I had a great experience RD’ing Hollywood Studios a few weeks ago and have been meaning to do a quick report with pictures. There are many people there this morning asking questions, so I thought I should post this quickly. I should note, my family was rope dropping Toy Story Mania, but I will give tips about how you should do things differently if starting with Slinky Dog. I have no advice for starting with Tower of Terror.
My family got out the door a little later than we wanted to because we were waiting for bell service. I was at Boardwalk Villas, and saw the friendship boat at the dock around 8:10. We headed out the door over to the Swan and Dolphin and were able to catch the boat within a few minutes there.
The boat arrived at HS at 8:30. The line through security was not bad at all and we were at Rope Drop by 8:36.
Here we made our first good choice. If you kept straight on Hollywood Blvd, the line at the rope was about 40 people deep.
Instead we took a left at the fork at Keystone Clothiers where that family is standing so we were by Echo Lake. The line was maybe 10 people deep and more loosely packed.
Here’s what that looks like on the map:
At 8:41 they started to walk us forward to be further up Hollywood Blvd. At this point, the cast members were lined up in a wall to our left. But they were way over to the left. We asked if we could fill in over that way, and they said, “yes”. Shockingly, this put us one family back, right at the rope. There was all this space, and nobody was standing in it. Meanwhile, to the right there were hundreds of people. Here are my attempts to capture this.
The black dots are where the CM were lined up in a “wall”. The green path is the way we went. This is where we ended up.
Not bad for an 8:30 arrival at the dock.
The next part is where I would have messed up, had we been Rope Dropping Slinky Dog Dash. When the Cast Members started walking us back to Toy Story Land around 8:45, I went through the wrong archway in Animation Courtyard. The rule of “left” no long applies here. You want to go through the center or the right archways. The left archway bogs down.
Here’s the walking path and what I mean:
By staying all the way to the left at the beginning, it might be difficult to get all the way to the right before going through the arch. But the middle should be no problem. Going through the left, we quickly fell back. Here are the crowds now in front of us. This is the difference choosing the correct arch can make. Note, we were also not “dashing”.
Once through the arches, stay right if you are going to Slinky Dog, stay left if you are riding the other two rides.
Ultimately, we were off both Toy Story Mania and Alien Swirling Saucers by 9:15. So it was a great start to the morning.
All of this will change when Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Opens up, but in the meantime I hope it is useful!