Many Disney fans like to make the most of their Walt Disney World vacation with the “rope drop” trick, enabling them to ride some of the most coveted attractions without long wait times due to early theme park entry. But is it really worth it?
The terminology of “rope dropping” refers to getting to a Disney Park before Park opening time, when Cast Members keep an actual rope barrier stretched across the entrance. The practice allows the most dedicated fans (who get up exceptionally early, oftentimes after an already full day traipsing each large Disney World Park on foot) to bypass the huge throngs of Guests who will also make their way to the most in-demand attractions.
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Especially since Disney programs offered in limited supply, which replaced the previous FastPass option, such as Lightning Lane and Disney Genie+, continue to rise in price even as they sell out, rope dropping is one way for Guests to ensure they board their favorite or the newest rides. In addition, as attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort have increased malfunctions within the last few years, boarding early also prevents possible shutdowns throughout the day.
Typically, Guests who rope drop will make a beeline for the biggest attractions: generally, thrill rides, newer experiences with state-of-the-art technology, and E-ticket attractions. However, are they right to prioritize some of these at the very start of their day?
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For example, many Guests might rush to the World of Pandora or Galaxy’s Edge to ride Flight of Passage and Smuggler’s Run. But, reports suggest it might be worth more of your time to do something else and save these rides for the end of the day.
Why? Some Disney Cast Members have stated that the My Disney Experience App will continue to post inaccurate wait times up to five minutes before the Park closes (allegedly to prevent Guests from getting in line). As a result, the posted wait time online and at the turnstile displays might read 170 minutes, when in reality, any Guest who enters will walk straight on, waiting no more than five to ten minutes to board the attraction!
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Additionally, some other rides experience peak wait times during one hour of the day, only to drop to a walk-on wait time a few hours later, such as Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion at the Disneyland Resort. Of course, this leaves room to rope drop other attractions which steadily have long wait times, such as TRON Lightcycle / Run, Peter Pan, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, “the Mountains,” and Expedition Everest!
As always, make sure to check the Walt Disney World website and app for the most updated wait times, and follow DisneyDining for more early entry tips and news!