Plan to be at AK on September 28. No Fastpasses are available for FOP. Touring plan says go later in the day with a predicted 90 minute wait. My instinct says to head there first after RD. Any thoughts?
It is hard to say without a full view of the plan. But it isn’t trying to save you the most waiting time on any given ride, but the most wait time all around. So, waiting only 60 minutes at the start of day might push back everything else enough that you end up adding MORE than 30 minutes of cumulative wait time for several other rides. But if you wait 90 minutes for FOP later, you get to ride several OTHER rides at shorter wait times.
ETA: To quote A Beautiful Mind: “What if NO ONE chooses the blonde?”
I would recommend RD but a really really early RD, with luck you’ll be on and off in 15 minutes!
We were there in April with no FP for FOP. We arrived at AK around 8:15 for a 9am opening. They were letting everyone in early and were gradually letting the crowds back toward Pandora. Once the park opened, they established the line outside of the ride. From here we waited about another 45 min. Completely finished (gift shop and all) before 10am. Later in the day, the line was down to 75 min so the kids and I went again. I would do either wait again! totally worth it! I will say that the later in the day wait was more enjoyable because it was inside the ride area rather than outside. Definitely something to see.
I see that you are going on a CL 3 day? If you are ok with an early morning I would say that you should RD it for sure. We did this just this past week and did work well for us. We got to the park at 8 for 9 open. I would say that if you can you should get there by 7:30 if possible. We did have a FP at 12 and then we also got in line for it again right before closing. It is amazing!
So…not only be at RD, but be one of the first at RD? I’m guessing by your replies that getting there before 9:00 RD doesn’t put you on a level playing field with those arriving at 7:30.
I may need to re-think RD.
Absolutely correct. If you arrive at 8:45 for a 9:00 rope drop, you will be behind a significant mass of people.
Just back from two weeks at DW. We RD AK four times. They started letting us through the tapstiles anywhere from 8:15-8:30. If it was earlier than 8:30 we were held at the entrance to Pandora til about 8:30. We never rode FOP first thing because we had 4 FPs, but we did do Navi twice. The mass in front was not as bad as last year, if I was going to RD FOP, I would plan on being at AK no later than 8am. Even when we got there right before they opened the tapstiles, we weren’t backed up to the ticket booths.
It seems to me the RD didn’t really pay off. You waited 45 minutes before being let into the park/Pandora line (8:15 to 9:00). Then you waited 45 minutes in the Pandora line. That means you waited 90 minutes to ride FOP, versus just waiting until later in the day, when you would have waited 75 minutes.
What if you arrived to the gates at closer to 9:00, and once you got in, went to something like EE, etc, where the wait for the ride would be minimal. Then do Dinosaur, etc. You’d get in multiple rides in the time it took to wait for FOP. Then, later, when you get in line for FOP your TOTAL wait time is ultimately less.
There is some dubious math here. Security check plus ticket scan can easily be 15 minutes once park opens. Plus even if you are not RD FOP you still need to get at least 20 minutes (past the gate) to maximize all other attractions.
You are probably adding 20 minutes of true additional wait time not 75 minutes.
The rule still applies. RD always pays off.
I agree with that. But I’m talking about this specific scenario here. And this lines up with the advice that TPs itself is giving.
It fundamentally becomes wiser (sometimes) to hit up other rides while a LOT of people are busy waiting for the popular ride at RD. Later, you may wait longer for that particular ride, but you’ll save far more time getting other rides out of the way with much shorter waits.
In other words, getting the shortest wait for one particular ride doesn’t mean you’ll spend less time in lines overall for the day.
I’ll follow up with an example of how I tend to hit Cedar Point.
Most people who go to Cedar Point will either hit the FIRST rides they see, or run to the MOST POPULAR rides first. I supposed if you’re REALLY fast, this pays off, but for most people by the time you hit, say, Millennium Force, the wait is already to about 45 minutes. While you are in line, the crowds continue to pour in and soon more of the rides you want to hit have longer lines.
What we tend to do is actually hit the LESS popular coasters first, starting about halfway back. Hit Magnum (often two or three times), Corkscrew, Gemini, Mine Ride all within the first 15 minutes or so, then start to hit one of the more popular rides where the line is now longer (which we would have hit longer anyhow if we had hit MF early). All said, doing it this way ultimately saves us total time in the lines. As we make our way back to the front, now more people who hit the front rides first are heading toward the back. The front ride lines are decent/average, etc. Yes it is true that the MOST popular rides we will have longer lines for…but at this point, we have already knocked out a good majority of the coasters.
The same principal applies here, kind of.
I don’t really count the time prior to RD since we would’nt be able to do anything else during that time anyway. I had been watching the lines the weeks prior to our visit and at times the wait for FOP was a 3 hours. I didn’t want to chance it. Catching the 75 minute wait later in the day was luck, and we were able to do everything else with minimal wait time.
For sure! There was a huge crowd already there when we arrived at 8:15
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc3E4QhOgCg. Check it out! I love this video. Using this for our RD FOP,since we weren’t able to get fpps either,for October.
I figure if this plan worked in April, should work very well in October, with ride not quite as new and low crowd levels that week.
Oops, correction. Video done last November,so even better- since I’d guess crowds a bit lower, ride not quite so new.
I’m not sure you can count on the 75 minute wait later in the day. I’m still convinced we stumbled upon a miracle there. (It was back up to 120 when we exited the ride) We took the chance with RD because I was unable to get a FP and FOP was priority one for this day.
Did RD last Friday… arrived at 7:40 and took me no longer than 5-10 minutes. Before 9AM both my wife and I had done it with riders switch. On the other hand… it’s Saturday and I just completed with a 65 minute wait (90min posted). Now the wife is riding with riders switch. The line went by pretty fast for a 1hour line and I hate lines… plus I got to see the “drowning avatar” which I couldn’t when RDed.
I would suggeest RD always but if you can’t or it’s a EMH day as it is today Try hitting it when it’s close to 1h wait. It won’t get any lower than that.
I’ve done RD twice in the past few weeks. Can confirm that as long as you are scanning in at the gates by 7:45 the max wait you will have is 15-20 min.
And after that line will grow exponentially. So if you plan to arrive after 8am try arriving before 7:45. It pays off. On the other hand if for some reason you can’t arrive before that and reaches the park closer to 9am (you know… kids). Just relax and do the other attractions. You will get the safari, Everest and many other pretty much with zero wait