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Disney Decisions: Is the Park Hopper Pass Worth the Expense?

To hop or not to hop, that is the question.

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As of 2011, Disney World has offered guests a ticketing system that can be customized to fit individual vacation plans and preferences. The "Magic Your Way" ticket program allows visitors to purchase a base ticket and add on additional options, including the Park Hopper and the Water Park Fun & More packages.

Disney World's base ticket allows each guest entry into one park per day. With Park Hoppers, guests can start the day in the Magic Kingdom, then "hop" to Epcot for dinner and Illuminations without buying a second ticket. At an extra $55 per ticket, is the Park Hopper worth the expense for your family?

1. Get the Park Hopper:

Girl with Disney tickets
© The Walt DIsney Company

The Park Hopper option is worth it if you are traveling without small children and you enjoy spending the day in the parks. For couples or families with older kids that enjoy dining in World Showcase, the Park Hopper is a great deal; you can visit a different park each morning and then head to Epcot for dinner at Le Cellier or Teppan Edo.

The Park Hopper option also makes sense for thrill riders — you can ride Expedition Everest, Space Mountain and the Rock n' Roller Coaster in a single day, if you dare.

If you are heading to Disney World for a special event, like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party or Epcot's Food & Wine Festival, the Park Hopper will allow you to visit the event but still enjoy the other theme parks each day.

2. Pass on the Park Hopper:

Families traveling with infants or toddlers should bypass the Park Hopper. Most family groups move slowly, and between travel time, strollers and gear, it is easier to settle in one park for the day. You may find that you don't have time to actually use the Park Hopper at all.

If you simply prefer to visit a single park per day and enjoy some of Disney World's recreational offerings, then pass on the Park Hopper. Visit a park each day, then golf, swim in your resort pool or get a massage an one of Disney's on-site spas.

Guests with disabilities may not get the full benefit of the Park Hopper option. Consider picking up a captioning or audio device at Guest Services and settle in one park for the day and enjoy at a comfortable pace.

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