New Park Hopping Tips for 2021 with Updated Guidelines

Park hopping is a big part of exploring Disney World. Park hopping simply means to visit one park first, then “hop” to another park on the same day.

Without a Park Hopper pass, changing parks midday would cost twice as much due to needing separate tickets for each park. Since bringing park-hopping back to Disney World, there are some updated procedures. Here are some tips on how to use and enjoy the new park hopping option in 2021.

Partners Statue and Cinderella Castle in the background

Learn The New Park Hopping Rules

The updated park-hopping system is an attempt to give more flexibility to guests while keeping safety measures intact. Beginning in 2021, guests can once again purchase Park Hopper options. However, you can’t just pick parks on the fly and hop whenever you feel like it. You still must schedule your first park through Park Pass.

Epcot's entrance is decorated for Flower and Garden Festival.

So far, you don’t have to schedule the park you will hop to. However, you do have to at least enter the first park before hopping to another. Additionally, you must also wait for the accepted park-hopping time frame, which is currently from 2:00 pm, until the closing time of that park.

Provided you adhere to those three guidelines, park hopping is a smooth and enjoyable experience that Disney guests are finally free to enjoy once again.

When To Buy Park Hopping Options

The option to park hop opens up your vacation potential considerably. However, if you are a good planner, you may not necessarily find value in park hopping. The reason for this is because you might not care to have the option of leaving the first park you gain entrance for.

Planning according to which parks you want to visit can provide a full day of entertainment in one place without having to divide your time. Hopping to another park may lessen the value of your ticket by reducing your time inside paid Disney parks, while at the same time costing you more.

Disney reestablished park hopping with new safety guidelines. Here are some tips on how to use and enjoy the new park hopping option in 2021. #disneytravel #disneytips #parkhopping

When you buy Park Hopper options, you add to the price of each ticket in your multi day pass. Since you are paying for the option alone, you pay more on top of each ticket regardless of whether you use it or not.

The longer your vacation runs, the less need you have for a park hopping option, so you should only consider this option for vacations lasting 5 days or less. Park hopping makes the most sense over the course of at least a 2-3 day vacation.

Where to Park Hop

When you do park hop on your Disney trip, there are combinations of parks that make more sense than others. Due to location and transportation options, Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios make a natural pair.

2019 is the 30th anniversary of Hollywood Studios!

This is especially true because DHS is so small, and more than one day can easily be spent in Epcot. A half-day in each of the two parks, plus an additional full day at Epcot, is a smart plan. You can use the Skyliner to travel or get around by boat or on foot.

Magic Kingdom and Epcot both have monorail stations. You can transfer lines at the Transportation and Ticket Center. The only thing you have to decide is which park you would prefer to see in daylight and which park looks best after dark. Sorry, I can’t help you there.

Don’t Buy Park Hopper Plus

Don’t buy the Park Hopper Plus add on. This is a great tip for anyone looking to spend a little less. There are plenty of splurges to make at Disney World, but this one makes no sense.

Reasons to visit Disney's water parks

The water parks are relatively inexpensive. It’s more cost effective to buy a full day ticket whenever you decide to go rather than to pay extra each day just for the option.

Reasons to visit Disney's water parks

Take Park Hopping Detours

While you are outside the parks and transitioning between locations, consider a dining experience at one of the resort hotels nearby. Disney World regulars call this “resort hopping.”

If you are leaving the Magic Kingdom via monorail, do a little resort hopping on the monorail loop. If you are around the Epcot area, take a stroll on the boardwalk or visit a resort accessible via Skyliner. You do not have to be a guest of the resort to dine in their restaurants or simply take in the ambiance they have to offer.