As a seasoned Walt Disney World Resort guest, I’m a big fan of the Park Hopper ticket option. I know which attractions and restaurants I like, and love having the ability to experience them on my own terms–being tied down to one park is just not an option for me!
This was my first trip park hopping and using FastPass+. When planning my trip itinerary, I decided to experiment with two different approaches:
Option #1 Arrive at the first park for rope drop and reserve FastPass+ selections for the second park.
This plan worked well when we split our time between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Thanks to a combination of Extra Magic Hours, the Single Rider Line at Test Track and brisk walking, we were able to visit nearly all our desired attractions in Epcot by noon.
When we were ready to park hop, we opted to hitch a ride (and rest our weary feet!) on a Friendship Boat via the International Gateway. Once at Hollywood Studios, we used our FastPass+ selections to ride Toy Story Midway Mania, Tower of Terror and Star Tours. We only picked up one additional FastPass+ on this particular day, as we had dinner reservations at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria back in Epcot.
Pros: By reserving the three FastPass+ for the second park, we guaranteed rides on popular attractions during the busiest time of day.
Cons: Getting up early is never easy on vacation, but the major con was not having FastPass+ selections available at the first park. Spaceship Earth had a 30 minute wait (!) and, if we had booked our three FastPass+ at Epcot, we could have obtained an additional FastPass+ for this attraction instead of waiting to ride it later that night.
Conclusion: This option works well for early birds and guests who know how to prioritize attractions at the first park.
DIStracted Tip: Allow approximately 60 minutes to hop between parks. This allows for the time it takes to exit the park as well as for unexpected delays on the buses, boats or monorails.
Option #2 Book FastPass+ at the first park and make additional FastPass+ selections once at the second park.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a half day park for me–a great use of the Park Hopper option! On this particular day, we had FastPass+ selections for Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR and left the park by 1PM. If we had a base ticket, we may have called it a day. Instead, we dined at Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, relaxed at the pool and then headed back to Epcot in the evening.
Pros: By reserving FastPass+ at the first park and taking advantage of the Single Rider Line at Expedition Everest, we were able to experience nine attractions with little to no wait. While we hopped later in the day and our plans didn’t necessitate FastPass+, guests that opt to hop earlier should be able to make additional selections at a FastPass+ kiosk.
Cons: Guests cannot see FastPass+ availability until they visit a FastPass+ kiosk at the second park. And, while it’s likely guests can obtain additional FastPass+, times and attractions may be limited.
Conclusion: This option works well for guests who prefer to sleep in and for those in favor of using FastPass+ to guarantee short wait times right out of the gate.
How do you tour when using FastPass+ with your Park Hopper ticket? Share your tips below!