Can I survive w/o a parkhopper?
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We have always had parkhoppers. When free dining was announced I decided it was the perfect excuse for a "bonus" trip and we wouldn't need all of the bells and whistles for this trip, therefore I didn't purchase the parkhopping option. I am having a terrible time planning out my days. Not including our travel days we have 5 full days in the parks. I know we want to go to MK and Epcot twice. The day we fly home will only allow a few hours in a park. The day we arrive we should be at out resort and settled in by noon. That leaves the first day for DHS (1pm to close) and a whole day for AK. It just seems so finite. Normally we would leave AK when it closes at 5 and head to MK for the rest of the night. We have 3 little ones ( 5, 3, and 1) so I know I can't squeeze every moment out of every day. I'm just wondering if I should just cave and spend the 200 bucks on the parkhopping...or can I survive without it? Wow, that was rambling...sorry
You might not get to see everything, but since it is a "bonus" trip it sounds like you'll have another trip soon to take it all in. I would say you would be fine without the park hoppers. We had always had them before, but we opted not to get them on our January trip. I was very thankful we didn't have them. With having a 1 1/2 year old along it was nice to be forced to relax instead of hopping to the park that was still open.
We didn't have park hoppers when we went (our boys were 5,2 and 11 months). We found that the "early" park close days = bonus swimming time for them. My parents had the park hoppers and never used them - I just planned to be at the park with the Evening hours that way we could return if we wanted too.
I have an annual pass so I don't have to worry about hopper pass add on, but it can definitely be done! The biggest issue will be planning your meals. I think you will enjoy not having the hopper and using the time to enjoy the resort and some of the extras you can do outside of the parks. Downtown Disney is a nice break, even if you are not a big shopper. There is entertainment at night, and the kids can play a bit at the Lego store. Just people walking and people watching is entertaining as well! Since it is a bonus trip, how about a trip to other resorts to check out what they have to offer? Animal Kingdom has the beautiful safari - and you could eat at Boma or Sanaa. The Boardwalk Inn and Villa's has a lot to do in the evening with outdoor entertainment and you could eat at one of the restaurants there, or stroll across the bridge and eat at the Beach Club. If it is your Epcot day, you can use the International Gateway in the back! Not sure where you are staying, but when I stayed at Pop Century when my DD was 17, she and her "little sister" (friend) has a blast checking out all the big icons and playing at all the little hidden areas around the resort! It is a short trip, and I'm sure you will find lots to do! Make it a nice relaxing easy going trip. Remember, you can go in and out of the same park as many times as you want in the same day. planning
We are going for the first time without Park Hoppers in June. My hope is, we will be a little more relaxed! If we know we will be spending a whole day in one park we won't be anxious for the "next park" and we won't have to hear the kids all disagree about which park to go to when. I figure we might actually go to downtown Disney and spend some time in our resort. Last time we spent all our time in the parks. When Ak closed we headed to another park. I'm sure we will have an awesome trip...I'm just nervous about making sure I pick the right park on the right day!!!!!
I still keep second guessing my self and think about adding the park hoppers but with a family as big as ours it would be a big difference in cost.
We are also doing just the quick service dining plan to save time. Another first for us!
No hopper is a different vacation in my opinion. It gives us time to slow down and enjoy the resort more. Can you plan your AK day on a day that is extra hours in the pm? That might allow for more time in the park that day.
Actually, I decided to eat at Boatwrights for dinner after our day at AK. This is our first time staying at POR, so I'm really looking forward to having some down time at the resort this is something that wouldn't happen if I could "hop".
We have done it both ways, I have an AP now so we have the park hopping the trips when we did not which I thought we would mind really were not bad at all - and some of those trips were the most relaxing ones we ever had. We did not worry about the rushing from park to park or trying to do it all, we enjoyed more downtime at the resort, something we used to not have enough of. I think you will have a magical trip without them, and like others have said since this is a bonus trip there is another trip to do it the "usual" way...this way might actually surprise you
The past trip DH and I took we did no Park Hoppers. I liked it because it allowed us to find other ways to spend time in the evenings with earlier park closings... Resort exploration, Downtown Disney, Swimming... We elected not to park hop this upcoming trip and I have no qualms. I hope you enjoy your bonus trip! :-)