WDW Wednesday: Park Hopping

Hi guys so I’m going to do a Weekly post on WDW. We are going to start it off with Park Hopping.

Park Hopping isn’t right for every family or group.

So Walt Disney World the four parks are about 15 minutes apart if you are driving by car. However add in waiting for a bus, walking back to the bus stop, or dealing with the monorail improvement schedule it takes Disney transportation about 30 to 45 minutes when it isn’t crowded.

That being said during the slow season Hollywood and Animal Kingdom can close significantly earlier than Magic Kingdom or EPCOT. This might change with the opening of Pandora and Star Wars land but you can always check park hours here.

Why park hop? Well crowds in Walt Disney World have become harder to anticipate park by park since the inclusion of the My Disney Experience app. This causes each park to have at least one crazy rush during the day. Also who would want to stay in Hollywood when The Great Movie Ride is two hours? The answer is no one. Wait time apps have lead to crowds moving from park to park trying to wait less. Sometimes the rush will dissipate other days it won’t and having the ability to leave Magic Kingdom with over an hour wait for Pirates is a blessing.

So, I’m going to assume you have made the decision to splurge and park hop on your up coming Disney trip.

Here is my approach to Park Hopping Four Parks in One Day

Step one

Decide which night show you are going to see.  Fantasmic, Star Wars Fireworks, MK firework night show, Illuminations??? Ideally this will be your 3rd or 4th park of the day.

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Step two

Consider Extra Magic Hours.

If you are planning on going to late night EMH plan on arriving between an hour and a half prior to park close or head on over after the night show of your choosing. For Morning EMH try to arrive a little early to get the most out of the hours. I once did everything I wanted to do in Animal Kingdom and Hollywood during morning EMH. Some rides or park areas will not always open early so be prepared for that.

If you are not taking advantage of EMH avoid which ever park has EMH. Actual EMH’s make the park less crowded however the time near EMH will be the most crowded of the day.

Step 3

Decide your morning park.

If you are taking advantage of EMH make fastpasses for 10:30 in your second park. Otherwise make fastpasses for as close to park open as possible in your first park.

Step 4

Check wait times and fastpasses. If one park has crazy waits try to get fastpasses for it through the My Disney Experience App. If not head on to park two hopefully with a fastpass or two.

Step 5

Choose afternoon entertainment.

Whether you want to make it to the parade in MK or catch a show in Animal Kingdom or HS set a mid afternoon goal that will keep you on schedule for making that jump from park two to park 3.

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Advice for getting the most done

Pick 4 rides, shows, or characters your party wants to do during your time in each park. If the crowds are becoming too much find a restaurant to chill at or go to a theater show with little to no wait to cool off. Don’t be afraid to spend more time in a park you enjoy.

Travelling between parks is generally where most people get frustrated with park hopping. If you are driving a car park at Ticket and Transportation for EPCOT or MK. For the Disney transportation explorer, there are a few ways to make going between parks faster. The boat between HS and EPCOT makes going between these two parks very efficient. And the monorail between MK and EPCOT works for pairing those two. Park hoping from Animal Kingdom is a little harder since the park is farthest from the rest so I would suggest starting or ending in DAK. If you are trying to get to MK from DAK keep a look out for the buses to the Polynesian or Grande since they travel about the same distance and with the security changes it might actually be faster.

I wouldn’t advise a family with super little kids to go for all four parks in one day. However starting in one park and park hopping to another park you can use the bus as a cool down experience for the little ones.

Check back next week for more Disney.

 

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