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Old 03-17-2011, 06:32 AM   #1
HydroGuy
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The Official Scoop on DCA's Unofficial Morning Opening Hours

April 3, 2012 - Note for visitors after June 15 - there are credible rumors that starting June 15, 2012 DCA will begin opening at 8AM during the summer and begin hosting Magic Morning hours which will invalidate all the information in this thread. See the following link for some of the current rumors. Pay attention to Disney announcements before your trip for more info
New Al Lutz: Tons of Cars Land and BVS Updates - Soft Openings & Magic Mornings



Well, this thread is not official anything - I just thought it made for a catchy title. But it does relate some solid and confirmed information about DCA's opening time. Which is confusing because DCA always opens earlier than its posted time. Don't ask me why. It is just how Disney does things.

The question of DCA opening pops up a lot in conjunction with World of Color and the Soarin' Over California ride and FPs. Here is what you need to know:


o Year round DCA opens officially at 10AM.


o For many years DCA has opened every day unofficially at 9:30AM. Never has Disney published this, but it is a well known fact and it is available to all guests - offsite, onsite or day trippers. During the first 30 minutes only one ride is open - Soarin' Over California. And the Soarin' FP machines are open. Since WOC opened in June 2010 DCA has also offered WOC FPs during this first 30 minutes.

Some people use this time to line up for "rope drop" for popular rides like TSMM which do not start until 10AM. And I expect this will also happen for LMAUA starting this summer. Guests are inside DCA but are held back in two places: near the BugsLand entrance and on the GRR route into Paradise Pier. Usually the GRR route is better for rope drop.

There is also a rope drop to the entrance of Hollywood Backlot/HollywoodLand on the way to ToT and MI rides.


o For guests staying at the DLR hotels DCA allows entry at 9AM to get WOC FPs. This is available through the special entrance to DCA through the GCH. Each guest must show proof of being a DLR hotel guest - namely a room key. This perk is also available to those who eat breakfast at one of the GCH restaurants but are not DLR hotel guests. They must show a receipt for their meal. See World of Color Superthread.

The 9AM opening through GCH was used regularly starting with the World of Color debut in June 2010, but there are reports that recently on low crowd days this is not available at 9AM. Which means it would then be available at 9:30AM at the latest.

These guests can also get best position for rope drop if they are so inclined.

June 8, 2011 Update...: Since the Little Mermaid ride opened last Friday it appears Disney is letting DL hotel guests ride it at 9AM and everyone else at starting at 9:30AM.

July 2, 2011 Update...: We rode LM last week at 9:35AM and they checked our GCH room key cards to make sure we were Disney hotel guests. It appears that LM is reserved for hotel guests 9-10AM each day, and sometimes they do not check room key cards after 9:30AM and anyone can ride it.

January 29, 2012 Update...: There are rumors that all of this will change sometime around June, 2012 when Cars Land opens. The rumors say that DCA's opening will be moved from 10AM to 8AM and even that DCA will have its own Magic Mornings. Keep tuned!
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Last edited by HydroGuy; 04-03-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:27 AM   #2
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Hi Hydroguy,
Thought I'd mention a couple things:
There is also rope drop at the entrance to Hollywood Blvd for those who want to head to ToT or Monsters first thing.

I don't think that 9 AM opening at the special GCH entrance to DCA is available everyday. We were at the parks on Tuesday, Feb. 22 and ate breakfast at Storyteller's. We got over to the entrance at 9:15. They were holding all guests in a line at that entrance and continued to do so until 9:30 that morning. Crowds were not very heavy that morning, so perhaps that was a factor.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by longtimedisneylurker View Post
Hi Hydroguy,
Thought I'd mention a couple things:
There is also rope drop at the entrance to Hollywood Blvd for those who want to head to ToT or Monsters first thing.

I don't think that 9 AM opening at the special GCH entrance to DCA is available everyday. We were at the parks on Tuesday, Feb. 22 and ate breakfast at Storyteller's. We got over to the entrance at 9:15. They were holding all guests in a line at that entrance and continued to do so until 9:30 that morning. Crowds were not very heavy that morning, so perhaps that was a factor.
Thanks I will make those changes.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:31 AM   #4
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Great tips! I never knew about DCA's early entry.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:47 AM   #5
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Thanks Hydroguy that is great info! We'll be planning to get to DCA for 9:30!
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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Great tips! I never knew about DCA's early entry.
Ditto! Thanks, Hydroguy!!
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:37 AM   #7
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OK so I JUST noticed that the hours changed for DCA for our stay, they are opening at 9am...so does this mean they will unofficially open for Soarin' at 8:30am? Which is not cool by the way because this was our sleep morning and now it's turning into another early morning Not as early at MM but you KWIM.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by babyruth View Post
OK so I JUST noticed that the hours changed for DCA for our stay, they are opening at 9am...so does this mean they will unofficially open for Soarin' at 8:30am? Which is not cool by the way because this was our sleep morning and now it's turning into another early morning Not as early at MM but you KWIM.
A 9AM opening at DCA is rare but in general DLR has been expanding DCA's hours over the last year because of its growing popularity. Official numbers for 2010 have not come out yet (that usually happens in April) but I have heard DCA attendance has been up like 20%. That is huge.

Bottom line is I do not know about Soarin at 8:30AM. And it is hard to get anything out of Disney on this because they have been doing this for at least six years now (I remember riding Soarin at 9:30AM in 2005) and have never once published or acknowledged it.

Keep asking here but I suspect it will be hard to get an answer and you will have to just find out when you get there. But please report back once you find out!
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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Thanks so much for all the hard work you do for this board, as a first timer I really appreciate getting a chance to do the trip right my first time, which wouldn't have happened without all these tips.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by babyruth View Post
OK so I JUST noticed that the hours changed for DCA for our stay, they are opening at 9am...so does this mean they will unofficially open for Soarin' at 8:30am? Which is not cool by the way because this was our sleep morning and now it's turning into another early morning Not as early at MM but you KWIM.
Shoot, I just can't remember. We have been to DCA once when they did a 9 AM opening. It was really great because I don't think many people realized it would be open so early since it is pretty unusual. I know we were inside DCA just before 9 AM, so that means they did open the gates before that time but I don't know if it was 8:30 when they started letting people in or closer to 9. We headed straight back to Toy Story. It was fabulous because we were able to ride it twice pretty quickly.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:43 PM   #11
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Shoot, I just can't remember. We have been to DCA once when they did a 9 AM opening. It was really great because I don't think many people realized it would be open so early since it is pretty unusual. I know we were inside DCA just before 9 AM, so that means they did open the gates before that time but I don't know if it was 8:30 when they started letting people in or closer to 9. We headed straight back to Toy Story. It was fabulous because we were able to ride it twice pretty quickly.
Thanks for the positive thinking . Hopefully there are plenty of people who won't notice they open earlier than usual. If I can drag everyone there by 8:30am after having done MM and Fireworks the day before...I will certainly report back on what the deal was!
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:57 PM   #12
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How do you find out if DCA opens at 9.Is Disney calendar accurate.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:11 PM   #13
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How do you find out if DCA opens at 9.Is Disney calendar accurate.
Take the official calendar and subtract 30 minutes. For the Resort Guest entrance you may have to verify when there, if it will open an hour earlier.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:27 PM   #14
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Why is everything so complicated. But it does make things more interesting.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:43 PM   #15
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Why is everything so complicated. But it does make things more interesting.
Mostly things are complicated because crowds vary. And there is a relationship between price and demand.
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