NOTE: In this week’s episode we mention that we are looking forward to the return of park hopping. At the time of recording the information we had was that you could only park hop once. We have since learned that is not the case and you can hop to all four parks in one day!
Also, be sure to listen to this week’s episode #38 where Roxann talks about her experience with park hopping!
If you’ve been to Walt Disney World in the past, park hopping may be like second nature to you. That’s why it was a bit of a shock to the system when the parks reopened in July 2020 and park hopping privileges were temporarily stopped. But now with the start of the new year Disney has restored park hopping to your day. Let’s go over a few basics:
Why would you want to park hop? With shorter hours in the parks, and Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom not running their shows right now, you may be done with one park sooner than you expect.
What’s the best park to hop to? Probably Epcot, especially if you’re looking for dinner. Plus, Epcot tends to be the latest park open in the evening. Worst choice would be Animal Kingdom, since they tend to close at 5pm most nights.
How do you park hop? You’ll still need to make a park reservation for your first park of the day. You have to actually go to that park first before you’ll be able to park hop after 2pm.
When you’re ready to hop – If you’re taking a Disney bus to another park, Cast Members will scan your ticket or Magic Band to be sure you have a park hopper ticket before you’ll be allowed to board the bus. If you’re driving, like we did, or using the Skyliner between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, you skip this step.
When you get to the next park – You’ll go through security like usual, and then tap your card or Magic Band at the entrance. That’s it. There’s really nothing more to it than that.
How many times can you hop? Reports are that you can go to all four parks in one day. We did three parks – Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot on Sunday, January 3 with no issues at all. We drove to MK and HS, took the Skyliner from HS to Epcot, then took a bus from Epcot back to HS to pick up our car. We didn’t try to go back into the same park twice.
What if a park has reached capacity? Disney has established a hotline number – (407) 560-5000 you can call to see if park hopping is available. It was unclear on the day we tested park hopping if you would be stopped before boarding a bus if that park was at capacity, but I imagine that would be the case. Disney doesn’t like to have disappointed guests and that check point would be the perfect first stop.
What about Rise of the Resistance? This is the tricky part. If you’re thinking of hopping to Hollywood Studios after 2pm with the hopes of getting a boarding pass to Rise, it’s not going to happen. Boarding passes are given out at 7am, and again at 1pm – before you would be able to hop.
OR if you have a park reservation for Hollywood Studios but can’t get a boarding pass to Rise and decide to start at another park, that’s not going to work either. Remember you have to go to the park you reserved before you’re allowed to hop. You could try to switch your park reservation online instead.
- Start at the park with the earliest opening time.
- Hop to the park with the latest opening time.
- Don’t make a dining reservation at your secondary park – there’s always a chance you won’t be able to get in.
Let us know your thoughts on park hopping! Go to our Facebook page – Ears 4 You Podcast, or follow us on Instagram @ears4youpodcast. You can also reach us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org