Rope Drop Strategy for Disneyland

We will be in DLR Aug.18. We are Southern California residents and frequent Disneyland visitors however, this will be are first post-COVID trip and our first trip without the use of FP. For those who have been recently, what is the best way to take advantage of RD? We plan to be there super-early and hopefully at the “front of the pack”. Kids are teens so we are thinking maybe hitting the big mountains and MFSR but are also thinking knocking out Fantasyland early might be the way to go. What’s been the recent consensus? Any suggestions?


Are you rope drop to close?

Yes, most likely. There is a possibility we will go back to the hotel for a bit in the afternoon if it gets too hot/crowded. But we typically go all day.

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Then I might suggest fantasy land for the end of your day? The lines can get really hot mid morning on and focus on the thrill rides early on. I also recommend utilizing single rider for space, Batterhorn, and Splash.

ETA: I think I would RD MFSR. That is a toasty line! But I RD beignets, so not sure you should listen to me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


My advice for my sister who was there this week was to hit Space, Splash, and Matterhorn in the morning, as those were the lines that build in the morning and are long through the afternoon. That worked well for her.

Other priorities:

  • Jungle Cruise has been having long waits lately (thanks to the movie?) and the line seems extra hot for some reason
  • Indiana Jones seems to have about a 40 min wait most of the day, but that fluctuates

Don’t prioritize these:

  • Big Thunder has surprisingly low (20 min) waits throughout the day
  • Millennium Falcon’s longest line is between 10am-12pm, but both before after that the waits are tolerable (maybe 40 min), and it ramps down even more in the evening. I assume this is because it’s so far back in the park.
  • Unless you are the first person on Peter Pan, you’re probably going to wait 30 min or so regardless of when you go during the day. Just catch it when convenient.
  • Haunted Mansion will be closed to be transformed to the Night Before Christmas version from 8/16 - 9/2; otherwise I would say to keep an eye out for a short line here
  • Pirates can get a long line at random times, but also has short (20 min) waits throughout the day, so just keep an eye out

I agree with @Ms.BarbsWildRide that Fantasyland is more tolerable at night, particularly the Storybookland Canal boats and Casey Jr.

Here’s a heat map of waits for a recent Wednesday (since 8/18 is a Wed):


Great advice, love the tips and the chart @Jeff_AZ. Has single rider returned, @Ms.BarbsWildRide? That would be great news!!

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Yes, single rider has returned.


We will also be there on the 18th! The best news I have for you is that the crowd calendar shows very low levels for that day. I trust that is due to the school calendar, and am hoping that holds true.


This is great data - thank you!

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Do you know when it’s a small world will be closed for the holiday overlay? When we went in October 2017, we didn’t get to see it because the overlay was being done. I am planning on Nov. 7 to the 13thy to hopefully see it this time. Now, I just have to plan a trip when haunted Mansion doesn’t have the overlay.


In 2019 it reopened on November 8th, so I imagine it will be right around the time you are there that it reopens. I haven’t seen the official timeline announced though.

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I haven’t booked flights, so I can still change dates. I would write to Guest Services, but they didn’t answer my last email. I have had that problem with WDW as well as Disneyland. Such a disappointing change in caring about the guests.

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They usually announce the dates in advance, so if you have a month to wait before booking, it might be worth it.

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I sent an email to guest services. We shall see if a get a response, even if it is dates have not been announced.
Used to get replies in a day or two. Now, they don’t always bother to respond.

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It’s been totally dead this week, so aside from the heat, I wouldn’t worry about lines during the middle of the day.

Our rope drop strat: Space (go left around astro orbiter), Matterhorn, Pan, Snow White, Dumbo, Canal, MF:SR. If you get a decent group, this should put you in SW:GE about the right time. Also, skip anything that’s over 15 and come back for it later. In general, you should be hitting things right before they get above 15.

As mentioned, Thunder, Buzz, Star Tours, and Small World can almost all be gotten for 10 minutes without too much finagling.


I went yesterday. It was comfortable but not dead. There are certainly waits in the middle of the day so I would agree do the Mountains first (except Thunder since that was only a 5-10 minute wait all day). Splash is completely dead in the morning but it gets to 50+ minutes mid-day. My daughter’s favorite ride so I wanted to get that out of the way.

We did SW GE around noon and it wasn’t bad at all. Waited less than 20 minutes for MF. Snow was 15 minutes around 1 PM or so when we road it.

It depends on what is important to you. We skipped PP and had park hoppers so I knew we wanted to leave DLR around 2. We did a ton of rides, had breaks, it was glorious. You do need to watch the app for current wait times. We also got stuck at Guardians, all but one elevator went down when we were close to the front, so that 20 minute wait ballooned to an hour. Space also went down in the morning but that was quick. I noticed Indy was down a few times so hit that one early (my DD is too short so we skipped). Tomorrow I bet you will be able to get everything done and more! Have the best time!

Edited to add that the heat was not bad at all! High was 90 yesterday but it was pretty breezy. I brought an umbrella for shade and only brought it out a few times. I noticed quite a few others doing that too for shade. My daughter was dying when we went to WDW in early June but there was much less complaining yesterday (us CA girls can’t take humidity). The high tomorrow is 79 which will be awesome!


Still no response from Guest Services. sent 8 days ago.

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