Magic Kingdom Rope Drop From Main Entrance - Mine Train -> Peter Pan's Flight -> etc.

josh

Administrator
Staff member
Magic Kingdom Rope Drop From Main Entrance - Mine Train -> Peter Pan's Flight -> etc.

As usual, this post will be kind of discombobulated, but I'm happy to answer any questions or explain what I'm trying to say further should there be some confusion.

I popped over to Magic Kingdom on the morning of Sunday December 6th to see how viable it is to enter from the main entrance and visit Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in standby first thing followed by Peter Pan's Flight standby next. As FastPass+ availability becomes more limited with Peter Pan's Flight routinely completely out of FP+ experiences days in advance with the only possible way to book it as a 4th experience if you luck into a timely cancellation, I was curious as to how long the actual wait would be at Peter Pan and how that would affect waits at the next several attractions I was interested in doing. That was a long sentence. Some advice is very easy to dispense, but difficult to follow, and I try to shy away from that sort of thing. I can sit in front of my computer and tell you to do everything first and everything last, when waits are reliably short, but you can't do everything first and everything last. And you can't FP+ everything. So if you have one day to tour, some compromises are going to need to be made, particularly if you're looking at using FP+ at priority character meet and greets or other very high priority rides.

I'll have a post with pictures and a video of the initial walk to Mine Train in the next few days.

First of all, rope drop crowds are only increasing earlier in the morning. By 8:25am this morning, the area in front of the Train Station was at least 75% full and by 8:40am when the welcome show started, you'd be lined up several groups back behind the entrance tapstiles and everyone already in the courtyard would be on their way before you're even pass the Mickey readers. The point here is that the earlier you can get here, the better.

You've probably seen me stress the importance of staying ahead of the rope drop crowd if you're headed to Mine Train. If your group is able-bodied adults/full size children, it's not that big of a deal. It's still unpleasant and potentially somewhat stressful, but it's more than doable to keep up with the cast members leading the way from right inside the entrance all the way to Mine Train. With strollers, kids that can't be easily carried, or slower individuals, it's going to be more difficult to stay ahead over the course of a walk that takes about 7 minutes. The point here is to be realistic about whether you can arrive at Mine Train quickly or if you're going to be behind the pack. If you want to watch the Welcome Show from the center of the Mickey Floral - forget Mine Train. You're going to wait over an hour first thing. If you don't arrive until 20 minutes before official open - forget Mine Train. You're going to wait over an hour first thing. If you walk slow or want to take pictures in front of the Castle first, forget Mine Train If you're going to have to wait an hour, you might as well do it at 1:30pm when waits have peaked everywhere else and instead focus on hitting other priority attractions with short waits first thing in the morning.

Here's how my day went. If you just want the timing, scroll down to the end.


