Family running through Cinderella Castle
  • On Jan 10, 2019
    Brandi from MS Asked

    My family is staying off Disney property but we still want to be on time for rope drop. What is the process once we park and how long will it take for us to get to rope drop?

    Hi, Brandi! Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! Let's help you kick off your Disney days and get ready for all the fun to come!

    My family is local-ish (we live about an hour away), so we're usually visiting the Walt Disney World Resort just for the day and not staying in a Resort hotel. That means we have lots of experience with parking the car and heading to a Park entrance first thing in the morning!

    Brandi, each Theme Park has a slightly different opening procedure. The first thing you'll need to do is check the Park hours for the day you're visiting. Many times, Guests will be allowed to enter early and wait near the entrance until the posted opening time to venture into the rest of the Park. At Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom, Cast Members may allow Guests through the entrance about 30 minutes ahead of opening. Once inside, you'll wait a few minutes until Cast Members accompany the crowd to their first destinations of the day.

    Magic Kingdom Park will usually let Guests enter and enjoy Main Street, U.S.A. about an hour before opening. You can do a little shopping, grab a cup of coffee and something to eat, or just wait to enter the rest of the Park. And don't miss the morning welcome show, Let the Magic Begin, in front of Cinderella Castle. It's a fun way to kick off the day!

    If you're driving, be sure to allow yourself an extra 30-45 minutes to park and get through security and bag check, and to take a ferry or monorail at Magic Kingdom.

    Of course, the times and procedures are subject to change, but in my experience this is a good general guide to Walt Disney World opening.

    I hope this helps with your planning, Brandi! Please stop by again if you have any more questions.

    Kathy K.
thumbnail image for Kathy

Meet the Panelist: Kathy, Florida

I've lived my whole life just an hour's drive from Walt Disney World, so I've been a regular visitor for as long as I can remember. Even after all these years and so many visits, I love that there's still so much to discover! Now that I'm a mom myself, seeing my favorite place through my son's eyes has given me a whole new perspective that I enjoy sharing with other parents of young children. Learn More About Kathy

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