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Hollywood Studios Rope Drop – Best Strategy + Tips

In this post, we are going to cover everything you need to know about Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios.  This has become increasingly important since the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Rise of the Resistance, and will continue to be the most effective way to tour DHS!

Rope drop Galaxy's Edge Hollywood Studios

We are going to share with you what rope drop is and the best strategies to do it in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  We’ll tell you all the attractions you should use it for, which ones you shouldn’t, what time you need to get to the park and all the other tips that will save you time here.

Before we get into it more, make sure to read our Hollywood Studios Touring Plans Guide which is full of all the best info you need to come up with an itinerary of your own when visiting this park.

What is the Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios?

If you’ve never done a rope drop in a Disney park before, then you’re in for a treat…albiet a very early treat.  When someone is talking about “rope drop” it means being at the park before it opens, and there when the first guests are let into the park on a given day.

In Disney World, and Hollywood Studios especially, this happens before the listed opening of the park. Guests are let into the park up to a certain point where they have to wait until the official park opening until Cast Members let them through.

Sometimes those Cast Members are holding an actual rope to stop people from passing, other times just signs.  Once the park opens (Hollywood Studios in this case) you are free to go on the rides.

Benefits of Doing Hollywood Studios Rope Drop

Slinky Dog Dash rope drop Hollywood Studios

So I know the first thought going through your mind right now.  “Why on Earth would I want to wake up early enough to be in Hollywood Studios BEFORE the park even opens??”

While we understand your pain and it may seem like an absurd notion, but there are plenty of benefits to having a good Hollywood Studios rope drop strategy.

Saves Time – Rope drop is going to save you a ton of time in the long run and help you to do as many of the rides and attractions in the park as possible in one day.  The morning hours are always the most effective for touring a Disney park and often you can hit all the best attractions in a park before lunch this way.

By doing rope drop in Hollywood Studios, it will drastically cut down on the time you spend waiting in line.  That to me is the biggest waste of time on a Disney World vacation, and the less time you spend doing that, the better. 

Hollywood Studios rope drop Sunset Blvd

First on Rides – This is great, and there is nothing like walking into an empty queue on your favorite attraction at the beginning of the day.  It’s a special feeling to know that you were the first or one of the first people to ride.

You Can Ride the Best Attractions Multiple Times – Sometimes riding Slinky Dog Dash just once is not enough.  Maybe you are a person who likes to do all the best attractions multiple times in a day.  Rope drop is going to give you the best chance to do that without waiting in the lines.

Seeing Sunrises – Trust me, there is almost nothing cooler in Hollywood Studios than being first on Slinky Dog Dash and bouncing over the hills when there is a beautiful sunrise in the background!

Yes, having a good rope drop strategy is worth it, trust us!

What Time Does Hollywood Studios Open?

Hollywood Studios rope drop galaxy's edge entrance

Ok, now that I’ve hopefully sold you on rope drop, the most important thing to know is what time Hollywood Studios opens.  After all, you can’t do it if you don’t know what time the park opens.

For most of the year, Hollywood Studios opens between 8:00 am and 9:00 am.  These times vary due to busy and slow seasons, holidays, special events and Morning Extra Magic Hours.  Sometimes when Hollywood Studios is really busy for the opening of a new attraction, it can be even earlier.

For more information read our Guide to Hollywood Studios Hours where we explain the upcoming trends for opening times in the park.

Also for the very latest time changes, check the Walt Disney World website.

What Time is the Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios?

Disney's Hollywood Studios Hollywood Blvd Early Morning

Have you ever shown up at a Disney park a few minutes before it opens and wonder why there are already people inside?  Though they are connected, the rope drop time and the official park hours for Hollywood Studios are two totally different things.  

Rope drop happens BEFORE the official park opening time, and if you want one of the best spots in line, you’ve got to know when that is.  Of course, this can change depending on the time of year and what kind of events are going on during your visit.

