Ideal rope drop times for each park?

I’m not seeing recent posts about this topic, but apologies if I missed something obvious. What is the rule of thumb for when to arrive at each park if you want to rope drop? We’re staying at Poly and can do the early entry arrival (and we have a car that we’re thinking of using for AK and HS). I haven’t been to WDW since the mid 90s so it’s like learning a whole new language getting ready for this trip.

Our goal is to not purchase ILLs for the top attractions at each park; however, we will do Genie+ for MK and HS.

For Epcot - the only ILL is Gaurdians, so super early rope drop doesn’t help. In that case I would arrive around when the taps open - 30 mins beofre EE , others would probably suggest 45 mins.

For AK, MK, and HS you really need to be at the front of the gates when the taps open. That usually means at least an hour before EE, maybe more for MK.


If you want to hit GOTG or Tron, you will need a boarding group AND a park reservation for that park if you aren’t paying for ILL. You need to get your BG at 7am, and rope drop won’t really help you here.


Thanks. We do want to ride both GOTG and Tron, so we’ll plan to do the 7am boarding group reservation thing. Do I need to have Genie+ in order to reserve a boarding group? We will for MK but wasn’t planning on it for Epcot.

Thanks! Dummy question here – what are the taps? Is that the first entry point into the park?

No. Genie+ is only used for the regular LL. Not for the $ILL that you pay for, nor for boarding groups.

Great, thanks!

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Boarding groups are FREEEEEEEEEE :tada:


There are a few different types of taps.

The first is when you enter the park - you scan your ticket, press your finger print and enter into the park.

The second is when entering an attraction through a LL or ILL (or boarding group, I think) and you tap your LL when you enter to show that you booked it and are “qualified” to enter.

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If you have magic bands, you will “tap” to enter using the band. If you are using your phone, you will tap the phone.

I had a magic band and found it to be very convenient if you are an LL user.


Thanks for explaining :slight_smile: We do have MagicBand+ for each person for this trip.

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Just make sure to remember which finger you use the first time because you will need the same one each time you enter a park.

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Taps is short for tapstile, the Disney version of a turnstile. Nothing turns, you just tap your admission media to the touchpoint (Mickey head) and walk past - as described by @NervousRex . I just wanted to explain the origin of the word.


And typically the taps open 30 mins before the park opens for EE.

So there are four possible lines if you get there before open.

  1. security (which may or may not have a line)
  2. turnstyles to scan your ticket and get in
    3)the “rope” to get into the land (for those premium rides - FOP, 7DMT, ROTR you want to be near the rope)
  3. the ride itself

At 1-3 always be looking for lines or lanes opening up.if you are a little bit back.


Parking lot for HS and AK open an hour before EE. They will not let you line up to wait for opening at HS. You will need to go around or wait like at the gas station or McD’s. MK parking lot opens around 90 minutes before EE.

Use BG1, when using Genie+ and Virtual Queue!

When we went in February, CMs for HS allowed us to wait for EE at the entrance of the ride. We got onto TSM a few minutes early. We rode TSM twice and ASS during EE.

MK held us at the entrance to the lands and we were lead to the rides at the start of the EE time. We rode SM and Buzz during EE.

Since you are staying at a Deluxe Resort, do take advantage of Extended Evenings Hours, if they are available for you during your stay. I have heard they are like walk ons!

I find it really helpful to read a few recent trip reports to see how things are going on the ground before my trip.

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We always try to get the first bus. It’s generally around 6.30-7.

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If you are staying at the Poly let me suggest you use the walking path (if it’s open right now-the new disgusting looking Poly DVC box might have it shut down) that goes past the Grand Floridian to get to the MK gates. We get there before security starts letting folks up to the taps. It will get you to the far left-side and nobody is there. We are there about 25-30 minutes prior. Then you are up Main Street-and off to where you want to go.

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If you are paying for Geni+ & LL then go all out-get yourself an Uber over to the Swolphin and use the walking path up to the HS or the International Gateway at Epcot. It’s well worth it.

Sometimes they will let the Uber drivers through the gates and drop you off too.

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