In a significant development for theme park enthusiasts, Walt Disney World has lifted the COVID-era restrictions on park hopping after a hiatus of three years. This change ushers in a fresh era of flexibility for park guests, who can now freely move from one park to another at any time of the day.
A Look Back at the Restrictions
Back in the summer of 2020, the world was grappling with the initial outbreak of COVID-19. Like many other establishments around the globe, Walt Disney World had to close its gates. When they finally reopened, park hopping, a beloved activity for many visitors, was no longer available. This option, which allowed guests to visit more than one park each day, wasn’t reinstated until January 2021, and even then, it came with a limitation. Guests had to wait until 2 p.m. to enter a second park.
A New Era of Flexibility
As of today, January 9th, 2024, the park hopping process is back to its original form. Now, guests can visit their first park of the day, Magic Kingdom for example, by 8 a.m., and then hop to EPCOT before 9 a.m. without any issue. Also, guests with date-based tickets will no longer need park pass reservations, and they won’t have to pre-select which park they’d like to start their day at.
Good News for Annual Passholders and Cast Members
This change also brings good news for Annual Passholders and Cast Members. They will be able to enter the parks without a reservation on select Good to Go Days later this month. This adds another layer of convenience and flexibility to their Walt Disney World experience.
Improved Transportation Services
Transportation services have also been adjusted to accommodate this change. Park-to-park bus service will now begin at 10 a.m., an improvement from the previous 1:30 p.m. start time. This earlier start time caters to the needs of park hopping guests, making their experience smoother and more enjoyable.
A Welcome Change for Theme Park Lovers
In conclusion, the lifting of park hopping restrictions marks a significant milestone in the recovery process from the pandemic’s impact on theme parks. It not only enhances the flexibility and convenience of visiting Walt Disney World but also restores a cherished aspect of the guest experience. As we move forward, let’s embrace this change and make the most of our magical adventures at Walt Disney World!
Stay tuned to the DVC Shop blog for all the latest developments for Disney fans, whether that’s what’s happening in the Disney theme parks or around Disney Vacation Club resorts!