Disney World has been on a hot streak this year announcing guest-friendly policies. From bringing back free resort parking to the return of the Disney Dining Plan, it’s been clear that WDW is hearing fan feedback. Arguably, the most welcome bit of news was the elimination of Park Pass Reservations for date-based tickets in 2024. However, Disney World fans have been wondering if Disney also had plans to get rid of the new Park Hopping rules that were introduced in 2020. Will Disney World be keeping the 2 PM Park Hopping rule in 2024?

Well, the train of good news just came to a big halt, because the answer is a disappointing no. Disney just updated their website to clarify how Park Hopping will work in 2024.

Here’s what it will mean for your vacation.

The COVID-Era Park Hopping Rule

Disney World Turnstile

As many of you will remember, after the COVID closure, Disney World reopened with some new rules to help manage reduced capacity. Among these were the introduction of Park Pass Reservations and only allowing Park Hopping (switching parks) after 2 PM. Both of these policies made sense at the time, but as Disney World has returned almost everything in the parks back to “normal,” they’ve just become pain points for your average Disney World guest.

That’s why WDW fans were so happy to hear that Park Pass Reservations will not be required for most tickets. When you also consider that Annual Passholders can now enter the parks without a reservation after 2 PM (with one exception), it seems that the Park Pass Reservation system is being phased out for most guests.

Despite our hopes for full a pre-pandemic restoration, Park Hopping isn’t getting back its morning routine just yet. Disney will be keeping the 2 PM Park Hopping rule.

How Park Hopping Will Work in 2024

Spaceship Earth - EPCOT - Walt Disney WorldDisney World will keep the same Park Hopping policy that they introduced in 2020. Here’s Disney World’s stated policy:

“Beginning January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets. After Guests enter the first park, Guests will be able to visit the next park starting at 2:00 PM until each park’s regularly scheduled closure.”

There is one major way that Park Hopping will be better for most guests in 2024. With the current Park Hopping rules, you would always have to go to the park that you have a reservation for first before you could Park Hop, even if it’s after 2 PM. For most of the time, this wouldn’t be an issue.

However, it was a huge pain if your plans went awry. Imagine this scenario: You have a Magic Kingdom park reservation and you’re planning on Park Hopping to EPCOT for your insanely hard-to-get dinner reservation at Space 220. However, your morning plans go haywire — somebody’s sick, or you oversleep, or you decided you just want to relax and enjoy your resort pool instead of doing MK that morning. Well, before you can go into EPCOT for your coveted ADR, you would first need to make your way to Magic Kingdom, tap your Magic Band at the turnstile, and then turn around and go to EPCOT.

This scenario is eliminated without Park Pass Reservations. For guests with date-based tickets and Annual Passholders who can enter the parks after 2 PM without a reservation anyway, they won’t have to worry about this scenario.

However, for guests with non-date based tickets, this is still a possibility.

Guide2WDW’s Take

Hollywood Studios Entrance with Low Crowds - Disney World

The last few paragraphs make me really wish for a full bounce back to the good old unrestricted park-hopping days. Disney World added a lot of complexity when they added Park Pass Reservations and Park Hopping Rules in 2020. Now that they are eliminating most of it, but not all of it, it’s actually more complicated. You need a matrix or flow chart to see what rules apply to your ticket.

Still, it’s disappointing that Disney World continues this COVID-era policy while Disneyland is loosening up its Park Hopping rules by moving up the time to 11 am. Does this benefit the guest? Hard to see how. It simply adds more complexity to your Disney World vacation, and Disney World successfully operated for decades without these policies.

But don’t let this news get you down. Guide2WDW is here to help you navigate the magical, albeit sometimes complex, world of Disney. Be it understanding these new rules or finding the best places for that Mickey-shaped snack, our free Disney World Guides are here to simplify your Disney vacation experience.

Stay tuned for more updates and don’t forget to check out our hundreds of expert Disney World tips before you plan your next trip.

Let me know in the comments: What do you think about Disney World keeping the 2 PM Park Hopping Rule?