I’ve sworn by the plan to be at the park for rope drop. I haven’t done it in a couple years. The pictures I’m seeing nowadays from others that have done rope drop, the crowds are WAY bigger than I dealt with. Is the secret out? Is rope drop still worth it?
Yes, but this means getting there early enough to be front of pack if you want to ride a headliner.
It’s preferable to FP the headliners. And the you can arrive 30 minutes before. Most other rides will be walk-on or less than 10 minutes. You can probably do 3-4 attractions in the first hour for MK and non-headliners at Epcot.
The lines are still shortest for everything the first hour or 2. Many people don’t arrive until 10 or later still. The crowds you see are because people aren’t dispersed in the park yet.
Suggest you look at the wait time curves in TP to see the difference or check the app during the first hour to see for yourself.
I’m seeing crazy lines getting into Pandora FOP at Rope Drop then hearing of 1 hour waits to ride. So, if you’re getting to the park 30-60 minutes before opening, wouldn’t you just spend that time in line for the attraction if you got there at opening? Or are you saying, FP the headliners and use the rope drop advantage for the non-headliners?
for somebody who shows up at 8:45 for a 9am open, this would happen. If you get there by 8am, you can be done riding FOP by 9am some days. Get there at 8:45 and you might not be done until 10:30. The early risers get to go ride NR, KS and EE while those people are standing in line.
FP headliners for sure if possible. And RD other attractions. FOP, SDD and 7DMT are the crazy ones you need to arrive super early for.
If FoP is your concern for RD, have you considered doing it at park close? You can hop on with minimum wait, 20 - 30 minutes, if you get on at 8:55pm. This will let you go to any other section of AK and do walk on for anything you want as most ppl are flooding to FoP at RD. This make RD easier if you’re not the type of person who wants to arrive at AK a hour before RD.
I don’t mind arriving before RD as long as it’s worth it.
Then you need to get to the park a hour in advance. Here’s an article from easywdw that illustrates how great RD can be - especially on an 8am opening day.
One of the key takeaways is that a 9am opening does not mean the park opens at 9am. I think it is typically closer to 8:45 when they let people in. So that is your real reference time. Sometimes they might let people start riding a headliner before nine if they’re ready.
The first riders were on FOP this morning at 8.35.
There you go. Get up early and you can ride a headliner while others are waiting for a bus.
Definitely worth it!
Yeah, but how early did the first people in line get there? And for the people at the back of the line, what time did they get there and how long did they wait to get on the ride?
If the 1st people in line got to the park 90 minutes before they got on the ride, and the people at the back of the line got there at park opening but waited 90 minutes in line for the ride, isn’t it a wash?
No, because the first people were off the ride before the rest of the park opened, so didn’t waste any park time at all. While someone arriving at 9 would probably wait over 2 hours.
They probably arrived around 7.45.
Yes, the secret’s out, but it’s still better to RD than not. You’ll still have those valuable couple of hours before the crowds really file in. Remember, you may be seeing more crowds at RD, but that just means by lunch the crowds will be even higher.
I see your point. Speaking just for myself, it’s not about waiting 90 mins at the front gate = the same wait in a queue. It’s about getting to the park early to take advantage of as much “park time” available.
I’d rather wait at the tapstiles for an hour, before opening, in order to be able to do 2 - 3 rides within the first hour or so after the park opens. If I get to the gate 15 - 20 minutes before opening I’m only going to get to do 1 attraction in that same amount of “park time”.
RD is still worth it, though the obvious payoff is probably less. It’s all relative to the increasing crowds at WDW. I would say, the increased size of RD crowds makes burning your first 3 FPs as soon as possible even more important. And it was always important, IMO.