6 NEW Unspoken Rules About Park Hopping at Disney World

Park hopping rules have been back to normal at Disney World for nearly two weeks now.

Who’s ready to park hop?

How’s everyone feeling? Good? Overwhelmed? Like the possibilities are endless? Yeah, we’ll be honest. As great as the change is, it’s still a bit of a learning curve, especially if you unintentionally got cozy with the rules set in place after the pandemic. It’s true, most folks do feel safer with rules, and the current lack thereof when it comes to park hopping might have a few of you feeling a bit nervous. Have no fear, AE is here. Let’s go!

If you’re not familiar with park hopping, that’s the Disney term for visiting more than one of the 4 theme parks at Walt Disney World in the same day. When you buy Disney World tickets, you have the option to add on (for an extra fee) park hopping privileges. Otherwise, your ticket will only get you into one park each day.

Up until the pandemic-related closures of Disney World in 2020, you could park hop at any time (after the second park you planned to visit opened for the day, of course). But once the parks re-opened in the summer of 2020, you had to wait until 2PM or later to visit a second park in the same day — and that rule remained in place until January 9th, 2024. That’s what we mean when we say things are finally back to “normal”!

Fry Bucket tried another CRAZY challenge on the first day that park hopping went back to normal, and you can watch her video right here.

Here are 6 unofficial, unspoken rules of park hopping at Disney World, brought to you from the AE team.

If you’re doing the 4 Parks-1 Day Challenge, you’ve gotta WORK for it.

Since all-day park hopping has returned, folks have decided that it’s the perfect time to attempt to visit four parks in one day. This is a pretty popular challenge among Disney fans, and people come up with a ton of rules about what “counts” as visiting a park.

You gotta do SOMETHING

Some folks, though, think that it counts if you simply scan in. NO WAY! You’ve gotta do at least one activity. Grab a snack, ride a ride, see a show, buy some merch — the possibilities are endless. (Using the bathroom doesn’t count, either. Sorry.)

How Fast Can You Visit All 4 Parks in One Day Now? We Found Out!

When it comes to park order, the rule is that there are no rules.

A lot of folks truly believe that there is a set “order” to park hopping, but there really isn’t a set way to do it. We always tell folks to park hop in the order that will allow them to maximize how many things they can experience, but that might not be your goal.

EPCOT Monorail

Just note that you aren’t doing yourselves any favors for a chill park hopping day if you aren’t park hopping based on proximity. Like, don’t go from Hollywood Studios to Magic Kingdom. Take the Skyliner from Hollywood Studios to EPCOT, then take the Monorail from EPCOT to Magic Kingdom. Boom. You’ve knocked out three parks.

I Was a Disney World Cast Member, and I’m Letting You in on a Skyliner Secret

You should totally time things to where you can watch multiple nighttime shows.

Technically, you could do this before. Now, though, it’s easier to knock out things earlier in the day so that you feel comfortable doing this. You can time things to where you can watch multiple nighttime spectaculars!


The fireworks show in Magic Kingdom takes place at 8PM-9PM nightly depending on the time of year, which makes it possible to catch the late showing of Fantasmic! in Hollywood Studios.

The ONLY Right Way to See Fantasmic! in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Try for BOTH Virtual Queues BOTH times of the day.

Because park pass reservation requirements have disappeared for date-based tickets, Disney now allows you to try for both TRON Lightcycle / Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queues in the morning. If you don’t get one, you can try for the other.

TRON Lightcycle Run

So, just always remember to try to get one or the other in the morning. If you STILL don’t get one, you can hop to either EPCOT or Magic Kingdom to try to snag one at 1PM. Just remember that you can only get one virtual queue per ride per day, and you have to physically be in that park at 1PM if you’re doing that one. This also ties into the last rule!

Virtual Queues Just Got Less Complicated in Disney World!

Be flexible!

It’s hard to untrain the planner inside of us — frequent Disney World visitors all got better at planning when park reservations and the 2PM park hopping rule came into play after the 2020 re-opening. However, it’s totally possible!

Magic Kingdom

Revel in the return of spontaneity. If you don’t get the virtual queue you wanted, switch plans last minute and head to a different park. There’s no right or wrong way to do this thing.

Oh, and just as a bonus rule: DON’T FORGET TO EAT! You’ll need lots of fuel for all your park hopping adventures. No one likes a hangry park hopper. 😉 We’ll be sure to keep you updated with more Disney news, so make sure to follow along so that you never miss a thing.

Looking for more unspoken rules of Disney World? Click here! 

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What do you think about the return of all-day park hopping? Let us know in the comments! 

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