These are the three important events to know if you are doing rope drop:

Park Turnstiles Open –  Once you get through the security checkpoint, you will be held up here at the Hollywood Studios turnstiles (or Tap Points).  Depending on the day, they can start letting guests through the tap points 30 – 60 minutes before the official park opening. This can be 90 minutes or more if it’s an extremely busy day or a new ride is opening.

Rope Drop – This is where Cast Members let guests through the part they were being held inside the park, and onto the first rides that are open of the day.  Usually, this is for the “big” attractions like Slinky Dog Dash, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Millennium Falcon, etc.

Expect this to happen about 15 minutes before the listed park opening.  On extremely busy mornings, however, they might not open any rides before the official opening time.  That has been the case recently since Rise of the Resistance has been open. In fact, they usually wait for a couple of minutes to give guests a chance to get a Rise of the Resistance boarding pass.

Park Opening – This is when the park officially opens and all the attractions in Hollywood Studios are available to guests.

Remember, all three of these will change from day to day so just because rope drop happened 10 minutes before opening one time doesn’t mean it won’t happen 20 minutes before the next time.

Before You Go

Mr Potato head Toy Story Mania! rope drop Hollywood Studios

So you’re taking the plunge and have decided to try doing rope drop.  Before you go though, there are some things you need to consider and plan out so you have success.

Download the My Disney Experience App – This is vital to a strong rope drop strategy in any Disney World park.  You need My Disney Experience to book your FastPass+ selections and you will definitely need it to get a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance.  

It’s also going to be crucial to be able to find out the current wait times for the Hollywood Studios attractions, which will be an important factor in deciding the order to ride them.

FastPass+ Selections – Speaking of FastPass+, you need to make your attraction selections well before the day you actually go to the park.  In fact, FastPass+ reservations for rides can be booked 60 days before the starting day of your vacation.

Knowing which rides you were able to book FastPass+ for will determine which attraction in Hollywood Studios we choose to rope drop.

Be Aware of Holidays and Special Events – In these cases, you may have to arrive up to 30 minutes earlier than normally suggested. Otherwise, make it a pool day and skip the parks altogether. Consult our Disney Crowd Calendar to find out when the least and most crowded times of the year will be when you visit.

Rope Drop Etiquette

Hollywood Studios rope drop galaxy's edge

Rope dropping in Disney World is a little like a concert.  It’s a load of fun, you will meet cool people, but if you aren’t careful you’re liable to get trampled on.  This is especially true when new attractions open (Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway).

You, of course, are a good Disney World guest and there is a certain etiquette involved in order to be respectful to the other guests.

Avoid:

  • Pushing and Shoving
  • Elbowing
  • Purposely taking someone’s spot in line
  • Arguing with other guests
  • Yelling or shouting at others

Yes, I know it can get crowded and very hot waiting in a big crowd of people, but just remember everyone else is just as uncomfortable as you so try to be courteous to your new neighbors.

Now if you are skillful, you can slowly move your way towards the front of the crowd without pushing or invading others’ space.  Just make sure to respect others and they will do the same.

What is the Best Day to Rope Drop Hollywood Studios?

Hollywood Studios Galaxy's Edge TIE Echelon

Rope dropping Hollywood Studios is effective no matter when you go, and if you are looking to get as many rides done as possible, it’s always better to do it, than not.  That said, we have some favorite uses for it.

Weekdays – In general, we recommend visiting the Disney parks during the weekdays and avoiding the weekends if you can work your schedule that way.  This is even more so with the big crowds from Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.  

Holidays – If you are in Walt Disney World during the holidays, you have to expect crowds everywhere you go.  This makes rope dropping even more essential to your touring strategy. Usually, the parks open earlier than normal anyway on a holiday, and if you pair that with rope dropping, it might be the only way you get through all the attractions you want to ride.

Extra Magic Hours – When Hollywood Studios runs Morning Extra Magic Hours, this is another great chance to rope drop.  Extra Magic Hours are only open to Walt Disney World Resort guests, and for the 1st hour of the day, they get to enter the park before off-site guests can.  This happens once per week.

This is a huge advantage, and you will be able to do way more attractions during a normal rope drop in most cases.  

