FoP rope drop for EMH?

I’m getting conflicting information from the TP optimized plans, vs the anecdata I’ve seen online – I logged on to reserve our FP+s today, and Flight of Passage is already gone for the whole trip (curses!!). Would our best bet be to rope-drop FOP for the early magic hours? TP says no, but I’m wondering if this would be the only way to ride it without spending our whole day in line…

Anyone been there lately and have advice? Thanks in advance!

For whatever reason, touring plans data still not showing RD for FoP yet, but the common sense strategy is to RD it. Get to the AK gates at least an hour early because there will be a lot of people planning on hitting FoP at RD, too!

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Part of me does wonder that if to rope drop it you have to get there an hour early plus some wait on the ride, are you not just spending 60+ minutes in line anyway? How much different is that than just waiting 90 minutes during the middle of the day? Presuming of course it is not a real busy time of year and the lines won’t be way longer than 90 minutes.

Yes, waiting 60 minutes for rope drop is a time I couldn’t be riding anything else, but it is time standing in line and I likely needed to get everyone up extra early for as well which isn’t great.

Obviously FP of FoP is ideal, but I have been debating the merits of a 60 minute early rope drop vs. arriving closer to open and touring the rest of AK and then coming back to FoP and dealing with the standby queue then. It may be worth it to spend some time studying the past history of the FoP waits on Touring Plans for a “like day” to when you’re going to see if going at a certain might yield far better wait times than the 60+ minute pre-Rope Drop wait…

That’s a good point – waiting for 60 minutes for opening vs waiting in line. It just sounds like the lines are perpetually 90-120+ minutes. And I’m not sure my partner will want to stand for that long.

I guess I’ll keep searching for an FP, which is maybe possible (?)… hmm.

Would it be crazy for us to see other stuff just after rope drop, and then return to FoP later in the EMH, but before the park opens? Or am I way over-thinking this?

It’s certainly a personal preference. For me and my family who do not get to Disney except once every few years, getting as much done as possible is important to us. As we say in our family: We are on vacation…we can sleep when we get home!

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I’ve done the rope drop in July and thought the same thing

We queued on arrival at the park to get through security (that took 20 mins)

We queued to then get through turnstiles (that only took 5 mins)

We then queued to get to the left of th park towards pandora world (that took 10 mins)

We then tried to get to FOP asap (we weren’t allowed to run)

We then had to queue to join the real queue of FOP (that took 30 mins)

We then joined the real queue that said 60 mins (but only took 30 mins)

We arrived at the park at 7.40am (it was early opening for hotel guests at 8am that day) and due to the various queues we got on the ride at 9.15am

The argument other people give is that you still have a full day for the rest of the park which is of course valid

Ideally the best way to do FOP is with a fastpass and then you could enter AK just after opening once rope drop queues have gone and go and do the other rides whilst everyone storms pandora world

I really wouldn’t worry about navi river if it’s not easy to fit in - its good but not great. The queue for that ride was tedious and slow as well

You will rather do FOP twice or three times!!


I would also leave in the afternoon or evening when I was in another park or at my hotel simply to do FOP if a fastpass came up

Maybe tag on a meal in tiffins to make the journey even better

It’s that good you would consider going a second day to AK for a few hours just to do FOP again if there was no queue to face

Last week we RD FOP twice. Both days were EMH for AK. On the first day we were at AK at 6:30 am and on the second day we were there at 7am. The first time we were in the first 20 people and we were in the second group to ride. The second time we were first in line to ride. In both cases we went straight from FOP to Navi and were able to ride both by 8:20am. The other thing to keep in mind is both mornings we were riding FOP before 8am, they let us in early. I think RD FOP is absolutely the way to go. I know you have to get up early but it’s worth to us. It could mean anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes of extra time in the park.

We also rode FOP and Navi a third time. With a FP+ we waited over 30 minutes just for FOP and over an hour for Navi.


Thank you – this is very helpful!! It sounds like RD is the way to do it if we don’t want to spend a lot of time in line midday. We’re going in November, and we’re going to try for Animal Kingdom in the morning, and Hollywood Studios in the afternoon…

I haven’t been to Disney in over a decade, so I want to pack in ALL the things!

I think it is important to say that every minute later you get to the park in the morning will result in several minutes more wait time for FoP.

Yes, you may wait a fair amount of time pre-park to insure your in-park FoP wait is short, but if you get to the park after RD you are guaranteeing a posted FoP wait time of anywhere from 90 - 180 minutes. At least the RD wait is not wasting park time. (On our way in on line, as we walked past the FoP entrance at 8:11AM, the posted wait was already 90.)

