Tag Archives: Planning

Keep on Hopping

17 Aug

When purchasing a Magic Your Way park ticket to Walt Disney World, you have the opportunity to add the “Park Hopper” option.  Without even thinking, I always add it.  To me, there is no other way to visit the parks.  I MUST have the flexibility to come and go as I please between the four main theme parks at WDW.

Photo credit: news.getaroom.com

Why is having the ability to hop so important?

I think one of the reasons I’m so accustomed to “hopping” is because many of the trips I’ve taken to The World have had a duration of four days or less.  For a period of ten years or so, my visits to WDW consisted of day trips during our beach vacations or weekend trips over Thanksgiving break.  If I didn’t have the ability to hop between parks, I might have missed a whole park entirely.

Another reason I always add the Park Hopper option has to do with the way I explore the parks.  I would classify myself as an aggressive park guest.  My level of satisfaction is directly correlated to how much I accomplish (on my list of must-do’s) during my trip.  I appreciate the details, the history, and the stories associated with every corner of WDW.  Those attributes are often what make a headliner attraction so popular.  They are usually the most immersive experiences and therefore usually have the longest lines.  In addition to the headliners, I have a list of less popular attractions that are must-do’s – often for nostalgic reasons, to rest and cool off, or because I like the attraction narration/music.  To sum up, my list of must-do’s is extensive and having the ability to hop between parks is essential.

Photo credit: chipandco.com

How do I hop?  I’ve tried different strategies and have come to my own conclusion.  Yes, I’ve been to all four parks in one day.  No, I do not recommend it, but if one day is all you have and you have a ton of energy, go for it.  Since WDW requires between 45 and 90 minutes travel time between each park, you can reach a point where you’re spending more time on buses, monorails, and ferry boats, than you are in the parks.  This is not ideal.  Three parks in one day is not unheard of, but you can run into the same issue of having too much travel time consuming your day.

Photo credit: disneymeetings.disney.go.com

I have found that visiting two parks each day provides a nice balance.  It helps break up the day by either going back to the hotel for a nap or simply by changing scenery to boost my adrenaline.  Besides Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I try to experience each park once in the morning and once the evening on every trip.  Since DAK often closes early, I only visit that park in the morning.  On three-day trips or less, this system does not work.  I have to decide if I want to visit DAK at all.  On four-day trips, this system works perfectly since I can spend one morning in each park.

I think the only way I could decline the Park Hopper option would be if my trip was a minimum of six days.  Even then, I think I would have a hard time being restricted to a single park each day.

Out of curiosity, how important is the Park Hopper option to you?  Do you or anyone you know purchase MYW Base tickets without the Park Hopper option?  Please enlighten me and comment below – what are your hopping strategies?

We’re Going to Disneyland!

18 Jul

We booked our fall trip to Disneyland a few months ago, and I’m loving every minute of researching and planning.  This will be our first trip to Disneyland.  That means everything will be new to us!

Many people ask, “Why would you go to Disneyland when Walt Disney World is so close?”  A valid question.  I have lots of answers.

1.  Disneyland Park was the first park.  It’s the original.  Without the success of Disneyland, Walt Disney World would not exist.  I must pay my respects.

2.  Disneyland Park is NOT the same as the Magic Kingdom Park.  Yes, they are similar, but there are tons of differences.  They’re certainly different enough to warrant a visit.

3. Disneyland Resort has two parks, and their entrances face each other.  How cool is that?  I’ll be able to WALK from one park to the other.  This is completely foreign to me since I’ve grown up going to Walt Disney World.  In WDW, you have to allow yourself 45~90 minutes travel time between parks.  Also, DLR’s Downtown Disney District is within walking distance of the parks.

4.  World of Color.  Oh my goodness.  This ultimate nighttime spectacular is shown at Disney California Adventure.  I can’t wait to see it in person.

5.  There are quite a few attractions that are unique to DLR.  Some of my must-do’s: Indiana Jones Adventure, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Alice and Wonderland, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (which doesn’t exist anymore at WDW), Monster’s Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Grizzly River Run, The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (which is on it’s way to WDW), and, if it opens in time, California Screamin’.

6.  In addition to the new (to me) attractions, I can’t wait to experience the ones that have a twin in WDW.  I use the term “twin” loosely, because I hear the attractions are very different on each coast.  It’ll be like riding them for the first time!

7.  DLR takes advantage of holiday makeovers for attractions.  We planned our trip close to Halloween for that very reason.  A couple of attractions that have these overlays are Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.

8.  New food.  We all know that food is an important part of any Disney trip, and from what I’ve been told, the in-park food at DLR is quite tasty.  I’ll be sampling as much as I can without getting ill.

That’s plenty of reasons to go, yes?!  Am I forgetting anything?