  1. I was through bag check at 8:17am.
  2. The Welcome Show started right on schedule at 8:40am and concluded right around 8:45am.
  3. Usually I don't really try to stay ahead of the crowd heading into the Park because it's not realistic for most people to stay ahead of the pack. If you ever follow one of my cheat sheet days that I photograph/explain, you might even be frustrated at just how slow I travel as I take pictures or try to hold the camera steady during a walking video. But this time I gave it a reasonable effort and I arrived at Mine Train at about 8:52am and was on a ride vehicle just four minutes later at 8:56am. As I was heading into the "Vault," which is the indoor queue area, the line had already extended outside the entrance and back towards Storybook Circus. That's about a 75-minute wait for those folks, some of which arrived at the main entrance well before me. I can only repeat myself, but you need to hustle. As you approach Cinderella Castle, take a right towards Mad Tea Party then a left towards the Mine Train entrance. You want to head toward Mad Tea Party instead of going through Cinderella Castle because it's a shorter distance and with the way the queue is set up, you can head directly into the line.
  4. I was off Mine Train and on my way to Peter Pan at 9:03am. That's a total experience time of just about ten minutes, which is five less than it would take with FP+ on average later in the day.
  5. I arrived at Peter Pan's Flight at 9:04am to a 35-minute posted wait.
  6. I arrived in the relatively new interactive queue at 9:12am. This is another reason why you might want to do standby. A lot of people like spending some time in the queue here and the wait does allow for it. If you head here first thing, you're going to basically walk the interactive queue without having much of an opportunity to see or do anything.
  7. I boarded the ride at 9:28am and was back out front at 9:34am, so the whole thing took 30 minutes. That's a long time to spend this early, but if you have to do Peter Pan's Flight and have other FP+ priorities, your shortest wait is either going to be in this slot or last thing. The other option is to wait 75 minutes in standby later.
  8. If you want to stay in Fantastland, you'd probably want to do The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, Barnstormer, Journey of the Little Mermaid, and it's a small world (in that order) next. Since I was kind of screwing around anyway, I personally prefer the Frontierland/Adventureland attractions, so I headed in that direction instead.
  9. I arrived at Haunted Mansion at 9:35am. Historically, it doesn't make a lot of sense to do Mansion this early, but it's going to see 35 to 45 minute peak waits later in the day and since I didn't have plans to revisit Fantasyland early in the day, I decided to ride rather than head all the way over to Big Thunder and Splash only to double all the way back to Mansion and then double back all the way to Adventureland. That's at least 12 minutes of walking and you may prefer to wait a couple minutes longer at Big Thunder and Splash instead. Anyway, I was in the stretching room two minutes later and was back out front at 9:52am for a total experience time of 17 minutes. As a bonus, the walkway to the doom buggies after the stretching room is clear this early, which makes the walk to your ride vehicle far more pleasant.
  10. I arrived at Big Thunder at 9:57am to a 10-minute posted wait. I was a little weary of such a low posted wait. This might seem counter-intuitive, but a "long" posted wait can actually be what you want as it causes people not to get in line. You may remember the 30-minute posted wait at Rock 'n' Roller Coaster the other day when the actual wait was something like 7 minutes. Anyway, there was nothing to be concerned about as I was on my way exactly ten minutes later at 10:07am and back out front at 10:12am.
  11. I arrived at Splash to a 5-minute posted wait at 10:12am and boarded right around 10:16am. I was back out front at 10:40am.
  12. Pirates was at 15 minutes at 10:45am. I had a FP+ for later and considered getting in line and changing the FP+ to something else, but ended up heading to Aladdin's Magical Carpets. There's no use in using your first two FP+ any earlier than necessary for the most part. Waits only get longer as it gets closer to noon. Had I used my FP+ for Pirates now, it would have just meant that there would be more people in front of me at Magical Carpets as I would have arrived there later.
  13. I arrived at Magical Carpets at 10:47am to a 10-minute posted wait, boarded at 10:57am, and was on my way again at 11am.
  14. Next I did Swiss Family Treehouse. It doesn't really make a ton of sense to do it in this slot, but it was convenient and I was feeling spontaneous. Or more likely, I wanted to get some Skipper Canteen shots. It took 10 minutes and I was on my way at 11:10am.
  15. I used my Pirates FP+ at 11:15am with a 15-minute posted wait still, though the standby queue was much longer than it was before. I boarded at about 11:21am and was back out front at 11:35am to a 25-minute posted wait.
  16. Next up was Jingle Cruise with FP+. I arrived at 11:37am to a 30-minute wait, boarded at 11:46am, and was back out front at 11:58am. The posted wait was up to 50 minutes.
  17. Next I did Enchanted Tiki Room from 12pm to about 12:20pm.
  18. Then Country Bear Jamboree from 12:30pm to about 12:45pm.
  19. Lunch at Pecos from 12:52pm to about 2:20pm. Most people won't budget this much time for lunch, but it was a nice rest from the morning and Pecos does take some time with the toppings bar, etc.
  20. Here I would have used by Mine Train FP+ and done more "anytime" attractions until about 5pm.

So:
  1. Mine Train: 8:52am - 9:03am
  2. Peter Pan's Flgiht: 9:04am - 9:34am
  3. Haunted Mansion: 9:35am - 9:52am
  4. Big Thunder Mountain: 9:57am - 10:12am
  5. Splash Mountain: 10:12am - 10:40am
  6. Aladdin's Magical Carpets: 10:47am - 11am
  7. Swiss Family Treehouse: 11am - 11:10am
  8. Pirates with FP+: 11:15am - 11:35am
  9. Jungle Cruise with FP+: 11:37am - 11:58am
  10. Enchanted Tiki Room: 12pm - 12:20pm
  11. Country Bear Jamboree: 12:30pm to 12:45pm

I thought it was a pretty solid morning having basically visited Fantasyland's two highest priorities and most of what Adventureland/Frontierland have to offer.
 

AngiTN

Well-known member
Quite timely info! Thanks. I'm still struggling with how to plan our touring for the few days before Christmas.
This may be a good choice
 

beccaporter

New member
We must have been in line with you several times. We got about 12 things done before we left at 12:15-12:30. It was a good day.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
When you lined up for RD are you still recommending the left side of the entrance?
I'm not sure how much it really matters. If you're headed to Mine Train, you'll need to move over to the right side because that's the side that leads to Mad Tea Party. But I started on the left out of habit and was able to move over to that side further up Main Street without any problem.
 

ajj221

New member
  1. Mine Train: 8:52am - 9:03am
  2. Peter Pan's Flgiht: 9:04am - 9:34am
This pretty much matches what we did late October but with a pre-RD BOG breakfast. We rode Mine train twice and by the time we were off the 2nd ride the RDers were there and we didn't get to POOH until 9:30.
 

abuck75

New member
I just don't get the allure of PP, yet, I'll waste a FP there one day for some reason because it feels like we should.

