International Gateway Rope Drop

I’m making a touring plan for EPCOT (July 8) and I’ve noticed something different this time around. Whenever I choose International Gateway as a starting point, the software tells me to start my day at Spaceship Earth instead of going straight to Soarin, which seems unusual. If I choose Main gate, I’m advised to go to Soarin first.

I have a fastpass for Spaceship Earth later in the day (and Frozen and Nemo) but the plan suggests I do Soarin 3rd, after Spaceship Earth and then Living with the Land. I’ve almost always toured by going first to Soarin and then to Land, and then on to the rest of my day, catching Spaceship Earth later in the day.

I realize that Spaceship Earth lines don’t die down like they used to, so I often use my 2nd or 3rd FP for that attraction (like everyone else, which is why they don’t die down any more…), but it still seems odd to get onto Spaceship Earth first. Has the rope drop area changed significantly for International Gateway since Froze opened, to the point that you arrive late to Soarin? Or is something else going on?

I think maybe it’s the walking times that change. Also, the extra theater for Soarin’ has made all wait times shorter there than they used to be. It can load a lot of people.

I’m planning to enter through the IG as well, and it looks like the rope drop timing can vary, depending on how early they let people in at each gate. You could be 2 minutes behind OR ahead of the main gate people on any random day.

I do find it interesting to move the steps manually in the TP and then evaluate to see how each change looks. I know it’s all predictive, but it’s reassuring to see that any order of steps usually looks like something I can live with.

You can always order the plan however you want, and just Evaluate it, instead of Optimizing it. I personally would hit Soarin’ first.
But yeah, the walk from IG to Soarin’ is slightly further than the main entrance. (.4 miles vs. ,3 miles), so it is probably factoring that in.

A lot of people (that don’t do TPs) tend to hit SE first because it’s right in front of them when they walk in. So that is likely why it wants you to do SE first because it will get crowded quickly. But since you have a FP for it later, that issue is moot. Not sure why the TP doesn’t factor that in. You did tell it you have a FP for SE, right?

I have been trying to understand how Rope Drop Works if you enter through the International Gateway. Do they treat it the same as at the Main Gate?

Pretty much. It’s usually a lot less people, and a lot more chill. Consider it a benefit of staying at an EP resort.