Park hopping begins January 1 2021 but will not see the return of the EPCOT monorail

Dec 30, 2020 in "Walt Disney World Monorail System"

Park hopping returns to Walt Disney World theme parks on January 1, but park-to-park transportation options will not include the monorail.

Park-to-park bus transportation will begin shortly prior to the 2pm start of park hopping. Cast Members will be verifying eligible park tickets prior to boarding. Other transportation options will include watercraft and Disney Skyliner where service is available.

The EPCOT monorail beam has remained closed despite EPCOT reopening in the summer of 2020. Disney has said that the closure remains temporary, and that it will evaluate monorail operations based on needs.

Here is a rundown of how the modified park hopping process will work:

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, guests who purchased a ticket or annual pass with Park Hopper benefits will be able to visit more than one park per day, with some new modifications as part of ongoing focus on health and safety.

With the updated Park Hopper experience, guests must make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park they plan to visit AND enter that first park prior to visiting another. At this time, a park reservation is not required after the first park, however, reservation requirements are subject to change.

Additionally, Disney will set specific Park Hopper hours during which this option will be available. Park Hopper hours will start at 2pm each day and end at the park’s scheduled close time. Guests will soon be able to check DisneyWorld.com/ParkHours and the My Disney Experience app for the most up-to-date Park Hopper hours, as they could start earlier at a later date, depending on the day and park.

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Article Posted: Dec 30, 2020 / 1:13pm ET
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dreday3Jan 18, 2021

Ha! Good thing I asked! :D

nickysJan 18, 2021

You don’t make a reservation for hopping.

dreday3Jan 18, 2021

Doesn't the magic band scan just show you have a reservation, be it for the day or for hopping? Or can it differentiate between the type of reservation as it can between say a day ticket and a separate party ticket?

nickysJan 18, 2021

Scanning will tell them anyway, since if you’re park hopping it won’t show a park reservation. So it’s absolutely to stop park hoppers clogging up the gates. If people are arriving with a reservation they should be allowed in. Park hopping is subject to capacity and the time can change so they can decide whether to let people in a few minutes early. They can also decide to keep you waiting longer if they need to, for example a large group arrive. But as a policy I agree they should be keeping you outside. If a crowd is forming you wait in line, out of the way. Some signage though would definitely help. And frankly if someone said they weren’t park hopping and scanned in, I’d send them to the back of any line. Why should lying get you in early?

FuriatedJan 18, 2021

Got to try out park hopping on my visit last week. Tried it out for the first time last Tuesday going into Epcot via Intl Gateway. Wanting to get in right at 2, I got there around 1:40. I actually didn't mean to get there quite that early but I was walking over from Beach Club and got there faster than intended. There were a couple of people hanging around looking like they were waiting to park hop. Mostly off to the side leaning in the waterside railing, I did the same. I could see that to the side of the Skyliner in the path leading backstage, there was a short section of stanchion, like literally one unit long, that had a couple of people standing behind it. I was thinking to myself, What are those people lined up for? Then a few minutes later, a CM came by and said that anyone waiting to park hop had to go wait in that line. Here's where some kind of signage would have been helpful. So we moved over there and waited in that line. Many others showed up and the line grew pretty long. They then came over and moved the line back over to the waterside railing where we were before. Then around 2 they started feeding us through the temp check and let us head in. While all of this was happening, other guests were still able to enter Epcot, presumably because they weren't park hopping (or said that they weren't when the CM asked). Wed I tried it again, same park, same entryway. I got there a little later to avoid much of a wait. This time, they started bringing us in earlier. I checked my watch and it was 1:53pm when I was through the tapstile and in the park. So my guess was that tapping in would work from at least 10 minutes early, Thursday I tried park hopping at AK. Unlike Epcot, nobody was being held outside of the temp screening or security (presumably because at AK there's tons of room post security before you get to the tapstiles). There were a few people hanging out waiting to park hop but not that many, less than 10. So I put my prior knowledge to the test and tried to tap in at 1:50 and it worked, no issues. Didn't say I was park hopping, wasn't asked, just tapped in. Friday I put my last theory to the test. I was heading back to Beach Club from DHS for lunch, and was getting off the Skyliner around 1:50pm, so I figured I try it and see what happens. I headed towards Epcot and the CM asked if I was park hopping and I said no, and was allowed through. Was able to tap in and enter no problem and didn't have to stand in the giant line they had people in at Intl Gateway. So as of now, you can definitely get in 10 minutes prior to official park hopping start of 2pm, possibly earlier but I didn't test that. And it seems like their system of asking people if they are park hopping vs scanning a band is a bit flawed as the first time they did that, I immediately thought Well what if I said that I wasn't and just went in? I'm assuming they're only doing it to keep people from clogging up Intl Gateway but it seems like the easier thing would be to just start letting folks in if that big of a crowd is gathering. Probably not a big deal at all as most people are likely to answer honestly and wait to get in.

ImperfectPixieJan 14, 2021

My thoughts exactly.

Jrb1979Jan 14, 2021

They will be waiting a long time. Disney isn't going to start bringing a lot of these back that quickly.

ImperfectPixieJan 14, 2021

I know A LOT of people who are waiting until things are back to normal in the parks and resorts. They're chomping at the bit, but aren't willing to spend so much with so many things on hold.

Jrb1979Jan 14, 2021

I have feeling crowds will be low for awhile. The vaccine isn't going to fix the economy. The pent up demand doesn't exist outside of here.

HauntedPirateJan 14, 2021

Currently the same. Hoping crowds are lower than typical spring break levels. They weren’t too bad the 2nd week of March last year but who knows.

JohnDJan 14, 2021

This may explain why the monorail hasn't yet opened between the TTC and Epcot. But could. https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2021/01/13/photos-new-distancing-barriers-increase-monorail-capacity-in-disney-world/

SpoiledBlueMilkJan 04, 2021

Yeah - Still keeping the trip as questionable. I want to go, but like the Holidays we stayed put.

TinkerTaraJan 02, 2021

I am glad that park hopping is back. I look forward to utilizing it on my trip later this year.

surfsupdonJan 01, 2021

Did all Parks begin hopping at 2pm today?? Were some earlier, were any later??