Making Touring Plans for the First Week of October

Since the new 30 minutes of early entry for on site guests won’t start until 10/1 and we won’t know what actual rope drop looks like timing-wise until then … how would you estimate your arrival time (and travel time from your resort) when building out your touring plans?

We are planning to rope drop each morning…
Staying at Poly
10/1 AK
10/2 MK
10/3 DHS
Staying at AoA
10/4 EPCOT
10/5 DHS

For example…
Opens at 10:00am
Early entry at 9:30am
Arrive at 8:30am? 9:00am?

I am trying to put a logical starting time in when building out the plans…and I am unsure what the best one is to use.

So many unknowns!!!

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This is my hypothetical scenario:

The current protocol for AK and HS are:
Taps open 60 minutes ahead & Rope drops 30 minutes prior. I think it’s reasonable to say that these times will transfer to the Early Theme Park Entry crowd at ALL the parks. (Currently EP and MK are not letting you in as early as AK and HS)

When ETPE starts, I would not be surprised if the rope drops closer to 45 minutes prior to regular opening time. (Previously when the parks used EMH, AK and HS Rope Drop was around 15 minutes prior to the official EMH start time. But, MK rope drop went by the official start time.)

Also, assume that the earlier you arrive the further you will be in the rope drop crowd. (As applies currently) And, being in the front of the pack will give you the chance to hit 2 rides before the gates open for the off-siters.

Since you’re starting your trip at the same time that ETPE starts, I guess you’ll be the ginea pig! I would pay attention to the transportation times leading up to your trip. I really can’t imagine the buses and such having a different start time from Sept 30 to Oct 1. I would bet nothing changes there.


Touring Plans updated their Early Entry recommendations today. “Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to ETPE time.”

Using your Epcot example, arrive between 8:45 and 9:00. Set your Touring Plan to start at 9:30. If you are let through before 9:30 and held further inside the park, you technically could start your plan a little earlier if TP allows. (Currently TP does allow you to start your plan up to 45 minutes prior, but not sure if that option changes on 10/1?)

I’m also planning for the same weekend. Roughly planning to be at each park 45m to 1hr before the 30m early access. My biggest question is what is the best transportation method for each park? I know earlier in 2020, parking was often an advantage, but that seems to have changed now.

We’re going to the following parks each day and staying at Coronado Springs.
10/1 - MK (crazy town)
10/2 - EP
10/3 - HS
10/4 - AK

Thoughts on transportation?

We won’t have our own vehicle so we will be relying on WDW transportation.

For AK, MK, & DHS we will be coming from the Poly so bus for AK and DHS, and monorail or walking for MK.

For EP and our second DHS day we will be coming from AoA so we will be taking the Skyliner.

We are also planning to be at DHS on 10/3. :sunglasses:

Earlier today I went in and tweaked all of my plans to start 45min before park opening and I was actually working w/ 45 minutes before that to arrive…but 30 minutes would give us more time to sleep! :slight_smile:

We will be going to AK on 10/1 so I am hoping that Early Entry will be a little lighter there than MK or EPCOT and 30 min before EE will work out …especially since they have an 8am opening time!!

On 10/2 we can walk (or monorail) to MK so I am not as worried about it.

10/3 we check out of the Poly, drop off our stuff at bell services to be transferred to AoA and then head out to DHS so it will definitely be a more complicated morning!

By the time we get to our EPCOT day on 10/4 I expect we will all have a better idea about how WDW is handling EE.

This has all be very helpful!

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Yes exactly. Glad to help! I enjoy helping others to plan, especially when I can’t plan myself!

Okay…this is what I have been working on for TPs for the first four days of October. I’m listing out dates, times and the first block of attractions in my TP. The last attraction listed in the block is followed by the arrival time for that attraction.

Note that we will have a few hours in MK on 9/30, and a morning at DHS on 10/5 to do some additional touring.

Please chime in if you think anything should be switched up or moved around.

10/1 - AK
Park Open 8:00am
EE 7:30am
TP Start Time 7:15am

FOP/Na’vi/KS/Y&Y snack/EE (x2)/KRR (10:45am)

10/2 - MK
Park Open 9:00am
EE 8:30am
TP Start Time 8:15am

Space/7DMT/PPF/HM/Dumbo/LM/Carrousel/Sleepy Hollow Snack/Splash (10:30am)
None of the other attractions are predicted to have more than a 25min wait for the rest of the TP.

10/3 - DHS
Park Open 9:00am
EE 8:30am
TP Start Time 8:15am

RNRC (x2)/ToT/MFSR (x2) (10:00am)
The full day plan leaves a cumulative total of 2 hours flex time to fit in a ROTR boarding group, exploring GE, or repeating attractions. SDD (43min wait) and MMRR (22min wait) were “optimized” for later in the day.

10/4 - EPCOT
Park Open 10:00am
EE 9:30am
TP Start Time 9:15am

FEA/TT/Soarin/LWTL (10:45am)
The full day plan leaves a cumulative total of 2.5 hours flex time to fit in a Remy boarding group (OR accomodate waiting for Remy on stand by during EE) and comfortably walk around “the world” (over and above each pavillion being included in the TP).

Thoughts? Concerns? Should I totally move it all around?? :grinning:

I had 100% confidence in my pre-COVID planning w/ FPs, but I’m flying by the seat of my pants w/ standby and boarding groups!!

Hmm I only have my early October TPs to start at 30min before regular park opening. Maybe I should change them to 45m? Who knows if we’ll actually get those 15 min though??