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Complete Guide to Park Hopping at Walt Disney World in 2024

Complete Guide to Park Hopping at Walt Disney World in 2024

Let’s talk about how to park hop at Disney World, shall we?

Walt Disney is home to 4 theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

And, although it is easy to spend an entire day at any 1 of the 4, you may find yourself just itching to bounce from one park to another. That, my friends, is called park hopping.

There are lots of reasons why you may want to do that (and we’ll cover the most popular of them below), but if you want to park hop at Disney World, you have to know the rules.

Let’s get into it…

What is park hopping?

Park hopping at Walt Disney World is the option for guests to visit multiple theme parks in one day.

When a guest purchases a ticket with “Park Hopper” benefits, they can start their day at one park (say, the Magic Kingdom) and then, at some point during the day, move to another park (e.g., EPCOT) without needing to buy a separate admission ticket for the second park.

It offers flexibility to guests who want to experience multiple parks in one day.

Can I park hop whenever I want?

Yes! Starting back at the beginning of 2024 all-day park hopping returned to Walt Disney World.

park hopper

How park hopping works in 2024

Date-based tickets (this includes nearly all ticket types, except Annual Passes)

  • Park hopper benefits are available all day (subject to capacity).

Annual Passholders

  • Annual Passholders can park hop at any time during park hours (subject to capacity). But, the difference is, Park Pass Reservations may still be required if not a “Good-to-go” day
  • Good-to-go Days:
    • Periodic updates to the theme park reservation calendar will show select days when a reservation isn’t needed to visit.
    • Blockout dates will still apply.
  • On days requiring theme park reservations:
    • After visiting the first park, Annual Passholders will be eligible to hop. But please note, if you have a reservation you MUST enter the park you have a reservation for first.
    • Example: If a Passholder enters EPCOT at 9 a.m., they can visit another park immediately after.

How to check if park hopping is allowed

If you are curious if park hopping is allowed while on your trip, you can call 407-560-5000 for an automated message which will tell you if any parks are closed to hopping. If all parks are open to hopping, it will tell you that, too.

Reasons you may want to park hop

There are lots of reasons why you may want to park hop:

  • Variety: Park hopping allows guests to experience a wider variety of attractions, shows, and dining options across different theme parks.
  • Flexibility: With park hopping, guests can adjust their plans on-the-go and move to a different park if they find that one park is too crowded.
  • Efficient use of time: By park hopping, guests can maximize their time and visit multiple parks in one day, which can be particularly beneficial for those who have a limited amount of time to spend at Disney World. Park hopping also lets you maximize the hours you spend in the park, too – since some parks (like Animal Kingdom) almost always close earlier than the others. By park hopping, you can start your day at Animal Kingdom, and then hop to a different park for the evening, which gets you more hours for fun.
  • Fireworks: Not every park has a nighttime show, or, you just may have a favorite that you want to see multiple times. Park hopping allows you to hop to a different park so that you can catch the show there.
  • Special Events: From mid-August through the week before Christmas, Magic Kingdom hosts 2 parties that close the park down early to non-party guests: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Because of the early closure, many people skip going to Magic Kingdom on that day, and the lower crowds make it great for park touring. If you park hop, you can start your day at Magic Kingdom (to enjoy the lower pre-party crowds), and then hop to a different park to finish out your evening.
  • Holiday offerings: During the holiday season, each park has its own unique decorations and experiences, so park hopping can be a great way to see all the festive offerings.

Do you need a Park Pass Reservation to park hop? Important update for 2024

Starting with park visits on January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets (these are the standard ticket options offered at Disney World).

So, when getting your ticket, you will select a start date for January 9, 2024 or later, complete your purchase, and then you will be all set.

However, for other admission types, including non-dated tickets like Annual Passes, theme park reservations may still be required to help Disney “continue managing attendance and delivering a great experience for everyone.”

epcot tapstile

Who should park hop?

Unless you just really, really want to spend the extra money, we are not convinced that everyone needs to pay extra for the Park Hopper option.

