Rope Dropping Tips For the Magic Kingdom

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Close up picture of the new pink and blue paint job on cinderella castle in Walt Disney World

You have been planning your Walt Disney World vacation, and you got a park reservation for Magic Kingdom. You plan to use Walt Disney World transportation to get to Magic Kingdom. Still, you desire to make most of your day there, so you are planning to arrive early. At this point, you want to avoid buying Genie+ or any individual lightning lane. You wonder if you can experience all the attractions your group craves. Your best chance is to arrive early to “rope-drop.”

Now, your experience and preferred attractions could vary. However, I will suggest best plans based on most group’s interests. Some other examples of these type of plans can be found in other rope drop articles (AK, DHS, and Epcot)

ON-SITE GUESTS WITH EARLY THEME PARK ENTRY:

These guests should arrive at least 45 minutes before early park opening. Early theme park entry time sometimes starts earlier than announced time. Arriving earlier allows you chance to enjoy that possibility. You should line up to enter either Fantasyland or Tomorrowland since those will usually be areas opening for early park time.

The three attractions open, during early hours, saving you the most probable time in queues later in day are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, and Peter Pan’s Flight. You should select one of these three to visit first. A few factors to consider in deciding which attraction to make first stop:

  1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train sometimes does not open at early park admission time.
  2. Most guests head to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Peter Pan’s Flight first. If selecting one of those then make sure to arrive early enough to get in first group of people able to enter Fantasyland.
  3. If you changed your mind and decided to get lightning lanes (via Genie+ or individual paid access), choose other attractions first.

Your next decision involves whether you will be a part of Magic Kingdom’s secondary rope-drop. I refer to it that way since Adventureland and Frontierland should not open until official park opening. If your “first” rope-drop goes perfectly, you can join the guests waiting to enter Adventureland. Jungle Cruise rates as an important variable. If possible, prioritizing Jungle Cruise here makes sense. If not, you could prioritize the rest of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland before moving on avoiding this second “rope-drop.”

NON-RESORT GUESTS WITHOUT EARLY THEME PARK ENTRY

  1. Arrive at least 45 minutes before official park opening.
  2. Make you way down Main Street USA to line up to enter Adventureland or Frontierland
  3. At this point, you must make your pivotal decision. You can start with Jungle Cruise. This option merits consideration since Jungle Cruise queue moves slowly. Also, Jungle Cruise ranks as toughest Genie+ lightning lane to get currently. Your other option is to head to Frontierland. You could prioritize Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates of Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion. Either way, you will face longer queues as the day continues.

Arriving early places guests at a large advantage. Most vacationers do not want to get out of bed that early. If theme park day goal involves less waiting in queues, then these “rope drop” suggestions should help. These recommendations are based on current data. Data and procedures change. Also, every park day functions different. Attractions go down. Rain and/or cold weather happens. Not everything can be predicted but with this information you should be ahead of 95% of guests. Good luck!

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Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.