Park Hopper Plus - do I have this right?

Planning our fourth family trip for this summer, and in the past we've always had base tickets. This time, I'm seriously considering park hopper plus, but I just want to make sure I understand the way it works (and that it actually makes sense for us). We will have 10-day tickets to be used over a two week period in Orlando. I know that's a lot of park days and hopping may not be NECESSARY if we plan well, but with the weather being so turbulent, I think we'll want more flexibility.

Park hoppers appeal to me for a summer trip, because we will be much more likely to take afternoon breaks from the theme parks. Also, with two Star Wars nuts in the family, I think we'd want to plan more partial days at Hollywood Studios to up our chances of doing everything we want to do there. We also want to try at least one of the water parks.

From a cost perspective, we will be getting Canadian discount tickets, so the increase from base tickets to park hopper plus is about $85/person (tax in). The cost of a stand-alone water park ticket is $73.49, so even if we only visited one water park one time, the park hopper plus would essentially only be costing us an extra $12ish per person to be able to park hop for our entire stay. (If we visit water parks more than once, it will actually be less expensive than buying admissions separately.) So even if we only hop a couple of times, it still seems worthwhile.

And if I'm understanding correctly, we can use any combination of 10 park days and 10 "plus options" throughout our 14-day stay. So we could rope drop MK, go to Typhoon Lagoon in the afternoon, then EPCOT for dinner & fireworks. Or go to Blizzard Beach in the morning and minigolf in the afternoon. Or spend an entire day at one of the water parks in between park days. This seems like a good deal to me. Is there anything I'm misunderstanding or failing to consider?

One other question - I don't know anything about ESPN Wide World of Sports. What goes on there? I see it's included with the park hopper plus tickets, but doubt it's something we would use. Is it worthwhile visiting?

Thanks!
 

hizouse

Member
Seems like good reasoning to me--if you are interested in hopping and want to do at least 1 water park, it's a decent deal. We are doing parkhoppers (not plus) for our family trip in late summer for largely the reasons you mention in your second paragraph. I like the idea of seeing if I can get Smugglers Run or RotR (hopefully) FP+ during afternoon break or nap time. And if RotR is still doing boarding groups, we may do it 2x but spend most of one of those days in Epcot. The other factor in our calculus is simply the location of where we are staying; this will be our first time at a Bay Lake resort, where we can walk to 2 parks depending on our dining and FP+ choices.

Water parks are less appealing to us with 2 kids 5 and under, and I don't know anything about ESPN WWoS, other than that's where the Braves used to have spring training. 10 park days (instead of our 6) would probably make me less interested in hopping.

Be aware that if your table-service reservations may constrain your ability to hop a bit; we probably will just have 1 or 2 of those to maximize our afternoon and evening flexibility.
 

bnoble

he's right
I like having hoppers even if I don't use them more than once or twice in a trip. The flexibility of knowing I can hop if I want to makes each day much less stressful, and that's worth something to me.
 

BDUB32

Member
Your comment about weather + Hoppers resonated with me. We have done two late August trips and the weather is certainly "volatile." We follow Josh's recommendations to go to MK if the weather is bad, as it does seem to tamp the crowd level down, a bit. But, if I'm at MK and many of the headliners are closed because of lightning, and I want to hop over somewhere else to hang out/eat/whatever, why not have that option, especially if it is not much of a monetary decision?

That also lends to a more relaxed trip, IMHO. Many folks plan plan plan, and that certainly is important, but after I've done my three 60+ day fast passes knowing "something" will come available day of, we usually play the second part of the day by ear, making hoppers a must for us.

Never been to the water parks. My wife says "but, we're missing RNRC, Toy Story, SM, etc..." She always wins.
 
We did a trip once with park hopper plus

When our daughter was younger we went for 10 days or more.

Now that she's older (21) we go for a week because we take other big trips.

(Just explaining why we never got plus tickets but once)

We went to both water parks and had a great time, they have the best lazy rivers!

I say go for it! I think you guys will love it.
 
I like hoppers to begin with, especially for longer stays. If you were planning to also try a water-park, Hopper Plus is great! Hopping is even better with the Skyliner and so much new activity in HS/EP. They help get around crowds. And it is liberating, the flexibility elevates the trip to another level.

From my understanding, Plus gives you an equal amount of days to your park ticket to do water parks & mini-golf. So you'll have 10 days of them if you desired, along with your separate 10 park days. You may overlap these 2 groups and do both on some days if you like. Plus is helpful to fill your 14 day trip.

ESPN is not interesting to most people, at least not compared to the rest of what WDW offers.
 
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