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Your Disney Vacation Specialist
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Ask Mel Wednesday: Do we need Park Hoppers?

Question:Do we need the Park Hopper option on our tickets?

Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Answer:For most people, the answer is no. There are a couple of key exceptions:

Sorcerer's Hat at Hollywood Studios

An early morning walk through Hollywood Studios

  1. You KNOW you will be going to more than one park in a day. (To do this you must have the Park Hopper option.)
  2. You plan on eating dinner in the World Showcase at Epcot on most nights. I could easily eat dinner at a different country every night and be a happy girl. But as much as I love Epcot, even I would need to venture into another park every once in awhile. If this is you, a Park Hopper will allow you to eat in any park you choose, whether it was the park you were visiting that day or not.
  3. You plan to take a mid-day break at your hotel and may go to one park in the morning and a different park in the afternoon or evening.

Other reasons to consider the Park Hopper option:

Epcot

An early morning view of Spaceship Earth at Epcot

  1. If you are heading to Disney during crowded times. Sometimes you can get to your intended park only to discover that it is packed. The Park Hopper option lets you check out another, potentially less crowded, park.
  2. The Park Hopper option makes a great insurance policy against tantrums and melt-downs. What do you do if your child absolutely wants to ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends again but you have already passed through the turnstiles of Hollywood Studios? Having the Park Hopper option can prevent a major meltdown by allowing you to change course (and parks) part-way through your day.

Most of the time the Park Hopper option is not necessary and if you are traveling with small kids (and strollers) it can be cumbersome and time-consuming to hop between the parks.

Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom

Early morning stroll through Animal Kingdom

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