Rope dropping is a pretty popular Walt Disney World strategy. If you’re serious about getting a lot done, you might get to the parks before opening so you can be one of the first ones inside. Then you’ll hit your favorite rides with often much shorter waits.
If you’re not familiar with this strategy or if you just haven’t been in a while and need a refresher, we’re breaking it down for you here.
Find out how to rope drop in Disney World like a PRO.
So What’s Rope Drop?
Rope dropping is getting to a Disney park early so you can be inside right when it opens (when the “rope drops”!). It usually involves arriving a little before opening so you can be as close to the front of the line as possible. People will queue up at the entrance pretty early!
Once rope-droppers are in the park, they’ll typically head to the most popular attractions (think Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom, Slinky Dog Dash in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in EPCOT, and Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom).
Of course, you can technically rope drop whatever attraction you want, but the trick is to get on and off a ride before the wait gets super long — and sometimes, before the park even officially opens.
Does Rope Drop Exist Anymore?
Now, rope dropping is a little more complicated. Early Theme Park entry means Disney resort guests can get into the parks half an hour early, every day. This is different from the Extra Magic Hours which existed pre-closure on select days only. So if you want to truly rope drop but you aren’t staying in a Disney resort, things may be a little trickier.
But even if you’re not staying at a Disney World hotel, you can still get on some big rides with a lower wait time by adjusting your rope drop strategy just a bit — let us explain.
Here’s How to Do It
We rope dropped EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently so we could figure out the best strategy for you. Not only were we allowed in the parks early, but we were able to get quite a bit done before opening. The trick? Get to the park about an hour before opening. If you’re driving, be in line at the parking booth an hour before. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, hop on that transportation ASAP!
Usually between an hour to forty-five minutes before opening, that line at that parking booth will start moving. You’ll be able to park and head toward the entrance, where you may have to wait for a little bit!
While you’re waiting in line, make sure you’re thinking about where you’re going to go once you enter the park. Have in mind exactly which ride you’re heading to first — we recommend a popular one, so you can knock it out while the waits are low! Once the gates officially open, head quickly (but still walking) to your destination.
Since Disney hotel guests can enter the theme park a half hour before all the rest of the guests, some rides have long waits already. If you head over and see the line is already long (in our EPCOT experiment, the Test Track line was 50 minutes by 10:36AM), pick somewhere else instead (we opted for Soarin’!). You don’t want to spend all that valuable empty park time just waiting in line.
You can set yourself up for success by going to attractions that are popular but are NOT open for Early Theme Park Entry. Some of those rides include Jungle Cruise (Magic Kingdom), Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom), and Kilimanjaro Safaris (Disney’s Animal Kingdom).
Choosing those rides instead of the ones that are open for Early Entry will likely mean shorter wait times.
Knock out those popular attractions while the lines are low! And there you have it: you’ve officially rope dropped.
You can absolutely still rope drop in Disney World right now. It’ll just look a little different! Good luck hopping on your favorite attractions bright and early in the morning, and stay tuned to AllEars for more Disney news!
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Have you ever rope dropped in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!