To Hop or Not...

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To Hop or Not...

Hello all-

This is my first post in this forum and normally don't post anything in any forums, but I need some advice...

I've been to WDW 5 times in the past 7 years, and have park-hopped every time. For our January 2013 trip, I have decided to not add the Park Hopper option (for now). I figured we wouldn't need to, and it would kinda force us to slow things down a bit and take in one park per day, really enjoy everything each park has to offer. On top of that, park hopping wears on you by the end of the trip if you're bouncing around every day you're there!

I'm really torn, because the price you pay to add on the hopper option is small compared to the freedom you get, but I'm not sure it's completely necessary.

Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

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First off welcome This is a great board so feel free to jump right in.

Most of the folks around these parts are BIG fans of park hopping. I however don't really need it. I'm more than happy staying at one park all day long. There's always more than enough to do, I'm never rushed, if there's a long line I just go back later. Most of my vacations are planned for just one park per day and I've never had an issue or felt like I wished I was someplace else. For my family it's a great place to save some money.

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Hi! strummer77 and welcome. Now I speak only for myself but I think you will find the general concensus of opinion here is that most people do indeed prefer the park hopper option. There are a few threads on this forum about that subject and we find it to be well worth the small additional charge not to limit your parks to one a day in case you missed something that you really wanted to do and were not able to on that particular day. I am sure there are others who will join in with their opinion as well. How about it guys and gals?

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I wish we could get a couple days of both. For HS we just ran out of things we wanted to do and would have liked to have a day or 2 of hopper. But for Epcot and MK I see no need in hoppers.

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On my next trip I will be park hopping. When you're spending a few thousand dollars, a few hundred is a must for something like this. It's also perfect for your first day in Disney when you don't want to be at the parks all day, but you can just go for a few hours and maybe catch the fireworks show at MK, or whatever you want to do. Say you wanna spend the dayin MK, but missed Illuminations when you went to Epcot. You can mix and match. It's a no brainer for me when I go back in about two years for my graduation.

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Before we got Annual passes, we always got Park Hoppers that way if we were at one park and it got crowded, we could switch to another if we wanted to, or if wanted to just change atmosphers we could on a whim. If you wanted to have and ADR at one park, but spen most of the day at another, there ya go! It's nice to have as an option.

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I wouldn't want to go without Hoppers. Sometimes the park you start out in gets incredibly crowded as the day goes on, and it's nice to be able to go somewhere else. We also usually return to the hotel for an hour or two in late afternoon for a swim, and then go to a different park at night.

But if it's a question of budget, then I'm sure it's easy to adjust your days and stay at one park per day.

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We never get PH passes... MK is an all-day park, so is Epcot when it's just us adults. AK and Hollywood Studios are 1/2-3/4 day parks and we just supplement those days with lounging around the resort, heading to DTD, or doing other Disney related stuff. The money that we don't spend on the PH passes is spent in other places around Disney.

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finngirl wrote:
I wouldn't want to go without Hoppers. Sometimes the park you start out in gets incredibly crowded as the day goes on, and it's nice to be able to go somewhere else.

Where else would you go? All parks get crowded during mid-day, so that's not really a good point.. That's not the reason for me to have a park hopper.

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Hardy0109 wrote:
finngirl wrote:
I wouldn't want to go without Hoppers. Sometimes the park you start out in gets incredibly crowded as the day goes on, and it's nice to be able to go somewhere else.

Where else would you go? All parks get crowded during mid-day, so that's not really a good point.. That's not the reason for me to have a park hopper.

actually it is a great point! Certain parks do tend to be more crowded than others on different days and a lot of that has to do with EMH and different times of year and what may be going on at a certain park.

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Hardy0109 wrote:
finngirl wrote:
I wouldn't want to go without Hoppers. Sometimes the park you start out in gets incredibly crowded as the day goes on, and it's nice to be able to go somewhere else.

Where else would you go? All parks get crowded during mid-day, so that's not really a good point.. That's not the reason for me to have a park hopper.

Actually no, not all parks get crowded mid day. The EMH parks are usually the most crowded due to the people not having park hopper tickets.

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Hardy0109 wrote:
finngirl wrote:
I wouldn't want to go without Hoppers. Sometimes the park you start out in gets incredibly crowded as the day goes on, and it's nice to be able to go somewhere else.

Where else would you go? All parks get crowded during mid-day, so that's not really a good point.. That's not the reason for me to have a park hopper.

