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Park Hopping at Walt Disney World in 2021 | New Rules & FAQs

Park Hopping is now back at Walt Disney World in 2021, though in a modified version and with new rules.

Disney Park Hopper Ticket

However, since Disney World reopened last July, park-hopping has not been allowed and guests can only visit one park per day. That means going to one park in the morning and another in the evening isn’t possible.

Many guests visiting Walt Disney World love to multiple parks in the same day. It’s a great way to ride your favorite attractions and not waste time with the things you aren’t interested in.

For example, we love rope dropping the Hollywood Studios and Galaxy’s Edge in the morning, and then moving to EPCOT later in the day for dinner and a walk around World Showcase.

Instead, since July 2020 and with the new Park Pass Reservation System, Disney has been limiting guests to only one park per day. That meant not going to multiple parks in the same day.

Thankfully, now in 2021, the Park Hopper option is back. We’ve had a few days now to experience the new rules for ourselves and in this post, we’ll share our guide to park hopping in Disney World and how you can now visit more than one park per day.

Park Hopper returning to Disney World

We’ll try to answer any questions about Park Hopping in 2021 and all the new rules to be aware of. If we forget something, let us know and we’ll do our best to answer any FAQs you have.

Before we get started, read our post on Disney World Reopening FAQs to learn about all the changes that have come to the parks in recent months.

Also, if you want to know the latest info on the Disney World reopening, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we have the latest Disney updates and vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter

Which Theme Parks Can I Hop to?

Disney's Animal Kingdom entrance

Since January 1, 2021, guests can park hop to any of the 4 Walt Disney World theme parks:

Park hopping can happen as long as the desired theme park is not at capacity at that time.

How Many Parks Can I Hop to in One Day?

There is not a restriction on the number of parks you can visit per day. In fact, it’s possible for guests to go to all 4 parks in one day.

Guests can even return to their first park of the day at any time, as long as it is not at capacity.

We tested out this to make sure it works. Starting out at Hollywood Studios we were in fact able to visit all 4 parks in the same day and then return to Hollywood Studios before the day was over!

What Time Does Park Hopping Start?

Guests can start park hopping at 2:00 pm each day and can continue until closing time. That means anytime after 2:00 pm, guests are free to change parks.

Disney has said that park Hopping hours can change in the future and they may begin earlier or later depending on the season and demand. Make sure to check the official Walt Disney World park hours page for more information on when park hopping starts.

Before You Go

Not all tickets let guests go to multiple theme parks in the same day. If that is something you want to do, make sure you purchase a ticket with the park hopper option.

If you show up to the second theme park of the day and your ticket does not have the park hopper option, you will be turned away at the gate.

Annual Passholders automatically have the ability to park hop built in to their tickets.

How Does the New Park Hopping Work?

Disney World guests who want to park hop must follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Make a Disney Park Pass Reservation for the FIRST Park you want to visit that day.
  2. Confirm Park Hopping Hours for that day (Right now it’s at 2:00pm)
  3. Visit your FIRST Park.
  4. When Park Hopping hours start later that day, check availability for the NEXT Park.
  5. Visit the SECOND Park. Rinse and repeat.

Guests will still have to make a Park Pass reservation for their first park of the day, just like it’s been required since July 2020. They are free to go to that park when it opens and for as long as they like.

Later in the day there are designated park hopping hours where guests can then leave the first park and go to a second one. Guests can then stay there until that second park closes.

  • IMPORTANT: You must scan in at the first park (the one you have a park pass reservation for) in order to be able to go to another park that day. If you don’t scan in with your park admission at the first park, you will be turned away at the other parks.

In case you don’t understand the new rules, Disney has conveniently posted signs out in front of the theme park entrances explaining to guests everything they need to do.

Park Hopping Capacity Restrictions 

Park hopping at Walt Disney World is now possible but entirely based on the desired park’s capacity that day. Capacity limits on each park are still in place and you have to first check if there is space.

For example, if you go to the Magic Kingdom in the morning and then want to go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the afternoon, you first need to check if Hollywood Studios is already at capacity or not.

If the park is full, you will not be able to go there. At that point you can either wait to see if some space clears up later in the day or choose another park to go to, again, as long as it has available capacity.

Can I Still Get If I Have a Dining Reservation and the Park is at Capacity?

What happens if you have an Advanced Dining Reservation for a restaurant at one of the parks, but that park reaches capacity? This is a question we are still waiting for an answer from Disney on.

