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Planning where to eat and park hopper

Wisconsin
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Planning where to eat and park hopper

Ok, I am getting ready to make reservations next week for our September trip. We were planning on getting the park hopper as I don't know if we will go back again for 4 or 5 years as we have a couple of other trips planned (intend to have kids in all 50 states before they are 18). But I have been looking back at old postings and have seen a lot of people saying the park hopper is a waste of money.

When we are on vacation we like to get up and get going. We want to see and do as much as possible on vacation and will spend a limited amount of time at our hotel (POR).

Is it worth the park hopper the eat where we want or should we change restaurants and save the money from the park hopper?

Denmark
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1. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

With smaller kids I would skip the hopper , but thats my opinion going in October again this time with the hole gang again and the younges celebrating 5 I will not go for a hopper this time either, If it was only me and my teenager I could have done it, but not with smaller children.

I would plan my days after when the parks has exctra magic hours and stay in that park and take a break from the park and go back to the same park later on if I feel that was needed. You will get to see so much stuf and will not be able to take it all in with normal basic tickets. If You are on the dining plan I would certaily decided wich park I was going to and decide from there where /which restaurant I wanted to eat at.

Mutter

Denmark
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2. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

here is how I think :

If Hollywood studio has fatastimic show so wich day in the week when You are there is the show and go to HS that day and would try to get a dining in HS or in the area around HS.

Spectro magic/wishes wich days are that on in Magic KIngdom and decided for going to MK for the days this is on and choose a eatery near MK here the choces is more because its not far to any of the hotels on the monorail and quit fun to take the monorail go get a good looking around

Same with Epcot choose the day for Epcot that there is some show in the evening. this is how i work out a sort of plan, I have no idea what I do other then that when I come to the parks, but I know that if we have a clear plan about which park and where we eat I am certain that we at least get that.

Mutter

Chickamauga, Georgia
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3. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

My best advice is that if you have small children (say under age 8) or if you are visiting for the first time, don't bother with park hopper at WDW.

However, if you have older children who can handle a fast pace, or if you've been before and know your way around, then I like having the freedom of the park hopper option which allows you to cover more ground in less time.

It's really a personal decision based on your own situation.

Edited: 09 March 2010, 16:33
Wisconsin
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4. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

Thanks for all the help. I assure you our kids can put adults to bed with all they can do in a day. I am just being cheap and seeing if we could get away with not having the park hopper. We have gone through all the dining options and have found that we do not have that many places that would suite our tastes so thats is what makes me worry a little more.

But then we also wonder what we would do on the night after Ak closes at 5 pm. Plus what if we don't like a park (HS worries us as we aren't into shows, plus the klds tought it was kind of boring looking, they are more interested in Epcot). Then our day is wasted.

Maybe I am worrying too much and should just book regular tickets. Here is another question:

If we get to Disney and go to our first park and decide that we want the hopper option can we add it for the same price as before we come? Even after we have visited one park?

Chickamauga, Georgia
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5. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

Yes, you can. The park hopper option is a "set price" regardless of how many days you have purchased on your tickets; it will run you approximately $55 per ticket/per person.

All you have to do is take your tickets to a guest services desk and, for the extra cost, they can upgrade your tickets for you to park hopper option.

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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6. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

BTW, being a WDW veteran, I always pay the extra for park hopper myself, because we typcially do "park hop" on longer trips we take when we are visiting for a number of days.

I agree that Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios may not be "full day" parks for you, but the alternatives you have for "after park hours" at these parks don't absolutely require you to buy park hoppers. You can always go spend time at Downtown Disney, the Boardwalk area, visiting some of the resorts, or playing mini-golf at one of the two mini-golf courses on the Disney property.

Baton Rouge...
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7. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

Hi casey!

Just a thought:

If you don't want to get the hopper other than the dining you might want to consider the restaurants in the resort hotels. The food is usually better and you won't have to worry about your tickets. Here's a few favorites:

For characters:

Chef Mickey's (Contemporary Resort)

1900 Park Faire (Grand Floridian)

.

For some non-character fun:

Whispering Canyon Cafe (Wilderness Lodge)

'Ohana (Polynesian Resort)

.

Yummy eats!

Boma (Animal Kingdom Lodge)

Kona Cafe (Polynesian Resort)

.

A bit more exotic (but not too wild-this is Disney World!:

Sanaa (Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge)

Kouzzina (Boardwalk)

Boma

Those are only a few of the 1 credit places. There are tons more, especially if you can stretch to the Signature places!

Happy Dining!

Jennifer

Edited: 09 March 2010, 18:13
Wisconsin
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8. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

Thanks all. Maybe I will plan more resort dinners (we will rent a car so transport won't be a problem) that way we don't have to get it now. Then we can add it when we arrive if we think we will need it.

Thanks again!

midwest
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9. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

I would never go to disney WITHOUT the park hopper option.

Like you, we get up early .....go, see & do as much as possible. We like to get the best experience from a trip. We don't spend much time at the hotel either. In our opinion, if we want to lay around a pool, there's no need to fly to Florida for that.....can go to any Holiday Inn.

From the time our kids were 3, on their first Disney trips, we went to the parks opening to closing. They napped a little in the stroller, but both kids were pretty well finished with naps by age 3 anyway.

We are ALWAYS finished at Hollywood Stuidios by about 4:00 or 5:00. I don't care for Fantasmic, so we always leave right after eating dinner. We go to another park for the evening.

Same thing with Animal Kingdom.....we pick another park for the evening. In fact, Animal Kingdom is our least favorite and we usually leave around 2:00. That way, if you didn't get quite enough time at Magic Kingdom, for instance, you can go back again & repeat your favorites or finish up.

Stick with your park hopper option, you'll be glad you did. Especially since you may not be back to Disney in awhile. Get the most out of what time you'll have there. Kudos to you on getting the kids to all 50 states by the time they are 18 ! Well done.

I suggest buffets if you have mixed tastes. Crystal Palace, Chef Mickey's, Character breakfast at the Polynesian, Breakfast at Animal Kingdom ........

Wisconsin
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206 reviews
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10. Re: Planning where to eat and park hopper

You sound a lot like us, relaxation is not a part of our vacation. We can do that at home.

My husband wants the park hopper, but I am looking at it from a money savings standpoint. Maybe we should stick with it. Oh, my head is spinning, and I need to reserve this week so I can make our reservations next week.

Hmmmmm.....