It’s important to note that Hollywood Studios is not currently running Morning Extra Magic Hours because of Rise of the Resistance.  We’ll keep an eye out for this when it changes.

When Not to Do Rope Drop in Hollywood Studios

Again, if your goal is to do as many rides as you can, there is really no reason to ever NOT implement the rope drop strategy.  You will always get more done going early in the morning rather than showing up late. However, there is one case where it could be that it’s not the best use of rope dropping, Morning Extra Magic Hours.

Yes, I know we just told you that you should do rope dropping on a day when there is Morning Extra Magic Hours, but that only applies IF you are staying at a Disney World Resort hotel and can actually take advantage of that perk.

If you are staying off-site, then all the on-site guests are already going to be inside the park one hour before you and already taking up space in the attraction queues.  In that case, you are better off waiting to rope drop Hollywood Studios on a day when there isn’t Extra Magic Hours so you will have an equal chance like the rest of them.

Get there Early!!

Disney's Hollywood Studios before the crowds in the morning

What time do you need to be at Hollywood Studios for rope drop?  Early!

I can’t stress this part enough, in order for your rope drop strategy to work properly, you need to get there enough time ahead of most guests.

Our recommendation for rope drop at Hollywood Studios is to be there 90 minutes before the official park opening time.

  • If Hollywood Studios opens at 8:00 am, plan on getting there by 6:30 am.
  • If it opens at 9:00 am, plan on getting there by 7:30 am.

That may sound ridiculous, but if you want the lowest rope drop wait times, you need to beat the crowds.  

waiting for rope drop Hollywood Studios

Already we recommend people being there 60 minutes ahead just to ride Rise of the Resistance.  That doesn’t take into consideration however also trying to do the majority of the other big attractions in Hollywood Studios.  The further ahead in line you are for rope drop, the more time you’ll save in the end.

This is especially crucial for rope dropping Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run or Slinky Dog Dash!

(After March 4, 2020) – We assume it will be the same for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway once it opens and the same 90-minute rule applies.)

If you aren’t rope dropping any of those attractions and have chosen something else, then arriving 30 – 60 minutes before park opening is ok, but try towards the 60-minute side to increase odds in getting a Rise of the Resistance Boarding Pass.

Other Tips – 

  • Add 30 minutes to your arrival time if going on a major holiday
  • Add 15 minutes to your arrival time if you have a stroller
  • Add 15 minutes to your arrival time if you are going on a weekend.

Again it may seem like too much, but if you are dedicating your time to waking up early anyway to get to the park and ride as many attractions as you can, a few extra minutes isn’t going to break the deal.

It will be worth it when you are walking onto your favorite attraction and you will make out in the long run.

Best Transportation for Rope Dropping Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney World bus driving away

The next step in a great rope dropping strategy is figuring out what transportation to take to Hollywood Studios.  We are going to put them in order of best to worst:

Walking – You may not have known this, but you can actually walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  If you are staying at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Boardwalk Resort or Swan and Dolphin Resorts Hollywood Studios is only a 15-20 minute walk.

This is by far the best way to get there because it’s the most reliable.  You don’t have to rely on public transportation and don’t have to fight traffic.  These are our favorite hotels to stay at if you are doing Hollywood Studios rope drop.

If Hollywood Studios opens at 9:00 am, we recommend leaving your resort between 7:15 – 7:30 am.

Uber/Lyft – Ridesharing like Uber or Lyft is our next favorite choice.  Typically we don’t rent a car when coming to Disney World and we use public transportation.  However, when rope dropping you need something more reliable and faster. If walking isn’t an option, this is the next best thing.

Car – This is another great option and one that gets you to Hollywood Studios in plenty of time.  Just be sure to arrive close to 90 early if you are using a car because if you wait too close to park opening, the traffic picks up significantly.

Bus – The last two modes of transportation we really don’t recommend for doing rope drop.  Buses usually start running 90 minutes before park opening and there are more frequent buses in the early morning than later.  However, if you miss the first bus there is no way you’ll get to rope drop in time for it to make a huge difference in your touring.  

