November 20th, 2020
Park Hopping is coming BACK! This long awaited announcement quietly dropped into our inboxes this morning, and we couldn't be more excited! At the re-opening of The Walt Disney World Resort in July, we enjoyed a restricted park capacity of 25%. It was AWESOME! Reminds me of how it was when I was a kid in the late 80's and early 90's. No rush, no crush of crowds, and no need for FastPass+ ... we didn't even feel the need to Park Hop!
Our return visit in late October found a bump in capacity to 35%. While it still was thoroughly enjoyable, and very laid back, there were moments I found myself wishing I could take advantage of the Park Hopping system. Park Hopping has traditionally been our tool to escape a crowded park in favor of a less busy one. I pined for the ability to Park Hop in October as it could have helped rescue my family from poor choices for our Park Pass Reservations on particular days (ahem ... Disney's Hollywood Studios on a weekend was a "goofy" decision).
It is important to note, all other "enhanced health and safety measures remain in effect, including face coverings required for all guests ages two and up." The return of Park Hopper® benefits for guests with Park Hopper tickets/package, or Annual Pass with these privileges, will indeed go far to provide the chance to see and do more during their visit!
As mentioned the return of Park Hopping does come with the modifications as described earlier, and a caveat for those hoping to snag the coveted Rise of the Resistance Virtual Boarding Group. Disney Destinations shared in their press release, "Please note that the ability to visit another park will be subject to the park’s capacity limitations. And, to help us manage attendance, upon the return of the Park Hopper option in January, only guests with a Disney Park Pass reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be able to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Guests visiting from another theme park will not be able to request to join the virtual queue."
Guests should also take note with capacity restrictions in place, holding a dining reservation at a Park they wish to hop to, does not guarantee admission to that park if it is at capacity. Guests will need to rely on the My Disney Experience app to determine ahead of hopping, if the park they were planning on is at capacity or welcoming Guests. Ultimately this means that the only guaranteed park access will be to the park a Guest has made a Park Pass Reservation for the day.
Lastly, while we get used to this new normal, it was uplifting to read, "Park-to-park transportation is also planned to resume in 2021, with operations beginning each day shortly prior to the start of Park Hopper® hours." Official operating times will be established based on various park openings and closings, but we anticipate that it will mirror the general rule of thumb 45 minutes prior to Park Hopping opening, and run through after closing of the park. Guests can expect park-to-park transportation, for parks that reach capacity, to pause until a later time when more guests can be welcomed.
Just as Disney Destinations noted in their press release -- Adventurer's Navigation Co. is also excited for the return of these fan favorite options in the New Year! Considering a Disney vacation? Contact us today to receive a no obligation quote from an agent experienced in Walt Disney World Resort trips during the pandemic!