Earlier this month, I wrote about not rope-dropping Disney World parks. Specifically, not at Magic Kingdom. Then on my most recent trip that ended on Thursday, i'm rethinking this whole thing.
I'm not a huge fan of the new Tron: Light Cycle Run ride. The first 10 seconds are the best Disney has to offer but the last 50 seconds, not so much. Still, on Tuesday, my 11 year old who was with me for this business trip to Orlando wanted to get a boarding pass for it, I agreed.
The night before we were out in the Florida heat all day and while we both handled it well, we agreed that Tuesday was a sleep in day. We did after all, rope drop Animal Kingdom to ride Avatar: Flight of Passage (which is still one of the best rides at any Disney park).
So here we are, clock ticking away and my alarm goes off at 6:56 so I grab my phone, pull up the app, and get ready to fast finger the refresh button so I can go back to bed. Typically my attempts put me in the midday to mid-afternoon range. This morning? We landed group number 31.
The park opened at 7:30 for hotel resort guests, we were off property so arrived in the park, shortly after 8 am because I left my phone in the car and sent my son back to get it. We got in the park at 8:30.
So why did this change my mind about rope-dropping Magic Kingdom after saying only a couple of weeks ago, not to?
We headed right to Tomorrowland because the boarding group was already on 25. I grabbed some iced coffee from the Bakery alson known as Starbucks and when we got to Tomorrowland we hit Space Mountain. Why? There was only a five to ten minute wait.
My phone notified me that our group was called while we were slotted to ride Space Mountain. We left there and hit Tron. We walked straight back to the boarding area and waited less than 5 minutes. My won then hit Tomorrowland Speedway, a 5 minute wait and then we road the People Mover and could have rode the 10 minute wait at Space Ranger Spin.
By the time I looke back at my watch, it was 10:00 am and Tomorrowland was completely done. We headed to Haunted Mansion, 5 minute wait at most. We skipped the 20 minute wait at Peter Pan and opted not to do It's A Small World. Left Mansion and headed to Pirates of Caribbean. By 11:30 more than half of the park was done and we could have easily ridden more had we wanted.
We spent about 30 to 40 minutes on Tom Sawyer Island as my son ran through the tunnels and caves and explored the fort. We grabbed lunch in Frontierland, watched the parade, road the train back to Fantasyland, took more pictures, and then left to head to Hollywood Studios.
It was 12:30 when we left the park and all I could think of was had we not been there at opening, we wouldn't have rode half of what we did. Yes, we missed 7 Dwarfs Mine Ride but we both didn't really want to and we didn't take in any shows aside from Hall of Presidents. But had we planned on an entire day at MK, we were set up pretty well to not miss anything and to do a couple of things more than once.
When I think of rope dropping I think of the big ticket long wait rides like Avatar but I didn't think about the smaller stuff that fills up just as quickly.
Spending an hour and half in Tomorrowland was amazing. We literally did it all or could have if we wanted to. Overall, one single boarding pass forced me to arrive at Magic Kingdom much earlier than I had hoped...like about 3 hours ahead of when I hoped. As a result, we were able to finish what we wanted at MK and then knock out the 2nd half of our day at Hollywood where we had to wait in longer lines.
So should you drop MK? Honestly, you might be smart to rope drop them all, get back to the hotel earlier and enjoy the hotel pool and get front end sleep instead of back end.
Had it not been for boarding group 31, I would likely still hold to the notion that rope dropping is a waste of time when in reality, at least on this day, it saved me a lof ot it.