When Disney World announced that park hopping would return in 2021, there were a LOT of questions about how it would work.
We’ve done our best to get answers for many of those questions, but there’s one very important question that we still don’t have a solid confirmation for yet — and that’s what happens if you have a dining reservation in a full park that you plan on hopping to?
Park hopping will return to Disney World on January 1st, 2021, but it will be a lot different. For starters, guests with tickets still need a park pass reservation for the first park they plan to visit that day.
However, after 2PM, guests with a valid park hopper ticket can go to a different park, given it hasn’t reached capacity yet. If it has reached capacity, a guest cannot enter that second park.
So here’s a bit of a conundrum: let’s say you have a dining reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom at 5PM. You started your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with a plan to park hop to Magic Kingdom after 2PM for your reservation. But when you head out to Magic Kingdom, you find that the park is at capacity. Can you still get in with your dining reservation?
Well…it’s kind of hard to tell. We’ve been on a wild goose chase to find a definitive answer, and here’s what we’ve expereinced:
1. We asked a Cast Member via chat and received a definitive “no” answer. We were told that guests with dining reservations are NOT guaranteed entry into the park they’re hopping to. The Cast Member said, “So if the theme park happens to meet capacity before you are able to get into that theme park, you would not be able to attend that reservation.”
2. We confirmed this with a second Cast Member who recommended not making a dining reservation until you’ve already hopped successfully.
3. However, later, a different Cast Member stated the opposite via chat: that a dining reservation would DEFINITELY guarantee park entry when park hopping. When asked the question, the Cast Member said, “yes, it does.”
4. But wait, because the next Cast Member we chatted with stated that the answer is still a definite no — you cannot gain entry into a park that you’ve hopped to if it’s full, even if you have a dining reservation.
5. OK with three out of four Cast Members saying NO, we decided to chat with one more Cast Member just in case. This CM suggested we only make dining reservations at parks that we have park pass reservations for. And we did receive confirmation that if a guest misses a dining reservation because of a full park, no charges will be incurred.
So after talking to five Cast Members, it seems we still don’t have a definitive confirmation one way or the other. But based on these responses, our advice would be to take the suggestion to make dining reservations in parks where you already have a park pass reservation. Just in case.
We’ll continue to search for answers, though, and let you know what we find!
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Do you have any questions about park hopping? Let us know in the comments!