View Full Version : "Rope drop" and other things I read about...

07-03-2008, 11:44 PM
I have searched for the meaning and significance of "rope drop." I gather it is when the CMs let guests inside the park for the day. But what is this procedure, exactly? Is there a big velvet rope to the entrance of MK, and at the prescribed time, the CM opens it for all to enter? Or is it a rope in front of each ride so you can wander the park but just not ride anything? Do a lot of people attend? Why/why not? If a park opens at 9am, is that when the rope drop is? Seems logical but you never know...

Also, I am wondering how this advice on "arrive at park, return to hotel for lunch and nap, and then back to the park" thing works. If MK opens at 9am and my family typically eats lunch at 11-11:30am, does this mean I should figure 2 hours of touring in the morning? And what if my 15 month old typically naps from 1-4pm, then we get back to the park at 4:30pm, eat our usual 5:30pm dinner there, then tour more until the kids' typical 8pm bedtime? I realize it's our vacation and we are ready to be flexible, but I just want to be realistic. What is a good schedule for MK for a 5.5 yo who doesn't nap, 3.5 yo who does not nap, and 15 month old who naps in the afternoon?

One more thing I am wondering about (sorry to be so loooong), if I follow one of the touring plans in the Unofficial book, there doesn't seem to be time to explore MK. Since I have young kids, I want them to see Minnie's house, Mickey's house, etc... to peek into shops and marvel at all things Disney, to enjoy the atmosphere. The touring plans seem to get you to the rides in the most efficient way possible. Is there a way to combine the two - efficiency and pleasure - in just 2 days (while taking into account aforementioned napping schedule)?!?! Is this just unrealistic?

Many thanks, experts :)

07-04-2008, 07:28 AM
The UG is all about doing it ALL in one trip. And you can't. So don't think you will. ;) Building that time in to just stop and explore is really, really important. One of my older DD's fav things at the MK is looking at the display windows on the stores along Main Street. Each window features a different princess. We have to stop and explore those windows every trip. That's part of the magic of WDW for her, but you won't find that in a guide book. I think you need to let kids "find their own magic" like that.

Also the UG is about seeing and riding EVERY ride and attraction. Your family may not want to do that. There are plenty of rides/attractions we've never been on and have no desire to see. I culd never ride the Tea Cups and be fine with that LOL! Sarah still doesn't like the Snow White ride, so we skip it, etc.

Each park does rope drop slightly differently. Generally, they start letting guests into the park about 5-15 minutes before the park actually opens. I *think* its when the crowd milling around outside gets to be too large to manage. Some parks (the MK and AK) have a little 2-3 minutes show the characters do at the opening. So they let you inside the gates, but they keep you contained in the very front area of the park. At the official opening time, they literally drop the rope and let you in. But no, you can't wander around at will in the park.

If you want to wander around inside the park early, the best thing to do is to have a breakfast reservation before the park opens. Then you can wander around a little, but nothing is open except the breakfast restaurants. But you can look at things outside.

Touring with kids those ages is hard I think. I would consider splitting up and sending the younger two back to the hotel for a nap and staung in the park with the 5 year old. But I think you may find that even the 5 year old needs a rest after a couple days at WDW.

What we usually do is arrive just before opening to see the ceremony and ride most of the rides we want to ride before lunch. We have a snack around 10/10:30, and then a sit down lunch around 1/2, see the parade and then leave the park. We go back to the hotel and rest at that point. We often go back to a different park after that for dinner and more (slower paced) touring. Epcot is particularly good for wandering around after dinner.

07-04-2008, 07:50 AM
I agree with the rope drop comments. Usually there is another "rope" on either side of the castle that they won't let you cross unless whatever time. So after Mickey arrives by train, they let people in to wonder down main street but you can't really go anywhere else.

As for the schedule, we eat lunch in the park, then go nap. I would take the older kids to the pool at your resort while the LO sleeps. Then maybe have a little quiet time for everyone. Or have one parent go back and nap and give the older kids an extra hour at the park. IMO everyone would want a little break. There are a few rides that your older two could do, but your 15mo old can't. Donald's barnstormer comes to mind....I bet there are some that your 5 yr old is tall enough for that your 3.5 yr old isn't so I would suggest you think about how to handle that too.

Depending on your exact dates, a lot of the magic at Disney happens at night. The parades and fireworks are not to be missed. I don't feel like you would be missing out by napping in the middle of the day freshening up and going back for evening activities.