Getting into Parks before Official Opening Time

Long time user of TP, but first time poster here in the forums. A little background-my wife and I have been to WDW many times—we are High School Music Teachers, and once every 4 years we bring our groups down to perform there. More recently, we started to bring our own family as well-1st trip was summer 2017, then back in summer 2019, and like many people, had a trip planned for summer 2020, but pushed it back to July 2021 when Covid hit. Now that I’m wanting to start planning this trip, I’m really having trouble trying to schedule without the use of Fastpass. Also, we typically ropedrop everyday we go to the parks, but I’ve been reading a lot in this forum about people getting into the parks before opening. I’m trying to work that into my planning. If anyone would be willing to help, I’d like to lay out our schedule, and have you let me know if we could get in early any of these days given the type of transportation we would be using-and if so, how much we could get done. Here’s our sched-

Day 1-Arrive by plane from Iowa, Check into CBR, Go to Disney Springs

Day 2- Epcot by Skyliner (will this get us there before opening?)

Day 3- HS by Skyliner

Day 4- AK by Bus

Day 5-check out of CBR and go to Seaworld for the day-check into off site hotel

Day 6-Discovery Cove

Day 7- MK arriving by car from offsite hotel

Day 8-check out of hotel, arrive MK by car

Day 9-11-Beach time at Tampa, then fly home

Sorry for the long post, but again, just wondering if we would be able to get into the parks before opening on any of those 5 days and what we might be able to get done. We typically have spent more time at WDW, but starting small since not everything is back up yet and trying some new stuff instead. Thanks for the help!

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Congrats on your first post and welcome! I’m not much help in the planning/logistics department but you’re schedule sounds like so much fun and very similar to a trip i’m planning for early 2022. Following along for updates.

Welcome to the forums!

Currently, you can enter the parks 40-60 minutes early with ALL transportation methods available. Exact time can depend on the method and the specific park. July is a while off and things may change though.

Right now, the earliest group of rope droppers are finishing 2 headliners before official park open time. With larger crowds in the summer, it may affect transportation and arrival time more.

When you make your touring plans, punch in the start time to 30 minutes before official park open. This gets you closer to reality. People have been using earlier dates temporarily in their TP’s, because WDW has only been extending hours with a couple weeks notice.

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Welcome. I will give you my experience today. I walked to HS from BW at 7:30. We were let into HS at 8:15. Went directly to MMRR. It was already running so it was a walk on. From there went to SDD and waited 10 minutes. From there we went to TSM, 5 minute wait…got off at 9:03.

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Only caveat with the above is it will only work out this way if you go directly to MMRR and it is running when you get there. If you have to wait you will only be able to do SDD or TSM.

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Jtowns-Thanks for the welcome! Our cancelled trip would have been 9 days at Disney, then some time at the gulf side beaches, so we’re trying some different things on this one since Disney is not back full force yet.

Others-also thanks for the welcome! So, is the Disney transportation all running early enough to get us there well before official park opening? Also, I’ve read about cars being held at the entrance. On the days that we drive, will we be able to get into the parks as early? With my former Touring Plans, scheduling always seemed to revolve around getting fastpasses for headliners. Now it seems it will be which headliners you can get done before the park opens.

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Yes

Yes, close to the same time as Disney transport, but currently walkers have the greatest advantage and arrive at the temp check/security line first. (HS, EP, MK)

Did you do RNRC or ToT or MFSR? If so, what was the wait like? Thanks for the good intel.

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On our last trip to the World, my kids weren’t too impressed with SDD, especially since it had just opened and the hype was huge. Any chance we could do MMRR, and then get ToT or RNRC or both?

No, we rode Rise, saw Frozen show and did Star tours. Then left for lunch. I don’t recall the exact wait times for TOT and R&R. But I believe they were less than an hour. Falcon wait was 55 mins. Plan is to go back this evening

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Absolutely can get one done, especially if you are towards the front of the pack when the gates open. I would do TOT first then see what the wait is for R&R.

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Thank you all for the input. Planning seems much less daunting if I know I can get at least one headliner in before the parks open. Of course, as bebe80 said, July is a long time away, so there might be a lot of changes by then.

I would go for TOT in the morning. You are more likely to get a lower wait time for R&R later in the day

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TP lines app certainly agrees–ToT wait times seem to get longer and longer at the days go on.

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Hopping in here because I’m in a similar boat. I’m staying at the DS Holiday (just in case some benefit pops up that I need to take advantage of). I want to walk into the parks because I’ve read that gets the most advantage. My plan for HS & EP is to Uber to either BW or swan and then walk over. My plan for MK is to Uber to GF or CR and do the same.

I’ve heard about the need for a mobile order at CR and GF so will plan accordingly there. Anyone done the boardwalk area? Have people had seamless success in both locations?

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So did you leave BW at 7:30 or you were at HS gates at 7:30? I know I still have a year before my trip, it’s just so much fun to plan!

We left at 7:30. There may have been maybe 6 other groups there. You line up kind of where the skyliner station ends. They hold you there till a little before 8. Then they walk you down and line you up for the temp screening before the people on the skyliner arrive. At least now they are opening up at 8:15.

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thank you @galuchies, this helps a lot!