What is “Rope Drop”
Anyone can do rope drop and it happens EVERYDAY to be clear. You need to arrive at the parks 45 minutes before the park opens. Plan for time to go through security! More arrival tips here. Then line up at the gates. They usually let you in about 30 min before the posted park opening hour. For example if the park opens at 8:00 a.m. arrive at the gates no later than 7:30 a.m.
Once you are through the gates you can wander around on Main Street. Take photos or grab some food/drink at the Market House aka Star Bucks. But don’t spend too much time you want to head down Main St. to the actual ropes and get lined up before the park opens.
There are ropes up around the hub area leading to the following lands, Adventureland, Frontierland and Fantasyland/Tomorrowland. I have included a map to show you where the ropes should be. These are always subject to change, but should be close to this map. When the park opens they “drop” the rope and let you in the parks. So basically rope drop is being in the parks the moment it opens and heading to your first ride!
The same goes for Disney California Adventure. Arrive early and get into the park before it opens. Wait at one of the blocked off areas and boom you’re off when they drop the rope at park opening. I’ve included a map as well for DCA where you will find the ropes in each land.
No matter which morning you arrive they do rope drop every morning. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning when Disneyland hosts Magic Morning (more info on that here) they still put up ropes to keep non-Magic Morning guests in the hub area. Same goes for Disney California Adventure. They host Extra Magic hours on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And on those mornings they put up ropes as well. Below is a look at rope drop in Disney California Adventure right next to the Little Mermaid ride.
My point in mentioning all of this is to make sure you’re one of the first ones on the rides you need to plan on being at the park for rope drop! Starting your day off early will pay dividends cause the parks get more crowded as the day goes on. Take advantage of your early start, you can get so much accomplished in the first few hours!
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