Open AK rides at rope drop

If we’re not at the front of the group to head towards Pandora.m, is it worth going elsewhere?
What other rides are consistently open at RD and worth knocking out?

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I actually avoid Pandora at RD! The queue is consistently the same length most of the day. There’s no need to try to push your way through that crowd

Go to Dinoland & Asia! You can do everything on that side of the park - usually a few multiple rides - in the same amount of time that you would have waited for one ride on FoP

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I have always been told to hit Pandora closer to park close or to see what time is like around the 2pm Park Hopper time.
KS is always a good thing first in the morning, the animals are more active.
And I agree with @darkmite2, Dinoland and Asia are good to do.

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The reason I don’t go to KS at RD is because it’s so far away from everything.

Personally, this is my AK RD “route”

ITTBaB, Dinosaur, TriceraTop, Everest x 2, KS. (You could substitute a second ride on something if you don’t like TriceraTop or ITTBaB )

That should get you to KS within the first 2 hours of park opening - including a couple “pit stops” along the way. KS should still be a 30 minute or less wait at that point.

Here’s a look at a sample plan using this example for today - https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=4310926

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Those are great thoughts. Yes, our touring plan for tomorrow follows the Bug/Dino/Everest.
All those open at RD?
Just not sure they open right away where MK has so few available at RD.

I like that idea. We may be implementing that on our upcoming trip!

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Back in March when the parking gates were opening 45 minutes before official park opening, we were about 10 minutes behind the earliest RD crowd. We went straight to FoP and had a 5 minute wait. Exited to a mass crowd then went to Dino, and EE twice with no wait. It was like a ghost town over there for quite some time.

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I second what @bebe80 said. If you are pretty early, you can ride FOP with a pretty short wait. I don’t think you need to be at the very front of the crowd to make it worthwhile. However, if you’re getting there a little later, the line does build quickly, and I would recommend other things.

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They will be open at RD. If you get to the park early & they start allowing people in early those may not be available until the official start time. (I’d go check anyway. You can always Tour Discovery Island & take your “obligatory” Tree of Life photos until then)

Is the general thought still that circling for parking at 1 hour before official opening still gets one in soon enough to make a beeline for FOP worth it? Or does that put one far enough behind resort buses that it would he better to wait?

You don’t have to circle. A line forms off the side of the road ahead of the barrier. I drove and had no problems getting it done.

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How far ahead of official opening do you recommend getting there?

Maybe some one more recent can help too, since I was there nearly 2 months ago. But, the goal was to get off the side of the road 65-70 minutes before opening. Security let’s you pull onto the road and up to parking booths at 60 minutes before opening. Sat there til 45 minutes before opening when at that time the pay to park booths opened.

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When I went in November, only Pandora was open before actual park opening… we learned this when we thought we would get a jump on the other rides instead, but nothing was open. It was like walking thru a ghost town.

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I think if you try to do anything else other than Pandora in TP when you set the start time to the 45 min before, it “holds” you at the entrance until the official opening time. When you optimize with a start time 45 minutes before opening it puts Pandora stuff in right away.

So maybe the other rides are unreliable in their opening? (I hear that about Test Track a lot, for instance.)

Thanks all for the help with the timeline!

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I’m confused by your 45 minute comment bc to me both of those read setting the TP to 7:15 for 8:00am open.
It opens at 8 tomorrow, we plan to rope drop so I thought i should set it to 7:15 to optimize Pandora. Am I off?

I think she’s saying it shows you needing to wait for the ride to open if you put anything other than Pandora first?

ETA: Nope, I’m not seeing that so I dunno what she meant?

TP lets you select your starting time to be up to 45 minutes before the official opening time. So if you are RD set it to 7:15 am if the official time is 8 am. Then optimize not evaluate. When I have done this, Pandora is the only area that is scheduled in that 45 min RD time.

Only if you evaluate.