One of the questions that I am asked the most about visiting Walt Disney World Resort is “Is the Park Hopper Option worth it? Do I NEED it?” Short answer- it’s worth it, most of the time.
If you are like me and have younger children, you know that a full day in a Park can be- what’s the word?-challenging. From the heat, to fatigue and everything in between, sometimes kids need a rest. Heck, sometimes adults need a rest! Our family likes going back to the resort after hitting an early morning rope-drop for some rest and relaxation. Once we have recharged, and cooled down with a jump in the pool, we enjoy going back out to the Parks for dinner, cooler temperatures and thinner crowds. With the Park Hopper Option, we can visit 2 different Parks in the same day, which we love to do! A common misconception is that if you do NOT purchase the Park Hopper ticket, you cannot return to the Theme Park after leaving. This is not true! If you have a Base Ticket, you can choose to leave a Park, go back to rest at your resort, and return to the SAME Theme Park later that day, you just don’t have to option of going to a different Theme Park.
My husband, for whatever reason, is NOT a fan of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. My children and I however, are. To appease him, we only visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a half day, usually the morning with a breakfast at Tusker House. If we did not have the Park Hopper Option, the rest of the day would be parkless. Sure, we could visit Downtown Disney or Resort Hop, but my kids want to pop back over to Magic Kingdom Park every chance they get.
Nighttime milkshakes at Magic Kingdom Park! Made possible by the Park Hopper Option!
As for prices, there are a few options. DIStracted Tip: remember that Park Ticket prices are cheaper per day when you purchase multiple day passes.
Park Hopper Option – approx. $40 per person extra for a 1-day ticket OR approx. $60 more TOTAL for a 7 day pass
This ticket will allow you to go from Theme Park to Theme Park (Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) on the same day. You could go to all 4 in one day if you wanted! Although we usually stick to a 2 Park maximum, this is usually the option my family chooses as my kids are afraid of waterslides, so the next option does not appeal to them.
Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More Options – approx. $86 more per person for duration of the trip
We have used this option when we have visited without children, since my husband and I like to go on thrilling waterslides! This option allows you to Park Hop, visit the 2 Water Parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach & Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon), have access to DisneyQuest, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, and a free round of miniature golf at both Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course. If you plan on going to any of the Water Parks- this is a great value. For us, it is just too much and we do not have the time! You can also purchase the Water Park Fun and More WITHOUT The Park Hopper Option for approximately $60 more per person.
Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course (Photo by Disney)
I have mentioned that the Park Hopper Option is great when you have young children, but I also plan on using them on my adults only trip with my mother this summer. I am a huge fan of the restaurants at Epcot, and to be able to eat there, you have to have a Park Ticket. I do not want to visit Epcot all day, every day throughout my trip, but I do plan on eating there at LEAST 3 times during the week! This will allow my mom and me to visit other Parks in the morning and then head on over to Epcot for a delicious world-renowned meal!
One of my favorite places to eat in “The World”- San Angel Inn Restaurante in Epcot (Photo by Disney)
Adding the Park Hopper Option might not be right for you and your family, especially if you have a shorter visit (seeing as though it takes time to switch Parks thus taking time away from the Parks!!) But for my family, I don’t think we could do without it!