We are headed to DLR from Nov 26-Nov 29. I remember from last year that the security lines from the Harbor Blvd side of the park were INSANE. What time should we arrive to avoid the crowds at bag check? We are morning people and want be front and center at RD at DCA on Sunday, Nov. 26. We are not staying at at Disney hotel, so we don’t have EMH.
What time is the park opening that day and which park are you starting at?
DCA, park opens at 8am with EMH at 7am.
For front & center I would plan to arrive at security by 6:45am. The lines then should be short/non-existent so you should have no problems getting through to wait at the gate before 7am. Just have to make sure you line up at a regular entry gate since it will have EMH & people will already be lined up for the 7am EMH.
The last time I went was January 2017. We were there for 4 days and tried various times of arrival. We were happiest when we were at the park 1 hour before opening. This got us to be pretty much the first people in line at the gates, and then literally touching the rope before rope drop. Yes, it wasn’t SUPER fun to wait with antsy kids, but it sure was great when we didn’t have to wait for rides!
If you have the option, I might suggest switching park days around. If you are not able to do the EMH, then I would go to the park without it, in this case, DL. Once you get in the crowds from the EMH will already be established and the advantage of rope drop is not nearly as great. If your heart is set or plans cannot be changed, then I agree with @lolabear_la.