought our son and never hopped. We haven't purchased them since.
We would have to drag our kids from whatever park we were in. They like spending the entire day in one park.
We are buying Annual Passes for this upcoming trip in June so, we will see what we do now.;)

But, the extra money we would have spent on Hoppers we gladly spent on other things.

05-26-2008, 08:20 AM
We have AP's, so there's no added cost for us to hop, but even so I can't imagine not spending the extra money.

We almost always will spend the early part of the day in one park and the evening in another park. In fact, like as not we finish up most days watching Reflections of Earth at Epcot. Not to mention eating dinner over there, too.

Just trying to plan your meals and stuff around not having a hopper would be more than enough reason for me to spend the extra money. I mean it's only like $45 or something, right?

05-26-2008, 09:38 AM
I really like the hopper option but it works for the type of marathon days which I enjoy but that are not necessarily the best way to manage time with 2 small children. The number of days you are planning to be at Disney and where you are staying can make a difference in your decision. For instance, if you are at a monorail hotel (or even WL) you can get the kids up early and be at the MK when it opens. Go first to all the kiddie lines that end up having long waits later in the day, then go back to the resort and unwind - swim, eat, nap - whatever works for your family. Then you can take the monorail to EPCOT when you are ready to go back to a park.

If you are staying a distance from the parks figure in bus travel time to your day. It may be more tiring to travel back and forth to parks in the same day but only you know how well your children travel.

If you want to return to the same park after leaving the park you started in you can. You do not need a hopper to return to the same park nor do you need a hopper to participate in extra magic hours (that is dependent on staying at a Disney property).

If you want to take advantage of EMHs keep this in mind. For example, this June morning EMHs are on the 4th for AK and evening EMHs are for Hollywood Studios on the same day. You would need a hopper to take advantage of both the morning and evening EMHs on the same day in this scenario.

Again, only you know how your children travel - if they will be better engaed in the morning rather than evening - if a nap will allow them to do both. Your family may want to sleep in or do a variety of other travel options so you will know best what to do for your family in the end. Have so much fun and make a wonderful lasting memory for all. :mickey:

05-26-2008, 09:47 AM
mean it's only like $45 or something, right?

Doesn't seem like much maybe but for a family on a budget multiply that number times the number of people in the family and it can make a difference. We are talking almost $200 for a family of 4 with young children who may not end up using the hopper option. It is worth the cost if hopping will enhance their visit and I know for some of us the hopper option is a must do but for others it ends up being a wasted cost. :mickey:

05-26-2008, 11:54 AM
Virtually all of our trips have been with one or more children under 8. I understand the issue of budgeting, and always leave the decision of which tickets to get to the kids. They always choose PH's or the Stars and Stripes pass. The S&S is a length of stay pass that allows hopping, and use of the Water Parks, Disney Quest, ect. We just include the price of the tickets we choose in our budget planning....and we rarely stick totally to the budget.

Since we have the flexibility to hop, we hop. We have come to consider AK and the studios as part day parks. We do spend entire days at MK and EPCOT, but I believe that we typically only do one or two days per trip without hopping. I know we could do a non-hopping trip, and I know we would still enjoy the trip....but then we would have to plan it that way, and stick to the plan. The first is easy.....the second, ....well, we ain't done it yet!

Please understand; our kids and grandkids have been well behaved, and if we chose to do one park per day, they would do it, and enjoy it. But I have been married to this women for 44 years. She has followed me around the world, and lived most of her life on my schedule....based on my deployment cycle, my military orders, my proposal due dates, my conference schedules.....when we go to WDW, we adjust to her schedule.....Well, some of us do go to the parks first thing in the morning, and meet her for breakfast. ....she does let me make a few ADR's, but hopping allows her to believe that our days aren't planned.

05-26-2008, 11:57 AM
With kids that young and if you don't go much, just see what you like. If you feel you need a PH after a day without, have your tickets upgraded. I think you can do that at your hotel. Your kids may get too tired for a long PH day.

If you don't get the tickets quite right on this trip, try, try again. I believe most of the people on this site go frequently, and if you're like us, you'll be going back. I go a lot and am still learning new tips and tricks that I never knew before about WDW. Just enjoy your visit. It's magical with or without the park hopper.

