Kris Sheppard: Welcome to Mouse Scouts, the show dedicated to bringing you Disney Park tips, inspiration, and family-friendly fun! My name is Kris…
Megan Sheppard: …and I’m Megan.
K: …and this episode is Monday, we are doing a park tip for you guys. In this episode, the park tip is all about the benefits of rope drop. So, I guess let’s just jump right in. What are some of the benefits of rope drop.
M: Well first of all, rope drop is when you are there for opening. If the park opens at 8:00, you are there standing on Main Street ready to head for your first destination, by 7:55 ready to get going. The reason rope drop is important is because you actually get the most done for your time in the first two hours, if the park opened at eight, before 10:00. Being there for rope drop means you can make a bee-line for your first ride. Some rides, the real popular ones, Space Mountain, Star Tours, the line gets long amazingly fast. So being able to head straight there will really shorten your wait and allow you to do as much as you can in the first couple hours before it starts to get busy.
K: It’s not uncommon for you to get like three or even four things done in that time, maybe even more, depending on what you’re doing.
M: Well, with our little guys who are too scared to go on most of the exciting rides, so we’re limited to more of the more slower, mundane, usually shorter line rides. We can often get six or seven things done within the first two hours before 10:00. Then at 10:00 there’s a noticeable increase in crowds.
So the main gates actually open about fifteen minutes before the park opens. At that time, the stores on Main Street are open, the little shops that are there, there’s a Starbucks, so you can get in and there’s also often characters that are around, so if you want to start with your meet-n-greet characters right away, they’re there waiting for you .
K: And you can get your coffee beforehand too, right? Because that’s important to me.
M: Oh yeah. That’s alway’s Kris’ first stop. Then you want to figure out, know ahead of time what your first stop is going to be. Then make sure that you’re standing in the appropriate area to be able to head straight for that place without having to cross a bunch of the crowd because everybody, as soon as that rope is dropped, everybody is going to be moving as quickly as they can to get towards their first stop. So if your first stop is going to be Indiana Jones, make sure that you’re standing over by Adventure Land so that you can head straight there.
K: What about Fast Passes?
M: Fast Passes you can generally start getting right away, but they aren’t good until a couple hours in. So, the time on them might not be until about an hour after park opening. Usually when we do Fast Passes right away, we will split and one of us will go get in line for whatever it was that we wanted to do, and the other one will go get the Fast Passes.
K: That’s a good tip.
K: Okay, so now, is it the same with both Disneyland and California Adventure in general?
M: Yes. In both places they have areas for the people to wait until they actually drop the rope that keeps you from going any further and then they wind up the rope and then I know that in the past and at Disney World, they actually have a little show with the characters to open the park, but they don’t do that anymore at Disneyland. So once the clock strikes 8:00, or 9, or 10, whatever time the park opens, there will be an announcement over the loudspeakers, “Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls, Welcome to Disneyland,” and cast members will allow you to go past. In some cases they might actually walk you through because they want to keep people from running. Running is one thing that they will stop you and ask you not to do so. They really don’t want anyone to get hurt. Of course running not only puts yourself at risk, but other people as well.
K: So when the clock strikes, make sure you know where you’re going, and make sure that you have your slippers. That wasn’t a good joke, was it?
K: Oh, I’m sorry (laughter).
Ok, now there was something cool that you guys discovered when, and by the way, she takes all three kids to Disneyland, by herself sometimes. I think she’s crazy, but this is one of the reasons why we’re doing this podcast.
But one of the really cool things she discovered is at California Adventure after rope drop. The first ride they were going to go on was Monster’s Inc. so they made a bee-line over there. Tell me what happened.
M: Well, we got over to Monsters Inc. to find Sully standing in front of it, surprise, surprise, along with several cast members. It turns out that over there at Monsters Inc., when they open the park, and I don’t know if it’s maybe just on the weekends or if they do this every day, but the kids that were heading straight there, they gather them up and they have a screaming contest because they need to fill the scream canisters to start the ride for the day. If you remember in Monsters Inc., screams are energy, so they need to get enough screams to get enough energy to start. And the way this is, they get all the kids to scream, and then they all huddle up including Sully and they discuss and they figure out which kid was the best screamer.
To our delight, that day, our daughter was the best screamer. She was so cute, she plugged her ears before she did it because she doesn’t like loud noises, but hey, she’s a good screamer. So not only did she get a little certificate which looked like a Monsters Inc. time card, but she got to lead the line into the ride so we were the first ones on the ride for the day, and that time card that we got was a front of the line pass for Monsters Inc enabling us for the rest of the day to go to the exit and right on the ride. So that was a really cool perk and I’m hoping to find some of the other places in the park that do something like that. I had never heard that anywhere.
K: Listeners…you know, I’m going to call our listeners Mouse Scouts, because we’re all Mouse Scouts, aren’t we?
M: Yes. (laughter)
K: So, Mouse Scouts, if you have encountered anything like this, you know, where Disney has added just that extra level of magic, in our case it was this screaming contest. This is just a whole testament to how they create this whole story, and it’s all encompassing, and they were filling up the scream canister. So if any of you have experienced anything like this on any of the other attractions or shows, write to us and let us know. We’d love to hear what you have experienced as well. You can email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com. Now, did you have anything else you wanted to mention?
M: One more tip that I have is that when we have had a ride that we really, really wanted to get on right away, for example, Peter Pan most of the day will have a 45 minute or longer line. We usually kind of skip that one because waiting in line for 45 minutes with kids, you know…we discovered that if we parked our stroller, in this case, we parked our stroller in front of the baby care center which is accessible before the rope drops. We walked as quickly as we could, I wear the baby, one kid in each hand, and I’m just pulling them through the crowd, that way we’re not trying to squeeze through the crowd with a big stroller, because it’s not easy. We’re not tripping over people or running over people with our stroller, people are not cutting in front of our stroller. It was just easier to get through, across the bridge to the castle, and then we were about the 20th group in line going that way. We didn’t have to stop and park the stroller in the castle, so that was a nice thing that we do occasionally when we’re really trying to get a certain ride first.
K: Yeah. Alright, well that does it for this episode. We would love to answer any of your questions on the show, so if you have anything that you would like us to tackle, email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at Disneyland as well. On all of the social media platforms, we are @gomousescouts. Also be sure to visit gomousescouts.com to pick up your free Unofficial Day at Disney Resource Pack. It’s right there, you’ll be able to see it on the right hand side of the website. It’s there for you to get and it’s free! So until next time, we will see you next time. Take care!