If you do use the bus and Hollywood Studios is opening at 9:00 am, make sure you are at the bus stop promptly at 7:30 am to get that first bus.

Even if you do get a bus though, the earliest you can expect to arrive is 70 minutes before opening which is already outside our recommended time.

Skyliner – The Disney Skyliner is our favorite transportation system on Walt Disney World property.  It is NOT, however, our favorite when doing rope drop. It doesn’t start running early enough in the day to make it effective for rope dropping and it often has delays which will really hold you back from getting there in time.

Rides You Should Do Rope Drop for in Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios for rope drop Slinky Dog Dash toy story land

Now comes the hard part of the strategy: deciding which rides to rope drop at Hollywood Studios.  There are a bunch of attractions in the park, but not all of them make sense to waste those precious first minutes of the day on.

Before we get started, make sure to read our guide to the rides and attractions in Hollywood Studios. That will give you an overview of everything and we also rank the best attractions in the park.

A lot of it is going to depend on which rides you hope to ride that day.  Planning on doing all the attractions in Hollywood Studios is different than only hitting all the “big” ones or wanting to do them multiple times in a day. 

With all the new stuff in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opening, Hollywood Studios has now returned to being a full-day park.  We’re going to base our suggestions on a touring plan where you are trying to do each Hollywood Studios attraction once.  

In that case, here is our list of Hollywood Studios rope drop attractions in order: (BEFORE March 4, 2020)

  1. Slinky Dog Dash (if you have Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run FastPass) or Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (if you have Slinky Dog Dash FastPass)
  2. Toy Story Mania!
  3. Alien Swirling Saucers
  4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  5. Tower of Terror
  6. Star Tours

If there are any attractions on that list you don’t want to do, then cut them and move on to the next one.

With an 8:00 am opening and if you are there 90 minutes before, you should be able to get the first 5 on that list done by 11:00.  That’s with stopping for a quick snack on the way.

outside of the cockpit for Millennium Falcon in Galaxy's Edge

Right now as of February 2020, that is the best order for Hollywood Studios rope drop.  Now, once March 4, 2020, comes, this list will change with the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Here are our rope drop priority rankings: (AFTER March 4, 2020)

  1. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  2. Slinky Dog Dash (if you have Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run FastPass) or Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (if you have Slinky Dog Dash FastPass)
  3. Toy Story Mania!
  4. Alien Swirling Saucers
  5. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  6. Tower of Terror
  7. Star Tours

This strategy will get refined once the new ride opens and we get to test out the best order to do things in.  This is what we will be doing opening day. After that, we’ll make adjustments.

It Depends on Your FastPass+ Selections

Toy Story Land Walkthrough Photo Tour

Now, the big factor in selecting which Hollywood Studios attractions to do during rope drop is going to be which ones you are able to get FastPass+ selections for.  

The key takeaway here is: Use rope drop to do the rides you do not have FastPass+ reservations for.  Unless you are trying to do the same rides twice in one day (that is a valid strategy btw), it doesn’t make sense to rope drop something you can just walk on to later with a FastPass+.

Take for example the first three choices: Smugglers Run, Slinky Dog Dash or Runaway Railway.  Your strategy should be to rope drop one of the ones you don’t have a FastPass+ for first. Then, move on to the next one in order, and then finish out the Toy Story Land attractions.  Whichever of those three first rides you do have a FastPass+ for, you can ride it no problem later in the day.

Doing Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and the Toy Story Land attractions you don’t have FastPass+ for makes the most sense because they are all near each other and you can go from Galaxy’s Edge to Toy Story Land very easily.

Hollywood Studios rope drop smugglers run

After that, head over to Sunset Blvd and get to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster ASAP, followed by Tower of Terror.  Again, this is not urgent if you have FastPass+ for either of them unless you want to do them multiple times in one day.

Disney just made some changes to the Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Tiers and we’ve recently changed our order there.  For more information on this, check out our Guide to Hollywood Studios FastPass+ where we tell you which are the best attractions to get and which to skip.