After talking with some Cast Members about the issue we’d like to think that Disney would honor your dining reservations, but we have to wait for confirmation on that.

Park Hopper Hotline Number

Since guests are not allowed to hop to another park if it is already at capacity, Disney has created a phone number you can call to know the status of any of the 4 theme parks.

Dial the Park Hopper Hotline number (407) 560-5000 at any time to find out if the park you want to hop to is at capacity or not.

We definitely recommend calling before actually going to the park as you might make the trip there for nothing.

Do I Still Need to Make Disney Park Pass Reservations?

Yes and no. Disney Park Passes are still required for each member of your party when going to your first park of the day. You also need to have a valid theme park admission ticket for each person.

Do I Need Another Park Pass Reservation for the Second Park of the Day?

A Disney Park Pass is only required at the FIRST park of the day. At 2:00 pm, when park hopping starts for that day, you need to check the My Disney Experience app to see which parks are available to go to.

However, no formal park pass is required.

stop and go sign Hollywood Studios

Does Park Hopping Cost Extra?

Just like in the past, to go to multiple parks in one day, you must purchase the “Park Hopper” option on your Disney theme park admission. This is an extra cost above the base ticket so you will have to decide if it is worth it and if you will really be able to go to multiple parks in one day.

Park Hopping for Annual Passholders

You may be wondering if Disney World annual passholders can park hop? Just like the park hopper option on single or multi-day tickets, it is now available for annual passholders too.

Annual passholders are also still required to make park reservations, however, if they want to go to a second park later in the day, starting January 1, 2021, they can.

Can You Do Park Hopping for Rise of the Resistance?

No, not at this time. You need a Disney Park Pass Reservation to ride Rise of the Resistance and Hollywood Studios needs to be your FIRST park of the day.

The second Virtual Queue distribution starts at 2:00 pm, but you need to be in the park already at that time. Park Hopping doesn’t begin until 2:00 pm.

If you hop to Hollywood Studios later in the day, you can do everything else, just not Rise of the Resistance.

Park Hopping Transportation

Park Hopping Transportation

With park hopping now back at Walt Disney World so is park-to-park transportation. At this time guests can take the Bus, Disney Skyliner, or ride-sharing with Uber or Lyft. They also have the option of driving their own personal vehicle to each park.

  • IMPORTANT: Before boarding a bus to go from one park to another, a Cast Member will scan your MagicBand or admission ticket to make sure you have the park hopper option active on your ticket. Any guests who don’t will be turned away and not allowed on the transportation.

From our experience, buses start showing up at 1:45 pm to take you from one park to another and guests can start getting scanned in at that time. Don’t show up earlier as you will be wasting time.

Park to Park Options

Here are the current transportation options when going from park-to-park:

Magic Kingdom

  • to EPCOT – Bus
  • to Hollywood Studios – Bus
  • to Animal Kingdom – Bus

EPCOT

  • to Magic Kingdom – Bus
  • to Hollywood Studios – Bus, Disney Skyliner, Friendship Boats
  • to Animal Kingdom – Bus

Hollywood Studios

  • to Magic Kingdom – Bus
  • to EPCOT – Bus, Disney Skyliner, Friendship Boats
  • to Animal Kingdom – Bus

Animal Kingdom

  • to Magic Kingdom – Bus
  • to EPCOT – Bus
  • to Hollywood Studios – Bus

For the most part, buses are the only transportation method between parks. Right now the only exception is going between Hollywood Studios and EPCOT where you can also use the Disney Skyliner or Friendship Boats

When is the EPCOT Monorail Coming Back?

Even though there is a monorail line that connects the Magic Kingdom with EPCOT, it is currently not operating. At this time, Disney has not said why they are not running the monorail between theses two parks or when it will be operational.

Our guess is that it isn’t financially worth it to open a whole monorail line connecting the two parks at this time. With the amount of guests needing transportation, buses are sufficient.

Why Did Disney Suspend Park Hopping in the First Place?

The main reason for getting rid of the park hopper option was linked to limited park capacity and the new Disney park reservation system.

EPCOT Park hopper Spaceship Earth

The issue has been that Disney needs to keep park attendance lower than usual due to the new distancing rules and guests now have to make a reservation to visit the theme parks. Disney figured that at the beginning letting guests hop from park to park made things way too complicated.

