• On Mar 22, 2011
    Jennifer from GA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I've read on the Moms Panel about the park opening celebrations each morning. I've heard you can go through the turnstiles well in advance of rope drop (up to 45 min early) and get a good place for the park opening celebration. Is this true?

    Hi Jennifer!

    How early you can get into a park in the morning really depends on a lot of factors, but the largest is how crowded Disney expects the park to be that day.

    I'll discuss the Magic Kingdom as an example.  The Magic Kingdom will have an official posted opening time for a specific day.  On some days there will be two openings:  an Extra Magic Hour Morning for guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel or Fort Wilderness, and an opening for those "day guests" not staying at a Disney property (i.e. the general public).  For most days, I recommend that guests arrive at the Magic Kingdom 30 minutes before the posted opening time.  On especially popular days, such as Christmas or July 4th, I recommend that guests show up at least an hour before the posted opening time.  Depending on how the crowd builds outside the turnstiles, Disney may let guests into the park early.  However, in the case of the Magic Kingdom, once you get through the turnstile, you usually still have to wait for rope drop.  In the past, rope drop has been as far into the park as Cinderella Castle, but in my experiences over the past several years, rope drop has occurred at the tunnels underneath the train station.

    So in the case of the Magic Kingdom, you can get through the turnstile early and then be in a good position for the park opening / welcome show.  Then when the show is over, the rope will be dropped and then you're on your way to a magical day!

    Write back if you have any more questions!
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Meet the Panelist: Bernie, Maryland

I am an engineer with NASA with prior Air Force service. My wife and I have two boys, ages 13 and 8. At home, I'm known as the "Disney Guy" and I've enjoyed helping guests plan their Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and Disneyland vacations. Learn More About Bernie

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