Rope Drop w car… parking lot opens when?

I’ll be staying at the Fort so we’ll have our vehicle and free parking. What time do the parking lots open at each park? Would that still allow us to be there early enough for early entry rope drop?

I am curious if buses still give you an advantage or if the lots open early enough. I am considering renting a car for my short July trip.


From Fort Wilderness I’d definitely do a boat to MK.

If the boats aren’t running, the bus would still drop you closer to the MK entrance than your car. Tho not as close as the boats.

Otherwise I have no personal knowledge of parking lots opening, @PrincipalTinker. Looking forward to your report.

I don’t know exact times, but on our last trip we drove to MK and AK and found at both the parking lot was already open when we arrived an hour before Early Entry. But…that said, I do second the idea to take the boat from FW. Just a better arrival experience.

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Yeah I’m still on the fence with my preferred method. I’ll have 2 kids in tow and a double stroller and I plan to bring some gear (soft sided cooler with lots of options to help save money is the main goal). Carting that on transportation and dealing with the folding and unfolding of a stroller … and cramming into a packed bus/boat at the end of the day (while schlepping stuff) … meh.

BUT my MAIN goal is to take advantage of morning low crowds

I’ve heard mixed reports about inconsistent parking lot opening times.

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We’ve accessed MK using the boat on 3 separate trips. The boat is nice as a stroller rolls right on. The crowd can be smaller on the boat.

The boat dock at the MK end is closer than the monorail. The monorail has the steep up grade ramp on the return home leg.

The ferry access isn’t as steep as the monorail and strollers roll right on to ferries as well.

Our first stay at FW we were walking distance from the Marina. Definitely beat the bus, walking. Loop 800.

Second visit we had a campsite and a Wilderness Home so sort of far for walking.
We opted for a golf cart that trip.

We are definitely getting golf carts, very excited :blush:

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Definitely boat/bus to MK. That was the only park we bused to and it was sooo worth it. There’s a spreadsheet floating around on here for pick up times. HS was the only parking lot that we were first for and they let us line up at 7:25 and let us through at 7:30. We were FOP for MMRR. They made us circle beforehand and we pulled off out of sight until 7:25.

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