An Easy Guide to Rope Drop and Early Entry at Magic Kingdom

An Easy Guide to Rope Drop and Early Entry at Magic Kingdom

When people talk about rope drop at Disney World, it typically refers to being at the parks when the gate ropes drop, allowing you access into the park. It’s a sure fire way make sure you’re at the front of most lines. However, if you’re arriving when the park opens, then you’re already too late to be at the front of any line! Here’s why.

Morning Show at Magic Kingdom

In the past, Magic Kingdom used to make a big deal about the opening the park. There would be the Main Street Trolley performers at the Train Station, perhaps a little welcome song, but that is no longer the case. 

When Does Magic Kingdom Open?

While Magic Kingdom Hours vary by day, and can be double checked on the 5 Day Park Hours Calendar the most important thing is that Magic Kingdom opens earlier than the posted time. 

In fact, Magic Kingdom Gates Open About an Hour Before the park is scheduled to open. 

So, if the park opens at 9AM, then the gates are typically open around 8AM, allowing guests access to Main Street USA, and the Hub area in front of Cinderella’s Castle. This is often why you can grab early Disney Dining Reservations for Crystal Palace, because the park is already open. And since you no longer need to wait outside the gates for the train or show, you can stroll along Main Street, shop, grab a coffee, or grab breakfast.  Really, this is quite genius on Disney’s part because you can start spending money before the Park even opens. 

When is Early Entry at Magic Kingdom?

Early Entry at Magic Kingdom begins 30 minutes prior to park opening. And since the park is technically already “open,” Disney Resort guests able to take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry, can cross the bridges into Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. Guests not staying at Disney Resorts still have access to all of Main Street, and the Hub area. 

When is the Magic Kingdom Rope Drop Show?

The “Let the Magic Begin” morning show at Cinderella Castle starts at 7:55 AM and is about 5 minutes long. This morning show at Magic Kingdom includes some of your favorite Disney characters like the Mouse himself and of course, Fairy Godmother. Its cute, and while not necessarily a must-do, a good way to start the day. 

Can you Get on the Rides Early at Magic Kingdom?

During the early hours of Rope Drop before the Park actually opens none of the rides are open and all of the lands are guarded by Cast Members. If you’re a Disney Resort Guest and have access to Early Theme Park Entry, then you area able to go o the select rides in Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. You will simply be asked to present your MagicBand to the cast members standing guard at the bridges once the Early Entry time period begins. Same goes for dining reservations. They actually have several “checkpoints” to make sure no one sneaks into an area they aren’t supposed to be.

Should you Arrive Early to Magic Kingdom?

Now that you know you can show up at Magic Kingdom an hour before it actually opens, is that your best choice? Here are the reasons you may want to consider it. 

  1. If you are staying at a Disney Resort you can get close to the Tomorrowland and Fantasyland bridges to “rope drop”  rides with Early theme Park Entry 30 minutes before the park’s official opening time. 
  2. You have access to Gift Shops before the crowds show up. 
  3. You may want to grab a Starbucks breakfast before starting your day. 
  4. Perhaps you don’t want to feel rushed. 

We will admit with this new way, instead of just being herded like cattle waiting for the show to start, the leisurely stroll Main Street is exactly what we need in the mornings. Add a coffee from Starbucks that we didn’t have to wait 30 minutes for and Mickey Waffles from The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (fresh off the iron, with strawberries and whipped cream-yummm!) and we’re gold. 

Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom

While committing to arriving to Magic Kingdom early is tough with small children, if you’re hoping to ride all the rides, and do all the things, being there early is a must. Hopefully this quick guide has given you a few things to think about regarding your Magic Kingdom day. Check out our Magic Kingdom Checklist, for a list of rides and restaurants that you may want to fil your day. 

All about Morning rope Drop at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. Can you get on rides early? What's open? Should you wake up early? Here's everything you need to know about Rope Drop at Disney World. #polkadotpixies #disneyworld #disneyropedrop

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website

Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .

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