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Walt Disney World has been open since the middle of the summer, but the most popular theme park destination in the world, while it is still making money, is still struggling to bring in the types of guests that really make the theme parks profitable, vacationers. That's why a recent announcement from Disney, that starting after the first of the year, park hopper passes, that allow guests to visit more than one park in a single day, will be making a return. This isn't just an added convenience for those who want more flexibility. It could also mean that many who have been putting off their Disney vacations might now be willing to give it a try, which is good for Disney's bottom line, and in turn, could mean a big boost for investors.
Previously, Walt Disney World tickets were available in two forms. Single park tickets allowed guests to visit any park of their choice, without any reservations, while Park Hoppers meant guests could jump back and forth between all four theme parks in a single day for an added fee. Since reopening, as a way to manage guest traffic and make sure parks did not get overcrowded, Park Hoppers have been unavailable, severely limiting how much of the parks guests can see. As The Motley Fool suggests, the return of Park Hoppers could be a really big deal as the ability to see more of Disney World could bring in more of the lucrative tourist business that the resort needs.
When Park Hoppers return next year they will still be limited.compared to their original version. Guests will need to make reservations for their morning theme park as usual, then after 2 PM, they'll be able to move to a second gate. It does not appear a reservation will be needed for the second gate, though if that park fills to capacity, guests won't be let in.
The fact that the new Park Hopper limits guests to two parks probably isn't that big a deal. While I don't have data, I doubt that those that used them previously frequently went to more than two parks in one day. Considering just how big Walt Disney World is and the amount of time it can take to get from one park to another, visiting more than two parks would eat up so much of the day in travel time that it frequently wouldn't be worth it. And for the people who felt the current restrictions would just be too limiting, the return of the Park Hopper will certainly be welcome. Being able to spend one's day at Magic Kingdom, but then grab dinner at World Showcase in Epcot, is a very appealing combination.
It will be interesting to see just how the new Park Hopper impacts the parks on the whole. There's the potential to see a mass exodus from parks at 2 PM when the option goes live, which feels like it would be a social distancing nightmare, but I'm assuming Disney has considered this and has a plan in place.
Are you more likely to visit Walt Disney World with Park Hoppers available? Let us know in the poll below.