How early should I be to RD FoP and go through the queue?

I just saw the video TP had on YT about RDing FoP before the park even opens. Although he got to ride the ride and get off before the park ever “officially” opened, he did miss the main queue line. I was wondering how early I would have to show up to not wait over an hour, but still be able to experience the FoP main queue?

So I don’t If the timing would always work but last summer we did RD but got to see the whole queue. We are at AK about 75 minutes before park opening. About 10 minutes later they opened the tapstiles. It was a stampede toward Pandora but we didn’t rush. They held us at the bridge. We were standing near the entrance to Tiffins. There were a few hundred people in front of us and it seemed like thousands behind us. About 15 minutes before park opening they started walking us towards the ride. By the time we reached FOP the FP line was full. I feel like we were some of first group of people into standby. We were able to see the entire queue and take lots of photos. It was about 9:50 that we were off the ride. So yes we did half to wait a while. By the time we got off the wait time was up to three hours. So overall I think it was totally worth it.

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Omg, that’s absolutely crazy! Did you go during EMH? Were you a resort guest? I’m staying offsite and will be driving a car there, so I am not sure how long it takes to get through the parking lot and all of that.

Sorry about the grammar in that reply (I did voice to text).
It was not an EMH day and we were resort guests, but I drove to the park. It was crazy and we did essentially spend two hours to experience FOP. But a chunk of the wait time was before park hours so we weren’t wasting lots of touring time. And there are two pre-shows and the ride itself which take time. Actually we did FOP a few weeks ago with a FP and it took 56 minutes before we were actually on our banshees.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I’m so excited to experience FoP! I’ve been trying to do some research to beat the lines and still make it to my FP+s but I’m trying to avoid as many spoilers as possible! You said you went last summer, so was it a peak time with more crowds?

My trip will be the very first week of May (1-4) and I am hoping that the crowds will be a little more tame. Wow, it took an hour for the two pre-shows? That’s making me nervous about missing my FP+s! The first one is from 9:40-10:40am. Do you think I’d be out before the FP expires? I plan on arriving maybe 1hr-45 minutes before the park officially opens.

It was crowded last summer when we went (and a few weeks ago since it was spring break). Your week of May should be better as far as crowds go. I think our experience with FP and FOP was unusual–most people report it taking a lot less time than we experienced. So I think you would be finished before your first FP. And you have a 15 minute grace period after your FP ends (ie 10:55 for yours). I would also mention that getting into the line just before park closing is another way to ride, see the queue and not waste park time. We actually did that the same day we did RD for FOP because we all loved the ride so much.

How long was the wait when you hopped in line right before the park closed? I know the touring plan on here recommended it but I didn’t want to take a risk of not being able to experience it at all!

Technically you can hop in line one minute before park closing. We typically don’t try to cut it that close though. We jumped in line about 20 minutes before park closing. The wait time listed was about 140 minutes I believe. We were off the ride 90 minutes after getting in line. And we walked through a nearly empty AK which was amazing.

Ooooh! I’m excited. I think I’ll try your plan out and try to get two rides in! How would you say the day time experience vs the night experience compared? I’m assuming the night time one was prettier and more “magical?” lol.

We rope dropped FOP twice last June. AK opening time last June was 8 am with 7 am EMH. One day we got to our bus stop at POP at 6:50 am (8am opening) We were at AK about 7:10 and to the turnstiles by 7:15, we were about 10-12 deep in line. We entered the park about 7:40 and were held outside of Pandora for just a few minutes and then let in the queue. We walked through the queue and didn’t slow down til we got inside the lab. We were off the ride by 8:15.

The other morning we didn’t get to AK til 7:30 and were much further back in line. Again, there was early entry and we were held for a bit before entry into Pandora. We were off the ride that day by 8:45.

We did try to do the 7am EMH one morning, but that didn’t go well, due to me forgetting my phone, oops. Instead of we walked on the River ride and did EE and then the safari.

We will have three AK days this August, I am hoping to get FOP at least two of the days. The ride is awesome!

Pandora is beautiful at night and in the daytime just in different ways. I think experiencing it at both times is a great plan.

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Absolutely! I would suggest going to Pandora at night even if you don’t ride any of the rides. It really is cool, my kids loved it.