Rope drop vs. Staying late

Pluto468

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
I've been planning on doing rope drop for our June trip but not everyone is thrilled about getting up so early on vacation. I'm guessing we'd want to be up by 6 to make rope drop. It's no probelm for me, but other people in my party think waking up any time before 8 am is inhumane.

The idea came up of going to the park sometime before 10am, staying until around 2, leaving for a break until dinner and then going back to stay until 11:00-midnight.

Is it possible to get decent wait times at night? Or is it better to plan on rope drop even once or twice? (We'll be there 5 days with hoppers.)

I also wonder if lightning lanes or genie+ is trickier to use if we arrive later. Don't they sometimes run out? I know we'll want to get Rise & Radiator Springs at least.

If we can't rope drop, what is the latest "morning" time we can get there and still have lower crowds? I might be able to get people there for 9.

We'll be there June 27-July 1. I'm assuming there will be summer crowds so I want to make the best use of our days. My main goal is Pirates July 1! I'll rope drop by myself if I need to for that :)
 

TikiRob

In a Tropical Hideaway
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
I’m curious about all this, too. The biggest issue I have found is that you can’t book LL’s unless you tap in. I’d much prefer making them for the whole family starting at 7am and letting them sleep in!
 

sophy1996

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
You can get a sense of how fast the ILLs and the LLs go by checking the Tip Board on the app. We found last month that wait times really dropped at the end of the night, and we didn't even need the LLs.

Just realize that Rise of the Resistance usually closes at 9, and sometimes even earlier if it breaks down. So don't plan on riding that late.
 

Iceman93

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 2, 2004
The ideal situation is to do rope-drop, get a lot done, go back to the hotel for pool/rest/nap, then return to the parks post-dinner. I very much understand those in your party who don't want to get up early on vacation--that's me, too! And my family goes often enough that we don't usually bother; we no longer feel the need to optimize every day we're there.

How about if you get up early and everyone else joins you when they feel like it? Or can you compromise and do just ONE day of rope drop but the others more leisurely? In any event, the time from roughly 10pm to park close is just about as wonderful as those first couple of hours after rope drop. Folks will be streaming out of the park at a steady clip following whatever is the earliest nighttime spectacular.
 

Ladyslug

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
On our last trip in early April, we went from rope drop to closing time (with a brief early afternoon hotel break). Rope drop had way shorter/faster lines than late at night. The evenings get clogged up with LL folks that have the later return windows, so standby lines are not nearly as fast as they are at 8-10am (and DCA closed at 10pm, so everyone left for late night was in DL).

That said, you should still be able to get plenty of available Genie+ return times if you get in 9-10am -- you'll just have to figure out what to do to fill the time until the return windows open up around 11- or noon-ish. Food? Photo ops? Character meets? A grand circle tour?
 

wassily

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 22, 2017
Rope drop is the best. You can bang out almost all the big rides before noon.
1-8pm.. the lines can get pretty long. If you don't have LL, then take a break... have a sit down dinner somewhere.

Night time varies. I find that Sunday nights are pretty good. Some weekday nights for some reason, not so good.
Don't know if they limit the number of runs on rides (like only open 1 side of matterhorn on weeknights vs weekends).. but oddly I find that weekday can be worse than weekends.
 

Kit Jackson

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
My experience is pre-covid. We spent 5 days in the park off-season. We never got up early for rope-drope and we still got to ride all of the big headliners we wanted to. There were some smaller rides we missed out on, but that's going to be true of almost any trip.
 

Lisa_lvspplmvr

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 12, 2021
Precovid rope drop is amazing ! You get so much done at a Disneyland at rope drop compared to Disneyworld. It’s really a locals park and people don’t get there as early as Disneyworld.You can really get a lot of rides in the first hour or two. Have fun!!
 

blabbermouth

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
I feel like no matter what time I get to the park by 10pm I'm still tired and that makes the night time less enjoyable. I think even at 8pm the lines are still much longer than rope drop. If you are there 5 days try one rope drop day to get in the rides that don't have genie+ (jungle cruise!). Then the rest sleep in and use genie+. Shouldn't be a problem still getting good return times if you start at 10.
 

DLRExpert

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Rope drop, break at or just before lunch. Stack LLs come back at night is the way to go.

Or… depending on where you are staying. Everyone get up, enter the park or even the DTD monorail station, scan in, and immediately head back to hotel for more sleep , breakfast etc. Then you can at least stack LL and ILLs for later back at the hotel.
 
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Pluto468

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Thanks for all the replies! I'm going to strongly suggest rope drop as many days as possible. If some people want to sleep in they can and the rest of us will rope drop. It seems like nighttime can be good, too, but not as great as getting into the parks early. Two of our nights we'll be on Harbor and the other 3 we'll be at Disneyland Hotel.

I only have one morning at DCA as of now, but I think that should be ok. We'll rope drop that day since we only get one morning there.

I like that idea of getting up early to get our lightning lanes and going back to bed! Maybe we'll do that on one of the days. I'll have to read about how to stack them, I haven't done anything with Genie+ or LL yet.
 

wassily

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 22, 2017
I wouldn't worry that much about stacking at Disneyland. The lightning lane behavior is totally different than WDW.
Depends on how crowded things are and if the operators are running full carts, but on an average day, you would stack Space Mountain and Indiana Jones if you are at DL and then Guardians and Toy Story at CA. If you are park hopping, then you could probably stack 3. But if you need to stack 3, then it's probably a bad crowd day and/or not operating a full capacity for rides.

Otherwise the return times for most of the LL rides are less than 2 hours so can't stack.

We'll see if the crowds get worse during the summer and then watch the LL times. They might get worse and so stacking may be more relevant.

Just enjoy your time, stay relaxed.. don't stress out over getting the "ideal" plan.
If you are a magic key holder, then yeah.. you can try to practice "optimizing" the system as best you can.
Otherwise, you will be here for multiple days... first few days, figure out what you like. Have time to stop and smell the roses.
Then last few days, you can figure out a game plan tailored to your interests if you want to.

Some may love space mountain and want to do that over and over again.... then you know to rope drop space mountain and stay in tomorrow land for a few hours. Then get LL later in the day to do it again. Some may like Smugglers... so you actually rope drop that and you can ride that like 3-4 times before the ROR crowd moves over to Smugglers.

You'll figure out what works best for you and your party and it will be different from what could be "ideal" for others.
 

sjmac42

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
With 5 day hoppers, you won’t need to rope drop every day. When we have 5 or 10 day tickets, we‘d usually just rope drop each park once, maybe twice for DL. Knock out some big rides on those 2 days then you can relax on your other days not having to worry about missing the big rides so much.
Also with regards to G+, my experience is pre covid with MaxPass but I generally found little need to use it to book rides until after that first 2 hours or so from park opening.
 

xipotec

Grinning Ghosts
Joined
Feb 16, 2011
You can get a sense of how fast the ILLs and the LLs go by checking the Tip Board on the app. We found last month that wait times really dropped at the end of the night, and we didn't even need the LLs.

Just realize that Rise of the Resistance usually closes at 9, and sometimes even earlier if it breaks down. So don't plan on riding that late.
How do you see this? I know where the link is but mine always says “no ticket or passes found”
 

BrianL

Doom Buggy Driver
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
My answer to the question, "Should we rope-drop or stay late?" is YES! 😁

If some in my group don't like to get up early, well, I'm going and they can meet me later. I'll have ridden 6 to 8 rides before they get through the gates and get their precious coffee.
 








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