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Rope Drop Magic Kingdom: Why It’s Worth The Early Wake-Up Call

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You must be wondering why knowing about rope drop is crucial at Magic Kingdom. It is one of the most famous parks at Walt Disney World, having the popular Cinderella castle and thrilling rides. Magic Kingdom is also included in the list of those parks that grant you early theme park entry perks. Similar to the Lightning lane, Genie+, and Magic hours, Rope drop is also used to avoid the perpetually long lines. To make it easy for guests to enjoy the rides to the fullest.

Basics Of Rope Drop AT MAGIC KINGDOM

rope drop at magic kingdom

Earlier at Walt Disney World, the rope was used in selected areas to hold the guests heading towards the parks. So, that is how the term “Rope Drop” came into existence. Recently, the rope is not much used. It is only utilized to close off some regions while allowing early access to others.

A rope is usually included, although the phrase generally refers to the opening of a park. To rope drop at Magic Kingdom means to be at the park as soon as the gates open.

Many people do not know that the time listed by Disney for opening the parks is actually the time the rides start operating. The parks at Walt Disney World actually open before their official opening. And guests are allowed into the parks 15 to 30 minutes earlier than the official opening time.

The rope drop term is used at Walt Disney World for when the theme park opens, and guests are allowed to enter. If all theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, open at 9 AM, they will not keep everyone waiting outside and then open the gates as well as the rides by 9 AM.

This strategy will definitely lead to chaos. They have various procedures to keep the crowd at bay, and Rope drop is one of them. Moreover, all guests do not enter the Disney parks at the same time.

Being a guest at one of the Disney Hotels gives you the privilege of early entry into the parks every day. Whether it is a regular day or holiday, Disney Resort guests will get early entry. Disney Resort guests will have early park entry 30 minutes earlier than the off-property guests before the official opening. This can be a great advantage over those staying off the Disney property.

An Opening Show Before Rope Drop At Magic Kingdom

opening show at magic kingdom

There is a 5-minute opening show at the Magic Kingdom called “Let the Magic Begin” to welcome the guests. To give them a wonderful head start. On that particular morning, the show begins five minutes before the opening in front of Cinderella Castle.

The show starts with the sounds of trumpets bursting through the air, along with your favorite mickey mouse and his fellows welcoming you to the Disney theme parks.

You should not really miss this opening show as it will only take a few minutes of your day. You can head towards your favorite rides once you are done enjoying the Opening show.

Early Park Entry At Walt Disney World

rope drop early entry

While rope drop at Disney World is still popular, it's important to know that the Walt Disney World Resort has made some changes. It allows 30-minute early entry for the guests of Disney resort.

Guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel and other hotels can gain early entry to the Disney theme park each day. Early park entry replaced the old Extra Magic Hours system. Earlier resort guests had the privilege to get into the parks either one hour early or stay two hours extra.

Rope dropping works best at the Magic Kingdom with early park entry because there are so many rides. However, crowds tend to concentrate on just a few famous and specific rides at the other theme parks early. Therefore, there's not much of an advantage to rope drop at other parks.

However, the guests can use the rope drop with or without early entry at Magic Kingdom. Unlike the other parks, guests without Early Entry can enjoy some of the parks because Main Street and Hub are open for all the guests as soon as the gate opens.

At first, guests having the Early Entry will move towards Main Street and turn right, where cast members will scan their magic band to confirm whether they qualify for Early Entry.

At this point, guests will have two options:

  1. The Fantasyland Bridge or

  2. The Tomorrowland Bridge

1) Tomorrowland Bridge Rope Drop At Magic Kingdom

tomorrowland bridge

You can not miss the Tomorrowland Bridge. It is the first bridge you will cross and the path you will use if you plan to start with Space Mountain.

2) Fantasyland Bridge Rope Drop At Magic Kingdom

fantasyland bridge

The Fantasyland Bridge is the second bridge that you will cross. It is closer to Cinderella Castle, where most of the crowd will be headed. Guests often use it for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Peter Pan's Flight.

After your first ride using the Early Entry, you can stick to some rides in Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. Many of the rides nearby will require you to wait for a while in the morning.

