Hitting both rides in Pandora at rope drop without FP?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by mirak, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. mirak

    mirak Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Got my FPs this morning at the opening of the 60 day window. I'm only in the parks for two days and I'm hitting AK on Day 1, so as expected, all the FOP and NRJ morning FPs were already snapped up by the time my window opened. I did manage to grab FOP FP for the 2:00 hour for me and two of my boys, and I grabbed NRJ for my wife and 5yo son (who is currently only 43" and probably wouldn't like FOP even if he was tall enough) for the noon hour. I'm going to try to slide my FOP reservation up to more closely coincide with NRJ, but so far no luck.

    So my question is how to do Rope Drop. We're going on a Wednesday, February 13 prior to President's Day weekend. Crowds are predicted to be moderate. Plan is to be at the gates by 8:00. We'll probably be headed to Pandora at RD because for the other rides we plan to do I already secured a FP (Safari, Primieval Whirl), or I'll be doing single rider (Everest), or they don't typically have a super long line (Bug, Kali River).

    All five of us could walk onto NRJ at RD with minimal wait and be out by 9:15. But I suspect by then the line for FOP will be at least an hour. What if we start at FOP? I'm thinking the older boys might want to do FOP twice, and the youngest boy might want to at least walk through the cue. Assuming we head straight to FOP and exit about 9:30 (is that about right?), how long would our line be by then at NRJ?

    If it isn't realistic to squeeze both rides into the 9:00 hour, I'll probably just do a quick pass through NRJ and then trot the kids over to the shorter waits at Dinoland while most other folks are still in Pandora.
     
  2. Flamingeaux

    Flamingeaux If I am posting I am at work dreaming about Disney

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    886
    We got to the gate around 8:00 and we were able to do both FoP and Navi by 9:30. Naturally we hit FoP first.
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. PSUGuy

    PSUGuy Bill From PA

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    4,055
    Definitely hit FoP first, we had a FP for FoP around 9:15 am this Oct, we walked on NRJ first, did FoP on the FP and when we finished with that NRJ was still less than 20 mins.

    Bill From PA
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  5. Alesia

    Alesia DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    18,208
    You definitely need to start at FoP. If you're there at least 60 minutes before the park opens, you can be done with both be 9:30

    Your son can't enter the queue if he's not tall enough to ride.
     
  6. bcactus

    bcactus Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    151
    As others have said, start at FOP. Also Kali River Rapids will be closed for refurbishment during that time.
     
  7. mirak

    mirak Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Ok, so sounds like I can pretty easily do both rides without a FP as long as we arrive about an hour ahead of RD and head to FOP first. That'll be the plan.

    That's good to know about my youngest son with FOP. Hopefully he'll gain an inch in the next two months. How exact are those height requirements at the rides? In tennis shoes standing flat against a wall at home, he currently measures exactly 43".
     
  8. mirak

    mirak Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Darn - I noticed there were no FPs available for Kali. Which is a real shame because the boys would have enjoyed that ride a lot.
     
  9. gharter

    gharter DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    3,687
    We did both in October at RD without a FP. Be sure to be in line at the turnstile by an hour before the park opens.
    We did FoP first. On the ride by 8:50. Had about a 10 minute wait for Navi. Done with both by 9:30
     
  10. sharonabe

    sharonabe DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    12,466
    Lucky for you, we're all taller in the morning than we are later in the day. Teach your son to stand as tall as he can. Tell him the goal is to hit the ruler or whatever it is on top of his head.

    However, if he doesn't hit the 44" mark, that could be a blessing in disguise as you can then get a rider swap pass. Send mom and son to Na'vi or just to wander and when you get off FoP, Mom and other boys get to ride FoP AGAIN!!
     
  11. mirak

    mirak Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Didn’t even think about this. I had always heard of rider swap, but figured it was just a system where everyone goes through the cue and one parent waits with a kid at the front of the line to trade off with the other parent when they step off the ride. I had no idea the babysitting parent never even has to enter the cue, or that they get a fast pass allowing them to take themselves and two other people with them! That seems like a system that could be heavily abused, especially before they switched to an electronic system.

    Questions:

    1. Can I only get rider swap if a kiddo doesn’t meet the height requirement, or is it sufficient that a ride is simply too intense?

    2. How long is the ride swap pass good for? If it has to be used within an hour then we’ll probably skip it because our itinerary is already packed pretty tight the first couple hours. But if it’s good for a few hours then we could definitely swing back by.

    3. How does requesting a rider swap work at rope drop? Will it cause a big traffic jam or potentially cause us to significantly fall behind in line while waiting for the pass?
     