Rides You Shouldn’t Do at Rope Drop

Above we listed our preferred priority list for Hollywood Studios rope drop, but there are also some attractions that just aren’t worth it and you should never do in the first couple of hours of the park opening.

Right now Hollywood Studios doesn’t have THAT many attractions where we can just eliminate rides from rope drop, but when Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens up in March and when Rise of the Resistance goes to a regular standby queue, we will have to bump some attractions off the list.

Our first choices will be Star Tours and Alien Swirling Saucers.  We’ll update you more on that when the time comes.

Hollywood Studios Rope Dropping Strategies

Ok, let’s go through some itineraries and strategies particular to each Hollywood Studios attraction that will help you when rope dropping them.

Rise of the Resistance

stormtroopers in hanger bay of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

As of writing this article, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance does not have a standby queue and therefore can not be rope-dropped yet.  There are some important things to know though because 99.9% of readers are going to want to ride it.

  • In order to ride you need a boarding pass from the virtual queue
  • You get this on the My Disney Experience app
  • You must be inside Hollywood Studios to book it
  • Boarding groups open up each day at the same time as the official park opening

Make sure you are on your phone with My Disney Experience ready to go right the park opens because they can sell out for the day in under one minute.

Read our Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups Guide for more detailed information on how to secure a boarding pass.

When Rise of the Resistance does open up, this is going to be the #1 ride to rope drop, and it will be everyone’s first choice.  It also means that our recommendation of showing up 90 minutes before rope drop will be moving to 120 minutes.

We’ll deal with this when it comes…

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Opened March 4, 2020)

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Ride Vehicle side

Now that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has finally opened, we can include it in our standard rope drop procedure.

Once March 4, 2020, comes around, everything gets turned around and this is now our number 1 priority for Hollywood Studios rope drop.

The hard part is figuring out where to go after that.  Our gut tells us that you’ll want to do Slinky Dog Dash next because the two are close and with huge crowds heading straight there, Slinky Dog Dash is going to benefit from lower wait times.  That means when you get off the new Mickey ride, you are likely to find manageable lines at Slinky Dog.

On the other hand, the majority of people who have a Runaway Railway FP will probably make Slinky their number one and the lines might already be long, so this may backfire in the long run once we test it out.

If you have a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dash then after riding Runaway Railway the choices are many. We’ll probably say to go the other Toy Story Land attractions which are sure to fall through the cracks a bit with all these new rides open. Smugglers Run you can hit later in the day when the crowds dwindle a bit more.

Slinky Dog Dash

Hollywood Studios rope dropping Slinky Dog Dash

(Until March 4, 2020) One of the questions we receive most is between rope dropping Smugglers Run or Slinky Dog Dash.  Again it comes down to which one you have a FastPass+ for. If you don’t have one for either ride then our choice is to rope drop Slinky Dog.

This usually has the longest line in the early hours of the day, so by doing it first, you’ll save a lot of time.  If you do Smugglers Run first then come here the line will already be between 60-90 minutes by that time.

To get to Slinky Dog Dash just follow the crowd to the end of Hollywood Blvd and go right through the big gate.

Once you make it through, turn immediately left all the way down to the entrance to Toy Story Land.  This is where Cast Members will stop you until rope drop.

From here you can either finish the Toy Story Land attractions or go to Smugglers Run.  If you see the wait times are 45 minutes or less, head to Smugglers Run and then get Toy Story Mania! and Alien Swirling Saucers done after that in that order.

If Smugglers Run is already long then do Toy Story Mania! And Alien Swirling Saucers and head right to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

Ideally, you’ll be staying all day and you can come back to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run later in the evening when the wait times lessen.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

rope dropping millennium falcon smugglers run Hollywood Studios

If you have a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash and are starting with Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, then you will follow the crowd to the end of Hollywood Blvd and go left towards Echo Lake and Star Tours.  The crowd will either be held near Star Tours or further up at the entrance to Galaxy’s Edge.

Once you get into Galaxy’s Edge, head towards Droid Depot, then turning left through the gate.  Eventually, you will arrive at the stage where the TIE Echelon is located. From there turn left and head straight until you get to the Millennium Falcon.

