With vacation planning season upon us, you are faced with so many decisions. Once you’ve decided where to go, many people think that’s the end of it. Even if you work with an experienced travel agent who specializes in Disney trips, it’s the opposite – now the fun really begins!
There are so many decisions to make – when to go, where to stay, how to arrange your day… and it’s at this point that you’ll be faced with the decision around whether or not to buy park hopper or base tickets. This is a big decision that will affect your entire trip. So let’s break it down to make sure it’s clear:
First – what is a park hopper ticket and how does it differ from the base ticket? It’s simple: a park hopper gives you the freedom to jump from park to park throughout the day and night. For the incremental $200, you are essentially buying flexibility.
A base ticket is the opposite, and allows you admittance to only one park per day. You do have the freedom to leave and re-enter, but you will only be allowed to to go and come to the one park of your choice for that day.
Before you can make this decision, you need to think about the stamina of your traveling party and the kind of experience you want to have. For first timers or families with young kids, the base ticket may be best. This ticket takes the pressure off the need to cram as much in as possible each day. It will allow you to slow down your pace and enjoy every hidden gem each park has to offer.
If you like to vary your experiences and see as much as possible, then the Hopper may be for you. With this ticket, you can start your day in one park, spend the afternoon in another, and have dinner somewhere else. But beware of the exhaustion factor. Remember that it takes time to travel from park to park… in the heat…with the whole family. And knowing that you spent the extra money for this ticket puts pressure on you to use it.
For me, I’m a girl who likes options, so the Hopper makes sense. We love the freedom to go and come as we please (Fast Passes and Dining Reservations aside), and like to change our minds at the last minute. While we may start out at one Park, the weather may turn or someone has a craving for a Dole Whip, and that will lead us to make a choice that the base ticket wouldn’t allow us to indulge.
So at the end of the day, think about your people, think about your needs, and just how much time and energy you want to spend planning each day. The easier route is the base pass… your entire day and night are laid out for you because it’s isolated in one place. Either way… have a magical trip!
Alysia has always been a Disney freak. From her first visit in 1974 to her most recent visit in September, she has grown up loving the experience that Disney provides its guests. Now with two children, she can proudly say she’s raising two little Disney freaks of her own. When she’s not planning a trip, Alysia has spent the last 23 years in marketing, working at both billion dollar corporations and small non-profits. It was during her time at one of those non profits, the Wildlife Conservation Society (parent company of the Bronx Zoo), that she took a side job at the Disney Store to supplement her income. Those five years as a Cast Member convinced Alysia that she would do whatever she could to work in and around the Disney company to marry her professional expertise and her passion for the Mouse! Writing for the Affordable Mouse brings her one step closer to that goal!