June 15, 2024

Park Hopping Suspended at Magic Kingdom

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Park Hopping is currently was unavailable earlier this afternoon at Magic Kingdom, but has since resumed after Walt Disney World suspended the option for the first time in several years amidst peak Spring Break crowds.




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Park Hopping is currently was unavailable earlier this afternoon at Magic Kingdom, but has since resumed after Walt Disney World suspended the option for the first time in several years amidst peak Spring Break crowds. This post shares what’s going on and what to expect if you’re in the parks right now. (Updated April 4, 2024 at 3:30 p.m.)

As you’re likely aware, all-day Park Hopping returned at the beginning of this year for the first time in 4 years. Meaning that guests with a Park Hopper ticket or an Annual Pass are once again able to visit another Walt Disney World theme park at any time of day during regular park hours!

The only limit now is capacity limitations, as we’re seeing today. This means that, in theory, you could get turned away upon arrival if your destination park has already hit its attendance limit–but that was true even with the 2 p.m. Park Hopping rule. Until today, this has only ever been an issue once in the post-reopening era–for a few hours on October 1 at Magic Kingdom, the day of the park’s 50th Anniversary.

Otherwise, Park Hopping has not once been restricted, including on incredibly busy days, like the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. In fact, that peak week that rang in 2024 was the busiest period at the parks in the last 4 years, with the highest average wait times since 2019, and not once were there any capacity closures. Avatar Flight of Passage maxed out at a 300+ minute wait time and over a dozen other rides had triple-digit waits, but there were no limits on Park Hopping during that week.

The current week is busy but, objectively speaking, not that bad. It’s also notable that Magic Kingdom is only open until 11 p.m. tonight, as opposed to midnight, suggesting an internal forecast of heavy–but not peak–crowd levels.

In any case, here’s the message that appeared in the My Disney Experience app earlier today: “The Park Hopper option is currently unavailable for this park. Guests with park reservations for this park may still enter.”

UPDATE: The message has disappeared and Park Hopping restrictions have been dropped. We do not expect further restrictions later today or even beyond; this is a rarity, and this is not one of the weeks when it would normally occur.

Note that this only impacts those who are Park Hopping. As indicated, guests with park reservations for Magic Kingdom are perfectly fine. It’s also our understanding that Annual Passholders are also fine consistent with the after 2 p.m. reservation, but honestly, I wouldn’t test that. (Partly because it’s a hassle to be turned away for whatever reason and partly because why on earth would you want to go to Magic Kingdom on a day like today if you had other options?!)

Also note that this can–and probably will–change. In the past, we’ve seen phased closures around this time of day (typically 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) because that’s when crowd levels peak. Right around now is when fewer guests are entering than are leaving, and that’s usually doubly true on days like this when people hit a wall encountering hour-plus wait times pretty much everywhere.

Speaking of which, below is a look at current wait times in Magic Kingdom:

It goes without saying that these are bad (far worse than the last capacity closure at Magic Kingdom on October 1, 2021, when congestion was the main issue and ride wait times were surprisingly low), but they’re not terrible. Only 3 wait times that are triple digits and only 1 over two hours.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s not great. The bigger problem than those triple-digit times is the sheer number of attractions with 50-90 minute waits, which includes a number of mid-tier attractions that normally aren’t too bad. This is still a 10/10 crowd level, but it’s not much worse than last week–it isn’t even (objectively speaking as measured by wait times) the worst day of 2024 at Magic Kingdom.

Suffice to say, on a day like this, you’d definitely want to have Genie+ at Magic Kingdom. Speaking of which, that’s sold out:

Ultimately, it’s a very busy day and week at Walt Disney World. While Magic Kingdom is where Park Hopping is suspended, it is (interestingly enough) not even the park with the highest wait times. Over at Hollywood Studios, Slinky Dog Dash and Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run are both 190 minutes, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is 125 minutes. Not to be outdone, EPCOT and Animal Kingdom each have attractions posting 145 minute waits, with others in the triple-digit territory.

So plan accordingly, purchase Genie+ early, be aggressive with booking pursuant to the 120 minute rule, have a strong refresh game for ride reservation refills. Oh, and don’t forget to take advantage of Early Entry and rope drop, as well as zig when they zag savvy strategy. One of the biggest mistakes casual guests make during weeks like this is assuming that Genie+ is an “easy” option for front-of-line access. It very much is not. You need an all of the above approach to beat the crowds–but it can be done!

If you have questions about the basics of using–or not using–the paid FastPass service, see our Guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ for all of the foundational need-to-know info. This whole system is confusing and convoluted, so you might have a question or two-dozen. That answers all of the most common ones we’ve been receiving from readers.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you encountered the Park Hopping restriction today at Magic Kingdom? Are you part of the post-Easter Spring Break crowds currently descending upon Walt Disney World from the Midwest and Northeast? Other thoughts on crowds, Genie+ or Park Hopping? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!




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