Disney World Park Hopping Has Returned!
As of January 9, 2024, park hopping can take place anytime during park operating hours! This means that guests with park hopper tickets or annual passes no longer have to wait until 2pm to visit their next theme park. Although this is still technically subject to capacity limits, the parks very rarely hit those limits.
Here’s how the new park hopping rules affect your park experience.
Transportation Between Parks
Starting at 10am, buses will begin running between theme parks to help guests park hop. Note that buses will not run between the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT since guests can use the monorail between the two parks.
Aside from buses and monorail, guests can still use other modes of transportation to jump between parks. The Friendship boats along Crescent Lake can help guests travel between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios as well as all the resorts in that area. Guests can also choose to take the Skyliner between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. They will just need to switch Skyliner lines at Caribbean Beach Resort. For those who prefer to get their steps in for the day, they can also take a nice scenic walk between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
Virtual queues are in place for popular attractions like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT and TRON Lightcycle / Run in the Magic Kingdom. When park hopping was limited to after 2pm, guests couldn’t get a boarding group for both attractions during normal operating hours since they are distributed at 7am and 1pm.
Now that guests can park hop anytime, they can technically get boarding groups for both attractions for the same day. They are just limited to holding one boarding group at a time. For example, you could get an early boarding group for TRON, ride in the morning, park hop to EPCOT, and then join the virtual queue for a Guardians of the Galaxy boarding group at 1pm.
All-day park hopping opens the door for lots more dining options! Guests can start in EPCOT for a delicious breakfast at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in the France Pavilion and then hop to Magic Kingdom. Alternatively, they can start their day riding attractions in Hollywood Studios and eat their way around the EPCOT festival booths for lunch. It also makes it easier to have breakfast at one of the EPCOT resorts, enter EPCOT via International Gateway, and hop on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom to avoid using the buses. There are so many possibilities!
Genie+, Disney’s paid offering for shorter wait times, is also slightly impacted by the change in park hopping times. Typically, guests can make their Lightning Lane selections at 7am the day they will visit the parks. However, it seems that annual passholders currently have to wait until they scan into the park they reserved before they can make Lightning Lane selections for the park they plan to hop to. Otherwise, guests can only make Lightning Lane selections for the second park after 2pm.