Rope drop? What in the world is “rope drop”??
When talking to someone or reading about Disney World, sometimes they use lingo that is particular just to Disney. “Rope drop” is one of those phrases that can sometimes be very confusing.
Rope drop simply means getting to the park before it opens that day so you can be one of the first people to enter when they start letting people in. There isn’t usually an actual rope involved, and if there is, the Cast Members walk it to the side, they don’t just drop it.
When you hear this phrase mentioned, it is almost always a strategy to get onto a ride that someone wasn’t able to get a FASTPASS for. Here is how to employ this strategy. Get to the park at least 30 minutes before it officially opens. They will almost always start letting people into parts of the park before the official opening time. For example, they will usually let people on Main Street USA before opening in Magic Kingdom, or in Animal Kingdom, they let you throughout the park, but the turnstiles of the rides are not open. None of the rides in any of the parks will be running before the park is officially open.
So you get to the park early and get let in before official opening time, once 9am (for example) hits, they will allow everyone to fully enter the park. If you wanted to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but were unable to get that coveted FASTPASS, you will head directly there and get in line immediately. This is usually the opportunity to have the lowest standby wait time because you have beat the majority of guests of the day to this attraction.
This is also a common tactic for Avatar Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom. In Animal Kingdom, they let you fully into the park, but the line forms completely outside of the turnstiles of the ride. So once the park is officially open, the line starts moving and, in my opinion, very much feels like it just keeps moving almost the entire time you’re in it. You will not be the only people there for rope drop, so you may still wait a fair amount of time to ride one of these rides mentioned, but it is still likely to be a shorter wait time than any other time throughout the day.
Another tactic for rope dropping a park is to grab breakfast reservations for a restaurant inside that park. You can often get reservations for an hour before park opening. You will walk up to the gate, show them your reservations, they will scan your ticket/Magic Band, and let you in. Now you can take those photos with the castle and very few strangers in the background AND if you eat fast enough, you can still make it to rope drop your favorite ride! Two restaurants in particular that offer these early morning reservations are Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table, both in Magic Kingdom.
Now, next time someone mentions “rope drop,” you will be in the know and can ask them what ride they are wanting to get on so early!
If you are interested in planning your own rope drop adventures, let me help you! I can plan as much or as little of your vacation as you’d like. Email me at Jill@ThinkTheHappiestThoughts.com or fill out the “Free Quote” form at the top of the page to get started today!