Disney Doll
05-26-2008, 01:01 PM
We never park hop. We used to have park hopper tickets back before it was an extra option and even then we never used it. To me there is enough to see and do in each park to warrant a whole day and I don't like all the back and forth. When we go to parks that close early we take advantage of that down time and plan a nice meal or relax by the pool. I could not spend all day at the parks for more than a day or two. I even schedule MK and EPCOT at least a day apart because we consider those long days. Everyone has their opinion and different plans work for different families. The good part about it is that you can add the park hopper option once you get there if you decide you want to hop.

05-26-2008, 04:23 PM
I couldn't do without my park hoppers. Sometimes I don't use them but when I haven't counted on needing them, I do and they are available. Always be prepared. You are already paying alot for your vacation, a little more for security is not a lot of extra.:blush:

Jeff G
05-27-2008, 11:26 AM
I'm trying to decide wether or not to pay the extra money for the Park Hopper option on the park tickets. I don't imagine we'll go to more than one park in one day. It will be dh, and our 2 daughters, 6 & 2. We are staying at Disney hotel.

Having a hopper will really depend on how you plan to spend your days, where you plan to dine and the number of days you'll spend at WDW.

We have always purchased the hopper with the past trips but while playing with the numbers I realized I could save $250 on the next trip by not purchasing the hopper and we opted to save the money.

My decision was based that we will be spending eight days at WDW. We don't need to be in a park all day every day so we split our days up. Our plans have us dining at Epcot twice, MGM once, MK once and the rest at resorts. I was able to plan the three park meals into the days we have planned at those particular parks. An example plan for us is on Sunday we are going to Epcot early to explore future world and with an early dinner at LeCellier before heading back to the resort for a swim. On Wednesday we are sleeping in before going back to Epcot in the afternoon/evening for lunch at Biergarten and a tour of World Showcase. This allows us two days to explore Epcot without hopping and allowing the kids ample rest time (our kids are 12, 9, 3 & 1).

There is also a lot to do at WDW outside of the parks. On Tuesday we will be visiting AK for the day. We plan to arrive at opening and we should be finished there around 4:00. We're then heading back to the room to get freshened up before dinner at Hoop De Doo that evening.

Here is an example of our week:
Saturday - Arrive to Orlando around noon. Head over to MK for the evening.
Sunday -Epcot for the morning and afternoon. Swim at the resort in the evening.
Monday - MK for the morning and early afternoon. Back to the resort for a swim and then go to Downtown Disney.
Tuesday - AK in the day and then Hoop Dee Doo for dinner.
Wednesday - Sleep in. Epcot for the afternoon and Illuminations at night.
Thursday - Spend the day at MGM and catch Fantasmic!!.
Friday - Chef Mickey's late morning and MNSSHP in the evening.
Saturday - Back to MGM to finish up a few rides or shows we missed(probably the only day a hopper would be nice). Dinner at 'Ohana catching the fireworks and water parade from the beach.

With this plan we'll be to MK three times(my kids favorite), Epcot twice, MGM twice and AK one full day. THis will allow us to see everything we wat at the parks while also allowing us plenty of time to see the rest of the World.

Having the little ones has changed how we travel. We always make it a priority to be at the parks when they open. The trick is leaving a park for the afternoon and then going to another park in the evening wears them down so tend to avoid that.

The length of our trip allows us to see plenty at the parks without hopping. If our trip was only for 5 days then the hopper would be a necessity.

Bottom line is it will boil down to your preferences and how you would like to spend the days.

05-27-2008, 12:30 PM
Although we try not to hop too much because of the time it takes out of the park time, we always get hoppers. Since AK closes so early, we still have time to head to another park that's open longer. We also like to eat a lot in EPCOT, so sometimes we need to hop there for dinner.


05-27-2008, 01:44 PM
Of coarse you can go without it but we seem to hop a few times every trip. AK closes early so usually we'll head out to another park on that day. Also we always hop the last couple of days to catch what we may have missed here or there or hit something again.

