What you should consider before rope dropping at Disney
When you rope drop at Disney, you’ll be one of the first people in line for one of your favorite rides. Truthfully, it’s an amazing experience to be among the first in line for one of Magic Kingdom’s most popular rides. The earlier you arrive, the more likely you are to avoid long wait times. But it’s good to have an idea of which ride you want to head to first.
Rope dropping at Disney means arriving before the park opens. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the most popular ride to rope drop at the Magic Kingdom. To rope drop successfully, arrive at least an hour before the park opens and consider “bundling” popular rides.
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What should you rope drop at the Magic Kingdom?
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is probably the most popular choice for rope drop. Located in Fantasyland, it has consistently long waits throughout the day. With the new Genie+ system, the only options to skip the line are to purchase Individual Lightning Lanes or rope drop it. Currently, other popular attractions to rope drop include Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. These rides all have longer waits throughout the day. For TRON Lightcycle Run, currently, you have to use a Virtual Queue or Individual Lightning Lane to be able to ride the new ride.
Rope drop strategies for Magic Kingdom
Our family has had a lot of success with choosing one very popular ride followed by a nearby ride that typically has a moderate wait time. For example, if you head for Seven Dwarfs first thing, you can follow it with the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Using this “bundling” rope drop strategy can save a lot of time. It’s possible to walk to multiple rides within the first few minutes of the official park opening time.
Alternatively, if you want to prioritize Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, you will have a lot of other rides nearby, like the Tomorrowland Speedway or Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Which rides you prioritize will likely depend on your family’s goals and whether or not you purchased Genie+. Either way, be sure you have an idea of where you’re heading as you arrive at the park.
If you want to rope drop the Magic Kingdom, I recommend arriving at least one hour before the listed opening time. Always check the My Disney Experience app for the official park hours. Disney posts park hours months in advance. Be sure to check the times closer to your arrival because Disney often adjusts park hours based on crowd projections.
Finally, I recommend taking the monorail to the park. Then, take the ferry back to your car in the evening. Even with more people waiting in line for the ferry, it is almost always quicker on the return trip compared to the monorail.
What’s the difference between early entry and rope drop?
Rope drop simply means you’re arriving at the park right when it opens to avoid crowds. Early entry is gaining access to the park before the official opening – a perk of staying at one of the Disney resorts. Guests at Disney hotels can be admitted to the park 30 minutes before the posted official opening time.
How the parking areas affect rope drop
Magic Kingdom is also different from other Disney parks in that it takes extra time to get there from the parking lot. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, guests park and either walk or take a quick tram ride to the park entrance. There’s an extra hop, skip and jump when you’re heading to the Magic Kingdom. You’ll park at the Disney Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) rather than Magic Kingdom itself.
Guests process through security at the TTC before boarding either a monorail or ferry. The monorail takes you around the Seven Seas Lagoon. It’s super cool because you get to go through the Contemporary Resort Hotel on your way to the Magic Kingdom. The ferry takes you across Seven Seas Lagoon.
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