It feels like every time you turn around, there is an update coming out about a change at Walt Disney World. Lately, we’ve been getting notifications about more dining, experiences, shows, and resorts reopening - woohoo! There are lots of subtle changes happening in the parks, though, and if you don’t go regularly, you might miss some of these.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Walt Disney World 4 times in the past year since the reopening, and each time has been different. My last trip was in mid-July, and there were two main changes that caught my attention: rope drop and mobile ordering.
Rope Drop Changes
This was a hard one for this rope-dropping girl. For the last year, I have been that crazy lady who is at the bus stop 90 minutes before the scheduled park opening time. Before your eyes bug out of your head too much, let me say that for the past year, the parks were opening WELL before the scheduled opening time. Like, “ride 2-3 headliners before the scheduled opening time” early.
However, this seems to have halted and we are back to a more traditional rope drop at some of the parks. My experience was that Magic Kingdom opened at 9 am (its scheduled time) on the dot. It was back to holding everyone at the hub at the entrances to each land. The opening spiel would play at 9 am and the Cast Members would walk you to an attraction.
At the other three parks, I found that we were let in between 15-30 minutes early and were able to start riding attractions right away. I still accomplished 1 headliner at each of those parks before the official opening time (Slinky Dog Dash, Flight of Passage, and Soarin’). Plus, I just like the bragging rights of being the first at a tapstile, or first on Space Mountain, or on the first Slinky Dog Dash train of the day.
Lesson: get up and get moving! Yes, I had to wait inside the parks for a while waiting for rope drop, but I was at the very front of that pack instead of at the back. I would much rather wait before the park opens than have a 90-minute wait in a queue once the park is open. That’s a lot of extra laps on PeopleMover, for goodness sakes!
Mobile Ordering Changes
In my 3 trips prior to this one, mobile ordering was required, and to be honest, I loved it. The thought of standing in a long line when I’m hot, tired, and hungry was never appealing. Now, this has loosened up at many quick-service locations. There is still the option to mobile order, but several now have a traditional line. My warning, though, at the locations where I saw this, there was only one counter to order so the lines were VERY long. I would much rather enjoy my Lunch Box Tart at Woody’s Lunch Box than standing in the hot sun waiting to order!
Lesson: Mobile order! And do it before you are famished in case the return time has advanced further into the day. It’s so convenient to place my Pecos Bill’s order while I’m in line at Pirates of the Caribbean, click “I’m Here” as I’m leaving the ride, and get the notification that my order is ready just as I walk up to the restaurant. Those nachos are calling my name right now!