Even though Park Hopping returned at the beginning of the year, there seems to be a lot of confusion out there on how it currently works. I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick rundown once again, now that it’s been back for a while.
Park Hopping starts with your ticket. You need to have purchased the option, it isn’t added automatically. If you’re an Annual Passholder it is already included with most passes. (Since Annual Passes aren’t for sale right now I won’t go into the various Florida Resident options.) If you didn’t add Park Hopper when you bought your ticket and wish you had it, it can be added at any Walt Disney World ticket window.
Your next step is to make a Theme Park reservation. If you do not have a Disney Park Pass reservation, you will not be allowed in any of the parks, even if your ticket has Park Hopper included.
Right now, Park Hopping does not begin until 2:00 each afternoon. They will not let you in early. You also need to enter the park that you have your Park Pass reservation for before you can enter a second park. A common question that people have is whether or not you have to actually scan into the park that you have the reservation for, or if you can skip it and go directly to a “second” park. I’ve heard of it going both ways. I’ve heard that some people were able to just enter a different park after 2:00, while others were turned away. I wouldn’t chance it; scan into the first park before trying a different one. You don’t want the extra hassle of having to then go to the first park, scanning in, and then leaving again.
There has been a lot of concern that the other parks will be full after 2:00 and Park Hopping will not be possible. That hasn’t been an issue at all. If you’re worried about it, call the Park Hopping Hotline at 407-560-5000. I call it a lot, and have never been told that one of the parks wasn’t open to Park Hop. The only way I can see that happening right now is for something gigantic, such as the Fourth of July at the Magic Kingdom or the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary on October 1. Even then, I have a feeling that you’ll be allowed to Park Hop.
Some Annual Passholders have asked if they can enter a park after 2:00 without a Disney Park Pass reservation. After all, we’re a different breed, we’re used to going to a park for a couple of hours and then heading home. The answer is no, you won’t be allowed in if you don’t have a reservation, even after Park Hopping has started for the day.
There is no limit on how many parks you can hop to. If you want to hit all four, go for it! Check the Park Hours when planning your day, because the four Walt Disney World theme parks do not all close at the same time. If you Park Hop and then want to return to the first one, you can do that as well. If you leave a park, grab dinner somewhere, and then want to head back to the same park without hopping that’s fine too. You won’t lose your spot.