Why buy park hoppers?

bethwc101

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2012
We never park hop. We went with friends last year who do park hop and it totally blew my mind when they announced back at Pooh Corner that their fastpass window for midway mania was available. Clear on the opposite side of the other park! *Cue internal screaming* That’s just too much walking/working through crowds for us, but maybe we’re just lazy. I find we are way more efficient just sticking to one park per day.
We park hop but do FP according to where we are and where we plan to gravitate. If we are starting the day at DL, we don't get FP for DCA until after 12 at the soonest on an 8am day. We will work in areas. A standard order of FP for example could be: IJ, HM, Splash, BTMRR, ST, SM, Guardians, Incredicoaster, Racers, TSMM, Soarin.
All the while filling in with non FP rides between.

Not too long agoe DH and I did DL with people you explained. I wanted to pull my hair out. We were getting in standby line for IJ just after park opening and they told us they just snagged an 830 for guardians. I looked at them so confused and tried to ask them politely whey they grabbed an immediate return for way over there. We then did JC and got in line for pirates. They told us they just grabbed a 930 or 10? (ish i think) for Roger Rabbit. I sat there and tried to explain to them how to do things. Explain why crossing the parks like that is not efficient. Thankfully DH and I uploaded our tickets on just our app and after that we said, hey we'll meet you guys for lunch at Pacific Warf at 2. I was not just going to spend all day running from one end of the park to the next.

When we met up with them we had done all the FP rides I listed up to Incredicoaster and a couple fillers. (I think we did single rider for one or two) We had a racers for night and TSMM for 3-4 after lunch. They had done 3 FP rides and MFSR standby. They just did not understand how we had done so much in the same amount of time.
 

Bossy22

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
We love park hoppers but only due to the fact we have 5 park days. If we were doing 2 days we wouldn't do hoppers. Here's our rough schedule
day 1 dl
day 2 CA (we sometime go over to dl in the evening)
day 3 hop hop hop
day 4 hop hop hop
day 5 hop hop hop
This gives us the freedom to fit in my daughters favorite ride (in CA) everyday pretty much without spending all our time in CA as we prefer DL as a whole.
 

Canadian Harmony

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
We usually do one park/day too, but that PH sure did come in handy when DH ran over to DLR from DCA to grab me the last nutcracker in the park for my Christmas present one year.
 

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  • azdisneylover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2008
    Park hoppers are good for people with kids who saved $$$ on staying at a hotel/motel farther away than they thought it would be, because if they are in DL and the kids need a place to calm down, relax, Animation Academy in DCA is a great spot to be.
     

    ThreeMountains

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2019
    At Disney World, it can be less tempting if I have enough days to go to all of the parks because you have to take buses/cars/monorails to get from one to the next (for the most part). But at Disneyland, it's so easy to walk from one to the other and there's so much to do at both that it would be really hard to justify the cost savings vs flexibility unless I was on a super strict budget. I would MUCH rather have that flexibility with the park entrances being a literal stone's throw from one to the other.
     

    mfleeting

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2014
    One park per day is fine. We do park hoppers and never used them the first few years. Recently we have used them much more. We always find we don’t need all day at DCA so it’s nice to go back to DL for the rest of the day (where we use to just go back to the hotel to swim when we did not use the hoppers).
     
  • coaches24

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2011
    I consider the two parks one big park. Park hoppers give you far more flexibility throughout the day.


    We are going for 2 days in mid July and plan to spend 1 day at Disneyland and 1 day at CA. I planned to just purchase the 1 park per day tickets but I've had several people now say to consider buying park hoppers. We have been to Disney World many times and do not purchase park hoppers. We just pick 1 park and focus on that as we find that too much time is lost traveling between parks. Also, my daughter will be in a medical stroller (like a wheelchair) and we don't move at a fast pass. This is our 1st trip to Disneyland. Is there a compelling reason to spend the extra money to get park hoppers? I know everything is much closer together in Disneyland. Any reason not to just focus on 1 park per day? The price difference is $1,125 vs $1,400.
     

    Raech

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2003
    We watch the lines on the app and hop hop hop. Also Maxpass. We don't mind the walking. If you are used to lots of walking it doesn't seem like much. Sometimes you are in DL and Incredicoster drops to 10 min wait. Yes please!
     