This is your best chance to avail yourself of the thrilling rides at Magic Kingdom without waiting in long queues if you don't have Genie+ or Lightning Lane.

Popular attractions for magic kingdom

The most popular attractions for Magic Kingdom rope-dropping, which frequently have long waiting queues at Disney World, are the following:

  • The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  • Peter Pan's Flight

  • Jungle Cruise

  • Space Mountain

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Magic Kingdom Early Theme Park Entry Strategy

early entry strategy

Early entry is an added benefit for on-site Disney resort guests. It gives them a 30-minute head start so they can arrive early (before the park opens) and don't have to wait in long queues in order to enjoy their favorite rides.

Magic Kingdom is a bit different from other Walt Disney World parks because guests are allowed to enter Main Street U.S.A. and the Hub (the garden area immediately in front of Cinderella Castle) before the park officially opens.

There are days when the park opens at 8 am, but Magic Kingdom mostly opens at 9 am. This is usually true even if you're visiting on an insanely busy day of the year.

Complimentary Transportation For On-Site Guests

If you are staying at the Disney World Resort, you will be able to use their complimentary transportation in order to make your way to rope drop Magic Kingdom.

However, Disney transportation might be the cheapest way to arrive at the park but not the quickest because Disney transportation starts one hour earlier than the park opening, which won't give you much time to get there in advance for the rope drop.

There is also a water taxi that will take you from Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground, Disney's Fort Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian Resort, or Polynesian Resort to Magic Kingdom. And a ferry ride can take you from the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center) to Magic Kingdom. You can use this Ferry if you are dropped off at the TTC instead of taking the monorail.

disney resort transportation

Walking All three resorts along the monorail also have a walkway to Magic Kingdom. This is a great option to be one of the first in line to rope drop. However, if you are still unsure about transportation, the transportation details can be found on the My Disney Experience App under the “Resort Hotel” tab.

If you arrive early at Disney World, it can help you ride more attractions, as arriving early at Disney parks is the key to maximizing your day. In the past, there used to be a velvet rope that the cast members would carry with them to control the crowd of guests during the park opening.

And when they didn't have a rope, the Cast Members would form a line and walk at the front of the crowd. Basically, their job was to protect everyone by keeping the pace of the crowd down to a fast walk.

Early Entry Vs. Magic Kingdom Rope Drop

magic kingdom early entry

As mentioned above, early entry is given to the guests who are staying at the Walt Disney World resort, giving them an advantage of 30 minutes early entry into the theme park.

There are only two areas that accept early entry: Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. However, rope drop can give an advantage to offsite guests the most.

Since these two lands open earlier than the others, it can greatly benefit off-property guests in a way that they can easily rope-drop other lands in order to get the most out of their day at Magic Kingdom.

Some specific attractions within these lands open for early entry and rope dropping are:

  • Astro Orbiter

  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant

  • It’s A Small World

  • Mad Tea Party

  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic

  • Peter Pan’s Flight

  • Prince Charming Regal Carousel

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  • Space Mountain

  • The Barnstormer

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

  • Tomorrowland Speedway

  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

  • Under the Sea, Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Always check the My Disney Experience app or Disney website for the complete guide to show times, Early entry, Rope drop, scheduled events, and official park hours.

Pro tip: If you want to rope drop the Magic Kingdom, arriving at least one hour before the listed opening time is advised.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Rope Drop AT MAGIC KINGDOM

seven dwarfs mine train

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland gets the biggest crowds. Therefore, it is an ideal strategy to rope drop seven dwarf mine train in order to avoid the long queues.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train offers plenty of excitement while still being suitable for younger ones who may not be able to experience larger roller coasters.

As soon as early entry begins, families can enjoy this attraction together without worrying about who will be left behind and long wait times. Also, it is the target of most guests who are rope-dropping.

So, if you are not going to pay for the Lightning lanes (Lightning Lanes allow guests to skip the lines for quick entrances to the attractions) and have an early entry, the rope drop is for you. It is a great way to prioritize riding your favorite attractions.

