First off, this is our first family trip to WDW in 13 years. I now have 3 more children (5 total) than at our last trip and I definitely see the benefits of doing rope drop. We’ve already got an off-site vacation rental and were planning on ubering to CR with a mobile order to rope drop Magic Kingdom since the disadvantage to off-site guests is so significant with the extra transport from the TTC to MK entrance. I’ve been watching the forums for the last month and a half and have heard a few first-hand accounts of people successfully getting into CR with a mobile order but just the last few days I’ve read several first-hand accounts of cars (including Lyft/Uber) being turned away from the CR gate and I’m wondering if it’s worth it to try to rope drop MK by going to the CR.
Our plan is to arrive between 7-7:20am for a 9am opening so we have time to eat breakfast without rushing. If we get turned away, I don’t even know what plan B would be with it being so much earlier than the TTC opens for cars. So, first question, any suggestions for how to handle this if we keep our off-site plans?
Another option I’ve considered is to transfer to on-site partway through our stay. Once I took into account the savings from returning the rental car, the cost of the uber, and parking, it would cost an additional $350 to stay onsite at Pop Century for the last half of our vacation. The cost to staying the entire time at Pop Century was an additional $1500 because it was more expensive on the earlier days & because we would have to eat out a lot more than we planned. We already have some ADRs booked for the second half of our trip so switching at that point is less expensive.
From what I’m seeing the pros are that we could much more easily rope drop MK, we could let my teens have slightly more freedom to stay at the park and I can take my younger kids back midday, and my kids (especially the younger ones) would get to experience the “magic” of staying on site.
The cons are that it would cost us $350 more than we were planning and we would have the hassle of moving halfway through our vacation including returning the rental car. If we made the switch, my husband would just drop us off at the hotel and then return the rental car to the airport and take the Magic Express back to the resort. Is it possible to take the Magic Express after dropping off the rental car or would they require the info of an arriving flight for him to use it?
Thoughts, suggestions? Is it worth the $350 and extra hassle of moving mid-trip with a family of 7 to stay on-site part of our trip?