As Disney World starts to put its re-opening plans into action, the parks will be making a lot of modifications to fit with the health and safety guidelines they have put in place.
Since there will be limited capacity in the theme parks when they reopen, guests will need to make reservations through the Disney Park Pass system in order to visit the theme parks. Due to the lower capacity as well as limited options available to guests once the parks reopen, Disney made the decision to pause all park hopping — which means “hopping” between Disney World theme parks in the same day — temporarily. (Note that Disney is selling park hopper add-ons for 2021 tickets at this time, so if your trip is in 2021, you’ll likely be able to park hop. This information is primarily for guests headed to Disney World in 2020.)
So what about all those guests who had purchased the Park Hopper add-on with their 2020 tickets?? Can they get refunds for that extra cost?
OK let’s break down the options. When Disney World reopens, guests are only allowed to make a park pass reservation for one park per day. While they can leave a park and return back into that same park later that day if capacity allows, guests can no longer spend a morning in Magic Kingdom before hopping over to enjoy an afternoon in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (for example).
Disney has been offering refunds for guests who have been affected by the closures as well as a few options for Annual Passholders whose passes have been impacted.
And Disney will also be giving guests options for how to handle Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus add-ons that had been previously added to their tickets.
Option 1: Ticket Use Dates Have Been Extended, So “Wait and See” If Park Hopping is Reinstated
Disney has stated that guests with Park Hopper tickets can use their “current date-based ticket by September 26th, 2021, with the existing add-on options, should the options return by that date.” So if Park Hopping is allowed any time in the next year+, you can use your tickets as normal.
Based on our reader responses when we asked about park hopping add-on refunds, this is what many guests are choosing to do: wait it out. Currently, there’s no penalty for not changing your tickets. So guests who have vacations booked later in 2020 can simply wait to see if park hopping is reinstated by the time their vacation rolls around. OR they can postpone their vacations into 2021, as many tickets have been extended for use into September 2021.
If park hopping is not reinstated by the time your vacation approaches, then it’s time to move on to Option 2… .
Option 2: Modify Your Tickets
Resort packages that include tickets are able to be modified by contacting the Disney Reservation Center at (407) 566-4985 or your travel agent directly. “Modifications” is likely where you will be able to switch your tickets to a different type and receive a refund on the park hopper add-on. We’ve had several readers confirm that they were able to modify their tickets with Disney and receive refunds.
That said, when I reached out to Disney World directly via website chat, I didn’t get as satisfactory an answer as I was hoping for. Initially, my chat companion, Wendy, told me that ticket cancellation would be as close as I could get to a refund:
And that sounds to me like I’d be able to change tickets to non-park-hopper tickets and get a refund. But when I got down to brass tacks, Wendy tapped out.
So, yes, we have had some readers confirm that they were able to refund their park-hopper add-on by modifying their tickets. But you’ll need to speak with Disney directly to see if that’s an option for you.
Moving on to Option 3… .
Option 3: Cancel Your Tickets
However, if you choose NOT to visit Disney World, you can also cancel your ticket or package. The Disney Reservation Center and travel agents will have more details so that you can explore your options.
But please be VERY careful with canceling tickets right now. Remember — Disney is NOT selling tickets for 2020 right now, and has not stated when those sales would return beyond “later this summer.” So if you have tickets for 2020 at the moment, those are precious commodities and you might not want to be too hasty with canceling those if you have them. If you cancel, you may not be able to purchase more for this year.
So there we have it — three options for trying to manage your park hopper ticket add-on here in 2020! Remember, if you’re not going for a while, your best bet is probably to sit tight and wait to see if park hopping comes back by the time your trip rolls around. You can always “modify” or cancel your tickets later if needed!
Other Things To Note About Disney World Park Tickets
So while you’re deciding what to do with your tickets, here are two more details that Disney has released that may impact your decision:
Ticket Use Dates Have Been Extended For Most Guests and Flexibility Has Been Added
First — guests who have just about any kind of multi-day theme park ticket may now be able to use those tickets through September 26, 2021.
Second — we have also confirmed with Disney directly that if you have tickets for specific dates and they’ve been extended, those tickets can be broken up and used separately. For example, if you have a 5-day ticket dated November 1-5, 2020, you can use those five days — individually or altogether — anytime between park reopening and September 26, 2021.
Speak with a Disney reservations specialist to get more details on how to do this. And note that things are changing very quickly right now, so this could be updated at any time.
It’s important to note that guests will need a valid park ticket in order to use the Disney Park Pass system to make reservations for the theme parks. If you plan on visiting Disney World any time soon, be sure to talk to Disney or your travel agent to decide which option is the best for your situation!
When will you be returning to Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!