At some point here you will see the Cast Member holding the Millennium Falcon sign.  This will be where the line forms.  

Once you are done there head back the same way you came until you see the Toy Story Land exit.

Hopefully, you have a Slinky Dog FastPass+ so skip that until later and knock out both Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! (unless again you have FastPasses for either of those).

Once you have finished all the remaining Toy Story Land attractions you don’t have FastPasses for, head to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

Once Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens however, we just don’t think rope dropping Smugglers Run is going to be a good play. At this point, we’re gonna say to leave it until later in the day and head immediately to either Slinky Dog or Runaway Railway at the park’s open (whichever you don’t have FP for). We’ll report back how this works out.

The only way you would rope drop Smugglers Run, in that case, is if you just aren’t interested in riding Slinky Dog.

Toy Story Mania!

Hollywood Studios Toy Story mania entrance rope drop

In the event you have a FastPass+ for either Smugglers Run or Slinky Dog Dash and don’t want to do the other, you should be starting with Toy Story Mania!

Follow the crowd through the big gate as I explained before like you are heading to Slinky Dog Dash.  One the rope drops, don’t follow the line on the right which will be for Slinky Dog Dash, but pass them all and stay on the left until you get to the entrance for Toy Story Mania!

Alien Swirling Saucers

Hollywood Studios rope drop alien swirling saucers

There are very few circumstances that you would actually have Alien Swirling Saucers as your #1 rope drop attraction in Hollywood Studios.  In fact, the only reason I include it in the list of priorities is because of it’s proximity to the other rides in Toy Story Land and Smugglers Run.

Honestly, there are many visits to Hollywood Studios when I don’t even ride it because I just don’t like it.  You may feel otherwise, or have small kids, so in those cases make sure to include it on your list.

When you finish the above attractions head to Alien Swirling Saucers and then book it to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Hollywood Studios rock n roller coaster rope drop

For a long time, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster was the best attraction to rope drop in Hollywood Studios because of its popularity and its usual long lines.  It also is located right next to one of the other most popular rides in the park, so doing this and Tower of Terror made a good 1-2 punch.

With the opening of Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story land though, the necessity to rope drop Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster lessened.  That plus the fact that it uses Single Rider means you can easily hit this later in the day if you don’t already have a FastPass+ for it.

If you do decide to Rope Drop it because you have FastPasses for many of the other rides, then it can give you great value.  Often we’ve been able to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster back-to-back as a walk-on.

So while we don’t recommend it at the top of our list purely from a geographical perspective, it can be worth it in some circumstances.

Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror rope drop Hollywood Studios

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is not going to be your first choice to rope drop, but it will be included after your first couple of rides.  It just doesn’t give you the value, as often the other attractions have longer waits.

We do recommend making it one of your FastPass+ selections though, so you don’t have to wait later to ride it.

Head down Sunset Blvd until you reach the very end.  You can’t miss it.

Jedi Training Academy

Hollywood Studios rope drop Jedi training academy

This will only appeal to families will small children, but the Jedi Training Academy is a very popular experience that fills up quickly so it’s important to know when is the right time to do so.

If you’re lucky on the day you go to Hollywood Studios, they will start the signups for the Jedi Training Academy BEFORE rope drop occurs in the park.  That means while you are inside the park but still waiting to do the rides, you can head over here and sign your child up to participate.

If not, and they don’t start signups until after rope drop, then you’re going to have to see how much of a priority it is for you.  If it’s a must-do, then sign up right away because you never know when they will stop taking names. If you can wait, then we recommend you signing up after you finish up in the Toy Story Land area.

In that case, we really hope you have a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash because the line will be too long at this point to make it worth it.  We would head over to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror at that point if we didn’t have FastPasses for them and do the Toy Story Land attractions with FP.

Characters

Hollywood Studios characters rope drop

If you have very little kids and aren’t that concerned with the rides, the meeting the characters at rope drop is a good way to avoid the lines later in the day.

