Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Dec 30, 2010
    Shawn from PA Asked

    My husband & I have been to WDW many times. It will be our oldest son's (3 1/2) second time and our youngest's (1) first time. I didn't add on the Park Hopper option to our tickets. Any opinions on whether Park Hopping is recom. for kids this age?

    Oh, Shawn!

    You've come to the place for opinions!  That's what I've loved about my time here at the Mom's Panel for the past two years. As I answer my last few questions before retiring from the panel, I'm grateful to able to share my opinions freely, without interference from Disney. The answers that you'll find here are truly our own opinions.

    When it comes to Park Hoppers, I'm not a fan of them for families of small children. Although there are a few exceptions, like getting them during the holidays when you need to have the ability to simply leave a full park and choose another, generally our family sticks with the basic one-park-a-day ticket. Here's why:
    • Hassle. If you've got small children, like yourself, you're usually carrying a stroller, a backpack and who-knows-what-else. Lugging everything from one park to the next, including the children, takes effort. If you have to ride the bus (from say, Animal Kingdom to Magic Kingdom), this means unloading and collapsing the stroller. Why add to your exhaustion factor?
    • Time. Typically, you're going to need about 45 minutes to an hour for the total transfer from one park to another, not to mention the time to get through the gate. With small children, an hour is an eternity to them--not to mention to parents if children are cranky.
    • Budget. the Park Hopper option costs $54 plus tax per person--no discounts on a child's ticket. When you add that up for a family of 3, that's no chump change. What could your family do at Disney to actually create a memory for $165? A Character Meal? The Pirate & Pals Cruise? The Balloon Ride and Ghirardelli Family Sundae at Downtown Disney? Rent a convertible? Upgrade from a Value Resort to a Moderate?
    Children need to explore the parks at a slower pace. Tackle one park per day and enjoy the benefits.

    Wishing y'all a magical vacation!
    Whitney
thumbnail image for Whitney

Meet the Panelist: Whitney, Mississippi

My family of 6 appreciates Disney's value! Although Ft. Wilderness is our second home, we've enjoyed the resorts for business, reunions and romantic getaways. For me, Disney also means dining: last count, I'd eaten at 55 restaurants around the World! Learn More About Whitney

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