The Great Park Hopper Debate

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I am a park hopper. I love to park hop. Whenever we book our Walt Disney World vacation, we always get the park hopper passes. Do I park hop every day? No. Can I park hope every day? Absolutely? Park hopping really depends on who you are traveling with and what exactly you want from your Disney vacation.

When I go to Disney, I want to get the most bang for my buck. I want to be in the parks from opening to closing. I want to run like a wild woman and ride as many rides as possible, take a ton of pictures and go home exhausted and happy. Apparently, not everyone shares this desire!

I have friends who love “the World” just as much as I do, but do not spend the extra money for the park hopper option. They are content with the one park per day option and even take the time to spend a day simply at the hotel by the pool. This is a perfect option with younger children. You don’t want to have them on sensory overload nor do you want to be dragging them from park to park all the live-long day. Once your kids are older, however, and have a little more stamina, park hopping is a great idea.

One of the main reasons that we get the park hopper passes is because there are times that we get done with a park early and don’t want to simply go back to our hotel. This is particularly helpful on the days that we go to the Animal Kingdom Park because it does close normally at five p.m. Even if we went to dinner at one of the resorts after the park closed, there was still time to catch “Fantasmic” over at Hollywood Studios or “Illuminations” at Epcot. Plus, if we chose to go to Animal Kingdom at opening time, we were usually done way earlier than closing time.

Being able to go and see different night time shows in different parks is one reason, dining options is another. For example, we enjoy the Magic Kingdom but I’m not overly thrilled with the dining options. I love the restaurants in World Showcase over in Epcot. With the park hopper pass, we can leave the Magic Kingdom and hop the monorail to Epcot for dinner.

On our last day of our trip, we like to park hop so that we can hit all of our favorite rides one last time. Actually, our family usually splits up so that we can all get a chance to ride what we want one last time. My husband and younger son love the Animal Kingdom and the walking trails and the safari while my older son and I love everything in the Magic Kingdom. So we split up after breakfast and do what we want and then meet up at a mutually agreed upon third park to wrap up our day.

Some people consider park hopping to exhausting to consider and that’s fine. There is an extra cost to your vacation package to do it so budget-wise, it is an option that can be eliminated. But if you’re like me and don’t get to go on a vacation to Disney as often as you’d like and want to make the most of every minute there, then park hopping is definitely a fun and enjoyable way to go!

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