Head to Toy Story Land first and go to meet Woody first as he always as a 30+ minute wait.  After that see Buzz, Bo Peep and Jessie since you are already there. These all start at 8:00 am so they should be first on your list.

After that, go to Mickey and Minnie which starts at 9:00 am and are near the Sci-Fi Dine-In.

Depending on the time you might want to go to the Launch Bay for Chewbacca, Darth Vader and BB-8 next, followed by Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc inside Walt Disney Presents.  They are always a long wait but they don’t start until 10:00 am so you have some time.

The Disney Junior characters and Olaf are next on the list, but have shorter waits. You can also see the Incredibles and Frozone in Pixar Place, and Cruz Ramirez and DJ on Sunset Blvd.

If you rope dropped all the character meets you should be done by 1:00 pm so it’s a great strategy if that’s what you are interested in.

Hollywood Studios Rope Drop Itinerary

Hollywood Studios rope drop Slinky Dog Dash line

This is what a typical Hollywood Studios rope drops looks like at the moment with our suggested rides:

Standard Rope Drop (Slinky Dog Dash)

This plan takes into consideration that you have a Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run FastPass

  • 6:30 AM – Arrive at Hollywood Studios
  • 7:15-7:30 AM – Tap Points open letting guests in the park
  • 8:00 AM – Rope Drop
  • 8:00 AM – Get Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group
  • 8:10 AM – Slinky Dog Dash
  • 8:35 AM – Toy Story Mania!
  • 9:20 AM – Alien Swirling Saucers
  • 10:00 AM – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • LATER – Do Rise of the Resistance when your boarding group is called
  • LATER – Do the rest of the rides you have FastPass+ for

Again, if you have FastPass+ for any of the suggested attractions, you can skip over them and come back later when it’s your turn, or do them twice.

This is what it looks like BEFORE March 4, 2020, when the Runaway Railway opens. We’ll update this once we have more data on it.

Other Tips for Rope Dropping Hollywood Studios

Galaxy's Edge rope drop Hollywood Studios
  • Keep an eye on the left-most tap point at the entrance to the park.  This is used to let guests who have breakfast reservations before they open it to everyone else.  However, it also opens up once the other tap points do, only this one won’t have any guests in it! Golden!
  • Get something to eat – If you aren’t rope dropping Slinky Dog Dash or Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, being first in line isn’t as important.  That means you can get something to eat and some caffeine to drink at the Trolley Car Cafe on Hollywood Blvd. You are waiting there anyway, and you’ll be hungry for sure.
  • Take some pictures to remember the day – You can get PhotoPass photos taken while you are waiting on Hollywood Blvd
  • Go Shopping – Again this is a fun way to spend time while waiting for the rope drop.  Some of the shops are open on Hollywood Blvd while waiting.
  • Once inside, try to work your way through the crowd and up to the front as best as possible.  Just make sure you don’t push and shove and follow basic etiquette. 

Summary

Hollywood Studios crowds for rope drop

As you can see, rope dropping Hollywood Studios can be an invaluable strategy for getting the most attractions done in the shortest time possible.  It can be used to do all the attractions in the same day or to get a chance to “double-dip” on your favorite rides by doing them twice in the same day.

  • Get there 60 – 90 minutes early
  • Choose to rope drop rides you don’t have FastPass+ for
  • Start with Slinky Dog Dash or Smugglers Run
  • After March 4, Start with Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, then the other two

It’s now especially essential to do with new rides like Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios.  We hope this helps you and that it gives you a better idea of how to plan rope drop.

FAQs

What time is Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios?

This is typically 10-15 minutes before the official park opening, but sometimes also at the same time as park opening.

Which is the Best Ride for Rope Drop in Hollywood Studios?

After March 4, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Before that Slinky Dog Dash.

Will I Have Time to Eat?

You can eat something though it will slow you way down. The best option is to grab something at Trolley Car Cafe while you are waiting on Hollywood Blvd, or send a friend to do do it.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about our Rope Drop strategy for Hollywood Studios…

  • Have you done it before?
  • What are your recommendations?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

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