DHS Rope Drop Strategy

I have been to the parks a dozen times and have RD’d at HS many of those trips and never have I RD’d Rise due to its unreliability. I almost always go the ILL route.

Once, in November of '22 with my DS, we failed to secure an ILL for Rise and got in the SB line around 7 pm or so (around the time everyone was booking it to Fantasmic - it had recently reopened for the first time since COVID) and we had a pretty minimal wait. I was pleasantly surprised.

I tend to spring for LL and ILL in HS. Just less stressful.

I have RD’d Slinky many times, and have even done it solo with my 4 kids who were 10, 8, 6, and 4 at the time. It’s stressful, but doable - especially if you are at the front of the pack.

I would try to RD Toy Story Land. If you are at the front of the pack you can knock out Slinky, TSM, and AS2 pretty quickly. I’d try to get your first LL for MSFR and head there after TSL. Get an ILL for Rise whenever you can and then work through the remaining attractions throughout the day.


We’ve tried it both ways. We were at the front of the turnstyles both times. RD SDD was very successful for us with a mid morning ILL for Rise. When we tried to RD Rise it was delayed opening and it messed up our plan a bit.


Just to throw another idea out there … if it fits in your budget, purchase ILL for Rise in addition to G+.

Kids ages 6 and 11 would likely love TSM.

Get first LL for SDD, Get ILL for Rise and RD TSM (and then ride a second time later in the day with LL). RD line should be much less for TSM than SDD or Rise.


Thanks Everyone,

I appreciate the feedback and will definitely be changing the plan and RD TSM, and get the ILL for ROR.

It is going to be our first park too, so if we can avoid the stress and hopefully just let people enjoy it, that’s probably the best plan.


Your post is making me question if it would be better to rope drop HS or instead to stack LL for the evening around 4:30 since I will be there in the evening for Fantasmic. Either way I will buy a ILL for rise. My only must dos are Slinky, TOT, Rise and MMRR. What does everyone think is a better strategy?

HS is stressful because it has so many e-ticket rides! But I have been able to do it all!

Do you have EE? If you don’t, you will be way behind for RD!

If BG1 is still running, you should be able to get the first slot for Genie+, which I would suggest SDD.

Did you look at this for priority for Genie+? The Genie Thread! All WDW Info Here

Ignore the Tiers. Combine the Tiers and customize the attractions to fit your family.

I agree with not RDing RISE. It is often down, like others have said. I suggest RDing TSM during EE. You should have time to do TSM twice, during EE, if you want (You can still book a TSS LL later in the day!). Or go to ASS. Redeem SDD LL and book your next LL. This should get all the rides in Toystory Land done within an hour after park opening. I’ve done it like this on two different trips, with different travel companions who had to do it all. We got in all the rides, a couple of shows, a QS, a TS with Fantasmic Dining Package, tons of PhotoPass stops, character meet and greets, shopping, and snacks.

For RISE, an ILL helps. But, if there are two Fantasmic showings, you could watch the first showing of Fantasmic and hop in line a couple of minutes before park closing for RISE without paying for ILL or waiting in line forever!


There’s already tons of good advice here. I agree that ILL or hopping in line at the end of the day for Rise is a better strategy then rope dropping it (ILL being the more reliable option - if it’s a must do for you and you have no back-up day, the end of the day plan is risky in case it goes down late and doesn’t come back up).

I’ve rope dropped Slinky once and it’s doable but a bit stressful as to you really want to be front of the pack/at security nearly 1hr before park open to ensure minimal wait time. If you are not getting G+ then it’s still worth going, but since G+ is so helpful for so many DHS rides (wait times are high for virtually all attractions in the middle of the day) I think it’s almost always worth budgeting for it. Then with G+, it’s much more enjoyable to arrive at the park at a more leisurely pace right around the time of EE and rope drop a second tier attraction like TSMM or MMRR (depending on crowd levels you could potentially knock out MMRR first and still have very minimal wait for TSMM, then ride ASS).

As @stlouie says, by using BG1 (you can find info about this in the La Cava section of the forum), you can easily get an early morning LL for Slinky, tap into that after you’ve finished the rest of Toy Story Land, and then grab LLs for everything else (ToT, RRnR, MSFR and MMRR if you didn’t manage to do that at rope drop). You don’t really need it for shows (though for some shoes like Frozen it’ll likely get you better seats than the regular line).

