Today I welcome a guest writer to Disney for Five—my brother Dave. His family of four is just as Disney-World-crazy as my family of five, and he agreed to do a couple of posts for me in relation to their last trip to the World. In this post, he discusses something that my family doesn’t normally purchase: the Park Hopper. For a fee of roughly $57 per person (plus tax), you can add the Park Hopper option to your WDW theme park tickets. (The cost is lower if you are only purchasing 1-day tickets.) We bought this option on our first family trip to Disney World, and decided that we were wasting too much time riding around on buses going from park to park. We haven’t purchased the Park Hopper since that first trip. However, Dave makes a pretty good case for it. So, without further ado, I give you Dave’s “Disney for Four!”
Disney For Four: These Parks Are Made For Hoppin’
I gave up long ago trying to plan things like Disney vacations for my family. I can book airline reservations and find us someplace to stay, but when it comes to planning out the day-to-day activities once we reach Orlando, well, that’s just not going to happen.
This isn’t entirely a bad thing. As frustrating as it can be sometimes, it also adds a bit of mystery to the day. When you wake up in the morning, you have an idea where you’re going first, but after that, anything can happen. Sure, there are times when we have reservations at Chef Mickey’s or Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but other than that, there’s never a set plan.
So what do you do when you’ve spent the day walking around Epcot and now one kid wants to go to Magic Kingdom and ride the new Little Mermaid ride and the other wants to go to Hollywood Studios to see an American Idol show? Well, if you added the Park Hopper option to your tickets, there’s no problem. In case you don’t know what this is, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You can visit as many of the four main parks as you want on any given day, something that’s not allowed with the basic admission ticket.
We selected the Park Hopper on our first Disney trip out of necessity. We only had three days to see all four parks.
Our last trip back in February went something like this:
Monday A.M.: Magic Kingdom
Monday P.M.: Hollywood Studios
Tuesday A.M.: Animal Kingdom
Tuesday P.M.: Hollywood Studios
Wednesday A.M.: Universal Studios (not sure if this was worth it or not, but that’s another blog post entirely)
Wednesday P.M.: Epcot
Thursday A.M.: Epcot
Thursday P.M.: Hollywood Studios
Thursday P.M. (really late): Magic Kingdom
So there you have it. While the Park Hopper isn’t cheap, it just might make your Disney experience better. If your family is unpredictable and has a short attention span like mine, it’s well worth the money.
Of course, the fact that you get to take a break from the heat and sit in an air-conditioned bus for a half hour doesn’t hurt.
Okay, Dave, you had me at “sit in air-conditioning!” I think I just may add the Park Hopper to our next Disney adventure!