|What you would get to see at Animal Kingdom rope drop|
Rope Drop Pros:
- Each park has its own little rope drop show, unique to which park you're at. Magic Kingdom's is most people's favorites (including mine), but I also really like the shows at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Epcot's doesn't enthuse me.
- If you want to ride the headliner of the park more than once without waiting more than 45 minutes, rope drop is a must. Ride Soarin' (or Space Mountain or Toy Story Mania or Expedition Everest) immediately, and then get a Fastpass for later. Most likely your Fastpass will be good in the very near future, so you're not stuck in the park all night like you may be if you wait until 11 or 12 to get a Fastpass.
- You will get things done... fast. On an average day at the Magic Kingdom (let's say crowd levels are around a 5), we have gotten every ride and show we wanted to see plus lunch done by 2 pm or earlier. I'm talking 10-12 attractions in five hours or less. When do the majority get done? In the first hour that the park is open.
- You have to wake up early. To be at the parks before 9, we usually wake up at 7. Some people don't want to be up that early on vacation. I value ride time more than relax time. But for some people, waking up early is the big deal breaker.
- You have to wake up really early. Plan on taking Disney transportation? To be sure you'll arrive in time for rope drop, especially to the Magic Kingdom, you should get on a bus before 8:30. Ideally before 8:15. Heck, once we got on a bus to Animal Kingdom at 8:00. That means we were done with breakfast by 8. So we were down at the food court by 7:30.
- You have to wait on line at the turnstiles. Unfortunately, even if you arrive to the park at 8, they won't let you in until 8:45 at the earliest. Yes, that means 45 minutes waiting at the turnstiles, but unless you're visiting at an absolutely crazy time, that's pretty much all you'll be waiting all day. Plus, the earlier you are, the more likely you are to be picked as Family of the Day, and the more likely you are to not be stuck behind someone who can't remember which finger they used to scan in the previous day.
- If you're visiting Walt Disney World at a busy time, you should highly consider getting to the park at rope drop. That in combination with a touring plan is really the only way you're going to have a successful day. Trust me, you'll get more done by noon than most families will get done in the entire day.
- If you're visiting Walt Disney World at a very hot time of year, you should highly consider getting to the park at rope drop. The early morning is much less hot and humid than mid-afternoon. Get the bulk of your attractions done early, then go back to the hotel for a nap, go for a swim, or go for a nice, long, air conditioned lunch. Come back to the park around 5 or 6. It'll be less crowded than the mid-afternoon, and you can finish up any attractions you didn't get in the morning. You'll get just as much or more done than if you arrived at 11 or 12, and you'll have missed the hottest (and most likely the rainiest) part of the day.
Do you arrive at the parks at rope drop? What do you think about getting there bright and early? Let me know in a comment, on Twitter (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!