I actually should just FP Mickey at Town Square instead, as we'll undoubtedly have a very good time.
 

Alcachofa

Member
Great research, thanks!

I arrived at Big Thunder at 9:57am to a 10-minute posted wait. I was a little weary of such a low posted wait. This might seem counter-intuitive, but a "long" posted wait can actually be what you want as it causes people not to get in line.

Yeah, I hear that. Walked into the Mickey meet with a posted 15 minute wait. Didn't get in for over 30 minutes. Vacation ruined.
 

muskegon78

New member
With that day being somewhat similar to your normal 1 day plan...once you are in frontierland and if the waits are that low, would you ever suggest riding Big Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain twice if you are ahead of schedule? Or do you think it is better to keep moving through the list and do repeats in the evening?
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
It kind of depends on what you've got going on next. On one hand, time is of the essence in the morning. On the other hand, I'm not really in much of a hurry after getting through Splash as far as Adventureland/Frontierland are concerned. So you may want to spend another 20 minutes doing Big Thunder instead of spending 20 minutes doing Country Bears or Enchanted Tiki Room. In this example, I'm kind of just killing time waiting to meet friends for lunch. Big Thunder is more doable as a re-ride because the duration is much shorter. I basically walked right on Splash and it took 28 minutes due to the long duration, backup waiting to disembark, and whatnot. If I was to get back in line with the 20-minute posted wait, the second ride would probably take closer to 40 or 45, which is a long time to take there in the morning. A second ride on big Thunder would be closer to 20.
 

muskegon78

New member
It kind of depends on what you've got going on next. On one hand, time is of the essence in the morning. On the other hand, I'm not really in much of a hurry after getting through Splash as far as Adventureland/Frontierland are concerned. So you may want to spend another 20 minutes doing Big Thunder instead of spending 20 minutes doing Country Bears or Enchanted Tiki Room. In this example, I'm kind of just killing time waiting to meet friends for lunch. Big Thunder is more doable as a re-ride because the duration is much shorter. I basically walked right on Splash and it took 28 minutes due to the long duration, backup waiting to disembark, and whatnot. If I was to get back in line with the 20-minute posted wait, the second ride would probably take closer to 40 or 45, which is a long time to take there in the morning. A second ride on big Thunder would be closer to 20.
I would be moving on to the next things on the 1-day list, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Space, etc.. I figured if we are too early for the Space FP window then we might be stuck waiting in that area
 

disney213

New member
Thanks Josh. If we did stay in Fantasyland and go to Pooh and Little Mermaid an Barnstormer,iasm- would we then have much longer waits at Splash/BTM at that point? Also, if early open is at 7 for EMH- do you suggest being at the gate no later than 6:15?
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
How long you'll wait at the next several steps depends on how "crowded" it is, obviously. If you're talking about 7am EMHs then you're probably talking about Christmas? During the EMH only Tomorrowland and Fantasyland will be open anyway, so you would have an hour to do Fantasyland rides before you'd even want to think about Frontierland/Adventureland and even then, you'd be fine getting over there around 8:45am-9am if you wanted to push it off later.

If you're only touring over one day, I'd keep the re-rides for later at night so you know you can at least get through with what you want to do one time. Returning at night would also give you an opportunity to experience the rides during the day and night. Things like Splash, Big Thunder, etc. that are outdoors can be a little different in the dark.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
People really are getting soaked on Pirates. It's never happened to me, but it's certainly possible if you're in the front two rows.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
I should also mention that I do appreciate you all blindly following me like zombies into the wilderness.
 

muskegon78

New member
How long you'll wait at the next several steps depends on how "crowded" it is, obviously. If you're talking about 7am EMHs then you're probably talking about Christmas? During the EMH only Tomorrowland and Fantasyland will be open anyway, so you would have an hour to do Fantasyland rides before you'd even want to think about Frontierland/Adventureland and even then, you'd be fine getting over there around 8:45am-9am if you wanted to push it off later.

If you're only touring over one day, I'd keep the re-rides for later at night so you know you can at least get through with what you want to do one time. Returning at night would also give you an opportunity to experience the rides during the day and night. Things like Splash, Big Thunder, etc. that are outdoors can be a little different in the dark.
Good call, I'll save the re rides for after dinner and just try to move through things as planned. Thanks!
 
Top