Rope drop at DCA from The Grand Californian

So we are vets of MANY trips to World, and now have our 1st trip to land scheduled finally! Short trip (since we can drive from Phoenix now!!!) January 17-20th. Since it was so short we splurged and are staying at The Grand Californian.

What time will we need to be at the Grand Californian gate for a 10 am rope drop?

I recommend at least 45 minutes before. White Water cafe is right around the corner, so we like to go there and grab breakfast and bring it into line with us. Or if we have a big group, we will take turns. Half stand in line, while the other half enjoys breakfast and then switch. Keep in mind though that they will let you into the park sometimes up to a half an hour before the park opens. Then you wait in the hub until they let you into the actual park.

Thanks so much!

Thats about standard arrival time for us. I was not sure how crowded the other entrance would be.

Counting down the days!!!

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I recommend going around to the main gate for RD. The bag check and turnstile capacity is much greater at the main gate, and if your first destination is Carsland or the new GotD ride, if you enter through the GC gate, you’ll be behind everyone who came in through the main gate. The GC gate is awesome for mid-day breaks and leaving the park in the PM.

If do you not arrive before 45 min early OR if you do and already find a lengthy line, I highly recommend the main gate. The entrance from GCH only has 2 turnstiles whereas the main gate has somewhere in the 20’s so MUCH more capacity.

If you are early in line for GCH though, no reason not to use that fantastic entrance to save some steps. A little earlier this year, DCA changed it’s RD procedures for that part of the park & now once they start letting guests in (as early as 30 min prior to park opening) you’ll be able to line up at a rope all the way at The Little Mermaid Ride- to position for Toy Story Midway Mania or another possible route to Carsland- pretty equidistant to the main entrance. With the rope that far up you’ll be able to walk all of the Grizzly peak including starting to form a line for Soarin (won’t be let into the queue, but people start making a nice line from what I’ve seen), and pulling WOC FPs (kiosks located right next to the Little Mermaid attraction) . Since Grizzly Peak borders the the hub, you’d also be able to walk easily to where the ropes for Hollywood Land (where GotG) and center of the park (up towards Carsland) will be stationed. Also, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in that hub is a Starbucks which has been one of our favorites to eat while waiting for DCA rope drop.