Rope Drop Times - How Early Do You Need to Get to the Parks?

How early do you need to arrive to the parks in order to get the most out of rope drop? We have a 20 month old with us so I really don’t want to have to arrive an hour before park opening as that’s extra sleeping time and I don’t know how well a toddler will do waiting for parks to open for that long.

I know this can vary based off the time of year and crowd level for each park but we are going when most parks (besides HS) are a crowd level between 2 to 5.

I was thinking our game plan would be to try to arrive 30 minutes before each park’s official opening time of 9am. Thoughts?

At AK, we want to rope drop Navi River.

At HS, we want to rope drop SD if the wait isn’t over 30 minutes when we arrive or if that’s the case we will rope drop TSM.

At EP, we want to rope drop Frozen.

At MK, we got all of the FP’s we wanted so don’t have a huge ride to rope drop

Thanks everyone!!

It depends what ride you’re going to. If you’re not doing FOP for example, no need to get to AK early.

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At AK we want to do Navi River as we were able to get FOP for a FP. So if we got to AK about 30 minutes early that should be plenty of time to not have to wait 23 minutes like my TP is telling me?

I will edit post to include a few more details.

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Yes that would be plenty of time.

Rope dropping SDD you need to be a minimum of an hour early, TSM you can be later, 30 mins isn’t too bad.

FEA is the quietest RD of the big 3, 30 mins will be fine and you could probably be a little later.

Not to burst your bubble but I think you will have a hard time with SDD. Even at an hour before you have to be able to stay at the front of the pack which may be tough with a toddler and stroller. Even stroller parking will slow you down. If you want to do AS2 that’s actually great to do first because no one is there and then you can go right to TSM with still a low wait.

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During our trip in late August we rope dropped Navi, Slinky and Frozen.

For Navi, we arrived at Animal Kingdom around 8:30 for a 9:00 am open. We got to walk straight in and then got to ride twice with zero wait. Our TP had said it would about a 25 minute wait arriving at park open.
For Frozen, we arrived at Epcot around 8:30. We were 10-15 rows back from the rope and had zero wait for Frozen. The entire crowd went to Test Track and Soarin’. We probably could have ridden twice without a wait, but chose to do breakfast instead. I think TP said about a twenty minute wait.
Slinky was a different story. Based on advice we got here, we were on a bus to HS by 7:15 for a 9:00 am park open. We were one family back from the rope and rode immediately upon arrival to the ride. By the time we got off the ride, it had a 90 minute wait. We went straight to TSM and waited maybe five minutes there.


It’s ok. You’re not bursting my bubble. I was hoping Star Wars would pull some people away and the fact that there’s all the good attractions on tier 1 but I guess not haha. My son can’t ride it yet so it’s ok if I can’t ride it just yet. I would be riding alone anyway so not as fun. Maybe we should just stick to rope dropping TSM. :slight_smile: I wasn’t planning on doing AS2…I get motion sick on spinny rides unless it’s not bad.

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Thanks for all that info!! Makes me feel better about Navi and Frozen. And keeps my expectations low about rope drop for SDD. Probably will just skip it so we can have a more peaceful morning.

Of course!

And it’s hard to know with Slinky if that 90 minutes was true or not, but I think if you get stuck in that line you’ll miss out on other things you could do with short lines first thing in the day.

FYI – A common misconception about Crowd Levels is that they are an indicator of the number of people in each park. However, they are an indicator of average queue waits at the park.

A CL 1 can feel like a CL 4 in terms of park capacity, but the queues may be moving quickly. Conversely, you can be in a CL 9 park that feels like a CL 5 because the streets aren’t packed. However, all the queues are super long.

AK - You do not need to RD NRJ. Just get there before the park has been open for more than 90 minutes.

DHS - If you can’t be at RD at least 45 - 60 minutes before the park opens - don’t bother trying

EP - If you actually wait until about 10am you can generally get on with very little wait. It’s the people who rush to it first thing in the morning and those people trying to do it right before / after WS “opens” at 11am that wait the most. There is a nice lull once the RD crowd leaves.