I was reading Chris Barry’s top 5 staunch opinions about Walt Disney World on Mouseplanet.com—click here to read the article. And, while I agreed with some, his definitive yes to Park Hoppers added to Magic Your Way park tickets or already included in Annual Passes to Walt Disney World had me a bit skeptical.
Our mileage with Park Hopper, which allows guests to visit more than one theme park on any given day, has varied. Usually due to our inability to take mid-day breaks and that we typically organize our dining reservations to avoid any need for Park Hopper.
Another factor was the time involved from going from one park to another using Disney’s Transportation System—a fleet of buses, boats, monorails, and trains. To go from Animal Kingdom, say, to Hollywood Studios, a guest could either ride the bus back to their resort and hop on a bus to Studios, or take a marked bus to the Ticket and Transportation Center, located in the parking lot of Magic Kingdom, and then transfer to a bus headed to Studios. See. . . lots of travel time. Using the monorail between EPCOT and Magic Kingdom is usually very efficient, with only the need to transfer monorails at the Ticket and Transportation Center. Traveling by boat between Hollywood Studios and EPCOT’s International Gateway can also be efficient. Any other park to park moves required some doing.
But, a new bus loop is ready to open at Magic Kingdom, possibly taking away much of the park to park travel pain. The new bus loop, or third bus loop, will allow for Disney buses to offer park to park transportation right there, near the entrance to Magic Kingdom. No more traveling to the Ticket and Transportation Center to switch buses—which if you were already at the Magic Kingdom required a monorail or ferry ride, just to get the Ticket and Transportation Center.
We have experience using the Magic Kingdom bus loops for resort to resort transportation like the time we had dinner at Cape May Café at the Beach Club and were headed back to our resort. We just caught the Magic Kingdom bus outside of the Beach Club, rode to Magic Kingdom, and then found the bus stop for our resort.
So, will the new bus loop and added efficiency of moving from park to park, cause us to add Park Hopper to our tickets, which is an additional expense? Maybe. I know we will add Water Parks and More Fun to our tickets already and Disney has done some great pricing strategies making it more economical to add both Water Parks and More and Park Hopper to the Magic Your Way Base tickets. It also depends on our touring strategy. If we spend the morning and early afternoon at a water park but then head to EPCOT for dinner, there is no need for Park Hopper.
The good news is that Disney has responded to guests about how inefficient it can be to travel from park to park, especially when paying for Park Hopping privileges. Looking forward to seeing the third, and new bus loop at Magic Kingdom in action.