How is Rope Drop these days?

Thndrmtnrdr

Member
Original Poster
So with all the social distancing, I’m curious how rope drop is handled these days. Do CM’s make sure you stay spaced apart before and after as they lead the way? It also seems it may be a little more crowded than before as I have been noticing the wait times increase very fast in the morning vs gradually as before. I would love to hear about any recent experiences.
 

FeelsSoGoodToBeBad

Active Member
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It also seems it may be a little more crowded than before as I have been noticing the wait times increase very fast in the morning vs gradually as before.
I've noticed the same. I'm starting to become pessimistic that our Spring Break trip will happen. I'm just not comfortable with the crowds I'm seeing in the parks, when coupled with shortened hours, decreased live shows, and no nighttime spectaculars.
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
At HS, you are put into 2 queues by security. When it's time, they will walk you to temp check and then bag check. You'll then head straight to turnstiles and into the park.

We left today after 5 days and wait times were mostly exaggerated. Yesterday, for example, mine train posted 60 min. We made it through in 20. We noticed that throughout the parks except for theater style attractions. The wait times were spot on.

Social distancing was great in the queues and restaurants, but all bets are off in stores and walkways.
 

Thndrmtnrdr

Member
Original Poster
At HS, you are put into 2 queues by security. When it's time, they will walk you to temp check and then bag check. You'll then head straight to turnstiles and into the park.

We left today after 5 days and wait times were mostly exaggerated. Yesterday, for example, mine train posted 60 min. We made it through in 20. We noticed that throughout the parks except for theater style attractions. The wait times were spot on.

Social distancing was great in the queues and restaurants, but all bets are off in stores and walkways.
Thanks for the reply. We are going in a couple of weeks and normally visit at least 3 times a year. Our last visit in Feb was normal so I’m anxious/curios about this trip. Thanks again and I’ve also read the same about ride wait times. Crossing my fingers for the same.
 

brettf22

Premium Member
So with all the social distancing, I’m curious how rope drop is handled these days.
Each park is a little different. The goal is not to have people bunched up, waiting to get in.

Buses don’t start picking up at resorts until about 45-50 minutes before park opening. The parking lots don’t open until 30-60 minutes before park open (30 min for AK and Epcot, 60 mins for TTC and DHS), again to keep people from bunching up at the tapstiles.

For MK, I took a Lyft to the Contemporary and walked. Went through a temp check on the path, then stopped (in a socially distant line of about 30 people) next to the bus drop off until about 8:20 (about the time buses started to arrive). We were held at the tapstiles (again, in socially distanced lines) for only a couple of minutes, then let in. 7DMT started running as soon as people arrived from walking through the queue. Other rides waited until opening.

For Epcot, I took a Lyft to the Boardwalk area and walked to the Intl Gateway. They had a socially distanced line set up in the Friendship boat launch area. At 10:30, they started scanning temps and letting people tap into the park. It seemed they let us go earlier than the main entrance, because I was able to get to Test Track before anybody from the front entrance arrived (even though the walk from IG is longer). TT let people through the queue, but held everybody starting at the FP merge until official park opening.

For DHS, I took a Lyft to an area right outside Boardwalk and walked over. They were holding people outside the DHS Skyliner until right around 9, then let us back to the temp scanning tents, where we were held until about 9:20. Then they started taking temps and letting people tap into the park. I was able to walk directly to MMRR, which started operating about 9:30. I know Smuggler’s Run was also open early, since I rode it after MMRR and was off it before 10, in order to get a RotR boarding pass.

AK was the trickiest, because there is no way to get there without driving or taking a bus. Since I didn’t want to wait for a bus, I took a Lyft, timed to arrive at the parking entrance right about 8:25. They started letting cars into the lot at 8:30. Buses were arriving about the same time. Walked through temp screening and tapped in. Walked directly to FoP, which was running as soon as I got to the front to the line.

If you notice a pattern, you’ll see I took Lyft every morning, even through I was staying onsite (Pop). This is because some of the worst lines I saw all week were for the buses. Buses are limited due to social distancing. I estimated each bus would take 15 or so people. Folks started lining up for buses to MK and AK about 90 minutes before park opening. Social distancing also meant these lines were a mess, mostly because the bus stops at Pop were not made to accommodate such long lines. By 60 minutes before park opening, these lines held over a hundred people, and snaked all around the front of the resort.

Just for reference, this is the line for the MK bus right as the first buses were starting to pick up. A CM told me they “hoped” to get everybody on a bus in 45 minutes or so.
11FBAE6C-C4B4-41AA-B8CD-743E8747E8C2.jpeg


Skyliner from Pop was useless in arriving to Epcot and DHS for “rope drop” since they did not start running until 30 minutes (Epcot) or 60 minutes (DHS) before park opening. Riding from Pop means transferring at CBR, so even the first riders of the first gondola from Pop were then at the back of the line at CBR.

TL;DR
Rope drop is a little different at each park. But Uber/Lyft is your friend if you want to get to the parks for rope drop.
 

Fordlover

Active Member
So basically staying on property is no longer beneficial from a transportation standpoint, especially when it comes to bus transportation. Since our upcoming November trip booked to Ft. Wilderness (back in 2019) hasn’t been discounted any, I was hoping not to have to spend more for private transport to avoid hour long bus waits. Add to that restaurant availability is not good from my most recent glance, and we are still undecided if we will go in November.

how is boat transportation?
 

