Disney Park Hopper tickets, which allow guest to visit more than one park per day, are not a necessity, but sometimes a nice extra. Let’s talk about what to consider when deciding if this pricey add-on is right for your family.
What is a Disney Park Hopper?
Park hopper is Disney’s term for the ability to visit more than one park on a single day. Single day or “base tickets” allow you to visit only one park per day. You may enter and exit any one of the parks as many times as you want on the same day, but you can only enter and exit the one park where your ticket is valid for that day.
Disney Park Hopper tickets allow you to visit more than one park each day. You can change parks as often as you like.
Disney World in Orlando has four parks:
- Magic Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
Disneyland in California has two parks:
- Disneyland Park
- Disney California Adventure
How Much Do Disney Park Hopper Tickets Cost?
This addition to a regular, one-park-per-day ticket is pricey. On June 29, 2019, park hopper prices jumped by just over $25 more per ticket, bringing the cost of a one-day theme park ticket with a park hopper addition to $169 plus tax. Tickets purchased for use in 2020, will cost $185 plus tax. These prices are valid for guests of the Walt Disney World theme parks.
California visitors deal with a different pricing structure. A regular one day ticket with park hopper option at Disneyland currently costs $179.
At both Disney destinations, the cost per day goes down if you buy park hoppers for multiple day visits.
What is the Disney Park Hopper Plus?
Park Hopper Plus is available at Walt Disney World only. It allows ticket-holders to visit more than one park per day as well as cool off at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon –– Disney World’s fantastic water parks — visit Disney’s award winning Oak Trail Golf Course, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and the two mini-golf courses on Disney resort property, Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens.
What Are the Rules for Disney Park Hoppers?
Next, let’s discuss the rules governing park hopper use. For tickets purchased separate from a hotel package, it’s possible to pick and choose which tickets to upgrade to Park Hoppers. However, if you work with a travel agent or book a package on your own, everyone in the party associated with the reservation must have the same features on their ticket. So everyone upgrades to a Park Hopper, or no one does.
Additionally, park hopper options are non-transferable just like tickets are non-transferable. Disney tickets are tied to a MagicBand for Florida vacationers, and to a hard ticket for California vacationers. Fingerprints are used in addition to MagicBands to associate your ticket with your person at Disney World park, and photos are taken of each guest at Disneyland park to assure that guests don’t transfer tickets among their traveling party.
Park Hoppers for Florida Residents
Florida residents can save even more on tickets, and that includes ones with a park hopper add-on. Make sure to check the Disney World website for current ticket prices and specials if you are a Florida resident. Even when the specials end, ticket prices are still $30 less for both regular tickets and multi-day tickets with and without a park hopper option.
The same great deals aren’t often available to California residents and Disneyland lovers. Occasionally, there are ticket specials and discounts for Disneyland, but they are not offered on a regular basis they way they are for Florida residents.
Is Park Hopping Right for You?
Finally, how do you know if park hopping is right for your family? First, you need to consider your budget. The bottom line is that park hoppers are pricey. If it is going to bust the budget, it is simply not worth it.
Next, consider the number and ages of guests in your party. My family almost never uses park hoppers at Disney World when we visit with our kids. The parks and resorts are so spread out that it takes a minimum of 20-30 minutes to travel from one park to the other. When vacations are shorter or kids require breaks in between all the fun, that travel time seems like wasted time.
However, in Disneyland park, we always get park hopper tickets. It is easy to travel to a different park in California because they are right across from each other and connected via a walkable esplanade.
Lastly, consider your theme park plans. With Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge now open at Disneyland and opening on August 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, it may be prudent to park hop and avoid the masses gathering at those two new areas. Additionally, if conquering as many rides as possible in a short amount of time is a goal, park hopping is the way to go. FastPass reservations can only be made for parks in which guests have a ticket.
Also consider Extra Magic Hours for Disney resort guests. My family has been able to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours in one park, go back to our resort to rest or relax, and then visit a different park at night. Park hopping offers a lot of flexibility for guests who don’t like to be tied down to a set schedule.
Finally, if you purchased single day tickets initially, but believe your party would benefit from a park hopper, visit guest services at your hotel, Disney Springs, or in the parks themselves. They are happy to sell you park hoppers for the remainder of your stay.