This is a very old thread and most of the information is outdated. The opening procedure at Magic Kingdom has completely changed. I'd advise starting a new thread or searching for a recent thread on this topic if you have questions about rope drop.
At our last drop (Feb 2017) we headed for Adventureland, (after the show at the Castle) and we were greeted by a number of cast members that walked ahead of us and we "moseyed" our way to Splash Mt, BTMRR, etc. Crowd was not large at that time, no one got run over, or tripped, and no issues getting onto the rides.