When Park Hopping returned to Walt Disney World Resort on January 1, 2021, it was with certain caveats — Guests had to visit the theme park for which they had a Disney Park Pass first, then travel to their second Park of the day after 2 p.m. local time.
Furthermore, the second Park could not be at capacity in order for Guests to enter.
These rules were in place due to Disney’s pandemic protocols, but now face mask mandates have been lifted, new rides and attractions are taking shape — including the Moana-inspired Journey of Water at EPCOT — character meet and greets are returning in droves, and summer crowds are back at all of Disney World’s theme parks.
And yet, Guests must still abide by the pandemic-related Park Hopping regulations.
This has been cause for frustration among many visitors, who are beginning to feel like the Park Hopper restrictions are egregious now that most other pandemic-related protocols have been removed.
Now, it seems that Disney officials may be making a major change. Per a new report:
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.
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.
The article also noted that “the ability to make multiple daily Park Pass reservations may be tied to various ticket tiers or sold as an optional upgrade.”
It is unknown if these purported changes would impact only Walt Disney World Resort, or if Disneyland Resort’s Park Hopper rules would also change.
It is important to note that Disney has not commented on this report at the time of publication. The official Disney World website still reads:
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. These modifications are designed to help us continue managing attendance in a way that fosters physical distancing.
- We will set specific Park Hopper hours during which this option are available. Park Hopper hours will start at 2 PM each day and end at the park’s scheduled close time. Guests are now able to check the Park Hours calendar and the My Disney Experience app for the most up-to-date Park Hopper hours, as they could start earlier at a later date, depending on the day and park.
- With the updated Park Hopper experience, Guests must make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park they plan to visit AND enter that first park prior to visiting another. At this time, a park reservation is not required after the first park, however, reservation requirements are subject to change.
- Reservations for dining experiences, Droid Depot, Savi’s Workshop and other pre-booked experiences do not guarantee access to a park, and Park Hopper availability may change daily. We recommend Guests book in-park dining and other experiences at the park where they have a Disney Park Pass reservation. Guests can make dining reservations or add their party to the walk-up list at select table-service restaurants via the My Disney Experience app after they enter the second park, subject to availability.
Please note that the ability to visit another park will be subject to the park’s capacity limitations. In the event that the Park Hopper option is unavailable at a theme park, Guests will be notified in real time via a push notification from the My Disney Experience app.
What do you think about Disney reportedly changing Park Hopper rules?
Visit the official Disney World website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR the official Disneyland website to plan your trip to Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — and the Downtown Disney District!