I have a map on my post from beginning of August outlining how long everything took - Short version: we got to security at 7:20AM on EMH morning, stepped out of FoP at 9:03AM.

Going by other reports over the weeks since I believe our day was a little longer wait than usual, - but I think if you get to RD by 7AM on EMH and don’t get stuck in the middle of the pack walking into Pandora, you can get off much earlier than we did and then get in a NRJ ride with relatively little wait as well.

Here’s my post from my trip report with map:


@JJT – I’ve just gone back and read all your trip reports; they’re beyond delightful!! What a cute family you have.

And yeah, it really does sound like every minute counts, for getting to AK in the morning… I think I’d rather endure the morning waiting time over waiting-in-line time when we could be doing other things.

Is Flight of Passage really going to blow us away? Even if we haven’t seen Avatar? And after every Disney podcast I’ve listened to has RAVED about it? (I’m hoping I don’t have overblown expectations / I’m hoping I can convince my travel companion that it’ll be worth it to rise before dawn just to see this…)

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You know, it does get to the point where it is hard to not get wary when so many people rave about a ride - each of us in my family agree it is actually is one of the coolest rides we have ever gone on.

Design is spectacular, screen is too. All around terrific experience.

If I could say there is one slight complaint - while the pre-shows are designed well and help get you into the mindset of your riding a banshee, the acting science guy is just “OK”. But - really is not a complaint and I get why they had him as a little goofy-sciency.

Also, those pre-show not only extend the amount of time you feel like you are in-ride, but give you the insight about what is to happen. Knowledge of the movie is really not needed.

If you end up going through the regular and reportedly very cool standby line at RD (we were sent through the bare FPP line, but I looked at a lot of photos of standby line now), the only thing I would say it is good to know is that in the movie, bad guys had no thought for the environment or the native people. This ride takes place years after that when conservation is in swing and they are working with the Navi - so all of the things you will see are helping with a return to nature.

I think a good way to go into this is not whether it is crazy awesome - but whether you would regret not giving it a go. I think everyone agrees it is absolutely worth the early time invested. Plus, once you get off you will almost certainly still have the opportunity of a mostly low-wait rest of the park.

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FOP will blow you away

100 per cent no questions asked

It’s that good

I could do that ride every day for the rest of my life

Good luck on the ride designers trying to beat it

(plus we’ve never seen avatar)

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Are you saying it took an hour to get on Navi River Journey WITH a fastpass?! Yikes! I intended to fastpass that one later in the day, but now I’m wondering if we should just skip it. From what I’ve read, it’s not worth more than 30 minutes wait.

Great question & one we are interested in too. We have a trip in December & it’s not our FP time yet, but I’m not optimistic about getting 3 or 5 FoP FP’s. My current plan is to head straight there on EMH for AK during our trip. We have 5 kids in our group who are not big enough for FoP and we will have to utilize Rider Swap also. It’s going to be tough to get to AK so early in the AM with my group but I also think it would be really tough to send 3 adults into a 2 hour FoP line while the remaining 2 adults handle 5 kids for that amount of time, and then do RS once the first 3 are done. Honestly it sort of feels like there’s no “good” plan for FoP right now.

If you listen to podcasts, the Backside of Magic just had one about this very thing- searching FP the day of for FoP. If you don’t book a tier one, and leave a slot open, you may get one day of if you are looking in MDE at the right time. They seem to be strategically releasing some that way. They were particularly talking about FoP because of the wait times being consistently long.

We weren’t able to get a FP for our trip in November. Bummer! It’s a surprise trip for our kids and I know DS7 would LOVE this! We would need to rider swap this as DD4 isn’t tall enough but DH and I both want to ride.
I just don’t know if it’s feasible for DS7 to wait 60+ minutes in line. Right now, our TP says the wait would be 46 minutes but I try to mentally add an extra few minutes to everything :wink: If I just happen to get lucky and magically snag a FP, where does DH and DD4 wait? We’ve never done rider swap before so I wasn’t sure if they just stand to the side of the line or if there’s a more formal waiting area?
And any tips to get last minute FPs would be much appreciated!

With rider swap, everyone goes to the first CM, you tell them you’re swapping, and the adult not riding gets a ticket to come back. Usually it’s valid till the end of the month, but for FoP it may only be same day since it’s so popular. They can go and do something else, and use the pass when it’s convenient.

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