April Fool’s Day began with a joke : getting up early on your ‘vacation‘. BUT it was our first full day in the parks and I did my best to convince Brandon that it would be worth it to get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for rope drop…
…well, we got there as early as we could. I had to put on my face, first.
Our energy had replenished. Our bellies were empty. Our hearts were overflowing. We couldn’t wait to get into the parks, get on our favorite rides, smile, hold hands, and EAT.
We arrived a quarter to opening and weren’t quite sure what to expect as we were approaching the turnstiles. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this was our first experience with rope drop! I know! How humiliating. A self-proclaimed WDW aficionado was about to experience rope drop for the first time. Allow me to briefly explain: I tend to visit during less busy seasons. I was never entirely concerned about crowd volume and line queues. Looking back, I was always rushing and I never felt like I was truly satisfied with my touring plan. Until NOW! Rope drop changed my life.
DHS was a ghost town at 8:45 AM during prime Spring Break season. We walked through Hollywood Boulevard and waved at Donald and Daisy, who were already taking photos with guests. We made a hard right towards Tower of Terror and just marveled at how desolate the street and walkways were. We quickly opened up our backpacks, powered on our cameras, and started snapping away, knowing that we would not get an opportunity like this later on.
Our plan was to get on the stand by queue at Rock N Roller Coaster with the anticipation that it would be a short wait. If memory serves, we waited about 15 minutes (later on this queue would be 100+ minutes). Afterwards, we were walking by Tower and Terror and saw an 11 minute wait. We had a FastPass reserved for later in the afternoon but decided that we needed to take advantage of this moment! I can’t think of a better way to wake you up in the morning than consecutive rides on Rock N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror
After all of the screams and the drops and the butterflies, we got a real pick-me-up from the Joffrey’s kiosk outside of the Tower of Terror exit. We got a donut and an iced tea and leisurely walked towards our first FastPass of the day, Toy Story Mania! I fondly remember my first visit to TSM in which I waited over an hour in the stand-by queue. As cute as the decor was, I would never wish to do this again so I was particularly excited to get an early FP.
Afterwards, we had some time before our Star Tours FP and decided we needed to get on Great Movie Ride as this was probably our last opportunity to do so before it’s gone forever. I’ll cherish my memories of this ride, especially the time we got stuck in the Tarzan section for 15 minutes and had to hear Tarzan yelling over and over and over again 🙂
The queue for Great Movie Ride said 30 minutes but it was a little closer to 45. But while waiting in line, we decided to shake up our plans for the following day. Initially, we planned on rope dropping at Epcot but decided we really needed/wanted to rope drop at Magic Kingdom instead so we cancelled all of my Epcot Fast Passes and made early morning FP’s for Magic Kingdom with the plan that we would run to Mine Train first thing! So you see here folks?! You can make plans ahead of time, but you can change them less than 24 hours beforehand. Or even that same day!
We had just made the end of our Fast Pass window for Star Tours and after that, we wanted to check out the Star Wars Launch Bay since I had access to the Disney Visa Cardmember Photo Pass with Kylo Ren. They have the Jawa’s out taking photos with people and down a hallway is Kylo Ren. He was TALL and we had fun refusing his requests to join the First Order. Unfortunately, we don’t have good photos because although the opportunity to meet Kylo is free, the copies of the photos are NOT.
Afterwards, we walked to Echo Lake, grabbed a Root Beer Float from the Oasis Canteen, took a breather and made the executive decision that we were far too pooped to stay for our last FP at Tower of Terror so we took some more photos, reveled in the delight of all the chaos around us of families freaking out over line queues, the warm weather, the insane crowds, and fighting over where to get lunch. We snapped a few final pictures and moved on towards the buses to enjoy the All Star Movies Pool before visiting Magic Kingdom that evening.
Next up will be our evening at Magic Kingdom!