Not exactly - the "crowd" factor is relative. For example, if you start out in MK on an EMH, by noon it is usually starting to get crazy. If you hop over to another park, say HS, you can still walk on Star Tours, get a Fastpass for TT that isn't too far out (or even walk on), etc. You can easily spend an hour or two doing favourite things, head out of the parks for a couple of hours, and either return to the original parks or end up at Epcot or AK. We did this in May, and never waited longer than 10 minutes to ride anything, no matter where we were, and felt totally relaxed and stress-free.

We are not newbies to WDW. We know what we want to ride and see, and plan accordingly. If we were going for our first visit, staying in one park per day might work out fine, since we would need a full day to even attempt seeing everything.

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The only reason we bought park hoppers is because I personally like a change of pace later in the day and didn't want to risk not getting to do exactly what I wanted to do. For me, the price lets me do what I want.

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finngirl wrote:
Hardy0109 wrote:
finngirl wrote:
I wouldn't want to go without Hoppers. Sometimes the park you start out in gets incredibly crowded as the day goes on, and it's nice to be able to go somewhere else.

Where else would you go? All parks get crowded during mid-day, so that's not really a good point.. That's not the reason for me to have a park hopper.

Not exactly - the "crowd" factor is relative. For example, if you start out in MK on an EMH, by noon it is usually starting to get crazy. If you hop over to another park, say HS, you can still walk on Star Tours, get a Fastpass for TT that isn't too far out (or even walk on), etc. You can easily spend an hour or two doing favourite things, head out of the parks for a couple of hours, and either return to the original parks or end up at Epcot or AK. We did this in May, and never waited longer than 10 minutes to ride anything, no matter where we were, and felt totally relaxed and stress-free.

We are not newbies to WDW. We know what we want to ride and see, and plan accordingly. If we were going for our first visit, staying in one park per day might work out fine, since we would need a full day to even attempt seeing everything.

exactly, great point finngirl

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We always get the Hopper option. Of course we plan our trips a bit differently and prefer NOT to plan meals around the park we are going to. . . We plan the ADRs first THEN pick our parks. Often, we will go to one park in the AM and then back to rest at the resort for a bit, then go out to our "dinner park" in the afternoon. If it is a nicer meal like Cali Grill, we will stay out longer in the AM, head back to resort to freshen up, then go to dinner and park hop after dinner if we aren't too late for that. That is always a great way to end our day!

We like having the option of moving from park to park for whatever reason. Sometimes it has been the crowds, sometimes it has been parade or entertainment schedules, sometimes it has been a sudden craving for a dole whip. awesome

Sometimes it is just a crazy whim without reason, like the time we were at HS and for no reason whatsoever just wanted go to Dawa in Animal Kingdom, do we did. Yes, it took a bit of time to make the hop, but the cool beverages in the wonderful AK atmosphere were SOOOO worth the effort and just what we suddenly wanted.

For us, it is our vacation and we want to do what we want to do when we want to do it. So . . Hoppers now and forever! mickey

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I tire of hopping, if I'm in a park, I'm in a park, I don't want to waste time going from place to place!

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Hardy0109 wrote:
finngirl wrote:
I wouldn't want to go without Hoppers. Sometimes the park you start out in gets incredibly crowded as the day goes on, and it's nice to be able to go somewhere else.

Where else would you go? All parks get crowded during mid-day, so that's not really a good point.. That's not the reason for me to have a park hopper.

That may not be a good point in your mind but I am sure it is a good point in many other peoples mind, so please do not go around feeling that other persons have to think that what you say is the only way. Thank You, vettelover

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RobynPrincess wrote:
I tire of hopping, if I'm in a park, I'm in a park, I don't want to waste time going from place to place!

Maybe it's because we move a little slower through the parks? I know that I do. In my tongue in cheek opinion, Park Hopping promotes Park ADD.

Now, some people love touring like a commando. For myself, I like to take my time and just enjoy where I am. To me, those extra hours on the bus/boat/ monorail getting to another park are totally wasted. Perhaps it's because my formative years were spent with only the Magic Kingdom and Epcot to enjoy and I don't feel like I have to see or do it all. We're very happy picking a park, taking our time and enjoying it. We can still escape the mid day heat and crowds in the afternoon if we want to spend some time at the hotel, and return in the evening to catch the fireworks.