But, there are a few people we do think should consider buying a Park Hopper ticket:

  • Guests with short trips or limited time
  • Guests who just need the flexibility to change plans during the middle of the day
  • Repeat guests who may not tour the parks the traditional way

How to make the most of your park hopper ticket

If you are paying the money for a Park Hopper ticket, here are some things you can do to make the most of it:

  • Plan ahead. Check the park hours and schedules for the day you plan to park hop. Decide which parks you want to visit, and make a rough plan for your day. Ideally, try to start at a park that opens the earliest and end at one that stays open the latest.
  • Get an early start. Arrive at the first park of your choice for Rope Drop. Not only does that make it easier to get more done, if you get everything you want to do at the first park done early, it might also give you an opportunity to take a break between parks.
  • Stack at the second park. If you are planning to use Genie+, consider stacking attractions to ride at the second park.
  • Be smart about how you’ll get around. Disney operates park-to-park transportation, but sometimes it is easier to use services like Lyft/Uber or Minnie Vans.
  • Take breaks. Park hopping can be tiring, so take breaks and pace yourself throughout the day to avoid exhaustion.
cinderella castle

How do you get between the parks?

If you are planning to park hop without going back to your resort for a break first, you’ll have several options for getting from park-to-park:

  • Car. If you have your car, you can drive between the parks. And, if you are staying offsite, when park hopping you will only need to pay to park once (onsite resort guests receive complimentary parking). Prefer to go premium? Both onsite and offsite guests can also upgrade to Premium Parking (which gets you closer to the gate) and only pay once for the entire day, too.
  • Lyft/Uber or Minnie Van. We love using Lyft for park hopping – especially when going to or from Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, or Epcot. If you are going to or from Magic Kingdom, a Minnie Van will be easier (although more expensive).

In addition to the options above, all 4 parks have free, Disney transportation available to allow you to hop to another park.

The Monorail and Skyliner run continuously. There are park-to-park buses, but those typically don’t begin until shortly before 2:00 p.m. Note: We expect the start time for park-to-park buses to begin earlier after January 9, 2024.

  • From Magic Kingdom to:
    • Epcot – Take the Magic Kingdom monorail or ferry to the Transportation and Ticket Center and transfer to the Epcot monorail
    • Disney’s Hollywood Studios –  bus
    • Animal Kingdom – bus
  • From Epcot to:
    • Animal Kingdom – bus
    • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – bus, boat, Skyliner (gondola), or you can even walk
    • Magic Kingdom –  Take the Epcot monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center and transfer to either the Magic Kingdom monorail or take the ferry
  • From Disney’s Hollywood Studios to:
    • Animal Kingdom – bus
    • Magic Kingdom – bus
    • Epcot – bus, boat, Skyliner (gondola), or you can even walk
  • From Animal Kingdom to:
    • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – bus
    • Epcot – bus
    • Magic Kingdom – bus
bus directory

How much does it cost to park hop at Disney World?

Park hopping is not free. You have to purchase a park ticket that allows park hopping.

Thanks to MouseSavers (whose data we’ve used below) for compiling all the ticket prices *with* tax.

Ticket Options for park hopping

You have 3 primary ticket options that allow park hopping:

  • Park Hopper
  • Park Hopper Plus
  • Annual Pass

Park Hopper

The Park Hopper option allows you unlimited hopping between all 4 of the theme parks. This option can be added to base tickets, but the cost will vary depending upon the time of year (busier times of the year are more expensive).

If you want to upgrade your base ticket to a Park Hopper Ticket, here’s how much extra you can expect to pay:

  • 1-day ticket: $67.10 – $78.81 more
  • 2 or 3-day ticket: $79.88 – $90.53 more
  • 4-day or longer ticket: $90.53 – $101.18 more

Here’s what that total price for a Park Hopper, with tax, looks like:

Park Hopper Plus

The Park Hopper Plus add-on allows you unlimited hopping plus entry into:

  • Blizzard Beach
  • Typhoon Lagoon
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
  • Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course
  • Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course – FootGolf 
  • Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course (prior to 4:00 pm)
  • Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course (prior to 4:00 pm)

Your total number of entries will equal the length of your ticket. So, for example, a 5-Day ticket allows you to enter any combination of the list above 5 times. You can use your entries in whatever combo you want (even repeating them if you’d like).

