Planning for Early Entry

So, I’m trying to make personalized touring plans for our (hopeful) upcoming March trip. I thought I’d gotten experienced at it - optimizing, moving fastpasses around, moving meals and breaks around, evaluating until I’m happy. Our trips have been very smooth in the past. We’ve typically gotten through the plans with maybe just a modification or two.

One thing I’ve always struggled with, though, is that if you get there early, the first-ride wait time is bogus. Ok, I just made it a fastpass. That seemed to work ok for my estimating. Now though? Ugh. I have no idea how to indicate that we’ll be there early and I expect we’ll be able to get through 7DMT, for example, before park open.

Does anyone have advice on this? I’m thinking about putting in a 1-minute restaurant stop at the closest place to what we want to ride. But is that a reasonable workaround? Good expectation to just say that we’ll do one high-priority ride in that early hour? Like, if we get to MK at 8 AM for a 9AM opening, can I expect to finish 7DMT in that first hour, and that’s it? We’ve never actually ridden it standby - always with a FP.

For some of the other parks, I’m just leaving the high-priority ride in, and hoping we can do it multiple times. There isn’t anything at MK that we want to do that with, though.

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Someone suggested putting in a rest break right at opening time. I did that when making plans for October. I think that’s easier than a restaurant stop. In October, we didn’t get into MK until 8:30 for a 9:00 opening. We did 7DMT and probably BTMR prior to 9:00 AM.

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Agree. Just add in a “break”, edit the title from rest to what you are rope dropping, enter the opening time, and enter in maybe a 5 minute duration.

Recent reports have most people arriving around an hour before official park opening (MK and HS) and riding at least 2 headliners before opening time. Example for a 10:00 opening:

This will not be 100% accurate but should get you very close!

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This was pretty accurate for us except when the 2nd ride (Splash Mtn) didn’t open till about 5 min before official open and we got in line right away. Personally, I’d only count on getting through one before opening and if I get through 2 well then that’s a nice bonus and not a disapointment.

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So, I’ve been using a restaurant stop (usually QS or a popcorn stand or something) just to make the location right.

I didn’t realize people have been getting through two headliners in that first hour! That’s better than I could’ve hoped. The next follow-on, though, is, which rides are open? And is there a “better” order? For example, if my two expected headliners are 7DMT and PPF, do I do something different than if it’s 7DMT and Space Mtn?

BTW, you guys are the best. :smiley:

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The Peter Pan line wasn’t as long as Space Mtn and I did both of them in the PM. So I’d drop Space over Pan.

Once the park is officially opening lines will build sooooo fast. You might want to hightail it to BTMR and Splash after that if you’re doing it all in one day.

Thanks. BTMR and Splash will be another day, fortunately. So I’m only thinking about Fantasyland and Tomorrowland rides.

Right now, I’m thinking 7DMT, PPF, and the Carrousel first, thing. Len says that the Carrousel has a 30-40 minute wait, all day. :astonished:

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WOW really?!?

Edit: We didn’t ride that…my kids are 13 and 16.

I’m surprised by it too, but can plan around it… and my kids shouldn’t care too much if we skip it. They’re 8 and 12. DD8 will probably want to ride, but if I tell her she can choose that or Space, she’ll pick Space.

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That sounds about how my daughter was at that age. She still loved her some Dumbo but now she was tall enough to ride the roller coasters she’d prefer them. I’m jealous because my favorite WDW trip was when my kids were 9 and 12. It’s the absolute perfect age. They still love the magic and aren’t too cool for it and they are old enough to do the more adventurous stuff.

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My original plan had us doing 7DMT followed by Pooh, PPF and IASW. (I wasn’t sure we could get all of them prior to park opening.) It was a very ominous looking sky that morning and rain was forecast on and off all day, so instead we headed to BTMR. We rode twice with less than a five minute wait each time, then did splash with maybe a 10 minute wait. We never made it back to Pooh and IASW, but did ride PPF. That was probably our longest wait of the day (40-ish minutes) but we hit a cleaning cycle. I think how much you can do before opening depends on what time you get there and how crowded it’s going to be that day. It wasn’t a busy day when we were there. We caught the first bus from OKW, but they held the buses for at least 15 minutes before letting us unload. If you think it’s going to be crowded based on holidays or something, I would try to get to a resort where you can walk over.

Good details from this thread:

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I wrote that in December, and if the crowds aren’t too different yet nowadays then you can EASILY be off 7D in the first hour. As I shared, we got in about 40min. prior to official park opening, and walked right onto 7D. Literally no wait except to load passengers and walk through the queue. If I recall correctly, by the time the official opening hour struck we happened to walk by 7D again and the wait was a strong 60minutes. All the people arriving at the normally-anticipated time were less than happy :wink:

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I think I’ll plan for just one headliner and then we’ll just have to -gasp- wing it. @Dstinson’s list gives me hope that we’ll get a lot done. That list sounds ideal to me!

I suppose opening time also makes a difference… Was that an 8 am opening and you were there at 7?

Yes, 8am opening and we arrived around 715 to the gates. Walked from Contemporary Resort if you didn’t view my old thread to see details on how we did that while staying off site :wink:

Again, assuming things are pretty now to how they were in Dec., you will definitely be able to get a couple rides in during the first hour. We basically walked right onto everything we did, even a bit past 8am, since at that point everyone was trying to catch up and we were already on our way. The perpetual ride loading of Peter Pan, Spade Mtn, etc. was keeping up with crowds enough that as we made our way through the queue we almost never stopped. A slow walk on, but still a walk-on. I believe we walked from Fantasy Land to Space Mtn at about 805am exactly, and while the line looked big the wait stayed 10-15 min. 99% of that was getting through the huge queue, or course.

The only thing we didn’t perfect was avoiding a wait for Jungle Cruise, Pirates, a d Big Thunder. We probably could have hit them earlier than we did, but we were afraid Space would get a huge line early and chose to knock out Tomorrowland first. Plus we didn’t want to risk any of the AdventureLand rides being closed that early, which had been the morning trend during that time period, so keep that in mind too ( I just followed the app wait times each morning to get a feel for expectations). If these open early or at least at the advertised hour, you should be able to do the headliners in Fantasyland quickly and still finish the headliners in Tomorrowland or Adventure/Frontier within the next hour or close to it. I feel either of those choices is the best way to go if you want to do them all. I don’t know everything, but I know we were happy and it worked for us :smiley:

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That’s how old my kids were on their first trip also and it was awesome!

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Nice!! I couldn’t tell from the article if this feature allows you to create a touring plan for pre-opening rides in advance like the other touring plans. The would be ideal.

Yes, I agree, being able to put in RD activities into a TP would be excellent.