HS Morning or Afternoon (not riding RotR)

My wife and two children (ages 4 and 2) are going to WDW in the beginning of May. We are planning on spending one day at HS and trying decide if we should rope drop or head over in the afternoon (possibly hop from another park or spend time at the pool). The crowd level for the day I have a park reservation is currently at a 2 and the hours are 10:00am - 7:00pm.

The only headline rides we are interested in riding are MMRR, and possibly SDD.

I’ve been tracking wait times and it seems those ride times dip closer to park close.

We will be doing everything else a 2 and 4 year would like in HS.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.



Just curious, do you have toy story lovers? Both of my sons (2 and 6) LOVE Toy Story Mania and could literally ride it all day if possible. My older son could ride AS2 many times as well.
The last trip we took was in July when crowds were virtually nonexistent, so I don’t have a gauge on how quickly you can get things done now. If it was me, I’d head over in the morning and do everything I wanted with a plan to take a mid-day break for naps, then either hop to another park or pool afterward. But my crew are early birds, so packing the mornings as full as possible is the best bet for us.

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I was at HS two days last week and wait times dropped significantly after 2pm. Probably not the best idea anyway to get your young kids up early just to rope drop SDD. (Hours will change to 9am or earlier)


I think it greatly depends on your kids’ default sleeping / waking hours. If they are up super early and crash in the afternoon, go in the morning. If they are late risers and reach peak energy in the afternoon, I’d go in the afternoon. You will be able to find decent waits either early in the morning or at park close, and occasionally in the afternoon depending on how busy the parks are in general.

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We drove and RD: did both MMRR and SDD before official opening. Can’t park hop until 2 though (although I’ve hopped closer to 1 b4 successfully) So maybe hopping into HS in the afternoon would be better?

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This. My 5 and 2 year old are up and ready to go by 7am every day. I hate the parks (and pools) open so late at WDW for my crew. Who are both in bed by 8pm. So for us, we’re Rope Dropping MMRR and TSM and AS2 (DD doesn’t like coasters). We’re also there early May!


Thanks everyone for the quick input!

It seems like neither is a bad plan.

Anyone have any experience with the bus to HS from a Disney resort and how early you can get to a park before official opening?

Uber is not an option as we need two car seats. I wish the Minnie Vans were still a thing… We loved them

We are a mostly early morning family as well, but with a nap our kids could stay in the park until 8:00.

It bums me out that HS opens at 10:00am when we are planning to go (maybe this will change)

I’m leaning towards pool or a shorter morning at MK, rest a bit, and then head to HS in the afternoon. I would just be bummed if they were at capacity when we wanted to go, and couldn’t hop.

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I’m curious to hear others thoughts on bus timing for RD as well. Doing Disney in late April, staying at AOA and wondering how early to take the bus for RD to all the parks.

I would try to get to the bus stop by like 8:30am for a 10am opening. You will want to be a the tapstiles at least 45 minutes before official park opening, so you want to arrive at temperature check / security like 60 minutes before.

Bus service is hard to pin down, but sometimes they do have the app showing times for the next bus. I’ve seen many reports of people making rope drop by bus, so it is possible…

I will be waiting for your trip reports @Neibert12 and @ozziecrew555. We are taking our grandDs ages 2 and 4 mid May. staying @ AoA. Right now my plan day1: rd MK Fantasyland / tomorrowland / cavalcades. Although the big kids (my DD & SiL) think they are going to do all the mountains too. back to AoA for pool/nap, then check out HS around 3 to get a feel for the layout and do frozen sing and jr dance party. (I haven’t been to HS since it was MGM). I have park res for HS on day 2 hopefully rd MMRR and maybe SDD. But if we get those done in day 1, we have option of returning or getting res for another park hopefully. Day 3 is open . Day 4: AK right now. Also we plan to hop to Epcot late afternoon to ride frozen and have dinner each park day.

Good thoughts. Thanks. 1.5 hour lead time on busses is good to know. Any sense of skyliner from AOA to DHS? Similar timing?

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Just paging @ChooseJoy since she said she was on the first bus from CSR to HS this morning and was through the tapstiles at 8:18am. What time did you go to the bus stop and how long did you wait for the bus?

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We were there last week with my 5 and 3 year old. Both have been on RotR and MFSR on past trips and have no interest in these rides. We ended up rope dropping MK by bus three of our six mornings as I feel this gives you the best bang for your rope-dropping-buck. We stayed at CS this last trip and were sure to be at the bus stop by 90 minutes prior to park open to assure we got on the first bus. We would leave MK by noon or one to go back to the hotel to swim. We then would head over to HS for the last two or so hours before closing and ride MMRR and all the toy story rides with minimal waits (usually went on SDD and/or MMRR twice). So glad park hopping is back. We rope dropped HS during our Sept and Dec, trips, walking from BCV and BWV respectively. but even being toward the front of the rope dropping walker line for HS those trips meant the either MMRR or SDD was a (near) walk on but then the waits for everything else built so fast that we would do the cars show or just wander and get a snack and then head out by 11 am.

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I’m a newbie when it comes to resort buses, so I didn’t really know how early I should queue up. So after failing to get a RotR BG at 7am (not that I’m bitter or anything :laughing:) I grabbed a coffee and went straight to the bus stop.

I was third in line at the bus stop at 7:20. First bus arrived at 7:55, by which time there were a lot more people lined up behind me (pretty sure they didn’t all make it on that first HS bus). Pulled up at HS at 8:06, made a quick detour to use the bathroom (pre-temp check and security), and then got distracted by taking pictures of palm trees :roll_eyes:, which is why I didn’t tap in until 8:18.

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This was for an official opening time of 9am, btw.