With a fixed capacity, Disney needs to know exactly how many people will be in the parks each day and park hopping messes that up. The last thing they would want is people being left out of the parks the parks that could otherwise be assigned to one of them.

Just think if the Magic Kingdom was limited to 20,000 per day and they all showed up in the morning, but then 5,000 people wanted to go to a different park in the afternoon, the Magic Kingdom would suddenly have 5,000 empty spots and not guaranteed to fill them.

And what if those guests who left showed up to the other parks but they were already at capacity? You can see the problems that would create.

Is park hopping worth it in Disney World

Now with the latest change and Disney allowing guests to park hop once again, it seems like they have worked out all the logistical issues.

Guests can check a second park’s capacity using My Disney Experience, and if there is space still, they can go. We don’t anticipate there being big problems doing it this way and it seems pretty straight forward.

Touring Strategy

I don’t know about you, but we are very excited that we can go to multiple parks once again. Going to one park in the morning and another in the evening is something we always do, and it feels like Disney World is now slowly going back to normal, little by little.

park hopping on a bus

From our experience with the new park hopper rules, a smart strategy is to go to a park that opens early in the morning, such as the Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom. Stay there until park-hopping hours start and then move to a park like EPCOT later in the day which has a later closing time.

Looking at the schedule for the first few months of 2021 for example, the Animal Kingdom opens at 9:00 am and closes at 5:00 pm on most days. That gives you a total of 8 hours in a Disney Park.

park hopping in Hollywood Studios

Now with Park Hopping possible again, it means you can still go to the Animal Kingdom at 9:00 am, but then move parks to EPCOT later in the day, which closes at 7:00 or 8:00 pm.

That’s an extra 2-3 hours of park time you can get out of your day.

If you are planning on going to Hollywood Studios to ride Rise of the Resistance, then you need to make that your first park of the day and secure a park pass reservation. However, if you get to ride in the morning or early afternoon, then moving to another park like the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT is an option.

The Animal Kingdom is the worst park to park hop to because it closes the earliest of all the parks. With a 5:00 pm closing time that doesn’t leave you much time, most likely making it not worth the time it takes to get there.

Obviously, we’re going to have to see what park capacity is in the afternoon for each park, and we’ll be able to make more detailed touring plans around this change in 2021.

Is Park Hopping Worth it in 2021?

Even though it’s once again possible to park hop in Disney World, that doesn’t mean it’s still worth the extra cost on your park ticket.

Now that we’ve been able to experience park hopping in 2021, we don’t think it’s worth the extra cost at this time.

Park Hopping Magic Kingdom Entrance

The biggest reason is that park hours right now are greatly reduced over what they normally are. With the Disney theme parks opening later and closing earlier than normal, it means even if you buy the Park Hopper add-on, you won’t have as many hours in the day to take advantage of it.

Even if you can make it to 2 or 3 parks in one day, you won’t have enough time there to make up for the time lost traveling to get there.

It also is difficult that you can’t start park hopping in Disney World until 2:00 pm. By the time you get to your second park you will only have a few hours to tour, making it harder to get your money’s worth.

In our opinion, until Disney increases the park hours back to normal, the better touring strategy is to fully cover each park day by day. Choose which day to visit the Magic Kingdom, and see it all that. Choose another day for EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom.

You will waste less time and save more money in the long run.

The only exception is if you are a long-time Disney vet and you only want to do a handful of attractions at each park. If that is the case it might be worth it to you.

Green EPCOT sign at entrance

You also might want to consider the park hopper option if you are staying at one of the EPCOT-area resort hotels, which makes it convenient to go to EPCOT at night for dinner as your second park of the day.

Even though it isn’t worth it at this time for many guests, we are happy about park hopping now being back at Disney World. This means we are slowly getting back to normal, one step at a time.

This means guests can spend more time overall in the parks each day and it should increase revenue for the company. Even with the new restrictions, at least giving guests the option is a smart move by Disney.

The EPCOT restaurants will get a big boost now that guests coming from the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom in the morning can now visit EPCOT at dinnertime.

Annual Passholders will also be happy with this change as it gives them much more value for the high price of their ticket. They can now spend more total hours during the day at a Disney theme park than what has been possible in 2020.

We’ll keep you updated as the coming weeks with any more new changes to the Park Hopping system.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about the Park Hopper Pass coming back to Disney World…

  • Do you think Park Hopper is worth it in 2021?
  • What changes would you make to the system?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

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