Valderone

New Member
My wife and I just got back from 8 days at POP, (Sept 8th - Sept 15th.) We spent six days at the parks, and a couple days, we got there before the park was opened. We found that there was no rope drop on those days. As soon as the busses started arriving, people were directed through the temp checks, security checks, and through the turnstiles. We found very little wait time for any transportation with the exception of one morning at the resort. The bus line to Magic Kingdom looked extremely long, (this was 45 minutes before the park was scheduled to open,) but it only seemed long because of the enforced 6' spacing. There were actually several busses lined up in the street for both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. People going to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT were directed to the Skyliner, which we found had short wait times and wonderful views. And because of the Skyliner routes, my wife and I took the opportunity to explore other resorts that were on the route. Riviera was nice, but seemed a little too rigid and uppity for us. Caribbean Resort, on the other hand was amazing, albeit, a little large. As someone had mentioned earlier, wait times in the park seemed a little inflated, with the exception of Mickey and Minnie's Railroad. Kewl ride by the way. We can't comment on any of the Stars Wars rides. We are not big fans so we avoided those. One more thing to be aware of, for whatever reason, you can no longer take a bus directly from any of the parks to Disney Springs. So we would catch the first bus we could find to a resort, explore that resort, then hop a bus to the Springs. When life gives you lemons...
 

Ldno

Active Member
Wait, so if you plan to arrive on car, you can’t get in there until 30 minutes prior? How backed up are the lines before parking opens?
 

RoadiJeff

Member
Wait, so if you plan to arrive on car, you can’t get in there until 30 minutes prior? How backed up are the lines before parking opens?
When I was there two weeks ago, I arrived at DHS at 8:40. The park officially opened at 10:00. There was already a line of vehicles at the parking ticket booths. I was about 7 cars back in one of the dozen or so lines. They didn't let any vehicles through until 9:05 and by then I looked in my rearview mirror and I could not see the end of the line.

Once you get through that and park you must walk to the entrance. No shuttle trams are running. I feel sorry for the people who arrive a bit later in the morning and have to walk 10 minutes to the entrance.
 

EngineerMom

Active Member
Each park is a little different. The goal is not to have people bunched up, waiting to get in.

Buses don’t start picking up at resorts until about 45-50 minutes before park opening. The parking lots don’t open until 30-60 minutes before park open (30 min for AK and Epcot, 60 mins for TTC and DHS), again to keep people from bunching up at the tapstiles.

For MK, I took a Lyft to the Contemporary and walked. Went through a temp check on the path, then stopped (in a socially distant line of about 30 people) next to the bus drop off until about 8:20 (about the time buses started to arrive). We were held at the tapstiles (again, in socially distanced lines) for only a couple of minutes, then let in. 7DMT started running as soon as people arrived from walking through the queue. Other rides waited until opening.

For Epcot, I took a Lyft to the Boardwalk area and walked to the Intl Gateway. They had a socially distanced line set up in the Friendship boat launch area. At 10:30, they started scanning temps and letting people tap into the park. It seemed they let us go earlier than the main entrance, because I was able to get to Test Track before anybody from the front entrance arrived (even though the walk from IG is longer). TT let people through the queue, but held everybody starting at the FP merge until official park opening.

For DHS, I took a Lyft to an area right outside Boardwalk and walked over. They were holding people outside the DHS Skyliner until right around 9, then let us back to the temp scanning tents, where we were held until about 9:20. Then they started taking temps and letting people tap into the park. I was able to walk directly to MMRR, which started operating about 9:30. I know Smuggler’s Run was also open early, since I rode it after MMRR and was off it before 10, in order to get a RotR boarding pass.

AK was the trickiest, because there is no way to get there without driving or taking a bus. Since I didn’t want to wait for a bus, I took a Lyft, timed to arrive at the parking entrance right about 8:25. They started letting cars into the lot at 8:30. Buses were arriving about the same time. Walked through temp screening and tapped in. Walked directly to FoP, which was running as soon as I got to the front to the line.

If you notice a pattern, you’ll see I took Lyft every morning, even through I was staying onsite (Pop). This is because some of the worst lines I saw all week were for the buses. Buses are limited due to social distancing. I estimated each bus would take 15 or so people. Folks started lining up for buses to MK and AK about 90 minutes before park opening. Social distancing also meant these lines were a mess, mostly because the bus stops at Pop were not made to accommodate such long lines. By 60 minutes before park opening, these lines held over a hundred people, and snaked all around the front of the resort.

Just for reference, this is the line for the MK bus right as the first buses were starting to pick up. A CM told me they “hoped” to get everybody on a bus in 45 minutes or so.
View attachment 501314

Skyliner from Pop was useless in arriving to Epcot and DHS for “rope drop” since they did not start running until 30 minutes (Epcot) or 60 minutes (DHS) before park opening. Riding from Pop means transferring at CBR, so even the first riders of the first gondola from Pop were then at the back of the line at CBR.

TL;DR
Rope drop is a little different at each park. But Uber/Lyft is your friend if you want to get to the parks for rope drop.
How hard was it to get a Lyft?
Did you book ahead of time?
Cost?

I had thought of trying to get a lift to Boardwalk or Swan/Dolphin then walking for Studios. And to Contemporary for MK. So they were letting you get dropped off there?
 

brettf22

Premium Member
How hard was it to get a Lyft?
Did you book ahead of time?
Cost?

I had thought of trying to get a lift to Boardwalk or Swan/Dolphin then walking for Studios. And to Contemporary for MK. So they were letting you get dropped off there?
Lyft is very easy to get. I didn’t have any problems getting a ride each morning, usually within a minute or so after request.
I have booked before in the past, but not this time.
Each trip was between $8-$12, before tip. So cheaper than parking a car at the resort.

For DHS, you could get dropped off at Boardwalk and walk. I put in a specific spot outside of Boardwalk for drop off that didn’t require me to go through security (and also cut off about 5 mins of walking).

Dropping off at Contemporary is an easy walk to MK. Some folks have reported security asking questions about where you’re going at the resort, but I never had that issue.
 
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