The earlier you arrive, the more likely you are to avoid long wait times. However, if you do not have early entry, it is not possible for you to rope drop mine train. And you can miss out on many popular rides during your Disney vacation.

If you are done with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train quickly, you will still have time for another ride before the other park opens. You can enjoy the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, only if they don't have long wait times.

Space Mountain Rope Drop AT MAGIC KINGDOM

space mountain rope drop

The Space Mountain rope drop at the Disney Magic Kingdom gives you more flexibility when used with Individual Lightning lanes. If you have already purchased ILL (Individual Lightning Lane) for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you can enjoy Space Mountain in Tomorrowland and Peter Pan's Flight in Fantasyland.

The main advantage of availing the Space Mountain's rope drop is once you are off the ride, you will be having many more rides nearby to enjoy before other offsite guests arrive at Magic Kingdom. There are some other Fantasyland rides too.

Peter Pan's Flight Rope Drop AT MAGIC KINGDOM

peter pans flight

The Peter Pan's Flight rope drop will give you an amazing experience even if you don't have Genie+ but have Mine Train Lightning lane. If you are done riding Mine Train or Space Mountain or simply not planning to go for them, this option can be much more exciting for you.

During the Early entry, the Peter Pans Flight's wait will increase quickly and get higher than Space Mountain. But that too can benefit you as the immediate rush there won't be too bad.

You will be sharing the same bridge with the crowd going toward the seven dwarfs mine train. This means that you will be experiencing chaos throughout the way leading toward Peter Pan's Flight.

If you're off the ride quickly and want to enjoy something entertaining, you can head towards Winnie the Pooh. Once you are done enjoying this area at Magic Kingdom, you can head from there to Liberty Square or the Castle in order to enjoy the welcome show.

Tangled-Themed Restroom Rope Drop AT MAGIC KINGDOM

tangled restroom at Magic Kingdom

If you are an onsite guest and have access to Early Entry, there is a chance that you will have plenty of time before the rest of the parks open.

You can go on a Jungle cruise or join the crowd via the Fantasyland's path by the Tangled bathroom. However, this path can only be accessible to guests with Early Entry.

The tangled-themed restrooms are located between Haunted Mansion and It's a small world. You can easily find the location using the My Disney Experience Mobile App. You can select the map from the Home page of the App. There you will have three paths to follow:

  1. The path from the hub into Adventureland

  2. The path from the hub into Liberty Square

  3. The path from Fantasyland to Liberty Square

Only the guests with Early entry can have access to the third path because they will be inside Fantasyland, while the other paths would be accessible to everyone. But if you are planning to visit the Haunted Mansion, the path from Fantasyland will be faster than going to the hub. Only you'll need an Early entry.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Rope Drop AT MAGIC KINGDOM

big thunder mountain railroad

It is one of those rides that require long wait times. It's a wild adventure with deep dips, steep twists around mountains, an avalanche, a flood, and a slew of other shocks.

The queue region also consists of antiques from the “Old West” and the Big Thunder Mining Company. There are cranks to spin and plungers that detonate blasting caps, resulting in explosions that you can see while looking over the mountain.

This ride has been one of Magic Kingdom Theme Park's most popular rides for thrill seekers searching for a thrilling but family-friendly ride since it opened in 1980. So you must have understood now why you should rope drop Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

It is also an excellent rollercoaster to visit in the morning, as it is a popular attraction with continuously long lines. This will also take you to the Frontierland section of Magic Kingdom, which is less popular than Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.

Jungle Cruise Rope Drop AT MAGIC KINGDOM

jungle cruise rope drop

The jungle cruise is the most adventurous ride in the Magic Kingdom. It is also worth the rope drop because there are usually long lines throughout the day, and you will have to wait much longer to get through the crowd.

In addition, it will be quite harder to get the lightning lane for the Jungle cruise. Therefore it is necessary to run for this ride as soon as the rope drops. In this way, you will not have to fight your way in.

If you are thinking about getting to the parks early, you will definitely want to have a plan for at least the first few attractions you want to hit once the park opens.

Ideally, you should have a park map in hand in order to know where all rides are located. If you don't know where to head, you will feel stressed and may get trampled by a determined guest pushing a stroller while trying to figure the way out.

