Heading to Disneyland and wondering how to rope drop?
With Disneyland being such a popular theme park, ride wait times can be long, and one of the time-tested strategies to check off the most sought-after rides is rope drop. Disneyland pros already know that!
To rope drop at Disneyland, arrive at the park front gate at least 30 minutes before the official park opening time.
Here’s what you should know:
- You’ll be allowed in the park 30 minutes before the attractions open.
- The cast members drop the rope at the park opening time and let the guests into the different attractions.
- Now, you can be among the first to ride popular attractions and avoid wait times.
- Some rides like Star Wars: Rise of Resistance can have queues even at rope drop.
Besides rope drop, you can also use Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane to cut short wait times for eligible attractions.
This article explains the ins and outs of rope drop at Disneyland. And for those who don’t know what rope drop means, don’t worry; you’ll know everything about it by the end of the article. So make sure to read it till the end!
What Is Rope Drop at Disneyland?
Rope drop at Disney parks refers to entering first in the morning.
It’s derived from the official rope drop at park opening time when cast members make the welcome announcement for the day and drop the rope to allow guests to go about in the park.
At Disneyland Resort, Disneyland and California Adventure allow guests to enter up to 30 minutes before the official park opening time to explore and wait on Main Street and Buena Vista Street, respectively.
Cast members are standing holding a rope around the street and only drop it at the opening time, allowing the guests already present to get first dibs on many attractions.
So in the community of Disneyland and Disney Word fans, the term ‘rope drop’ has become popular to beat the crowds and get to the famous attractions early.
In short, rope dropping at Disneyland means getting to the park early and being one of the first groups of people to enter.
How To Rope Drop at Disneyland?
So to rope drop at Disneyland California, you can enter the park 30 minutes before the official opening time for the day.
However, you’ll need to get to the park even earlier and wake up before that. So rope dropping at Disneyland requires you to be an early bird for the day.
To rope drop, you must be at the security gate at least an hour before the park’s opening time.
So if Disneyland is opening at 8 AM on the day of your visit, reach the security gate at 7 AM. Once you’re through security, you’ll line up at the front gate.
Cast members begin allowing guests in when it’s half an hour before the opening time. If you’re visiting Disneyland Park, you can only stay in the Main Street area till the park opens.
If you’re visiting California Adventure, you can only stay in the Bueno Vista Street area.
Once you’re in, you can head towards the area or attraction you want to explore first. You won’t be able to get to it because there will be a rope.
You can queue up there and wait for the official rope drop at park opening time.
Once the opening time approaches and cast members drop the rope, you can be one of the first people to try your chosen attraction.
That’s it; you’ve successfully rope-dropped at Disneyland!
While rope drop is pretty straightforward, you must be more strategic with it to make the best of it.
Once you reach Main Street or Buena Vista Street before the rope drop, you’ll see crowds, so you’re not the only rope dropper.
Select your first attractions carefully so you can check them off early in the morning.
Attractions To Avoid at Rope Drop
Ok, so you probably think that heading to the most sought-after rides at rope drop is the best decision, but I agree to disagree.
Yes, it can be a good idea to head to the more popular attractions first, but other people also think that. The result? Crowds and long wait times! That beats the purpose of rope drop, doesn’t it?
So I recommend avoiding the top two most popular attractions in the park at the time of rope drop and getting to them a couple of hours later, once you’ve used the rope drop advantage to experience several other rides.
There might still be a waiting time, but it might not be as long as in the early morning. And you won’t have FOMO (fear of missing out) as you’ve already tried several attractions, including some popular ones.
Coming to business, which rides should you avoid at rope drop? In my opinion, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Disneyland Park gets a lot of guests as soon as the park opens.
So unless you get there early and become one of the first to get on the ride, I’d suggest doing other attractions.
Avoid one of the two most popular rides in California Adventure, Radiator Spring Racers and WEB SLINGERS: A SpiderMan Adventure.
Spending early hours on both these rides would take up a lot of time, so I’d recommend doing only one at rope drop.
Moreover, avoid attractions that are not popular and typically don’t have long wait times.
Those you can do any other time of the day of your visit. So it’s best to do the more popular rides at the rope drop.
More importantly, it’s best to check off your favorite rides, so get to those after rope drop.
What About Early Entry at Disneyland?
Guests staying at any Disneyland Resort hotel are eligible for early entry into select attractions. They can enter the park and head to the select rides, restaurants, and shops 30 minutes before the park opens.
Some popular rides are eligible for hotel guest early entry include Peter Pan’s Flight, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Space Mountain in Disneyland Park, and WEB SLINGERS: A Spiderman Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission BREAKOUT in California Adventure.
The early entry advantage for Disneyland hotel guests doesn’t negatively impact rope droppers. There are just three hotels, so the early entry group is often very small.
And by the time the rope drops, they are already on or done with the popular rides.
If you’re staying in a Disneyland hotel, you don’t have to do rope drop as you’ll be allowed in half an hour early. Take advantage of that time to experience the popular rides.
Disneyland Rope Drop Alternative
Not everyone’s a morning person and may not want to get up so early to get to the park for rope drop. Similarly, for some, it may not be plausible because they’re staying farther away.
If you don’t want to or can’t do rope drop but still want to avoid long queues, you can buy the Disney Genie+ service. It’s a paid service that offers Lightning Lane entry for select attractions, among other perks.
Lightning Lane replaced the FastPass service, allowing guests to avoid long lines and access one attraction in one day when available.
You can select the attraction and book the entry window using the My Disney Experience app.
Apart from Disney Genie+ service, Individual Lightning Lane passes are also available for guests to skip long lines.
At Disneyland, the next three rides are unavailable for Lightning Lane access through the Genie+ service but are available as Individual Lightning Lane passes.
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disneyland)
- Radiator Spring Racers (California Adventure)
- WEB SLINGERS: A SpiderMan Adventure (California Adventure)
Rope drop at Disneyland arrives early and gets in line before the rope is dropped and the attractions open to the public.
To rope drop, you should be at the front gate at least 30 minutes before park opening time. That means arriving at the park security entrance even earlier (at least an hour).
Rope dropping at Disneyland allows guests to get to popular attractions and get done with them early in the day.
Depending on the season and day of the week, even rope drop time can draw in crowds. So choose the attractions strategically and get there as early as possible.
You can also combine Genie+ service and Individual Lightning Lane passes to further decrease wait times for most sought-after rides.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Time Is the Rope Drop at Disneyland?
Rope drop at Disneyland Park and California Adventure usually happens at 8 AM. This is when the park officially opens, and the ropes are dropped, allowing guests to access the attractions.
However, guests are allowed 30 minutes or more before the rope drop time (8 AM), but they can stay only on Main Street in Disneyland or Buena Vista Street in California Adventure.
There are ropes to bar people from entering attractions until the park’s opening time.
How Early Should I Get to Disneyland To Rope Drop?
If you want to be there for the rope drop, you should be at the ropes at the front gate 30 minutes before the park opening time, usually 8 AM.
To pass the front gates and reach the ropes, you should plan to arrive at security checks 60 minutes before the rope drop.
So if the rope drop is at 8 AM, arrive at the security gate around 7 AM.
Can You Make Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Rope Drop?
You can make Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at the rope drop, but remember that it’s the most popular attraction, and the queues get long 30 minutes after the rope drop.
So if you want to do it first at the rope drop while avoiding long wait time, get to the attraction way earlier than the rope drop and be ahead in the line.