Updated: Aug 25
Spend Less Time in Line By Rope Dropping
Disneyland and Walt Disney World are two of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. With so much to see and do, it's no wonder people often spend hours in line just to get on some of the most popular rides. But what if there was a way to avoid those long lines? Thanks to something called "rope drop," there is! This blog post will explain what rope drop is and how you can use it to your advantage when visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World.
What Is Rope Drop
Rope drop is the half hour before the park opens when you
are allowed into the park. People talk about Rope Drop so much in Disney Facebook groups and forums because getting to the park before it officially opens means you can get to popular attractions with some of the shortest waits of the entire day.
When you visit a Disney Park, one of the easiest things you can do to spend less time in line throughout the day is to attend Rope Drop. You are limited to a specific area, so you cannot ride any rides until the park opens unless you have Extra Magic Hours from staying at a Disney or Good Neighbor Resort.
The area is roped off, hence the name Rope Drop. If you have been coming to Disney Parks for a long time you might remember the opening ceremonies.
Why Rope Drop Works So Well
Many families like to sleep in on vacation, but if you want to avoid those long lines, it is worth getting up early and attending Rope Drop. This is especially true if you are not going to use Genie + or Individual Lighting Lanes.
While everyone else is sleeping, you can knock out your favorite rides. Sometimes I will ride my favorite ride two or three times before the line really starts to get long.
I often find that I can do as many attractions from 8 am-10 am as the later part of the day from 10 am to 4 pm without Genie+ or Lightning Lanes. You can usually get to 2-4 popular attractions before the crowds start to arrive at the parks.
Getting the Most Out of Rope Drop
If you are going to get up so early, you will want to save yourself from as many long lines as possible. This means having a plan. You can look at our RideSpy data to see what rides fill up the fastest.
It is important that you do the most popular rides in the park first.
Great first rides while Rope Dropping are:
Slinky Dog (WDW)
I like to have our whole party make up a list of "Must Rides." We can share them on the way to the Parks and plan what to ride first.
If you want to get the most out of your Disney day, you must arrive well before the park opens. If rope drop starts at 7:30, you will want to be at the gates for entry closer to 7 am. This means arriving at Disney parking around 6:30 am. Don't worry, the Starbucks is open at Rope Drop so you can get your coffee and enjoy the sights of the parks.
There is also a special line for those with early morning breakfast reservations.
To maximize your experience at Rope Drop, it is important that you have a plan before arriving.
Rope Drop + Nap Time= A Great Day
You can always go back to your hotel and take a nap during the middle of the day when it is hottest. Sometimes a dip in the pool can be just the thing to refresh everyone before heading back to the park.
Lines also shorten at the end of the day, so taking a break in the middle of the day means your group will have enough energy to enjoy both their mornings and evenings in the parks.
If you are not a morning person, you can still get a lot of rides in. However, the best time to power walk you way to shorter lines is during Rope Drop.