Magic Kingdom Rope Drop – 10 Things You Must Know

Yes, there actually is a physical rope barrier that prevents people from going further into the Magic Kingdom. Let’s discuss strategies for the Magic Kingdom rope drop procedure so you can take advantage of things others don’t know!

White rope with a white and blue Walt Disney World banner of a castle on it hanging over a pebbled piece of cement
There is a rope!

1. Arrive 1 hour before park opening

On normal days without any early Extra Magic Hours, Magic Kingdom usually opens at 9 am. During high attendance days, I have seen it open at 8 am, so it’s best to check the park hours before going.

However, in 2018, Disney decided to let people into Main Street, USA and around the front of Cinderella’s castle, known as the hub or spoke, because from there it leads to all the different lands within the Kingdom.

Visitors can shop, grab something to eat or take pictures starting around 8 am. There are ropes and cast members preventing anyone from going further past this centralized hub.

2. The welcome show takes place in front of the castle

A welcome show, Let The Magic Begin, takes place in front of the castle around 8:55 am.

All of your favorite characters welcome you to the Magic Kingdom with a cute song and dance number featuring Mickey, Minnie, and Fairy Godmother.

Admittedly, this show gets you psyched for your day at the park. I love attending the welcome show and feeling the Disney excitement in the air. Of course, it could just be feeding my Disney obsession, too.

If you get the chance, see if you can make it to the welcome show at least once.

Blue and gray castle against light blue sky with Disney characters dancing in front
Watching the Welcome Show

3. Line up by the Land you want to enjoy first

People start lining up by the land they want to hit first when the ropes drop about 20-30 minutes before.

Choose wisely! I have read the natural tendency is to head to the right into Tomorrowland or straight to Fantasyland.

Blue and Gray castle with white puffy clouds and blue sky and some people around the castle
Take pictures before it gets crowded

4. Head to Adventureland if no kids under 40″

If you don’t have little ones under 40”, go left into Adventureland.

Often, we have ridden Big Thunder Mountain Railroad three times in a row before any lines form.

From there, we usually do Magic Carpets of Aladdin and then head into Fantasyland.

5. Head to Seven Dwarfs if you didn’t get a FastPass for it

Head to Big Thunder Mountain first only if you have a FastPass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride.

Otherwise, doing Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at rope drop is your best bet.

Get in the line to the right of the castle leading back to the Cheshire Café and Magic Tea Cups. There will be a TON of people headed to this attraction.

I really did not want to stand in line with that many people first thing in the morning, but the line moves fast before it starts to fill up. This will be your best chance to visit the 7 Dwarfs without a FastPass.

Girl in pony tail playing with brightly colored fake gems while in line for a ride at the Magic Kingdom
Play with gems while in line at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

6. Head to Fantasyland with babies

If your children are too little for roller coasters, Fantasyland is where you want to go.

Did you get a FastPass for Peter Pan? If not, head there first. This is another ride that has continuously long lines for the remainder of the day.

7. Morning Extra Magic Hour Changes

Just when I got the hang of Magic Kingdom rope drop, I stayed at an onsite Disney resort and had to learn new rules!


The biggest is that Adventureland and Frontierland are NOT open during the morning extra magic hours.

I wasn’t prepared for this, so learn from my mistake!

Get in one of the other lines and ride as much as you can in the first 45 minutes.

8. There is a second rope drop!

On those morning extra magic hours, the rope remains at the edges of Adventureland and Frontierland until 9 am.

We waited at this rope drop also to make our way back to Frontierland. Truthfully, by now it’s a lot more crowded because you have all the onsite people that were here for extra magic hours, plus the regular crowd of people.

Little girl with pony tail and gray clothes waiting at a white rope
Yes – there is a second rope drop!

9. Know the park layout

I stress this in a lot of my posts, but it’s important to know the park layout. Know where you want to go BEFORE you get to the Magic Kingdom.

Don’t wander around aimlessly wondering what you should do next.

Have a plan before you go.

Read 15 Mistakes Not to Make at Disney World for more tips.

10. Ride your non-FastPass rides first

This may seem obvious, but if you have not been to Disney World, you need to know some basics.

If you didn’t get a FastPass for something you want to ride, do it first. This is your best chance for the shortest lines.

The first 2 hours at the Magic Kingdom are when you should ride the most attractions.

11. BONUS! Don’t ride the longest rides at Magic Kingdom rope drop

You will use up the best touring hours of the day.

These include Pirates of the Carribean, It’s a Small World, the Tomorrowland People Mover and any of the shows such as Country Bear Jamboree and the Carousel of Progress.

Read the following for more Disney World info:

Do you have any more rope drop tips? What are your favorite things to do first at Magic Kingdom rope drop? Let me know in the comments!

Need help planning and organizing your Disney vacation? Read the Disney Planning Guide and download your free planner and organizer!

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Girl in gray sweatshirt with Mickey Mouse on the back standing in front of a rope looking towards a sign called Adventureland
Little girl in gray and castle in background with text overlay saying 10 things you must know about Magic Kingdom rope drop

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