Rope Drop Rider Swap?

Anyone have any thoughts on whether it’s feasible to Rider Swap at Rope Drop? Specifically, DW and I would like to rope drop RSR with our twin DS4s, but we also have an infant who would stay back with grandparents. Can we Rider Swap for the baby without delaying our rope drop too much?


Will DCA have early entry for onsite hotel guests and do you qualify for it? If yes to both, then you’ll want to be at the entrance to RSR in the last 5-10 min of early entry to be ready to get setup as early as they allow (RSR doesn’t open with early entry but if ready to go for the day, will open at regular park open) & as few other people as possible fill in the standby line while you are getting that setup for you.

If DCA doesn’t have early entry then you’ll be on a level playing field with everyone else & if you are at security a few minutes before 7am for an 8am opening you can be in position to be at the front of the rope & if you are willing to maintain a very fast speedwalking or jog from the rope to the entrance of the ride, you might also get there early enough for it to be advantageous.

But in any other conditions, especially if DCA has an early entry & you do not qualify for it. It will be difficult to get anything less than 30-40 min. wait and it could be 50-60 min wait depending on how well you’re able to navigate yourself with strollers, grandparents etc especially when 90-95% of the crowd is going the same place as you and more efficient parties will be able to weave through and sometimes all out run ahead of you. And you may need most everyone there at the front to get the RS as the CM will want everyone who’s riding and potentially see the non-riding adult & baby as sometimes they get really strict on needing to see the non-rider & any non-riding adults.

40-50 min is better than 60-100+ min that it can get to and stay at, so it may still end up better for you, but at the cost of spending that golden hour where you could get 2 headliners or 3-4 smaller rides done short waits that you could otherwise do at RD. So it will depend on how much you absolutely want to ride RSR.

You could look into ILL and if everyone who wants to ride ILL has one purchased, they will allow a RS to be used for that as well. It does add up and I understand not having it in the budget. But if you do at all have room for that, it would avoid the scrum that is the rope drop for RSR.

Other good times to check on the RSR waits where it might dip to 40 min or below are during the 9pm WOC show & right before the park closes. Sometimes they’ll inflate the wait so you do actually have to go there and enter the line and if the line extends past any of the pavilion huts that have switchbacks then it’s going to be at least 40 min. But if it’s not full in that last pavilion before the uncovered switchbacks (that end at the umbrellas where they send parties up the ramp to the loading party from each of the ILL/Single Rider & standby lines), then you’ll have a shorter wait.

Another one that’s just more pure luck is if you are in that area of Carsland & RSR comes back from a breakdown you could end up with a short wait. We were near the entrance of Carsland, noticed it had come back and was at a 25 min wait on the app, ran to the back of Carsland and as we got to the entrance saw the posted wait on the sign was at 35 and get changed to 45 as we parked a stroller and all got in line. We waited just over 45 min (but not much more) so it was really accurate & not inflated then. So you really do have to be somewhat close & catch it at just the right time.

Thorough and immensely helpful response as always @lolabear_la! We’ll be in the second situation; no early entry, level playing field. RSR is definitely top priority for the kids, but we also hated to leave grandparents in the dust!

It’s not as much a priority for them, so we might just rope drop with the DS4s and let grandparents alternate single rider! ILL is definitely on the table, but would love to rope drop day one if we can, to prioritize.

Thanks for the tips!


Just to add to @lolabear_la’s advice:

When I’m Rider Swapping a Rope Drop ride, I always have Group 1 report directly to the queue and have the attending adult and non-riding child go to the CM who distributes RS passes. 99% of the time they will give out the RS passes without needing the rest of the party present. This way you don’t lose any time setting up RS while you could / should be in line. As @lolabear_la mentioned, in general DLR is more strict about this than WDW is, especially for mega popular rides like RSR.

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We’ve done this approach too but it varies in success especially the older our non-riding kid(s) have gotten. If you have an infant you should be just fine with this approach. Especially if they see the infant and you have a not seasoned pro Legacy Annual Passholder “look” about you. They tend to treat people they can tell who know all the ins & outs with a different lens that is sometimes a bit stand-offish and more strict.

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Thanks to you both! Makes sense. Definitely gotta think if it’s worth messing with or not. If we do, we’ll just have to make sure grandma and grandpa look clueless and pathetic asking a cast member about “baby swap” or something. :stuck_out_tongue:

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