Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers
What does it mean to Rope Drop at Disney?
Heading to Disney and you keep hearing about “Rope Drop”? Not sure exactly what that means and/or when you should get to the parks if you plan to take advantage of this “Rope Drop”? Below you will find all the need-to-know information on what it means to Rope Drop at Disney .
Importance of understanding the difference between Park Opening & Gate Opening?
To understand how Rope Drop works, you should first understand that Park Opening and Gate Opening are two very different things.
Park Opening are the official posted park hours listed on the My Disney Experience mobile app or Disneyland app. As well as on the Disney World Hours & Events Calendar or Disneyland Hours & Events Calendar. Hours vary each day and for EACH PARK. There are also two different types of opening hours. 1. Park Hours (which are for all guests) and 2. Early Entry Hours (which are just for guests staying at a Disney Resort Hotel*). So, it is important to know exactly when the parks are opening.
*At Walt Disney World, Early Entry is for Disney Resort Hotel Guests, guests staying at Shades of Green® on Walt Disney World® Resort, Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin/Swan Reserve Hotels as well as a handful of other resorts.
Gate Opening is when the front gates to each park actually start allowing guests in to the park. Every park is a little different as to when the gates actually open. For instance, Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World front gates open a full hour before the posted park hours. Other parks like Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park typically start letting guests through the front gates about 15 – 30 minutes before park opening.
What is Rope Drop?
Rope Drop is a term that refers to being inside of the park before the official park opening. Guests can make their way into the main hub of each park and towards the different lands. Cast Members stand at the entrance of the lands with a rope, holding guests back until the park technically opens. Once the park officially opens, Cast Members will remove the rope so guests can make their way to their first attraction.
What are the benefits of Rope Drop?
Rope Drop allows guests to be IN the park and closer to the attraction they are attempting to “rope drop” aka: ride first with little to no wait. The biggest way to maximize the benefits of rope drop is to plan to ride attractions that will later have super long wait times.
Being in the parks first thing in the morning for rope drop is also good if you are traveling with little ones. With low crowds and short waits, this is the time to get in and do the rides they can, meet the characters, all before the lines get too long and they need their afternoon nap.
Are all the attractions available at Rope Drop?
Since all parks currently have Early Entry, rope drop technically begins at Early Entry. During Early Entry, each park has their own list of attractions that are open and are subject to change. Always check the list of attractions for the park you are planning to rope drop. On both the My Disney Experience mobile app and the Disneyland mobile app, if you type in “Early Entry” into the search bar, the app will pull up all the attractions open during Early Entry for each park.
Pro Tip: Do not plan to rope drop attractions in Adventureland or Frontierland in Magic Kingdom Park. Adventureland and Frontierland are not open during Early Theme Park Entry.
What if I’m not staying at a Disney Resort Hotel. Can I still Rope Drop?
Yes! And you should!
When planning to rope drop but you are not staying at a resort where you can utilize Early Entry, you should STILL plan to rope drop. Most guests do not realize that you can still get into the parks even if you aren’t doing Early Entry. There will be signs and Cast Members staged for those who are doing Early Entry. Whereas all other guests can still enter into the park and make their way into the hub to be in the park long before actual park opening.
By being in the park before the official park opening, allows you to skip the long lines and delays at the front gates. Avoid getting stuck with all the other guests who didn’t know that they didn’t have to wait for the park to officially open to arrive. This will save you considerable time when making your way to an E-Ticket attraction.
If you have any questions regarding Rope Drop that I didn’t answer, drop a comment in the box below and I will do my best to answer you as quickly as possible.
Spreading magic one post at a timeKristin