    RemainSeatedPlease

    Part of Your World
    Joined
    Nov 22, 2014
    I usually go with hoppers because, as several others have said, DCA is not really a full day park for me. I have typically ridden and seen everything I want to by the early afternoon. So, I hop back over to Disneyland for the rest of the day. There is SO much more to see there, I wouldn't want to limit myself to just one day. If I did have to go with non-park hoppers, I'd probably choose to spend both days at Disneyland. I suggest taking a look at the attractions available at DCA, and deciding how many your family would be interested in. If you want to ride practically everything in the park, then you will likely fill a day there. But if there's only a couple of rides they really want to/are able to ride, then by mid-day you'll probably be wishing you could go back over to Disneyland.
     
  • NorthernCalMom

    Compulsive Touring Planner
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2012
    Another park hopper fan here! Besides the ability to flexibly react to unexpected peaks in crowds that others here mentioned, I also do appreciate walking more since these intermittent “workouts” make me feel less guilty about trying many of Disney’s high calorie snacks... Our touring style as family is performance oriented; I have two teenage girls who don’t mind walking, who have plenty of stamina, and who love riding all the rides & minimizing waits. If your touring style is more of the “leisurely taking it all in and not worrying too much about catching all the headliner rides, if possible more than once”-variety you will probably be completely happy without hopping.
     

    Raech

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2003
    I usually go with hoppers because, as several others have said, DCA is not really a full day park for me. I have typically ridden and seen everything I want to by the early afternoon. So, I hop back over to Disneyland for the rest of the day. There is SO much more to see there, I wouldn't want to limit myself to just one day. If I did have to go with non-park hoppers, I'd probably choose to spend both days at Disneyland. I suggest taking a look at the attractions available at DCA, and deciding how many your family would be interested in. If you want to ride practically everything in the park, then you will likely fill a day there. But if there's only a couple of rides they really want to/are able to ride, then by mid-day you'll probably be wishing you could go back over to Disneyland.
    I totally agree with you. I mean Radiator Springs racers and several other fun things. But it is not a whole day park. But it is fun to hop in several times. Disneyland can take 2 or 2.5 full days. Maybe more if you want to try to experience it all.
     

    coaches24

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2011
    I love hoppers because use both parks like they are one park. I plan my days around both parks with the events, shows, rides etc. Its nothing for me to walk from one park to the other. I try to ride some rides like RSR, SM, SOC (I know the name is changed now but I always forget the new name) and some others at least once a day. I haven't been since Max pass has started so I am curious to see how that will change my strategies but with paper FP I would collect them from both parks as much as possible and had a good system to maximize them.

    And if we had a MM at DL we would start there and then get as much done as possible for two hours and then jump over to DCA and hit everything there before it became crazy (Usually worked except during the holidays and then both were crazy busy quickly). And a lot of the more low key activities we like to do are in DCA so if we were tired but not wanting to truly take a break we would hop over to DCA in the middle of the day for those activities (animation academy, for one). So park hopper is a must for us. But we tend to tour the parks in extreme mode quite a bit and need a vacation from our vacation afterwards.
     

    montreid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2013
    Looking through your lens....3 little ones. July. First timer.....1 park per day.

    Depending on your arrival and adjustment would try to start with DCA.

    Day 1. Ca
    Day 2 disneyland for the win.

    I would take the savings and plow it into the silly things one does on trips....character meal, pretzels, Pixar pier games, maxpass foenphotos and fastpasses.

    If your little ones are even a little cars fan, they can easily take two hours to get down to radiator springs if you take in all the theming.

    Sorcerer corner with talking with crush too will gobble up oodles of time for animation fans

    The harder part will be disneyland. Its huge for the size and really difficult to do everything ...let alone in july....with three kiddos. If you're staying onsite would recommend early start and midday naps and return for the evening punching through all the night stuff to midnight. The crowds really die off after 10pm fireworks and you'll get a lot of efficiency doing that.
     

    zmpayne

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 7, 2019
    For me it was nice because my wife and I were able to fly through the park each day. We spent 3 days in DL and basically spent a half day at each park each day. Now, if you have kids you might move a little slower and might need a whole day at each park. I dont think it is wrong either way, but with the parks being so close together it makes it nice for fast passes if you do FP+ because you can get a FP for either park no matter where you are.
     

    smartlabelprint

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2013
    We have 2 kids and we spent about 5 hours in the parks when they were 2&3. We went in for a few hours. Then we’d go back in the evening for a couple hours. We had hoppers because that’s what we were used to. Boy we only “hopped” when going in the evening of there happened to be something we wanted to do. On our upcoming summer trip we got one park. But we have 5 days. You won’t get to see all you want in Disneyland in 1 day.
     


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