Skip to main content
Want to increase your Disney Wisdom? Get new Dis/dom blog posts sent to your email address as soon as they are available.

Walt Disney World Park Hopper Option

At Walt Disney World, when you purchase your park passes, all of the passes sold are “basic” park passes. Basic park passes give you access to one of the four Disney theme parks each day, but only one park per day. You can exit and re-enter that one park as many times as you like, but you are limited to just that one park. If you have a multi-day pass, then it all starts over the next morning, you pick one of the four parks and that is your park for the day.

Want a bit more flexibility? Walt Disney World sells the “park hopper” option as an add-on to your tickets. Park hopping allows you access to all four Disney theme parks each day of your ticket. You can visit one park or all four, totally up to you, there is no limit. The park hopper option runs about $69 per person, regardless of the length of your ticket.

Who should purchase the Park Hopper?

  • Frequent visiting guests who know exactly what they want to see in each park.
  • Guests staying for longer stays, as it gives them some flexibility during their days to move around
  • Guests staying for very short stays who want to try to see everything
  • Guests who like ultimate flexibility

If you are trying to save money, or are at Disney only for 3 – 4 days and want to plan one park per day, then the park hopper may not be for you. Some people also like the simplicity of just one park per day, it works for them.

Personally, I do the park hopper every trip. My family tries to be at the parks first thing, right at opening. We stay until sometime after lunch, depending on the crowds and weather. We then head back to the hotel to swim or nap for a bit. We then usually end our day in Epcot or Magic Kingdom for dinner, fireworks and a few rides. I like the flexibility it gives my family, I feel like we are able to see and do more with the hopper.

Do you purchase the park hopper option at Disney World?


Is the Disney World Quick-Service Dining Plan Worth It?

With the price increase of the Disney Dining plans yesterday, now is a good time to look at the Quick-Service dining plan, and whether it is worth it or not. Walt Disney World offers three different dining plans for guests who book a Magic Your Way package that includes your Disney resort and theme park passes. You can opt for no dining plan at all as well, though most people go with one of the three plans.

The Quick-Service dining plan is the least expensive of the three plans, and includes two quick-service meals plus one snack per person per night, plus a resort refillable mug for each person. Quick-service meals are typically akin to fast food, so hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, etc. You walk up to the counter to order your food and take it to a table to eat. A meal includes an entree, side, dessert and drink, and can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner inside or outside of the theme parks.

Currently, the cost for the quick-service dining plan is $44.13 for adults and $19.04 for children (3 – 9 years old) per night of your stay. You must purchase a plan for your entire stay, and everyone in your party must purchase the same dining plan, or no plan at all.

Let’s look at an average day for one adult and one child. That would cost $63.17, and include two quick-service meals for each person plus 2 snacks. We will leave the refillable mug out of the equation, as that only amounts to a dollar or two per night, depending on how long you stay.

Our family is going to get lunch and dinner in the parks, plus an afternoon snack. Let’s say they are in Epcot and pick these meals:

  • Lunch at Tangierine Cafe – Morocco – Adult lunch of Chicken and Lamb Shawarma Platter ($14,99), dessert ($3.99) and bottled water ($2.75). Child lunch of chicken nuggets ($8.99).  With tax, you get a lunch total of about $32.75.
  • Snack – Two Mickey Ice Cream Bars ($4.25 each). With tax, a total price of about $9.00.
  • Dinner at The Electric Umbrella – Adult dinner of French Dip Burger ($10.99), a chocolate cupcake for dessert ($4.59) and Pineapple-Coconut Slushy for a drink ($3.99). Child dinner of Macaroni and Cheese ($5.99) and a brownie for dessert ($4.19). With tax, a total price of about $31.75.

So, for the two meals and a snack I get a rough total price of about $73,00. About $10 more than what they paid for the dining plan. But is the quick-service dining plan worth it?

Quick-Service Dining Plan PROS

  • With the example above, you do save money.
  • The biggest benefit I try to explain to my clients is that with all the dining plans, everything is prepaid and budgeted, so you just show up and eat, no need to worry about the cost of meals, how much money to bring or trying to order the cheapest thing on the menu just to save money. Just enjoy, that is the idea of going to Disney World, isn’t it?

Quick-Service Dining Plan CONS

  • While you do save money with the example, it really isn’t a ton of money.
  • While the example is accurate, you may not necessarily order like that if you don’t have the dining plan. Not everyone has a dessert with lunch or dinner, so you end up ordering things that you may not normally include in your meal, negating the savings.

So, is it worth it? My suggestion to all my clients who are considering the quick-service dining plan is: If you plan on dining this way at the parks, then yes, go for it. It may not save you a ton of money, but the peace of mind has value too. If you are planning on mixing a few table service meals in there as well, then this may not be the right plan for you.


Purple Magicbands!!! Squeeee!!!

I always find it interesting what tickles the fancy of the Disney universe. Announce a new ride or parade? Silence. Open a new restaurant in the Magic Kingdom themed after the ever popular Jungle Cruise? Ho hum. Release a purple Magicband? Fireworks!

purple magicbands

Magicbands have been available at Walt Disney World since 2013. If you remember the old Key to the World Cards, these are the 21st century version. The wristband is your room key, park pass, charge card, fast pass and just about everything else. Plus, there are new extras being added all the time. Visiting Anna and Elsa? Pretty soon, they will greet you and your child by name, all pulled from information on your Magicband.

For guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort with a Magic Your Way package that includes their Disney resort and park passes, they receive a Magicband for each person in their party 3 and older for free. Guests are allowed to “customize” the bands by choosing the color of the band as well as the name you want put on the band. However, you are limited in your color choices, and all the Magicbands are solid colors. The options are grey, red, yellow, green, blue, orange, pink, and as of yesterday, purple!

If you don’t think you can live with a boring plain colored Magicband, even one of the new purple ones, Disney also sells special edition Magicbands in the parks for about $23 each, including Haunted Mansion, Figment, Disney Princesses, Star Wars and plenty of other options if you are willing to shell out the extra money once at Disney. You can even purchase them online at the Disney Store too. The good news though, the bands are reusable, so you can always reuse your cherished Jack Skellington Magicband as many times as you want.

Don’t want to put out the extra dollars? Consider purchasing special Magicband stickers. I did this our last trip, and let everyone choose their own “character”. Our bands were unique and looked great our entire trip. We purchased our stickers from My Fantasy Bands, the quality was great, and they had plenty of options. There are a few other vendors too that sell similar bands, or feel free to check pinterest to see plenty of home made crafty ways to customize your bands.

Will you be getting a new purple magicband on your next Disney vacation?