Realistic Times to arrive to rides at rope drop

So I’m reading that I should try to get to the parks 45 minutes prior to opening for rope drop.

And my touring plans are telling me that wait times are close to nothing, 6 minutes, at 9am, at headliner attractions in all parks, even at Na’vi and FoP.

But now I’m also reading that there’s no way we’ll get those times at AK. So, that’s confusing.

What about the otheroarks, is it still possible to arrive at a ride line a few minutes after opening?

I’ve got all our days precisely planned and I don’t want everything thrown off every morning because the wait times at rope drop won’t really apply since I logistically can’t get to the ride at 9:06, you know?

What has been your experience? What advice do all you exoerts have for us?

The “6 minutes” for FOP is basically those who are that the very front of the line that forms at rope drop. You just gotta show 1-1.5 hours early to get that 6 minutes :rofl:

And yes, short of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (7DMT) because of BOG Breakfast Guests, getting onto your first ride should be walk on or nearly that.

One piece of advice with the plan: be flexible. Things at Disney can go sideways and throw your plan off (buses are late, Monorail goes down, RIDE goes down, you hit the snooze button once too often, etc…), but it can be a wonderful experience if you just roll with it. I’ve been able to be on my plan down to the minute and I’ve also had to go to “Plan G” a lot because A-F didn’t work. Both experiences were an absolute blast.

7 Likes Hope I did this correctly (not great at copying TP links).

Here’s a sample of an HS personal TP, just the beginning of doing one. As you can see, TP has SDD almost an hour wait at RD.

Being at front of crowd (it’s a big crowd) for FOP and for SDD RD is key. Even though we got to HS RD over 1 hour early and were at front, people pushed and ran ahead of us b/c we had littles with us.

So still had to wait at least 20minutes for SDD, AS2 walked on, but TSMM had to skip b/c by then was longer than 30 minute wait. We did hop in TSMM just b4 park close & that worked out.

FOP RD worked out better, narrower walk way & CMs had better control over pushing-ahead people. There we waited less than 10 minutes for ride.

Not sure why TP would tell you 9minute wait at FOP. As @Randall1028 says, TP must be assuming you’re at front of the crowd. We were there at front, but only b/c we arrived over 1 hour b4 RD.

BTW, they’ve been allowing folks into AK and HS 15mins even up to 30mins b4 stated RD time, so that’s important to keep in mind.

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Just tested the link. Hit the print button, that way it will expand. That TP link puzzles me all the time haha!

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If you want to be at the front of the line at rope drop you need to be at the park more than an hour before opening for most parks. At AK they start walking the crowd towards Pandora at least 45 minutes before official opening.


I am super surprised that your touring plan is predicting waits that low precisely because of what @stazastarfish pointed out about the TP assuming you are at the front of pack. The TP typically doesn’t do that. Are you able to publish your plans and then share the links here so we can see them?

What I do with my rope drop ride, at the suggestion of another liner, is leave it off the plan and then start my plan about 30 minutes after opening. That let’s me rope drop effectively without a rogue wait time messing with the start of my plan. Then, when I get off that first ride, I evaluate my plan to start at the current time - and off I go. It worked really well in MK (7DMT) and AK (FOP) in January on MLK weekend, which was super busy.

For the rest of your day, @Randall1028 speaks the truth. I have used the unofficial guide and since I was a 14 year old kid planning a trip (nearly 20 years ago now). I used the online system and touring plans for the first time a few years ago. The biggest mistake I made was treating my plans like they were set in stone. The whole TP system works on data, live updating data. So for the TP to be most accurate I learned I had to evaluate or optimize the night before. The most success I have had with a spot on plan was on the last trip when I used the app as directed - checking things off as done, and re-evaluating to get the most updated data.

Side note: for AK I do arrival 75-90 minutes before opening for a true walk on. I’m planning the same for HS.


Or what you can do is schedule for first ride as if you were using a FFP. (Tourplans will allow more than 3 FFP to your plans) That way the TP can calculate in walk times, ride time, with minimal delay. This will only work if you are near the front of rope drop.






I don’t want to highjack this thread, but how early do we need to get to AK if we are just RDing Navi River? I have a 2yr old and my 70yr old parents, so we don’t want to be in too much craziness. Ok with early morning, just less so with pushing and shoving.

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Coming from DLR side of things, this is how I have always approached TP, due to the fact that on DLR side of things they don’t have the data to be as accurate as WDW. Not to mention there is no way to predict what the day will hold with Maxpass. I use my TP there for EE/EMH and then it becomes a “guideline” or wishlist of items. I definitely followed the plan more closely at WDW, but not precisely. I was still able to get to everything I wanted to do.

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From what I have read, you can be at the back of the RD pack for Navi and still walk on or relatively short wait.


@robin.brown I’ve arrived about 10 minutes before rope drop and got right on Navi.


We arrived just a few minutes before park opening and rope dropped Navi. We walked right on. We could have even ridden again with almost no wait if we had wanted. By arriving just before park opening the mob of people headed to FOP had already been let in so we were not part of it (which was wonderful).


So, I was mistaken on the FoP low wait times, it was in aprevious iteration (there have been trillions, lol) and may have used a fast pass, :grimacing:.


Thanks everyone for taking the time to leave such thoughtful responses and additional questions, this has all helped a lot!!!