Did the Return of Park Hopping Change the Wait Times in Disney World?

One of the biggest questions on people’s minds when Disney World reintroduced Park Hopping was if attraction wait times would be affected in any way.

MagicBand Scanner

Since Park Hopping does not require you to make additional Park Pass Reservations beyond the first park you visit each day, there has been some concern that the influx of guests a park would see at 2PM would cause wait times to go up.

So, we took a look at some average wait times for popular attractions before Park Hopping was reintroduced, and compared them to wait times at those same attractions after Park Hopping was reintroduced.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

We kept in mind the fact that Park Hopping was introduced right at the end of the holiday season, when wait times are generally longer to begin with. For example, on December 21st, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train had a posted wait time of 105 minutes at 12PM, two hours prior to when guests would be allowed to Park Hop. At 3PM that same day, the wait time at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train dropped to 80 minutes.

Seven Dwarfs

One important thing to keep in mind is that Park Hopping is still conditional on each park’s capacity. In other words, Park Hopping has not added capacity to any of the four theme parks, so the mere presence of Park Hopping does not in an of itself make wait times longer than what they’ve been on any busy day at Disney World since reopening.  Currently, Disney is reporting that their parks are at 35% capacity.

Here are some quick comparisons between December 7th and January 9th!

Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  • December 7th 12PM Wait Time: 85 minutes
  • December 7th 3PM Wait Time: 65 minutes
  • January 9th 12PM Wait Time: 90 minutes
  • January 9th 3PM Wait Time: 95 minutes (5 minutes longer after Park Hopping begins)

EPCOT: Test Track

  • December 7th 2PM Wait Time: 60 minutes
  • December 7th 4PM Wait Time: 60 minutes
  • January 9th 11AM Wait Time: 60 minutes
  • January 9th 2PM Wait Time: 75 minutes (15 minutes longer after Park Hopping begins)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

  • December 7th 1PM Wait Time: 50 minutes
  • December 7th 3PM Wait Time: 55 minutes
  • January 9th 1PM Wait Time: 60 minutes
  • January 9th 3PM Wait Time: 60 minutes (same wait time after Park Hopping begins)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage

  • December 7th 12PM Wait Time: 55 minutes
  • December 7th 2PM Wait Time: 55 minutes
  • January 9th 12PM Wait Time: 65 minutes
  • January 9th 2PM Wait Time: 60 minutes (5 minutes shorter after Park Hopping begins)

When comparing a weekday in early December to a weekday in early January after the reintroduction of Park Hopping, we had a few key observations. In general, Park Hopping does not seem to have made a drastic change in wait times, at least in its initial modified rollout. First, across multiple days pre- and post-Park Hopping returning, we didn’t observe a drastic change in wait times between before and after 2PM, when Park Hopping is allowed.

Animal Kingdom parking entrance

In most scenarios, we saw either a slight increase of 5-10 minutes in wait times at or right after the Park Hopping window opens (2PM-3PM) with a slight dip in the hours following, or we saw no change in wait times at all. This would indicate that Park Hopping COULD have a slight impact on wait times in the early to mid-afternoon hours right when Park Hopping begins, but not as much of an impact later in the evening.

Flight of Passage

In the case of Flight of Passage, it’s possible that less guests are Park Hopping to Animal Kingdom since the they close the earliest of the four theme parks. It doesn’t make as much sense to Park Hop to Animal Kingdom when you only have on average three hours of time left in the park, whereas in a park like EPCOT you get six hours or more before closing.

Spaceship Earth at night

Mid-afternoon can be a generally busy time of day for ride wait times, with or without Park Hopping. So, if you are planning on Park Hopping on your next Disney World vacation before FastPass+ returns, we recommend you pack your patience and anticipate longer wait times when you arrive to your second park of the day!

Click here to learn more about the modified return of Park Hopping at Disney World!

Have you tried Park Hopping since it was reintroduced on January 1st? Share your experience in the comments!

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