Many people have asked me about my story of how I became inspired to learn the ins and outs of visiting Disney parks, and then share that information in a blog and become a consultant who specializes in planning park trips to Disney for my clients. The answer starts when my husband and I learned we could not have children. We made the decision then that we would do something special with our nieces and nephews every year – and what is more special than a trip to Disney? We decided to do the first trip when the youngest was 5. The parents had the option to join us or not (they had to pay their own way, lol).
I wanted to give all my nieces and nephews a vacation filled with unforgettable memories to last a lifetime. I wanted them to experience the true magic of Disney!!
Our first trip was with two of our nephews over 15 years ago. The pictures above are when they were a bit older, LOL. We had a good trip – but not a great trip. I knew if we were going to keep doing these trips I would need to make them great, after all this was Disney!!
And so it became my mission and my goal to learn everything I could about Disney parks and touring them. This goal was life changing for me. First, it was important to me to create the best experience for my nieces and nephews. Second, I now had a dream of creating a better experience for everyone who visited the parks, a dream that would become my business – A Walk in the Park with Colleen.
There were two big things that we learned on that first trip so many years ago that have been the cornerstone of my planning and touring for Disney.
1 – Getting to the parks before rope drop. Rope drop is the official opening of the park.
Let me first say I am not a morning person so getting up early for Disney had originally been a challenge.
We also had some trouble getting both our nephews moving in the morning and as a result, never made a rope drop. Sometimes it was almost noon before we made it into the parks! It was very frustrating to lose that first 60-90 minutes because you can easily enjoy 5-6 rides at Magic Kingdom in that time without all the rushing and stress of the crowds.
Rope drop gives you a jump start on the people who are planning to arrive just on time or shortly after official opening. Due to new attractions like Pandora at Animal Kingdom and soon-to-be Toy Story Land, Disney has been opening the parks 15-30 minutes BEFORE posted open time. Now wouldn’t you want to be at the front of this group and not at the end of it??
It is also now part of Magic Kingdom’s opening to bring everyone in to the hub in front of the castle for the opening show. They have been letting people up to the hub anywhere from 30-60 minutes in advance.
Don’t forget Epcot, as it is not uncommon for Epcot to open 15 minutes early as well. If you think 15 minutes doesn’t make much difference, please reconsider. Those fifteen minutes can mean hundreds of people being ahead of you, and those people will start the stand-by lines for rides you are probably looking to ride.
The take away, morning and rope drop are VERY important. You can be sure that now I am always up early for Disney! It is totally worth getting up to get so much accomplished at the start of the day without the bigger crowds and certainly without all the stress.
Rope drop is big part of my day at Disney. It should be part of yours as well. The parks have grown so much that we need to do some planning to make the most of our time there. I would love to help you plan your days in the parks, so you can relax and enjoy the magic of Disney!!
Planning at Disney is important as it continues to grow and more people go there. Please reach out to me to help you create a great first visit to Disney!