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When the park opens after 8:00 am (9:00 am/10:00 am), they let guest on to Mainstreet but not all the way into the park. Then they have a rope drop ceremony where the cut the rope that opens up Mainstreet to the rest of the park.
Let's say on the Disney Calendar, it says DL opens at 9 am. What time do we get there for the rope drop? What time is it best for us to be at the gate? An hour before?
We are at the HOJO, so we can head over at any time. And on the first day we are there (a monday) I doubt I am going to be able to sleep past 6 am anyways, so heading over early is probably a good thing; it will keep me from driving my hubby nuts that morning with my excitement
Let's say the park is scheduled to open at 9:00 AM. The gates open 30 minutes before park opening (8:30 AM in this example) so guests can get to Main Street and do a little shoping or grab a bite to eat. At this time the crowd starts to congregate at the far end of Main Street between the Pavillion and the Camera Shop. There is a rope stretched across the street to prevent guests from entering the park before the official opening. (Disney Security is there as well so don't try to be a wise guy and slip under the rope). At the official opening time (in this case, 9:00), security rolls up the rope but reminds everyone to stay back. Then they play a pre-recorded message reminding you to "Walk, not run to your first attraction - have a magical day!". When the message is through, security waves you through - and will yell at you if you break into a sprint. BTW, in the old days they used to play Walt's opening day speech at the rope drop. I'm not sure why they stopped - it was an especially nice touch.
Now as far as Magical Mornings go. Same rules apply if you are not eligable for MM. But if you are, you are allowed into certain areas of the park 1 hour before scheduled opening - in this example of a 9:00 AM opening, MM starts at 8:00 AM. (MM are for days beginning with an "S" or a "T" - Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thrusday") and are available each day it's offered for guests staying at a DLR hotel or for one day during your stay if you have a multiple day pass - I think it's a 4-day pass minimum but I could be wrong. Anyway, the gates at the far left of the entrance (Usually gates 1-3) are reserved for MM guests (and it's useless trying to sneak in if you aren't a MM guest - they know). Aririve at least 1/2 and hour before MM starts (i.e., 7:30 AM) because you'd be amazed at how many MM guests there are. After getting in through the MM gate, procede to Main Street and follow the sidewalk along the left side of the street. This sidewalk is roped off for MM guests and patroled by CMs. The cordon starts at Carnation Cafe and runs to the end of the street. When MM starts, those eligable will be allowed into certain attractions within Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Adventureland. It's a great way to get a jump on the crowd and you can knock out many "Big Ticket" rides long before the thundering herd enters the park upon opening.
So we will be there on a Monday, Thursday, Friday (my birthday!!) and Sunday.
I think we will aim to get there for the Monday and Friday rope drops, and use our MM* for Sunday.
*we bought a SoCal CityPass, we get three days, including 1 MM. Then we are getting my birthday pass for the Friday, and I will be buying DF his pass for that day.
This morning I made priority seating arrangments for the Blue Bayou, I dealt with the nicest man on the phone. I told him it was for my birthday, a recent engagement, my first visit since I was 12 and my DF first visit ever. He stayed on the phone with me for a good 10 minutes full of advice
Every rope drop I've ever been to in the spring/summer has always been chaotic. We always end up sitting on one of the benches on the Tomorrowland side of Main Street and watch as hundreds of people crammed shoulder to shoulder try pushing their way to the front of the line. It's pretty funny. Has anyone else ever noticed other guests mulling around Adventureland and Fantasyland prior to the rope drop?
In the morning, when the park opens - they let the crowds onto Main Street (but not all the way into the park.) and have a ceremony where they cut the rope to celebrate the park opening. After that, CHAOS! Everyone is rushing into the park to jump on a ride or get to the lockers first.
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." -Henry David Thoreau
...MM are for days beginning with an "S" or a "T" - Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thrusday") and are available each day it's offered for guests staying at a DLR hotel or for one day during your stay if you have a multiple day pass - I think it's a 4-day pass minimum but I could be wrong.
The 3-day (or more) parkhopper ticket comes with 1 Magic Morning.
When MM starts, those eligable will be allowed into certain attractions within Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Adventureland.
Most attractions in Fantasyland and some attractions in Tomorrowland are open during the Magic Morning hour, but not Adventureland. A few years ago Indiana Jones used to be open during MM, but that's no longer the case.