Hope you have a great time!

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This is what we did! We were middle of the pack, RD TSM and we’re able to ride twice before EE ended.

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Your suggestion was exactly what my family did on our last trip. We rope dropped MMRR, then went directly to TSM which was still a walk on.

We’re not SDD fans, so we used our first Genie+ on MFSR, and rode ROTR with ILL-was very smooth MMRR to Toy Story Land, to Star Wars Land.

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I prefer stacking for HS and arriving later, but 4:30 pm sounds a little late given the time you will spend at Fantasmic. Rise can take some time from start to finish even with ILL. And you probably want some time for dinner too. Can you get to HS 3:30 pm?

I didn’t think this was a thing :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input. This will be in May. Not sure what time Fantasmic is then. My guess is 9? We could probably get there at 3:30. We are either going straight there from AK or taking a mid day break at the hotel. I’m glad you said stacking because I think I want to rope drop MK the morning that would otherwise be HS.

Me either! But my BFF is not a fan. I’m booking us a LL anyway and I’ll steal her magic band and ride twice while she has a beverage. Win win🙂

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I’m not sure about the time in May. I would guess 8:30 pm. When I was in WDW in May 2022, Fantasmic wasn’t back yet. We stacked HS twice that trip with lots of success getting LLs.

We saw Fantasmic on our October 2023 trip. We loved the show (and the updates worked well). I think the show time was 8:30 pm, but we arrived at the theater around 7:45 pm.

MK is a great park to RD.

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Does anyone else feel frustrated with the HS rope drop options?

Riding RotR is very important to some of the members of our group. We are rope drop people and would happily be there early to ride it, but as has been mentioned above that is not a wise move due to it being down so often at rope drop. I know the most popular suggestion is to purchase an ILL to ride it instead, but we are a party of 6 and the reported average ILL cost is $22. Even if I have $132 to blow, that just seems like an absurd amount of money to spend for one single ride.

Am I the only one that feels like that’s crazy?

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You’re not alone! Becky from TP mentioned in a HS rope drop article last year that if the main gates open 15 minutes or more before early entry, it’s likely that Rise is open. If main gates open 5-10 minutes before EE, Rise is likely down and best to go elsewhere.
If it’s a priority (which it is for me), and you’re willing to be early to rise (pun!), do it!


We (family of 4) think of the Rise ILL cost in terms of paying for time savings and the convenience of picking a time rather than the cost of 1 ride. Essentially, we think of how our entire day looks with the ILL compared to not having the ILL.

DW and I justify the ILL cost in our minds that way.

Because … yes, thinking of the ILL cost as being for 1 ride is crazy :slight_smile:


We were in the parks the week after Christmas, 2022 and successfully rope-dropped RotR twice without any issues. Didn’t even really occur to me that it could be down first thing in the morning.

We’ll be back this spring break and my current plan is to go straight to RotR, but quickly run over to MMRR or TSM if it’s down, then hurry to try and snag an ILL for it while in the other queue. Looking at ThrillData, there appears to be availability into the evening around rope drop time.

Anyone have any experience doing something similar? I’m not aware of a place to search for specific days when RotR is down first thing, so I can’t really compare TD times for the same days; there’s a solid change that the days that it’s down first thing, it also sells out quicker in ILL.

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if you look on the TD ride data page for RotR, the wait time heat map kinda shows when it’s down (or at least something is wrong with the data feed). would have to cross-check with ETPE times, but you would be able to see when it’s down at the beginning and then cross-check THAT with the $LL info. Also, sometimes CMs know. and/or I have read on the internet (lol) that your plan to swing by Rise but then quickly head elsewhere if needed is typically fairly successful – not sure about spring break crowds though.

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Just wanted to thank everyone on this tread for their advice. We were there last week and were about mid pack for the EE RD. We went to MMRR and were in the second group to go through the show, then went and had a less than 5 minute wait for TSM, and then rode Alien Saucers twice. At that point we went straight to our LL at 9:15 for Slinkey Dog which was already up to a 60 minute by the time we got to toy story land, and then went straight to our ILL at ROTR. It worked out perfect and gave the kids time to explore the different lands rather than feeling like we were racing.

I appreciate the advice, it definitely made for a better day for us.