Controlling the Chaos – Magic Kingdom Rope Drop – The Stampede to See Anna and Elsa

Many of us love to get to the Magic Kingdom® before opening to witness “rope drop” and the opening ceremony performed each day. I go because I enjoy the excitement of the ceremony. Many go so they can make a mad dash to the most popular attractions to either get in line or when paper Fastpasses were still in use, to grab a Fastpass.

Sisters-anna-and-elsaRecently the popular Anna and Elsa from the movie “Frozen” moved to the Magic Kingdom’s Princess Fairytale Hall from their original location in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot. Since this move those that have not been able to book a FastPass+ through MyDisneyExperience have been attending rope drop in order to get in line to see the popular duo. The result has been a stampede like rush when the gates open with pushing and shoving to get to Princess Fairytale Hall (not sure what this behavior teaches the children that you are trying to get a space in line for).

AnnaElsaWaitTimeBFPThe lines to see Anna and Elsa have been as long as 4 or 5 hours at times (there isn’t a character created that I would be willing to stand in line for 5 hours to see). The behavior of guests (parents) during this early morning stampede has prompted Disney to change rope drop procedure. There will be no more stampede once the gates open. Everyone will behave in a Disney-like manner without pushing, running, shoving, knocking down anyone or anything in their way in order to wait in line! Here is what you will encounter:

New Rope Drop MK


So…if you were looking to get into the Magic Kingdom® the moment it opened to make a mad dash to Princess Fairytale Hall to get in line – Let It Go! 

 UPDATE: A comment received on this post from Patrick also lets us know the following: “In addition to the new rope drop procedures, WDW is also making changes to how people wait in the standby line. Your entire party must enter and be in the line for the Princess Fairy Tale Hall. No longer will WDW allow a single member of your party to wait in line while the rest of your party joins you and “cuts” in line with you at a later point.Any party doing this are asked to return to the back of the line and start all over again.”

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  1. Rick says

    I’d also heard that during the previous “stampedes”, people were running through the shops along Main Street USA to try to shave precious seconds, and knocking over merchandise and/or CMs and other visitors. Sheesh, people, it’s just a highly overrated movie fad, calm down. It’s not worth injuring others. I’m glad about the new rules.

  2. says

    I was befuddled by the crowd I found at the back gate to Epcot (where there is no opening ceremony) until I realized what the crowd was for. I’ve done the MK opening ceremony a few times with young kids and it always brings tears to my eyes!! such an emotional start to a day of magic!!

  3. Tom M. says

    They should have at least 2 sets of Anna & Elsa. 1 set for FP+ and at least one other set for stand-by. It’s very simple to weave each line to a separate and secure room. It’s no brainer.

    • says

      There is 2 sets of Elsa & Anna at Fairy Tail Hall. Just as there is 2 sets of the princesses on the other side. And there is still a 5 hour wait. Totally crazy. We would not wait. There is to many other fun things to see and do, to spend 1/2 of my day in one line. As you are escorted through if you look you will see 4 doors. Behind each door is a set of princesses.

  4. says

    the people who are able and have been planning the longest and get up on the first day at 4-6 a.m. when their fastpasses can be first scheduled get the fast passes if you arent in that group I’d forgo this Meet the frozen character activity

    • jennifer says

      i wasn’t able to book my fast pass the first day and I booked mine in the middle of the day when i was finally able to book it

      • bjkbrady says

        Great idea! I bet there are lots of people that originally aren’t able to get a FP and never try again. If more would do that I would imagine the stand-by line would get somewhat shorter.

  5. Anonymous says

    If the people next to me had to take a child to the restroom I would let them back in line I would also back them up if a cast member said back of the line

    • bjkbrady says

      I agree. I really have no issue with restroom visits when lines are hours long. I really don’t have an issue with parents taking turns either. A 4 hour wait for a child to see a Princess is really asking a bit much from the child.

    • bjkbrady says

      Dennis – because the person who took the photo works as a partner on my site and asked me to. Is there a reason you have a problem with the partner of a site watermarking her own photo?

    • Tania Lamb says

      I actually took this picture, and it was taken off a private Facebook group without permission. Then it was circulated over social media, so I gave Janice permission to watermark it since I write for her site.

  6. says

    Surely there is a better solution than lining up the CM’s like some riot police? Not so magical looking. It makes me sad my daughters fave princess now is Anna and no way we can get a photo since I won’t wait 2 hours or more and the FP+ are long gone. I just wish they could find a way to get the wait times down JUST A LITTLE, I mean 4 hours is to much for me.

    • bjkbrady says

      I have a line issue myself. I am fortunate that I go often enough (and without small children) that I can say I will catch an attraction on my next trip and move on to something else. It’s difficult when you have young children that have their heart set on seeing or doing something and the line is that long.

    • Ed(Mouse) says

      But it’s not LIKE riot police. It’s a fun experience, more like a grand parade or moving party. Everyone has fun, and nobody gets hurt dodging poles and tripping over curbs.

  7. says

    In addition to the new rope drop procedures, WDW is also making changes to how people wait in the standby line. Your entire party must enter and be in the line for the Princess Fairy Tale Hall. No longer will WDW allow a single member of your party to wait in line while the rest of your party joins you and “cuts” in line with you at a later point.

    Any party doing this are asked to return to the back of the line and start all over again.

    • bjkbrady says

      Wow! I didn’t know that – they are really getting harsh with regulations. Heaven forbid someone has to use the restroom!

      • Zach says

        Can you blame them for that policy? Obviously, they’ll allow you to use the restroom. Wait times reach 4 hours. There’s a big difference between one person leaving and reentering than multiple guests cutting in front of a 4 hour line. I can assure you that’s not an old policy, it’s only enforced when it needs to be. (It’s a lot easier to handle a few angry guests than an entire queue full of them)

        Also, if I could give any advice to anyone reading this who is angry about that: be nice to the CMs working the door. After all, they are just doing their job.

      • Anonymous says

        they arent talking about the restroom breaks its all families that come and have one person wait while the rest go ride something else then come back and cut into the line. not all families can do this its just making it fair for everyone

    • Jennifer King says

      Thank goodness, nothing drives me crazy like entitled people who think their time is more valuable than everyone else’s. We were on line for Midway Mania (a long, 2.5 hour line) when a group weaved their way up to the front where the dad was holding their spot. Very unfair to the rest of us who waited our turn.

    • Toni says

      I’m hoping they at least make exceptions for rest room trips. Little kids can’t hold it that long and I would be terrible for them to either wait for nothing or wet themselves to meet Disney characters :(


  1. […] Janice at The Adult Side of Disney posted this morning  a change to procedure for entering Magic Kingdom park at Rope Drop. Rope Drop is when the park officially opens for guests for the day.  The popularity of Frozen’s Anna and Elsa, has created a frenzy, a mad dash to get in line.  I have heard reports of people getting knocked down and ending up on a stretcher in their quest to get a photo with these princesses.   You can read the new procedure here at The Adult Side of Disney. […]

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