I was wondering if anyone has done AK / FOP at rope drop for a 9 AM, non FP+, non EMH day. If so, did you arrive the recommended 1+ hour ahead of opening? We are headed down to WDW next month. Thanks for any info.
Absolutely arrive as early as possible! An arrival of a hour before RD will put you closer to the front of the queue. You’ll still have a decent wait at FOP - in my experience at least 30 - 40 minutes. However, the queue quickly rockets up to 2 - 3+ hours by 10am. So, IMHO, it’s worth waiting an hour or so for RD to save time overall.
If you are going to be in AK all day you can hop on right before close and usually the queue is about a hour - if interested.
Not super recently, but January. 90 minutes before 9AM opening got me less than 10 minutes in line. I was off before opening.
We did it in March - 13th to be exact and through our spring break.
We arrived in the parking lot at 7:38 (I looked at the clock to report back to you all). We were by no means the first in the lot and in fact were already in to the next lot. It was filling up quickly. We got to the gates, I went through bag check and we were standing by the ticket sales. At 8am, they let us through the tapstiles, but not into the park. At 8:10ish, we started walking through to Pandora. We were held at Pandora until around 8:30 and then walked the whole way through the future line up. We were done the ride by 9:15.