HS COVID Rope Drop Timing and Strategy

Hi All! We are visiting WDW in early January and staying off property. Already got the great idea (thank you Dreamer!) of making an early morning breakfast reservation at Disney BW, parking there, and walking to HS from there. Was wondering: what time should we arrive for a 10am park opening? I’ve heard it opens as early as 9am. So around 8:45ish? Earlier? Also, I was thinking of Heading to Smuggler’s Run straight away and then exiting SWGE to head to Slinky Dog. Does this seem like a reasonable strategy? Will SR be open straight away? Other ideas for COVID ‘rope drop’ strategy at HS? Thank you!


I would plan to be there by 8:45 for a 10 opening. We arrived around 8:55 and I wished we had been there 10-15 minutes earlier.


I would definitely plan on SDD before smuggler’s run. SDD builds quickly and stays long all day. MF:SR we rode back to back with less than a 15 min wait both times after riding MMRR. The wait for MFSR builds slower and will also lower quite a bit more than SDD at nights.

As for what time to get there… our first HS day, we intentionally rope dropped. Our second day, we accidentally rope dropped because we thought it opened at 9:00 and it actually opened at 10:00. And the second day only put us 2-3 minutes behind the first day, but with a half hour less of waiting before park opened (it opened 45 minutes before official open when we rope dropped on purpose, and 50 minutes before official open when we rope dropped on accident)

It’s not a very popular idea, but as long as you get there before the unofficial open, I believe you’ll be all set.


I agree with @Broph1988. Do SDD before MFSR. We did MMRR before MFSR on our HS day a couple weeks ago and were done with both by 10:07.


Thanks so much for your reply Broph1988! I was worried about going to SDD and then having to walk all the way back around to the entrance of SWSE. Do you know if we can enter SWSE from what is marked as the ‘exit’ on the map? This would obviously save a lot of walking time to go straight from SDD down through the exit to MFSR. Did you do MMRR 1st on both days? Would you recommend this BEFORE SDD, or instead of SDD? Thank you again for all your help!

You can get into SWGE from both directions now. The walk from SDD to MFSR is easy that way.
We did MMRR first on one day, and SDD first on the next HS day. If you only have one day and you can rope drop open to close, I would do SDD then MFSR then hit MMRR near park close. Definitely SDD or MMRR, not both, at park open.


Does anyone know what time Hollywood Studios began letting people in today (Sunday, December 6)? I believe that today was the first 9:00 AM official opening of the season. Wondering how/if that affected rope drop.

It opened at 9 AM on 11/15 and they opened temp check/security at 8:15