Rope drop strategy needed

Now that all the ADRs are booked, all the FPs are selected, I’m wondering about arrival times to parks and transportation.

  • When does MK really opens when the ‘official’ start time is 9 am?
  • If AK has EMH at 8 am, but my first FP is at 9:30, do I still need to get there mega early to beat the crowds?
  • Where can I find a bus/boat schedule from the Wilderness Lodge to the parks?


#1 - At 8am they will let you enter Main Street and the Central Plaza.

#2 - Only if you want to RD FoP. However, you can get so much more done the earlier you arrive. IMHO - it’s better to wake up early, do a lot and then take a mid-day break than sleep-in & spend the day in longer queues.

#3 - They run about every 20 minutes. I’ll recommend this -

This is what Touring Plans states as well…

Wilderness Lodge’s bus schedule varies considerably depending on the time of day and where you’re headed.

For example, if you’re headed to the Magic Kingdom between 8 AM and 11 AM, you’ll wait around 11 minutes, on average, for a bus to arrive. The bus schedules for Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are about the same early in the day, with a bus arriving every 14-20 minutes, on average. Bus schedules to the water parks and Disney Springs are a little less frequent, and you could wait anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes for a ride.

Buses run a little slower from around 11 AM to around 4 PM, when most people are already in a park. Disney’s evening buses are scheduled around the theme parks’ closing times, where most of the fleet is deployed to get guests back to their hotels. Your waits to return to your hotel from a theme park should average out to around 30 minutes under most circumstances.

At AK, go right while everyone else is running left to FoP. You’ll feel you have that side of park for yourself and a few friends. When we were there in February, EE was opening later because there were so few people going that direction at rope drop.


This is totally helpful. Our plan is not doing as much as we can, but doing a few rides, do some shopping, walk around. We’re taking this as relax as possible.

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