As of January 1st, guests may once again "park hop" between the four Walt Disney World theme parks. In order to park hop, you must make a Theme Park Reservation in advance through your My Disney Experience account for the first park you would like to visit. Then you may park hop to another park after 2:00pm without a reservation, but this is subject to availability. If the park attendance is at capacity, then you will not be able to enter the park. There is a risk if you tried to return to your original park as there is a chance you may not be able to re-enter that park if it has reached capacity due to park hoppers. We didn't have any issues during our day, but it is better to understand there is some potential risk with changing parks.
Another important note about park hopping is you must have a theme park ticket that includes the park hopper option. Base tickets allow you to leave and re-enter the same park in a day, but not enter a different park. Park Hopping is an option that you can add to your ticket which can allow you to leave and enter any of the four theme parks, and it does have an additional cost. Be sure to confirm which ticket type you have before making your plan for the day.
We were so excited to be able to park hop once again, and our trip just made it to the first day. January 1st turned out to be the last day of our trip. We had driven to Disney from MA on Dec. 26th, and we were going to head back home on Jan. 2nd so we had one shot to enjoy changing parks again. We ended up really filling the day.
We started the morning in Disney Springs to grab some last minute souvenirs, and then we headed to park #1 Epcot, for which we had a park reservation. I really loved walking in and seeing the construction walls down that were in front of Spaceship Earth. The new fountain is beautiful! Future World is still under construction, but the entrance gives you a nice welcome now.
My son ran off to get in the long line for Test Track, so my mom and I headed off to World Showcase. They still had signage up for the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, but the kitchens and special booths were closed unfortunately. So we walked around the countries, taking it all in. Epcot is my favorite park, and I just love the atmosphere. By the time we got to the Mexico pavilion, my son was able to meet up with us, and we all rode Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. It is such a cute ride, and we hadn't ridden it in a while. Then it was time to head to the next stop which was to go back to Pop Century, where we were staying, to grab a late lunch.
After lunch, it was time to see if we could park hop to Disney's Animal Kingdom, park #2. We made it into the park with no issues. As we drove in, the cast member asked if we had reservation for Animal Kingdom, and when I explained we were coming to park hop, she said ok and allowed us in.
Mom and Antonio went off to ride Expedition Everest, which I can't ride due to motion sickness, so I wandered through the park taking pictures. I love snapping pictures of everything and probably have 50 shots of every view by now but I don't care. I'll just take 50 more. After Everest, we all met up in Harambe, the African village, to ride Kilimanjaro Safari. We just made it on the ride! Animal Kingdom was closing at 6:00, and we got to the ride at 4:50. They were just closing the ride but allowed us on. We ended up having a truck all to ourselves and were the last truck. It turned out to be a little shorter of a ride, but I didn't care. I was thrilled to see the animals again, and they were very active.
We slowly worked our way to the front of the park to head to park #3 Magic Kingdom. We talked about going to all 4 parks, but we had visited Disney's Hollywood Studios earlier in the week and didn't really need to go back there that day so we decided to skip it and just stick with the 3 parks.
When we arrived at Magic Kingdom, no one even questioned if we had a reservation or not, they just let us in. I was so excited to be able to move freely around property again. I had missed park hopping a lot. It was dark by the time we got to Magic Kingdom, but seeing Main Street all lit up one last time was worth it.
It was after 6:00 when we got into the park, and Magic Kingdom was closing at 9:00 so we didn't have a lot of time to do everything. We headed to Adventureland to Sunshine Tree Terrace for treats. Then to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear. My son and I have a standing competition on Buzz. Sometimes he wins; sometimes I win; it is our ride together. When we were in Magic Kingdom earlier in this trip, we both hit a million points. Actually it is 999,999 points as the counter can't go higher. He says he won that one though because he hit the million before me. He is great for knowing all the targets to hit for the big points so I recorded him on the ride to share in my Vlog (be sure to check us out on the Main Street to the World YouTube channel.)
After Buzz, we walked on Tomorrowland Speedway, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Antonio rode the Mad Tea Party to finish the night. Having Cinderella Castle as our last sight for the night is a perfect way to end the trip. We had covered a lot of territory that day and did quite a bit in about 11 hours. It was a great trip overall, and I love having these special memories with my family.