I don't have anything against Park Hopping, I just don't feel like my vacation is lacking without it. Every Disney Park has more than enough to keep you busy for an entire day. I prefer to enjoy the moment I'm in, instead of thinking of where I could be going next or if there's someplace better I could be.

I have Park Hopping on the tickets for my October trip, and honestly, I don't know what I'm going to do with it. There's only one night that I can anticipate that we might even think about it.

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Kristen K. wrote:

Park Hopping promotes Park ADD.

LOL....I love that quote!!! clapping

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I've never actually done park hopping, and for my upcoming honeymoon, we're not going to either. One of the reasons is that we ARE relative newbies to WDW--I've been 4 times and my fiance has never been at all, and I want to go on the trip at a more relaxing pace especially for our honeymoon. If we tire of a park we can always go back to the hotel and relax, which sounds nice to me! I've loved my vacations without park hopper in the past, so maybe I'll want it in the future if I've gone to Disney a ton, but since I can only go every few years I don't need them yet.

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I think it really depends on what type of trip you want to have. I personally like the park hopper option because like others have said, if one park gets really crowded, you have the option to leave and try another park.

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TroyW wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:

Park Hopping promotes Park ADD.

LOL....I love that quote!!! clapping

I laughed at that also. Good one Kristen. But the wasted time you talk about, that's where it's nice to have a car and go direct. But when we stay at the Poly, a ride on the boat or the monorail to anywhere is never a wasted trip in my opinion. Even when park hopping, we take our time and soak everything in. We have never done the parks commando style. I would never enjoy that and I don't think scrappy would either.

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Another great bonus to the Park Hopper is not having to plan your days in the parks at all. We never do. This also works out great if the weather comes into play. Some parks we tend to avoid in extreme heat and we have parks we prefer for rainy days.

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Looking at other's posts, I think I would say no park hopper. One full day in a park you won't even get everything! The thing with rain..I feel like it would be the same in eveyr park. If you're on any sort of budget, save a few hundred bucks without park hopper.

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I am a hopper too, and perhaps a bit ADD anyway. laugh

I love being able to ride stuff in MK AM and afternoon, and end my day peacefully at Epcot listening to some great music. Options are awesome. But I do admit that if I could not go to WDW very often, I may feel differently. I would perhaps do what others of you suggest and stay to see everything in one park.

I too have been gripped by a sudden need for a carrot cake cookie or a ride on Kilamanjaro. And Mr. Hub, I also enjoy the benefit of quick travel via car. AND I also agree that the journey via boat, monorail, and even bus can be a part of the Disney experience too, and not wasted.

I don't think there is really a "right" answer here...just what works for us for that particular trip. mickey

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Kristen K. wrote:
RobynPrincess wrote:
I tire of hopping, if I'm in a park, I'm in a park, I don't want to waste time going from place to place!

Maybe it's because we move a little slower through the parks? I know that I do. In my tongue in cheek opinion, Park Hopping promotes Park ADD.

Now, some people love touring like a commando. For myself, I like to take my time and just enjoy where I am. To me, those extra hours on the bus/boat/ monorail getting to another park are totally wasted. Perhaps it's because my formative years were spent with only the Magic Kingdom and Epcot to enjoy and I don't feel like I have to see or do it all. We're very happy picking a park, taking our time and enjoying it. We can still escape the mid day heat and crowds in the afternoon if we want to spend some time at the hotel, and return in the evening to catch the fireworks.

I don't have anything against Park Hopping, I just don't feel like my vacation is lacking without it. Every Disney Park has more than enough to keep you busy for an entire day. I prefer to enjoy the moment I'm in, instead of thinking of where I could be going next or if there's someplace better I could be.

I have Park Hopping on the tickets for my October trip, and honestly, I don't know what I'm going to do with it. There's only one night that I can anticipate that we might even think about it.

I think you are probably right with moving slower Smile I cant hack the pace sometimes and the thought of wasting time hopping about is just not fun for me - that being said we have hoppers for our stay later this year and the UK tickets ONLY come with hoppers, they do 5, 7, 14 or 21 day ultimates, and they include unlimited hopping and all of the extras like WWOS and TL, BB etc. And to get free dining we had to buy the tickets at the same time, but we will be upgrading them to AP when we get there as we're planning on a last min trip next year about May time and then September time again if we're lucky Smile they are the times of year you can get cheapy last min deals (not staying onsite obviously)

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Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

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mrhub wrote:
TroyW wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:

Park Hopping promotes Park ADD.

