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Should we park hop? How many days do we need?

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  • Should we park hop? How many days do we need?

    We are new to Disneyworld. We do enjoy Disneyland about every other year and have stopped park hopping there as we are happy to just stay in one park for one day. From what I can see, the different parks are not has close as DL and DCA. So, would it be best to park hop at Disneyworld and how many days would we need for the first time to the parks? We would not be doing the water parks and would be going the 1st of November 2018. We would love any advise you have. No kids going just two adults.

  • #2
    For your first visit, no I wouldn't park hop. Just plan on staying at one park each day. If you're wanting to thoroughly do everything- try and get on every ride, even the ones that are also in California, see the shows, parades, night spectaculars, etc, then you're looking at approximately 1 day at Hollywood Studios, 1 at Animal Kingdom, and 2 each for Epcot and Magic Kingdom. That can change depending on what all you want to do, but should at least give you a little bit of a starting point.

    But I would also suggest looking over everything that is in every park, and remember that the Florida parks are much bigger than the California park. Even though there isn't as much in Magic Kingdom as there is in Disneyland, the park is larger and takes in many ways more time to cover.


    • #3
      Adding the park hopper feature to a WDW ticket, is of course an added cost. It also takes a good deal of your time to park hop in Florida. Unless you take a midday break anyway, and then switch parks after your break. I used that strategy on one of my WDW vacations, when the parks had longer Summer hours. It's also fun to try and do four parks in one day, just hitting your favorites. I did that once, and it was fun. Although the rain almost got me at the end. Park hoppers are nice to have when the vacation is longer than 5 days in the parks. Although some would say a 4 day trip would almost require a park hopper, if you felt the need to only do a certain park for just 1/2 a day. Although I feel all the parks are full day parks now in order to get a full experience. I love all the different aspects of each park. The openings, closings, entertainment, parades, meals, characters, rides, attractions.


      • #4
        Of course, it's different for everyone, and cost is a real factor to consider. That said, I would never want to do less than a week in WDW. I'd do more if I could swing it. There is so much to see and do there. If you try to speed through too fast, I find it's like eating a really, really rich dessert way too fast.
        I would get the park hoppers. On our last trip, we found ourselves done at one or two of the parks and ready for a change. Also, we would take a break and then head somewhere else for the second half of the day. Another fun thing my daughters and I did was try to hit all four theme parks (and Typhoon Lagoon) in one day. (we succeeded)
        That's another thing to consider. WDW is a LOT more than just theme parks. There are two really great water slide parks, a great shopping district, lots of amazing hotels to explore, horseback riding, boating, golf, tennis. Even the restaurants in and out of the parks are worth seeing.
        And you may just want some down time here and there to recharge your batteries.
        I agree with sirwillow, in that you should see even the same attractions that we have here in Disneyland, because they are not identical. They range from slightly different to a whole lot different. Some you will find better there than in California.

        No matter where you go, there you are.


        • #5
          Fiancée and I went for the first time a few months ago, and my advice would be that you should absolutely park hop.

          One, in its current state, Hollywood Studios will take four hours to do, max. And that's if all four of its rides are working (another reason to park hop - you don't want to be stuck in Hollywood Studios on a day where only two of the rides are operational).

          Two, even Epcot is a half-day park if you're attempting to experience it linearly. There's only a handful of major rides, and it doesn't take that long to walk through all the countries. The real benefit of Epcot is that the majority of the resort's best restaurants are located in the World Showcase. We visited for a week with park hoppers, and although we only spent half-a-day in Epcot on our first visit, we went back for dinner at the World Showcase four different times. It let us experience the full offerings without having to stuff our face during a single visit.

          As first time visitors, we didn't spend a single day in one park alone. All the parks have great elements, but they can be truly elevated with some mixing and matching. On our last day, we started at Hollywood Studios, riding TSMM (her favorite ride). We grabbed a boat to Epcot and had lunch (shawarma platters), taking a ride on Test Track while we were there. We then hopped on the monorail to Magic Kingdom, where we took a spin on Space and Splash, followed by one last trip on Pirates before jumping on a bus to Animal Kingdom. We had dinner at Animal Kingdom, then took a few rides on Expedition Everest, followed by Kali River Rapids, then Dinosaur before ending the night with glowing Pandora slushies and a ride on River Journey. Was by far our favorite day.

          And transportation isn't as daunting as it may seem. For the most part, takes a relaxing 20 minutes to get between parks (and the transportation is free!). If you're visiting with children, it's built-in nap time.


          • #6
            I agree with Oaktown about the transportation. I know a lot of people complain about it, but I've never really had much of a problem.
            I disagree with Oaktown about Epcot being a half-day park. There may not be as many rides as in Magic Kingdom, but there are wonderful shows and so much to explore and discover.
            I agree with Oaktown that park hopping gives you so much more freedom and flexibility. Also, we were done with the Studios pretty early, so we NEEDED another park to go to.
            However, if you are looking for something even more different to do, other than the parks, each of WDW's hotels is worth your time to explore. You'll find the hotel you want to stay at next time.

            No matter where you go, there you are.


            • #7
              Parkhopping is a nice feature, but I've decided that it isn't necessary. If you like taking midday breaks then it's nice to come to a different park in the afternoon, but depending on your budget it might not be worth it. I'm a cheapskate, so it's not something I find value in.

              The other downside to parkhopping at WDW compared to Disneyland is that you need to go through security every time you go into a new park. By the end of my week that started to feel like a drag.

              I've always gone to Disney World for a full week. If you do that it's a long vacation, so I've felt that it's either good to take mid-day breaks or just spend one day at your hotel in the middle of the week and don't go into the parks. A Disney World trip is really like a marathon, not a sprint so make sure to leave some time to rest.


              • #8
                We have never wanted to park hop at WDW. Each visit we tell ourselves that if we decide it's necessary, we'll add on the option once we get there, but we've never wanted to. We are always more than busy with just one park per day. There are just tons of things to do in each park.


                • #9
                  Depends on what kind of park goer you are. If you just like to ride rides and not much else then you should probably get park hoppers. You'll be able to whip through the parks in no time if you go commando and run through them. If you like to go slow and really look things over then you may not need them. There are lots of details to go over in all the parks in addition to the rides and attractions. Pips probably has the right idea. Go and then decide to add it on if you think you'll use it. It won't take you long to sort it out once you're there.


                  • #10
                    I say don't waste the money. Most parks in WDW require AT LEAST one full day to experience all the rides, shows, attractions... And like others said, its an ordeal getting from one park to the next (not like Disneyland where its a 2 minute walk to DCA. If ou want a "lighter" day, use it for Hollywood since, as others have said, not a lot to do there.


                    • #11
                      I'm going to throw in "against the crowd" opinion on Hollywood Studios. It's still easily a full day park. On my recent trip I spent the whole day there and still ended up with things I didn't get to do. There's a lot more there than people realize- especially if they are used to going vs a rare visit.

                      Tower of Terror
                      Rock N Roller Coaster
                      Beauty and the Beast stage show
                      Little Mermaid stage show
                      Star Wars Launch Bay
                      Indiana Jones show
                      Muppets 4d
                      Star Tours
                      Toy Story Mania
                      2 live star wars shows in front of the theater
                      Star Wars projection show on the theater at night
                      If you have little ones add on the Disney Junior shows
                      Walt Disney Presents with the history, models, and the Gaurdians of the Galaxy meet and greet at the end

                      Add in a few character meet and greets and you have more than a full day. With crowds and lines, I didn't get to do a third of the things on that list, even using Fastpass plus.