Animal Kingdom is not all greenery and animals, though they are fun too. The rides are the reason to arrive early. One of the most popular areas at any Disney park is Avatar: The Land of Pandora with Avatar: Flight of Passage and Na’Vi River Journey. Thrills like Expedition Everest and animal sightings on Kilimanjaro Safari.
What is Rope Drop?
Rope Drop is Disney Lingo for arriving before park opening to ensure that you are through security and at the gate the minute it opens. Some parks are known to open earlier than posted – so recommended arrival times vary. Back in the days of Walt, the parks opened with an actual velvet rope. Hence the term – rope drop.
PRO TIP: Disney Resort guests can get into the parks 30 minutes before the posted park opening time. It doesn’t seem like much, but it makes a big difference – trust me!
Why is Rope Drop Important?
If waiting in lines is not your jam, then getting to the park early will make you happy. You can accomplish more in the first two hours of your day if you rope drop, than in a whole afternoon of peak time.
It’s slower in the morning which means better photos, more opportunities for Photo Pass memories, and a little bit of quiet to sneak in a breakfast snack or coffee.
How to Get to the Park for Rope Drop
Disney resorts provide transportation from your resort to all of the parks. While it’s the most reliable and inexpensive way to get there, it might not always be the quickest. If time is of the essence, you’ll want to avoid the bus. If it’s the only option from your resort – try Uber, Lyft, or Minnie Van. If you’re ready to wake with the singing birds like a real Cinderella – then allow yourself 60 – 90 minutes to get where you want to be.
PRO TIP: Check the bus times in the MyDisneyExperience app and get on the first bus available.
What to Ride First at Disney’s Animal Kingdom®
If you want to avoid paying for Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes, prioritize rides in this order.
- Flight of Passage – Probably the most popular ride in the park, this ride offers Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) purchase. You’ll want to buy this first thing in the morning (ahem, 7am if you’re an on property guest) because it will sell out, or you can rope drop it. Wanna ride twice? Purchase ILL and Rope Drop.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Na’vi River Journey
- Expedition Everest
Rope Drop and Early Mornings Not Your Thing?
If early mornings are not your thing but you still want to get in all the rides, you’ll want to purchase all the Individual Lightning Lanes and Genie+.