Liberty Square And Frontierland Rope Drop AT MAGIC KINGDOM

liberty square rope drop

Liberty Square, Frontierland, and Adventureland usually open at 9 Am in the morning for all guests. Frontierland and Liberty Square highlight the unyielding human spirit and American freedom.

Liberty Square's must-have attractions include The Haunted Mansion, The Hall of Presidents, and The Libert Square Riverboat. Meanwhile, Frontierland's must-have attractions are Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, and Tom Swayer's Island.

If you start with the Big Thunder Railroad, it will be a long walk to get there and then back to other rides as it is far back in Frontierland. Having a Genie+ can give you several advantages as compared to regular tickets.

You can enjoy these attractions later on the day, too, in order to save rope drop for the other popular rides. You are sure to have a memorable experience on your regular rope drop when magic kingdom opens.

The recent attractions that benefit from early arrival if you don't have Genie+ are Disney's Animal Kingdom, Avatar Flight of Passage, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Slinky Dog Dash, and Millennium Falcon. But only if you are in the first wave of riders. Tower of Terror or Rock ‘n Roller Coaster are good choices too.

If you use the rope drop method of arriving at the park early and couple it with Genie +, you have a great strategy for moving efficiently through the Magic Kingdom. Of course, efficiently means checking off all the attractions you want to ride.

Rope Drop For Visitors Not Staying In A Disney Resort

rope drop for offsite visitors

Although there is no shortcut for visitors who are not staying at Disney resort hotels. They will have to enter the parks before the official time to ensure they reach earlier to their desired parks.

But they can reach earlier to make sure they get through security and are queuing near the gate so that as soon as they allow guests inside, they are the first ones to enter their desired parks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Which Transportation To Use For Rope Drop?

If you are an on-site guest, you will have complimentary transportation given by Disney World Resort. You can avail of their transportation to get to the Magic Kingdom. It is one of the reasonable options.

If you're using Disney transportation, make sure to arrive at your stop 30 minutes earlier. So you be the first in line. Otherwise, you won't get a chance for a rope drop. Disney Transportation includes:

1) Buses

Disney buses run every 15 to 20 minutes and fill up very quickly. This entails that you have to get to the bus stop early to be there for the rope drop.

2) Monorail

If you are staying at the Grand Floridian or Polynesian, you can get on the monorail to reach Magic Kingdom quickly. The monorail usually starts running 30 minutes before the park opens.

3) Boat

A Disney boat will take you to Magic Kingdom from Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian Resort, or Polynesian Resort. This ferry will take you through the TTC to Magic Kingdom.

What Time Do The Parking Lots Open For Rope Drop?

The Parking lot opens one hour earlier than the official park opening. Just make sure not to arrive very early. They will turn you away in order to avoid the long queues at the parking lot causing traffic disruption.

If you don't want to rely on Disney transportation, you can hire Uber, Taxi, or Lyft to get to the Transportation center from your hotel. And get the monorail from there in order to reach the Magic Kingdom.

Which Attractions Should You Head For First At Magic Kingdom?

Peter Pan's Flight, Space Mountain, and Big thunder mountain are the most famous attractions that have long wait times. If you are planning to head to them first, it is better to rope drop for these popular attractions at Magic Kingdom.

In addition, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will also have long waiting queues. It will probably be the target of many guests. But it will be easier to get on the ride by rope dropping it first than later on the day.

What Time To Arrive At Magic Kingdom?

Magic Kingdom's opening timings keep changing every day. So, the best time to arrive at the Magic Kingdom really depends on its opening time. Ideally, you should arrive 30 to 40 minutes earlier on normal days. But on holidays, you should reach there approximately 60 minutes early.

Always check the My Disney Experience App in order to understand the complete schedule, events, and maps. However, guests who stay at a Disney Deluxe Resort or Disney Deluxe Villa can also enjoy extended evening hours on select evenings in select parks.

Does Parking Area Affect The Rope Drop?

Magic Kingdom is a bit different from other parks. It requires extra time to get there from the parking lot. Guests often park, walk, or take a quick ride from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and Animal Kingdom to the park entrance.

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