Riders on TRON at Night; magic kingdom
  • On Feb 5, 2024
    Michael from WI Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    If I am staying off Disney but have tickets can I still E joy the rope drop

    Hey there, Michael, and welcome to planDisney! It looks like you'll be visiting Walt Disney World Resort in just a few short days, and now is a great time to think about how you want your days in the Disney Theme Parks to flow.

    If you've heard of the term "rope drop," you're probably familiar with its meaning. While there isn't necessarily a physical rope at the opening of a theme park, you'll see various ways that Cast Members manage entry for all guests, and then how they separate Disney Resort Hotel guests from guests who are staying offsite. While you can arrive at a theme park earlier than its posted opening time, there are certain things that offsite guests cannot do until the time the park opens, since Disney Resort Hotel guests are allowed to enter and experience certain attractions up to 30 minutes early.

    During my most recent vacation to Walt Disney World Resort, we visited two parks as offsite guests. I'll share my experience with you! My family loves a day full of attractions, shopping, and dining, and we love taking advantage of the early hours of the day.

    Our first day was at Disney's Hollywood Studios. We arrived by car about 45 minutes prior to park open. We went through the security checkpoint and joined other offsite guests in a line at the gate. While we weren't by any means close to the front of the line, I'd say we were just about in the middle. At park open, it took us about ten minutes to get through the gate. Within another ten minutes, we were in the queue for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which had no wait at the time! I will say, I tried to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane at the time of park open, but was unsuccessful (Disney Resort Hotel guests are able to purchase this at 7:00am). We were glad that we purchased Disney Genie+ Service, because it helped us avoid long waits the rest of the day.

    Our second day was at Magic Kingdom Park. We arrived by car about 30 minutes prior to park open, boarded a tram, and chose to take the Monorail. We ended up entering the park just a few minutes after park open and opted to ride Pirates of the Caribbean first. We did this because Early Theme Park Entry allows Disney Resort Hotel guests access to Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, so wait times in those areas were starting to rise, but Adventureland was still pretty empty since it opened at the same time as park open. We did purchase Genie+ Service this day, as well as an Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which thankfully was still available at park open. We also joined the Virtual Queue for TRON: Lightcycle / Run, which is available for offsite guests at the same time as Disney Resort Hotel guests. 

    Magic Kingdom Park offers a unique experience for guests who arrive earlier than park open - for up to an hour before the park opens, guests can explore Main Street, U.S.A. and spend time around the front of Cinderella Castle. At the time of park open, you'll see a fun celebration called "Let the Magic Begin," with Mickey Mouse and his friends welcoming you to the park! 

    I know that Disney Genie+ Service, Individual Lightning Lanes, and Virtual Queues can sound like a foreign language, so I highly recommend you do a little research on them to decide if you'd like to take advantage of these services. Please come back to planDisney with any additional questions you have about your vacation - we are here to help!

    See you real soon!
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Meet the Panelist: Jennifer, Georgia

Hi friends, I’m Jennifer! I live in Georgia with my handsome Prince Charming and our three awesome Mouseketeers. My Disney favorites are food, princesses, holidays, and festivals. I thrive on logistics and details, so I love all of the intricate plans that go into making a perfect Disney vacation. So let’s get started, because tomorrow is just a dream away! Learn More About Jennifer

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