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Old 12-28-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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rope drop, or late night hours, or both?

What is the best strategy during busy times of the year when the parks are open very late? Is it still better to do rope drop, or are the crowds just as low at the midnight hour? Would you chose one strategy over the other, or try to do both in one day (with a long nap in the afternoon?)
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
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Haha! Both, with no nap! Yeah we beat ourselves up pretty good. But it's a good hurt

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Old 12-28-2012, 11:02 AM   #3
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So much of that depends on your own family, but it would be hard to do both ends for many days in a row.

At least for the first few months of 2013, the late EMH have been cut back to just 2 hours (haven't seen anything that changed that initial announcement, but could've missed it), so it will be easier for more families to stay until closing. If they do extend those hours during the summer, then that last 3rd hour is usually pretty good.

However, the early EMH is almost always the best time to tour as there are just too many people who will/can't get up that early to get to the parks. If you can be at the park 15-30 min before the opening, you'll see fewer people for about two hours.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
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We've always done evening EMH when our kids stayed awake long enough. This past trip we decided to hit the parks early morning. I think the parks are not as crowded first thing in the morning OR super later at night.

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Old 12-28-2012, 11:04 AM   #5
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We found that late night hours were still pretty busy, seems everyone has the same idea. For us though that is still the way we go since we don't do mornings well.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:35 AM   #6
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We're big on rope drop and the later part of a night EMH, but we don't have kids yet, so for us, it's much easier to accomplish this. We do still take an afternoon break however, which I find refreshes us and enables us to do both early mornings and late nights!
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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DH and I have no kids. The only rope drop we've ever seen was at MK only because we had a behind the steam trains tour that started at 7:30am. We are totally late hours people. No lines, no people.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:46 AM   #8
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I always plan on doing rope drop, then taking an afternoon break and back for late EMH. This is a good plan, but I never seem to be able to carry it out. I love the late night EMH at the MK. It's even more magical at night.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:00 PM   #9
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For AM EMH, keep the park in mind. If you've got littler kids, it's generally useless to do HS early morning, as TSM is the only ride they can do, and everyone else is rushing there as well. Not much different than a regular day. MK is a good bet for AM EMH, though.

With those points in mind, we tend to mix it up -- do rope drops some days, and late nights others, but never back to back. Sleep in one day after a late night, get in bed early for the rope drop days.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:06 PM   #10
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We do both. EMH then take a break mid day then head back to the parks in the late afternoon and stay until closing.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #11
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RD for us. Always. Especially combined with a.m. EMH. No better way to catch all the rides, IMHO.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #12
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on labor day sunday we woke early for a 7am adr at Chef Mickeys. and was at rope drop by 8:45.

we got a lot done and left the park at 12:30 for lunch at Contempo Cafe then headed in for a nap.
Back at the park at 5:30 and stayed til 1:30 (couldnt make it any longer)
and up early the next day for an 8am adr at Ohana.

I really dont think we could have done this for many straight days in a row.
We slept on the plane going home.. it was sheer exhaustion.

But when is the busy period you are thinking of going?

and what is the configuration of your family?
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:51 PM   #13
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I am a night person and love the night time EMH but I will do pre-park opening breakfasts

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Old 12-29-2012, 06:03 PM   #14
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We did both on most days during our Xmas trip last week. It was definitely a way to work around the MK crowds. We would get there at rope drop and leave by noon. We would then return for dinner until near closing time. Our longest wait was 25 minutes for Enchanted Tales with Belle.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:31 PM   #15
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We like to keep the kids on a somewhat regular schedule while we are there so RD is a must for us. They are early risers so we might as well hit park opening because they get up with the sun. I think when they get older we will take advantage of late EMH.
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