If you want to upgrade your base ticket to a Park Hopper Plus Ticket, here’s how much extra you can expect to pay:

  • 1-day ticket: $88.40 – $100.11 more
  • 2 or 3-day ticket: $101.18 – $111.83 more
  • 4-day or longer ticket: $111.83 – $122.48 more

Here’s what that total price for a ticket upgraded to Park Hopper Plus, with tax, looks like:

Annual Pass

“Annual Pass” is the general term for Disney World tickets that last for 366 days, versus those that last for a certain number of gate entrances or entitlements.

annual pass

There are actually 4 different types of Annual Passes available (down from the previous 7 options), and they all have slightly different eligibility requirements, blockout dates, and of course, prices.

How do I add the Park Hopper option to my existing ticket?

If you have already purchased a ticket and decide you would like to upgrade it to a Park Hopper, in most cases you can do that inside of the My Disney Experience App:

Log into your My Disney Experience account

Open the menu by clicking on the 3 stacked lines in the lower-right corner, and click on “Tickets and Passes”.

Select the ticket you’d like to upgrade, and click on “Change Ticket”.

park hopper in my disney experience

Follow the prompts to upgrade your ticket.

park hopper in my disney experience

Remember:

Adding Park Hopping will cost extra, and keep in mind that if you change the dates, that may also cause the price to increase, too:

park hopper in my disney experience

Already in the parks?

If you decide to upgrade, and you are already in the parks, you can also visit Guest Services for assistance.

VIDEO: How to Park Hop at Disney World

Park Hopping, Genie Plus, and Individual Lightning Lane Selections

You can definitely park hop and use Genie+. Here are a few things to know about how that works:

  • Your first Genie+ reservation does not need to be at the park where you have a Park Pass Reservation. But, if it isn’t, you’ll need to make sure that it is after 2 p.m. (This only applies to dates before January 9, 2024. Beginning on January 9, you’ll be able to Park Hop whenever you want).
  • As long as you have a Park Hopper benefit on your ticket, you can make Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations at different parks. Just keep in mind that until January 9, 2024, you can’t park hop until after 2 p.m., so your return time would need to be after that.

When it comes to Individual Lightning Lane purchases, you can make those in separate parks, too. So, you could make 1 in the park where you start and 1 at a park where you hop to.

Park hopping and special events (After Hours and Parties)

Here’s what you need to know about Park Hopping and how that affects parties and special events like After Hours:

Do you need a Park Hopper ticket if you are going from one park to another park for an After Hours or Party?

A special event ticket like a ticket to an After Hours or tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party do not require you to have a park hopper ticket if you want to visit a different park for the first part of the day.

very merry christmas party tapstiles and map

And, in fact, your special event ticket will even allow you to enter the park hours before the event even starts – which is kind of like getting a bit of park hopping for “free”.

Make sure you check your tickets, so you know when you can officially enter without needing a Park Hopper ticket. For example, you can enter Magic Kingdom using your party ticket for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party starting at 4:00 p.m. It works the same for other specially ticketed events, too.

Park Hopping and Virtual Queues

When it comes to Park Hopping and Virtual Queues, here’s what you need to know:

Virtual Queues are typically used for new attractions that are extremely popular.

Currently, Walt Disney World operates 2 virtual queues:

The virtual queues have multiple drop times:

  • 7 a.m.: Can join from anywhere (onsite or offsite)
  • 1 p.m.: Must be in the park to join (this is before park hopping begins)
  • 6 p.m.: Only available to Deluxe Resort Guests, and only on nights when either EPCOT or Magic Kingdom is hosting Extended Evening Theme Park Hours
tron sign

Most days, the boarding groups in the virtual queues go very, very fast (often times in seconds).

But, we have also seen the boarding groups last later into the day – especially for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, since it has been open longer.

All this is to say that while it is technically possible to snag a boarding group when park hopping, your chances may not be great (especially for TRON).

Instead, your better option would be to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane selection and select a return time that works with your plans.

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There you go! The complete rundown on park hopping. Do you have questions we didn’t answer above? Drop us a line!

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