Hey all - first time poster, but I’ve been reading through some older posts and am floored by the amount of detail and good advice being dispensed. Apologies in advance if I flub acronyms/verbiage. Thank you very much for the wisdom.
I am doing a solo day at DCA on 5/21 followed by a day with my buddy at DLR on 5/22. I purchased Genie + for each and plan to rope drop each. I’m wondering what is the best approach in each park to leverage rope drop with Genie + and ILLs.
First off, I plan to arrive by 7:00 AM each day. I don’t need to be the first person in line at the rope, but I’d like to take advantage of the perks of rope dropping. It was awesome to do and knock out 3-4 rides before the lines pick up at WDW (before early theme park hours). Should a 7:00 AM arrival set me up nicely in (hopefully) sunny CA?
Second, if things are similar at DLR and DCA as they are at WDW, lines don’t really start to get long until around 60-90 minutes after park open. If that holds true, understanding that it will be dependent on actual crowd levels and the idiosyncrasies of any given day, does it make sense to hold off on using Genie + and purchasing ILLs until return times are after that 60-90 minute rope drop sweet spot window?
Third, for DLR, I am debating which rides to target for rope drop. I’ve read that crowds move aggressively towards Rise, that it generally has a slower start to the day in terms of ride operation and I understand that the ride is long (I’ve ridden it at MGM and it is the coolest–I can’t get enough). That being said, I am with a first timer and I wouldn’t mind riding it twice if it doesn’t waste too much of the first hour in the park. My instinct is to target the most popular rides that I’d like to ride twice, other than Rise, at rope drop. Those are Space, Indy, Haunted Mansion, Splash and Thunder Mountain (bummer that Pirates is undergoing refurbishment). If I can knock out 3 or so of these before the lines start to get deep, I figure it will put me ahead of the game. I can monitor the return times for the ILL for Rise and maybe even try to pair that with a Genie + return time for Smuggler’s Run. I understand that I won’t be able to line everything up perfectly, but I would really appreciate some guidance on what is feasible and what makes sense to target before the crowds pick up. I also imagine that attraction location matters, so I’m not running around like crazy.
Fourth (no idea why I am numbering these, but I already started so I feel like I need to keep going), for DCA, I am also debating which rides to rope drop. Radiator Racers and Web Slingers, I don’t think, suffer from the same timing drawbacks as Rise. I’m sure I will want to ride at least Radiator Racers more than once, although I have never been to this park, so I’m pretty excited about getting to experience everything. I also understand this park is smaller than DLR, and I don’t plan to park hop, so I should be able to cover a lot from 8 AM to 9 PM. Then there is the added wrinkle of single rider lines, which seem to be way more available at this park, and should help me take better advantage of standby lines. My priorities are Radiator Racers, Web Slingers, Incredicoaster, Soarin’ (although have ridden this multiple times at WDW), TSMM (same as Soarin’), Guardians and Grizzly. I definitely plan to ride other rides. What do you think? Which rides should I target for rope drop?
Lastly, I’ve seen some suggestion that the lines app is less useful in CA than in WDW. If that is true, do people use it combined with the posted wait times, assuming those are inflated by 15 or so minutes? Not that it is fail proof, but I relied hard on the lines app in WDW and it has generally done right by me. I’m just wondering the best advice in DCA and DLR. I am not experienced at either park. The last time I was in DLR was 20 years ago and I’ve never been to DCA, so any advice is much appreciated.