Friday, 4 May 2012

Park hopping touring plan for a short trip!

“How do we spend our time at the parks?!?! We purchased park hoppers, so we have flexibility. We want to see all the parks but don't know how to divide our time. We'll have 5 full days plus from the time we arrive at 2pm and until the time we leave at 5pm (so roughly 6 days total).”



source: express monorail

Hurrah for park hoppers (you guys know how much I love them!), you can practically double your park days by hopping around – and its not as stressful as you’d think! I’ve posted before about the benefits of park hopping tickets over base tickets and I cannot recommend them enough if your budget allows. I’ve only ever been to the parks once with base tickets and although I still had an amazing time, I ached to hop just a little!

So, 6 days, 4 parks and much hopping to be had! How do we make this work? For starters, are you a Walt Disney World Resort guest? If the answer is yes then the first thing you’re going to want to do it make a note of the Extra Magic Hours during your stay. EMH is a brilliant bonus of staying at a Walt Disney World resort as most, if not everyday through the year at least one park will open an hour earlier just for resort guests and another park will stay open for 1 – 3 hours after a park closes during the evening just for resort guests! Not only does this give you ample opportunity to get a few awesome emptier park photopass shots BUT, can you imagine plummeting down Splash Mountain at 1am? Awesome much! Personally I prefer using the early morning extra magic hours to get in my favourite rides, then once the park opens and starts to fill up for the day I can hop elsewhere, knowing I’ll have had a few too many goes on the likes of Expedition Everest or Tower of Terror!

If you’re not staying on Walt Disney World property, I’d suggest getting to one park for opening during the busier seasons, or a hour or two after opening, after all it’s going to be a long day and you don’t want to burn out half way through! The beauty of the park hopper is that you can take a few hours or so in the afternoon to step away from the parks and relax. Head back to your resort for a swim, take in a round of mini golf etc.

So, onto the plan of action! As I said above, make a note of the EMH times, especially the mornings and aim for these parks to be your first stop of the day, especially if you want to experience the likes of Toy Story Mania and Soarin.

Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are considered half day parks, so your probably only going to spend 2 – 2 ½ days worth of time in these parks. Epcot needs at least 1 – 1 ½ days worth of time. Future World can be done in just over half a day but you really need a full day to experience all that World Showcase has to offer – you can really get lost in some of those exquisite pavilions, especially during the Food and Wine festival – yum!! Magic Kingdom is going to be at least a full days worth of your time, either in one go or split up. I’d highly recommend seeing Wishes at least twice – and with your park hopper you can spend the entire day elsewhere, and then just turn up for the show. Likewise with Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth in Epcot is a must see firework display too! You could (in theory) even spend your day at a non-Disney park and then just head on over for the evening shows, a few rides and a bucket of popcorn!

That’s around 5 full days worth of park activity so what do you do with that last day? How about taking on a four parks – one day challenge? We’ve been doing this since our first visit 10 years ago and it’s become a major tradition! Starting out early we go from park to park taking in a final go on our favourite rides and ending the entire trip at Magic Kingdom to watch Wishes! It also gives you a final chance to get in those last minute Photopass shots before your trip comes to an end!

How do you tour the parks during a short trip?

Until next time,
Sarah






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