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Disney Theme Parks May Make It Easier To Park Hop

Disney may change rules on how guests visit its theme parks.

Frequent visitors of Disney World  (DIS)  know that seeing all the different parks will take both time and money. Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot sit on over 43 square miles of land and it usually takes those who want to see them all in one trip at least five days. 

(It should be noted that there are records of people riding every single ride at Disney World within 16 hours but this can only be done through private access or meticulous line-navigating.) 

Generally, admission to the four parks is sold separately and starts at $109 per adult ticket. That is why park-hopping, which allows guests to visit more than one park in a single day, can be very important for keeping plans to see it all within budget.

What Happened To Park-Hopping?

Over the years, Disney has experimented with several different park-hopping programs but temporarily suspended them all when it first emerged from a three-month closure due to the pandemic.

By June 2021, Disney brought back a limited park-hopping program that allowed guests to enter a second park after 2 p.m. While days with low attendance allowed some earlier entry, the extent to which one could "hop" — guests were paying to spend half the day in one park and half in another with no back-and-forth possibilities.

The Epcot Flower & Garden Festival features topiaries of famous Disney characters.

"Guests who purchased a ticket or annual pass with the Park Hopper benefits will be able to visit more than one park per day, with some new modifications as part of our ongoing focus on health and safety," Disney writes on its site. "These modifications are designed to help us continue managing attendance in a way that fosters physical distancing."

By the end of June, rumors started floating around that Disney was considering expanding the Park Pass system to allow park-hopping that is not set around specific times. 

If confirmed, this would mean that a single pass would grant guests ability to go to a second park time throughout the day. Visits would still require reservations so true back-and-forth in between, say, Magic Kingdom and Epcot would still be challenging.

"In plans being considered, a guest would be able to make a reservation for secondary parks at other times and not be restricted to 2 p.m.," writes WDWMagic.com insider blog.

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What Else Has Been Going On At Disney Lately?

Given Florida's conservative leadership and approach to the pandemic, Disney World has been able to reopen from the pandemic far earlier than Disneyland in California.

Since the doors to the parks first welcomed back visitors in July 2020, Disney World has been restarting different parts of the park experience in stages.

Two years later, there are only small details that are different from what those who went prior to March 2020 will remember. Certain fine-dining restaurants and shows were last to restart due to the high number of needed staff and lengthy training periods required after a lengthy and unexpected hiatus.

Park-hopping privileges have also, presumably, been slow to restart due to the complications that arise from having to organize reservations and navigating the flow of people in between different parks. 

"The change would allow guests greater flexibility in their trip planning but would further increase the already complicated and frustrating process of securing park reservations before a visit," WDWMagic.com writes.