If you’re relatively new to planning a Disney World trip or you just haven’t been in a while, you might be seriously confused about park hopping because it’s changed so much.
After Disney World reopened, we didn’t even HAVE park hopping, and when it did come back, it was modified. On top of that, we also now have park pass reservations, as well as Disney Genie and Genie+ to deal with, and combined with all that, the ins and outs of park hopping may leave us all scratching our heads. But have no fear — we’re going to do our best to answer ALL your park hopping questions!
What is park hopping?
Park hopping is basically just that — it means you hop from one Disney World theme park to another one. So let’s say you’re at Magic Kingdom and you want to visit Hollywood Studios on the same day. Park hopping allows you to do that.
However, park hopping isn’t quite as simple as that in Disney World these days.
Get More details on park hopping at Disney World
Is park hopping free?
Park hopping is NOT free. You will first need a valid ticket or an Annual Pass. Then you’ll need to add the park hopping option to your ticket or have the park hopping option on your Annual Pass — this costs an additional fee over the ticket or pass.
If you have a ticket and choose the park hopping option, the cost will depend on the date of your visit. A park hopping ticket will cost more on busier days in Disney World and less on slower days. Park Hopper tickets start at $184 for a 1-day ticket for adults, but that price can be more depending on the date.
Learn more about Disney World tickets and prices
Do you need a park pass reservation to park hop?
You will need a park pass reservation for the FIRST park you plan on visiting the day you intend to park hop. However, you do NOT need a park pass reservation for the park you plan on park hopping to.
For example, let’s say you plan on visiting Magic Kingdom first on a specific day and then park hop to EPCOT later. You’ll only need to have a park pass reservation for Magic Kingdom.
Everything you need to know about park pass reservations
Do you need to visit your first park that you have a reservation for?
You WILL need to visit the first park you have a park pass reservation for. You must be scanned into that park before you can take advantage of park hopping (provided your ticket allows it).
For example, let’s say you have a park pass reservation for Animal Kingdom and want to park hop to Magic Kingdom. You will need to scan into Animal Kingdom first before you can go to Magic Kingdom.
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When can you park hop?
Before Disney World’s closure and reopening, you could park hop at any time. However, that has changed. You now can only park hop AFTER 2PM.
So you’ll have to wait until well after lunchtime if you’re planning on visiting another park. However, this rule is different for Annual Passholders.
The Five Biggest Changes To Disney World Park Passes in 2023
What are the rules for park hopping for Annual Passholders?
As of April 18th, 2023, the rules for Annual Passholders will be different from guests with theme park tickets. Annual Passholders will NOT need to make a park pass reservation on that date and later if entering a park after 2 PM. They can then also park hop without needing a park pass reservation for the first park visited.
However, Annual Passholders will still need to make park pass reservations on Saturdays and Sundays for Magic Kingdom.
Here’s more about the changes made to park pass reservations for Annual Passholders
Can I park hop to whatever park I want?
The answer is “it depends.” That’s because you can only hop to a park that hasn’t yet reached capacity. If a park is at its full capacity, you cannot park hop there.
The good news is that there’s a way to check if a park is at full capacity BEFORE you make the trip to it. Guests can call (407) 560-5000 to learn about capacity limitations and find out which parks are currently allowing park hopping.
Here’s more on capacity limitations at the parks
How often can you park hop on any given day?
The answer is as much as you want! You can visit ALL FOUR PARKS in one day if you really want to (but do you? That’s… a lot!). Of course, that depends on if the parks are at full capacity or not, so you’ll need to keep that in mind.
You won’t have much time in the parks if you do decide to visit all four at once, since you’ll spend a lot of that time traveling to and from each park.
Learn more about hopping to multiple parks in Disney World
How does Genie+ work with park hopping?
So if you have Genie+, how does that work with park hopping? First, you’ll need to know that you cannot book a Lightning Lane for your second park until the return time for that attraction reaches 2PM or later.
Let’s say you’ve got a park hopper ticket and you’ve purchased Genie+. You spend the first part of your day in EPCOT and want to hop to Hollywood Studios at 2PM to book a Lightning Lane for Slinky Dog Dash. You CAN book that Lightning Lane while you’re still in EPCOT, but you’ll have to wait until Lightning Lane times prior to 2PM have all been booked.
Here’s your ultimate guide to Genie+
What are my transportation options between parks?
The good news is that Disney World has a variety of transportation options to travel between parks if you plan on park hopping. First, you can take a Disney bus to and from each park for parks that don’t have alternate transportation (or when the Monorail or other transportation options are closed). If you’re hopping to Animal Kingdom, this will be your only option for park hopping from another park.
If you’re at Magic Kingdom or EPCOT, you can also hop to either of those parks by taking the Monorail. This includes a transfer at the Ticket & Transportation Center. However, you can also get off at the Ticket & Transportation Center and take the ferry to Magic Kingdom for a more scenic ride.
If you’re traveling between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, you can take the Skyliner — you will need to transfer at the station at Disney’s Caribbean Resort, but it’s a quick transfer!
Note that the Skyliner station at EPCOT is NOT at the front of the park (like the Monorail station). Instead, the EPCOT Skyliner station is at International Gateway (the entrance closest to World Showcase).
Everything you need to know about Disney World transportation
We hope that this clears up any confusion you might have about park hopping, and we’ll continue to offer our best tips and tricks AND explainers to make your next Disney World trip as stress-free as possible.
We’ve got a great resource for you when you plan your NEXT Disney World trip – our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. We wrote our ebook after decades of visiting Disney World, so that we could help you have a stress-free vacation! Click here and use code WDW2023 to get 25% off!
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Do you ever park hop in Disney World? Share your best park hopping tips in the comments!
I still feel that 2:00 pm is too late to start hopping. Is should be earlier (11:00 am like Disneyland). or no time restrictions at all. Especially the distance and the time between the parks at Disney World.
According to the Disney website, they said that that 2 PM time for park hopping may change each day. It can be earlier or later and we have to check the app each day for park hopping times. I hope that means they’re just going to get rid of it completely very soon.