LOL....I love that quote!!! clapping

I laughed at that also. Good one Kristen. But the wasted time you talk about, that's where it's nice to have a car and go direct. But when we stay at the Poly, a ride on the boat or the monorail to anywhere is never a wasted trip in my opinion. Even when park hopping, we take our time and soak everything in. We have never done the parks commando style. I would never enjoy that and I don't think scrappy would either.

Yea, as I was typing that I was thinking that I didn't really mind the travel time when I'm not on a bus. I think it's the whole bus thing that annoys me.

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We're going in January as well! yay

I was also debating getting the hopping option, but a few things made it worth it for us.

First, I absolutely love Animal Kingdom, but it's harsh on my allergies so I can't stay a whole day there. The plant life there is insane! 9am to 1pm is about all I can take. Hollywood Studios is so much fun but won't take us long to get through because we're not big on thrill rides like Tower of Terror.

Since we only have 4 days of park tickets, we're planning to do one day each of Magic Kingdom and Epcot, a split day of Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, and then a fourth day for whatever we want and anything that we missed (if rides were down when we were in a specific park or parades or fireworks were cancelled because of weather). That last one was the deal maker for us, especially since after looking at the January schedule we realized that Main Street Electrical Parade is only showing on our first and last park days. We're planning MK for the first day, but if for some reason it doesn't go on, we have another chance to catch it at the end of the week. And since we have the hoppers, we can also grab Star Tours once more if we want to (we're going to want to wink )

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mrhub wrote:
TroyW wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:

Park Hopping promotes Park ADD.

LOL....I love that quote!!! clapping

I laughed at that also. Good one Kristen. But the wasted time you talk about, that's where it's nice to have a car and go direct. But when we stay at the Poly, a ride on the boat or the monorail to anywhere is never a wasted trip in my opinion. Even when park hopping, we take our time and soak everything in. We have never done the parks commando style. I would never enjoy that and I don't think scrappy would either.

Oh man. Mrhub, I hate to ask, but this is the first time I've seen someone talk about doing parks "commando style," and I don't think it means what I think it means. So what does it actually mean? silly

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The Cookie Crumbler wrote:
mrhub wrote:
TroyW wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:

Park Hopping promotes Park ADD.

LOL....I love that quote!!! clapping

I laughed at that also. Good one Kristen. But the wasted time you talk about, that's where it's nice to have a car and go direct. But when we stay at the Poly, a ride on the boat or the monorail to anywhere is never a wasted trip in my opinion. Even when park hopping, we take our time and soak everything in. We have never done the parks commando style. I would never enjoy that and I don't think scrappy would either.

Oh man. Mrhub, I hate to ask, but this is the first time I've seen someone talk about doing parks "commando style," and I don't think it means what I think it means. So what does it actually mean? silly

Doing the Parks Commando in my opinion means having every second of every day planned and trying to keep to that plan. You know like be at the park at rope drop,9am, 9:10 do meet and great with Mickey, 9: 20 run down Main Street and into Adventure land, get to jungle Cruise by 9:25, get off Jungle Cruise and head to Pirates by 9:35 and so on and so on, and so on. People really do the parks that way and if their times get messed up, whew......watch out! They are the ones you usually see having a melt down as we call it by noon.

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The Cookie Crumbler wrote:
mrhub wrote:
TroyW wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:

Park Hopping promotes Park ADD.

LOL....I love that quote!!! clapping

I laughed at that also. Good one Kristen. But the wasted time you talk about, that's where it's nice to have a car and go direct. But when we stay at the Poly, a ride on the boat or the monorail to anywhere is never a wasted trip in my opinion. Even when park hopping, we take our time and soak everything in. We have never done the parks commando style. I would never enjoy that and I don't think scrappy would either.

Oh man. Mrhub, I hate to ask, but this is the first time I've seen someone talk about doing parks "commando style," and I don't think it means what I think it means. So what does it actually mean? silly

rolling

In the US, one of our usages for 'commando' is doing something like a soldier, braving all obstacles, powering through. In regards to WDW it would be touring like you are on orders to conquer the park.
AND I know that all our UK friends have a more indelicate slang connotation for 'commando' involving not wearing any, ah, knickers, is it? I certainly don't want to tackle WDW without my knickers. . . . silly
Of course in the US, knickers are called underwear. So now you all know how to avoid international embarrassment! wink

AND Proof that although we both speak English, there are some important shades of difference. cool

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