  12. Micca

    Micca SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2000
    Messages:
    27,536
    Just did this last month. It was EMH at AK beginning 8am. Arrived at the park turnstiles about 7:15, they began letting people in around 7:45. We were escorted by CMs for a brisk walk to FOP, it was about a 15 minute wait for us to ride. After FOP we immediately headed to NRJ where we waited 20-25 minutes to ride. We're not big on RD, but it was a sound strategy for us in this instance.:)
     
  13. mirak

    mirak Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Because I plan to hit FOP and NRJ at rope drop with the standby lines, I decided to move my afternoon FPs for these rides to the evening instead.

    That way we hit the Pandora rides first thing in the morning and last thing at night before the final River of Light show.

    Downside of this strategy is that I effectively limit us to only 3 FPs. But as I looked at the rides available in AK, particularly with Kali being down for refurbishment, and my kids being so young that only I will ride Everest, I just don’t see a need for churning FPs all day for a Wednesday in February at Animal Kingdom. Unlike Magic Kingdom, there just aren’t enough rides.

    Besides the FOP / NRJ fastpass I’m splitting across the family, I also got a FP for the Safari, and then split the third across Everest and Primeval Whirl. (So I haven’t booked a third FP for my youngest yet, but I’ll grab something day of depending upon how things are going).

    We plan to hit pretty much all the rides and nature walks we want from rope drop until around lunch time, then return to the resort to rest, then come back in the late afternoon for a dinner reservation and then back over to Pandora.
     
    soniam and ForMyBoys like this.
  14. PurpleJesus

    PurpleJesus Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Messages:
    34
    Just curious...

    Those of you that have done RD and gone straight to FoP - how long was the line for FoP AFTER your first trip through the ride? I'm interested in doing RD and then going right back through the queue again to ride a 2nd time. Will the line already be an hour by then? If it makes a difference the morning we will be doing this is EMH at AK, and the park opens at 8:00. We plan on being there by 7:15.
     
  15. Cinderumbrella

    Cinderumbrella DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Messages:
    10,715
    Disclaimer: not an EMH day.

    We were among the first 100 on the ride. Line was probably at least 2 hours when we exited. Turn around when you are at the front of the pack and look at the hundreds people behind you before the park even opens. 99% of them are headed for FoP.
     
    Hopefully and PurpleJesus like this.
  16. PurpleJesus

    PurpleJesus Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Messages:
    34
    Good lord....ok, thanks very much for the perspective. We'll take our one ride and be happy with it :thumbsup2
     
  17. Cinderumbrella

    Cinderumbrella DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Messages:
    10,715
    Another great time to ride a second time is park closing. If you have park hoppers & a free night, hop over an hour before closing. EE at night is so much fun! Then pop into Pandora to see it glowing blue. Get in FoP line 5 minutes to close (ignore the posted wait). It will be an hour or less (and totally worth the wait the second time!)
     
    Alesia and PurpleJesus like this.
  18. steves100

    steves100 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Messages:
    967
    I may be in the minority but was not that impressed with Pandora at night, to me it wasnt bright enough

    We also did FoP at rope drop, 10 minute wait, after the line was about 1 hour. Id say there were 2 -300 infront of us.
     
    PurpleJesus likes this.
  19. Mzpalmtree

    Mzpalmtree Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    We did both after RD last Sunday. We were at the park 45-60 mins early. We checked out a few blogs explaining RD at Pandora in 2018 so we were familiar with what was going to happen. Even though we were toward the front we got passed up by quite a few crazies who ran and pushed their way to the front then tried to get their families to meet them. We still were on the ride before park opening then made our way to Na’vi. We did wait about 40 minutes for Na’vi but by that time FOP was well over two hours wait.
     
  20. js

    js Been around since before the disboards 90s crash

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    6,772
    Just got back today.

    My dd went to AK on January 10, which TPs had listed from a 2 to an 8 park day.

    It was EMH and opening was at 8 am. We missed the first bus from BLT but got the second one which got us to the park by 725, I wanted to scream lol. My dd-24 wanted to sleep in but I got her butt up!

    Got through a very short security line, and was in the first group of people being walked to Pandora. My dd and I got off FoP at 8:03 am (I looked at my phone). We walked right on. Have to say it was less cut throat than Slinky Dog, which was awful with parents using strollers as weapons. One woman, was actually using her shoulder to move her way in front of me. My dd didnt want to do RD for FoP, just because of our RD for Slinky.

    When done, walked over to NR, posted time was 20 minutes but we walked right on. We had a FP for FoP for 11:20 am. Went back at 11:30 am, wait time was over 3 hours and we walked right on the attraction. It was my dd first time riding the attraction and I wanted her to experience it twice. She was happy I pushed her.

    Off topic, but our overall best experience at AK was Nomads Lounge. Wow. A hidden gem and I plan on going back in September at the end of our half day at AK.
     

Share This Page