Some rides at Disney World are notable not just for their thrills and theming, but for their agonizingly long lines!
Since most queues reach their peaks later in the morning or afternoon, these are the types of rides that you should be visiting FIRST thing in the morning!
Rope dropping Disney World definitely has its merits. Not only do you get the sense, for a brief second, that you kinda have the park to yourself, but you have the opportunity to race right onto your favorite rides!
Today, Genie+ allows you to reserve Lightning Lanes to skip the line at attractions throughout the day (if you choose to pay for Genie+, that is), and each park’s most popular ride can be booked to ride during a specific time window through Individual Attraction Selections (again, if you are willing to cough up the money for that). So, it’s time to re-evaluate your rope-dropping strategy! Here’s our list of which Disney World attractions you should consider heading to first thing in the morning.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The reigning champ of long wait times in Magic Kingdom is — to the surprise of no one — Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!
Even on low-traffic days in the park, the ride tends to command a queue upwards of an hour long, so if you’re rope dropping Magic Kingdom, this should be high-priority for you if you don’t want to wait around for a while later! The other option you have here to avoid a long line is to buy this attraction as an Individual Lightning Lane. If you want to skip that cost AND skip the crowds, then heading toward Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as early as possible is one of your best bets!
If you decide to purchase Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as an Individual Attraction Selection, then you may want to try to hit Space Mountain first thing in the morning at Magic Kingdom. You can book a Lightning Lane time to ride Space Mountain later in the day if you buy Genie+, but many Disney guests try to check this one off the must-do list early.
While we often think of the “latest, greatest” attractions as the ones that draw the longest lines in Disney World, Space Mountain has lengthy standby lines every single day, despite having opened back in 1975! If you’re not headed to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train first thing, Space Mountain could be your best bet.
Although EPCOT is mostly known for its food and festivals, it’s got in-demand rides, too — like Test Track, which routinely draws LONG lines!
In the past, we’ve seen queues quoted at more than 100 minutes, making this a must-visit ride earlier in the day. Ya know, before you start Drinking Around the World (because whipping around that track on a belly full of margaritas doesn’t sound too great…). If you aren’t running to Frozen Ever After or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure when EPCOT opens, first thing in the morning is one of the best times to take your SimCar around the track!
Frozen Ever After
For a slow-moving, easy-going boat ride, Frozen Ever After certainly draws quite the crowd! In fact, the attraction in the Norway Pavilion has had the LONGEST wait time in ALL of Disney World more than once!
So yeah, before you fuel up on School Bread, be sure and make a beeline for the Frozen Ever After queue, unless you want to spend 78 minutes FROZEN in line later. Frozen Ever After was one of those “pay-per-ride” attractions until recently, when Disney said that at least through August 2022, it will be part of the regular Genie+ Lightning Lane system. So if you were counting on booking it individually during your trip, you will probably want to make this the ride you do first thing in the morning.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
You have two options to minimize your wait at this attraction: Ride it first thing in the morning, or reserve a time to skip the line and pay the fee. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is currently the only Pay-Per-Ride attraction in EPCOT. Since you can probably get away without paying for Genie+ most days in EPCOT, you may want to spend the money to skip the line on this one ride, and use your early morning window to ride Frozen Ever After or Test Track. It’s all about your priorities!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Though it’s not as hard to get on as Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is probably one you’re gonna want to run to first thing in the morning (just look at those crowds)! Since you can book Rise of the Resistance as an Individual Attraction Selection for a fee, speed walking to Smuggler’s Run first is a good strategy.
Slinky Dog Dash
Nowadays, Slinky Dog Dash is routinely the Hollywood Studios ride with the longest lines, with wait times sometimes stretching to 90 minutes!
So if you want to really maximize your time in the park, you’d be wise to make this Toy Story coaster a top priority upon arrival, especially if your group is more into Toy Story than Star Wars!
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Especially since it’s so central in the park, it’s an easy ride to hit up first — and you probably SHOULD, unless you enjoy spending upwards of an hour in (mostly) direct sunlight! Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway used to be one of those “pay per ride” attractions you could book a specific time for, but Disney has temporarily moved it to a regular Genie+ attraction. So that might change your strategy and make this one the ride you choose to do first at rope drop if it is a priority for your group!
Flight of Passage
Most rides at Animal Kingdom are pretty easy to get on, with one notable exception. You know the one.
Flight of Passage is consistently SO popular that it’s actually surprising when it DOESN’T have the longest wait time in all of Disney World!
So if you’re gonna rope drop Animal Kingdom, and you don’t want to spend up to two hours mid-afternoon waiting around in Pandora or pay for an Individual Lightning Lane, follow the other speed-walking vacationers to get in line for Flight of Passage when Animal Kingdom opens!
At the end of the day, if you really want to maximize your time in Disney World and hit up as many of your favorite rides as possible, these are definitely the ones you should be checking off your list FIRST thing in the morning! But we would be remiss if we didn’t also mention an OPPOSITE strategy that works for some Disney Guests!
Go For the Low-Hanging Fruit
While our list covers the common strategy of trying to get to the most popular rides early before the crowds build in the parks, there are advocates of doing exactly the opposite!
What do we mean? Well, while all of the other people lined up at rope drop in Magic Kingdom head to Space Mountain or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you COULD knock out 3-4 other rides quickly, like, say, Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean, before the mid-day crowds pack in.
This strategy is especially effective if you are NOT eligible for Early Park Entry — which allows Disney resort guests entry into the parks 30 minutes before the official opening time (you can read more about Early Park Entry here). Those early birds who got in ahead of you may have already filled up the queues for the most popular rides in the parks, while other attraction queues are still very short. This “reverse strategy” could work well for you in the other parks, as well, depending on your priorities!
Whether you sprint to the most popular ride in the park or make a beeline to less popular attractions you can walk right on early, any strategy you choose ends with you on a fun Disney World attraction! It’s exhilarating to beat the crowd and feel like you won Disney World! Keep following Disney Food Blog for our best tips for planning your next trip!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
What is your favorite ride to visit FIRST thing in the morning in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!