Not going to the parks early?


Anyone else not want to rush into the parks early in the morning?

I mean, we know the benifits, and plan on at least 2 or 3 days of rope/drop early entry, but what about those days when you want to mosey in the parks at 10 or 11…

Any later arrival tips ?



We DEFINATELY do not ever get there at park opening, we don’t even set an alarm. We usually wake up about 8-ish, get breakfast, get ready, then head out, arriving at the parks between 10-11ish. I don’t know if you could calll this “a tip” or not but one thing I definately noticed was that we always seem to be a couple steps behind the “rope droppers” so if you figure how to use that to your advantage it usually works pretty well. For example (lets take MGM) decide which attractions you KNOW the rope droppers went to first (ToT & RnR) and have now moved on from. Go there, b/c most likely they are all now around the Star Tours/Muppets or the BackStage Studio tour areas. Oh, and I have also noticed that counter service towards the VERY front of the parks seem to always be less busy, like eating on the road leading up to Tot & RnR versus back ny Mamma Melrose’s around noon.

Who knows, it seems to work for us. :happy:


I’m with you, on NOT arriving early. We head out ~11:00 AM. We’re just not morning people. We don’t travel with children, so that makes it easy. We still have energy to watch the night time shows every night (Illuminations, Wishes).

I don’t have any tips to share, however. Sorry!


I hear ya’ll but if you go in the high season, we’ve found that being “rope-droppers” means that, even in July and August, we never wait in lines more that 10-15 minutes.

Now there is a limit (DW and I aren’t as young as we used to be). About the fourth day, we have more of a “sleep-in” day and do a water park/leisurely day. Otherwise, your feet, your attitude, etc. begin to rebel!

Also, we start early and go hard (9 rides in the first hour and a half last time at MK) but after a good lunch, it’s back to the hotel for nap and/or pool! In the late afternoon we go back or “hop”.

That said, every family should do what suits their needs, huh? After all it’s YOUR vacation and most of us only get one or maybe two (if we’re lucky) each year. Have fun however you tour!


We rarely make rope drop unless we have a breakfast PS, but–especially on shorter weekend trips–we try to get there early so we can get as much park time as possible.

One park we (intentionally) NEVER make rope drop for is AK. AK is our leisurely park because there are fewer attractions there that we HAVE to see than in any other park. Our plan there is to get up around 9:00, get to AK by 10:00, grab a fastpass for EE or the Safari, and head over to Tusker House for a leisurely breakfast. Then we start the ride portion of the day around about 11:00. Now that Asia has that wonderful tea cart, we enjoyed getting some tea to have with our breakfast on our way to Africa from Asia in the morning.

MGM is another park that we don’t mind getting to late–fastpasses aren’t hard to come by over there. But we find that getting to Epcot and MK early (especially with the shortage of fastpasses at Soarin’ and Test Track these days) is imperative if you only have one day at each. If you’ve got two days at each park, then by all means roll out of bed a little later!


I’m an early morning person, so doing rope drop is fine for me. However, the rest of the family are late sleepers, and they have no Disney magic in the AM. So now we try to do at least one or two early mornings, and they get their way the rest of the time.


A question–do you guys tour in summer? In summer, by 9:30-10am, the big headliners at every park have 1-1 1/2 hour lines and the fast passes (if any left) have late afternoon return times. We’re looking forward to our upcoming Sept. trip because projects “4” crowd levels! We won’t know what to do with ourselves!


We’re never summer visitors. May and October are the closest we get to “peak” periods. Our May dates are listed as 8’s in the UOG, so I’m a little concerned there! But I don’t think I could handle those summer crowd levels made even worse by the oppressive heat!!


We stay away from peak summer times.
I waited 3 hours once for ToT, never again.
We always go in May, leaving in a few days.
Still busy sometimes, but not like summer.


Our plan is to get to rope drop for MK and Epcot. We have an 8am breakfast at AK, so we’ll be able to get over to EE easily. I don’t have a rope drop planned for MGM, since neither of us will be doing ToT again (we didn’t like it too much the first time). So we’ll go there mid-afternoon. We’re early risers anyway, so getting up at 7am is no problem for us. I can’t even get the kids to sleep late on weekends or no school days!!! We’ll come back to CSR for a break in the afternoons, but I know it won’t be for a nap. I think my boys are like the Energizer Bunny…they keep going, and going, and going.


Such a good plan! You probably don’t have to get up as early. We are so looking forward to this “non-summer” trip!


Yeah, I should have mentioned in my first reply that we DO NOT ever go during spring break, Christmas week, June, or July. If I was forced to go during those huge attendance periods, I think we would definately suck it up and become rope droppers.

Otherwise, during periods of moderate or low attendance it works out really well.


You know that we “rope-droppers” prefer to be known as WDW Commandos!


Yeah, if you’re going during peak times, don’t even THINK about trying to enter after rope drop. There will be no point.

I did it a few months ago, and it was busy for some holiday (I can’t remember which one, but schools were out), and it was a nightmare. We got there late in the afternoon, and Fantasy Land was impossible.

If it’s going to be a time when schools are out - you gotta get there EARLY :c(


I do that once in awhile. I save that for an mgm day. You can do all the shows etc easliy. It makes for a nice relaxing day.


It’s been a dream of mine to be among the first to enter the MK in the morning! But it NEVER works out that way!

Someday though! I just want to say “We Did It!!” :cool:

(Those Lapu-Lapus have a way of telling you to sleep a little longer in the morning!) :tongue:


I’ve always wanted to be there for the rope drop but I’m on vacation, we normally stroll into the parks around 10:30 or 11:00. My advice would be to enjoy your sleep. :tongue:


Only once did we get to a park for the rope drop. AK and that was because we wanted to do the safari early because “they say” the animals are more active early in the morning. And it was fun to see all of the characters drive by the front entrance in their bus and get out and take pictures.


Sorry I can’t help - I like to go early! We like to do CRT early and then to Fantastyland. We can get through all of Fantastyland before the crowds! Same thing for AK - I like the early Safari or Dinosaur rides. :mickey:


This just reminded me of something funny I heard. I went bathing suit shopping on Saturday, and the 2 older sales ladies in the shop said they just went to WDW in February. They didn’t care for AK that much and even said they enjoyed the Safari at Great Adventure better than AK. They said they only saw about 2 animals. I asked them what time of day they went on the Safari. They said around 2pm. I said they should have went early in the morning, like we did at 9am when we saw sooooo many animals out and about. The early bird catches the worm, or in this case, gets to see all the animals on the safari.

Another question: After reading all of these great tips, do you think we will be OK to stroll into MGM mid-afternoon and still see Indiana Jones, Star Tours, LMA, Voyage of Little Mermaid, and some other shows? We plan at least 2 times at MGM. One day a 4:30 dinner at H&V and then Fantasmic at night. Another day, 4pm dinner at 50’s PT, then see things we didn’t see the first day. But when everyone goes to Fantasmic that night, I figured the rest of the park should be thinned out. What’s your thoughts? Sorry if I strayed from the subject a little.