How Do You Prioritize Your Park Time?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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How Do You Prioritize Your Park Time?

Sadly, most of us have limits placed on our vacations with "silly" restrictions like time and money.
I'm wondering how you all prioritize Park time? Do you try to go to a Park every day? Do you take a Park day then a rest day? Are you an avid Park Hopper, or do you like to focus on one place at a time?

NikkiMouse's picture
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We do not do rest days; we talk about doing them, but it just never seems to happen. We always park hop, and I honestly could not picture myself going without one at this point. We always do at least 2 parks per day, but sometimes it is even 3. Heck, we did 4 twice last trip! As far as times, we usually like to get there really early and then maybe go back to the pool to swim depending on the weather. If it is cooler, we just keep going all day with maybe a stop at a resort to catch a meal.

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kathys's picture
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We are park hoppers. I tried not park hopping once and I wasn't happy. We go early and go back to our resort to chill for a few hours. When we go back most time it is a different park accept for MK. And we always day 1 day off in the middle of our trip..to do the monorail crawl later in the day.

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Allie's picture
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We always do park hoppers and we always do a park every day. I keep promising myself that next time we will plan a 10 day trip so that we have time for rest days but it never seems to happen. Our trip in April is a kind of spur of the moment, budget friendly trip so we are forgoing park hoppers for the first time ever. We'll see how it goes... eek

Kristen K.'s picture
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I usually don't have a Park Hopper (I will in May though) and I find that it allows to really make the most of my time in each Park. I like to think that when you know you have all day in one place, it allows you to slow down and really enjoy the little details that Disney puts into things.

Sid Man's picture
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I give over a day at least to MK and Epcot and generally hop between HS and AK. Rest days are usually spent at Disney Springs or at Universal. Universal isn't so much a rest day in terms of not doing a park, but it's a rest day from the bubble where I get to complain about how things aren't the same as at Disney! If I don't go to the Springs or Universal, then it'll be at a mall somewhere or KSC. This time round, I'm thinking about doing the zipline safari in Orlando...I hate heights, but I'm a sucker for these 'flying' experiences!

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alicemouse's picture
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We generally do a park every day. Save possibly a departure day, I think I've only ever had one Disney non-park day and that was last November after the "half" marathon. I had a lot of issues with my feet last fall and I knew there was no way I could walk a park the day after the race. Though technically we were at a park that day because we didn't leave EPCOT until around 2am...

I have been more accepting of 1/2 park days since we've had the good fortune of traveling frequently in recent years. Our last 7 trips have been on an annual pass and that definitely changes the psychology. If I'm buying a length of stay ticket, ok I'll forgo a day and plan to enjoy my non-park day but if I bought a ticket for the day, I'm definitely going to use every minute of my park time for that day! With the AP, I expected to be more willing to slow down and maybe enjoy a resort day now and then. Instead I still feel like I have to be in a park every day because I can. But, with a per-day cost of $10-20, I can be ok going to a park for a few hours and then leaving to do other things.

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Magic Days's picture
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We have only had hopper tickets. With the new fast pass system we have to be more strategic with our hopping but it's how we enjoy most of our days. We are planning on getting annual passes on our honeymoon so maybe we won't be in a park everyday while there. But I'd be very surprised.

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Eeyore's picture
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We always buy park hoppers. We tend to do one park during the day, head back to the room to relax and clean up, then head to dinner which is typically in EPCOT or at a resort. I like having the option to go somewhere else even if I do not use it.

Magic Mirror's picture
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We have gone with and without park hoppers...and now that we've got multiple trips under our belt..we seem to be finding a flow of sorts to our park times....the wife prefers we stay in one park for the day....as Kristin said it helps us slow down and not feel so rushed......she would also prefer a day of partial rest between park days (because I'm such a planning drill sgt biggrin ) .....even with this in mind..I think we will do park hoppers in our next trip..mostly because we will have around 10 days and I want the ability to hit Epcot at will for the food & wine fest...

Kristen K.'s picture
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Magic Mirror wrote:
I want the ability to hit Epcot at will for the food & wine fest...

But of course!!! yay

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jw24's picture
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Generally speaking, it's all rides in the morning. At least the big ticket ones I'm interested in. I feel the need to get up early and beat the crowds, knowing I only have about 2 hours from 9 to 11 to get it done before the park starts filling up and the lines get longer.

Afternoon, it's lunch, secondary rides, character greetings and rest.

Evening, it's dinner, some snacks and anything else I missed out.

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Once upon a time, before the no-expiration option on multi-day tickets became so darn expensive, we would buy 10-day park hoppers with no expiration and make them last two trips. So, five park days per trip, which meant no parks on arrival and departure day along with a rest day somewhere in the middle of the week. Now we either get annual passes or length-of-stay tickets without the no-expiration option and take no full rest days at all. Resting might mean sleeping in, taking an afternoon break, or turning in early at the end of the day, but it never means a whole day with no parks.

We do park hop. Not every day, but on days when we start out at a park like AK or DHS that usually closes early we'll usually finish up at Epcot or MK. Or toward the end of the trip, when we've visited all four parks, we might park hop around to hit the highlights one more time.

Our biggest key to maximizing park time is to go when the crowds are (relatively) low.

BarbaraB's picture
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My trips are relatively short compared to the rest of y'all (usually only 4 or 5 days). We always get the park hopper, just in case. Sometimes we use it, sometimes we don't. On days when hubby is not golfing, it's up-and-at-'em first thing in the morning to hit all the thrill rides in whatever park we have FP for that day. Then lunch at a QS place. More rides or maybe some shows. Then we usually head back to the resort to shower and get dressed for dinner because dinner is usually at a Signature restaurant. After dinner, we just head back to our resort for some adult beverages then call it a night. Sometimes we'll go to Disney Springs after dinner (except the last time we were there, it was still Downtown Disney). Hubby won't go to a park in a suit and tie (and to be honest, I'm not thrilled about the idea of walking a round the park in heels and a dress), and he doesn't see the point of going back to the room to get changed and heading back to a park for just 2 or 3 hours of play time. Because of this, we're rarely in a park after dark.

Except every once in a while...if our dinner ADR is for somewhere actually in a park (BOG, for example), we'll skip going back to the room to change and stay in the park after dinner. We may not necessarily start the day in the same park that dinner is in, hence the park hoppers.

On days that hubby golfs, he leaves bright and early and I either sleep in, wander the resort, or head to a park to do rides/shows that I like that I know he only tolerates because of me (Haunted Mansion or Country Bear Jamboree, for example). We'll meet up in a park for lunch after he's done golfing.

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Allie's picture
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I'm sorry, did you say that your husband only tolerates HM because of you?! eek eek eek

BarbaraB's picture
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Allie wrote:
I'm sorry, did you say that your husband only tolerates HM because of you?! eek eek eek

Sorry for the delay in responding, Allie. I took on a lot more responsibilities at work and don't get to play on the interwebs all day like I used to. wink

He's a thrill ride kind of guy, and let's face it, Disney rides are very tame. He enjoys all the roller coasters and Tower of Terror, but everything else he only goes on because I want to. He does enjoy the tamer rides, but if he had his druthers, he'd spend all day on the roller coasters. I love roller coasters, too, but I also love ghosts and ghouls and such. So HM is one of my favorite rides.

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Allie's picture
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I'm also a thrill ride junkie but HM is fantastic! This makes me sad for him! laugh