05-27-2008, 02:23 PM
We have used hoppers on every trip since our first trip using the old "ultimate" park hoppers passes. For us they are absolutley worth it. Hopping allows us so much flexibility and the ability to adapt our trip plans "on-the-fly". We also like to visit one park in the mornings and another for the evenings after an afternoon swim or water park break. I don't think we'd know how to do Disney World without park hopping. As far as the cost, well, I figure that once we have committed to the expense of a WDW vacation, the extra cost of the hopper option is really insignificant for the benefits and options it gives us.

05-27-2008, 02:36 PM
You dont need them but they are absolutely invaluable. I had been before and had park hoppers on my ticket and rarely used it. This last trip I was in charge of planning and did alot of research. Atleast one night we wanted to watch the Spectro Magic Parade, and since this is only done a few times a week, it often brings lots of crowds to Magic Kingdom during that day. So we went to a park that had almost no crowds and hopped back over to MK a few hours before Spectro and got an awesome seat. On our last full day we hopped from MK, to DHS and finished up with Epcot. It was very helpful for us because there were some nights when we wanted to see the night time shows but we just didnt have the energy, so instead of messing up our day time park we would just hop over to the park that we wanted at night.

05-27-2008, 03:00 PM
We used to get them all the time and after a few years we realized we just didn't utilize them that much. We just started staying a couple of extra days and the days we leave a park early we go to DTD or enjoy the pool. This also kind of forces us to have a couple of shorter days for R and R. It is a nice option but we always save the money and stay an extra day or two.

Our first two trips with our kids, we got the PH options and it was the right decision. Our kids were young and this gave us the choice to change parks if one was too crowded etc.
Second trip, we had the Dining Plan and enjoyed eating many meals in World Showcase, so the PH was necessary for this.
We are now planning our third trip and have decided to not purchase PH or the Dining plan this time.
We now know the parks well enough and when to go and what rides we want to do. We also know that down time at the resort and at DTD is something we tend to not do with PH's. My kids also want to go back to Sea World and also spend a day at Universal Studios, which we have never done before.
I think PH's have a time and place and are a good fit for certain families and certain WDW trip adventures.
This time we are choosing to go a little differently and do some other things.

05-27-2008, 06:17 PM
We had it on our last trip and I don't think we used it enough for what we paid to have it added to the ticket. We get to the parks around 10 AM and stay at that park for evening EMH, so it's not really necessary for us. The only time I think it'd be useful is for days we go to Animal Kingdom because it closes so early. However, Magic Kingdom has so many nighttime parties now, I think we'd be ok having a party night on the day we spend at AK.

mouseketeer mom
05-27-2008, 06:38 PM
Yes, yes, yes. Worth the money for us. I love to have choices. I hate to feel locked in to something on our vacation, I like to move where the wind blows me. So, yep, worth it to us. Also, we usually don't end up dining in our daytime park. We usually go to our room, get spiffied up, then head out to whatever park or resort holds our ADR for the evening.

05-29-2008, 12:45 PM
EMH is for if you are on disney property only. that has not changed

park hoppers are good if you are going during a busy time of year or when they have a hard ticket event at MK or another party type thing going on at HS. Usually the park will close at 7. And in MK hard ticket events are at least 3 or 4 times a week. If its a busier time when a park can get closed for capacity issues or you dont have enough time to see everything you want one day but have extra time another day because of the crowds then it comes in handy too.
Other than for those reasons then its a personal descion

05-29-2008, 01:54 PM
We have always purchased the hoppers, however last year we didn't use that option at all. We had best plans to change parks, but was having so much fun/low crowds/back for a swim that it went unused. So for this year we've planned only 1 park per day. We might end up adding the hopper option on, but we'll see how things go. We always hit Downtown Disney after the day at AK since they close earlier.

05-29-2008, 10:40 PM
He have always used hoppers. When the kids were young, we always did mid-day naps to re-charge. We would wake them up and sometimes they thought it was a new day. They would talk about what happed the day before at MK, etc., but it was actually that morning. We would laugh about it, but it was like getting 2 days every day.

05-30-2008, 04:30 AM
I think its a brilliant idea the hopper ...
However i do wish they would bring out a 3 or 4 day hopper or just pass for people who come on vacation from abroad to which as a whole explore other parks in Florida and dont want to be tied down to WDW in general .:thumbsup: