Hollywood Studios Rope Drop to Rock n Roller Coaster – 3/27/17

This past Saturday, we took a look at rope drop touring at Epcot from the International Gateway and beginning with Frozen Ever After. Today, we’ll visit Hollywood Studios to see what we can accomplish on a busy spring break Monday starting with Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.

Hollywood Studios is perhaps the most time-sensitive of the theme park rope drops, though your first planned destination certainly has some bearing on those rankings. Certainly Frozen Ever After at Epcot, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, and once it opens, Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom, are also incredibly high priorities, but there is perhaps nothing as high-stakes as the rush to Jedi Training Academy for those that have kids that want to sign up.

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Epcot International Gateway Rope Drop Touring Plan with Frozen First – 3/25/17

We’ll take a look at visiting Epcot for rope drop from the International Gateway (IG) entrance that’s located in between the UK and France Pavilions in World Showcase. This is on the morning of Saturday March 25, 2017.

If you’re staying in the Crescent Lake area, which includes the Yacht Club, Beach Club, BoardWalk Inn, Swan, and Dolphin resorts, or eating breakfast at one of the restaurants and then visiting Epcot, you’ll likely use the International Gateway entrance.

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April 2017 Disney World Crowd Calendar

This is the Free April 2017 Disney World Crowd Calendar that shows the Recommended Parks to Visit, Overall Crowd Level Estimation, Cost, Extra Magic Hours Schedule, and Nighttime Spectacular Showtimes.

Here’s a quick explanation of how to read the calendar and what the numbers mean. It may seem like it’s a little long, but you’ll only need to read the explanation once.

  • The first line in each box is the date.
  • The second line shows the cost to book a room at a Disney-owned resort. $ = Value Season, $$ = Regular Season, $$$ = Summer Season, $$$$ = Peak Season, and $$$$$ = Holiday Season. Occasionally there will be a + or – after the $$$ to show that the cost is slightly higher or lower due to special event pricing, but not by enough to raise it another $ notch.
  • The third line is an estimation of the overall crowd level and wait times. A “5″ refers to average crowds. Numbers above 5 refer to a larger than average overall crowd level and numbers below 5 refer to lower than average overall crowds. A day with an overall crowd level of “1″ means that the crowds are expected to be the absolute lowest of the year and a “10″ means crowds are expected to be at their largest of the year. In other words, the overall crowd level estimation will give you an idea of how many people are in the four major theme parks. Individual theme parks can have smaller or larger crowds than the overall estimation, which is where the theme park recommendations come in.
  • The fourth line shows the theme parks I recommend visiting in green and the theme parks I recommend avoiding in red. There is also a | sign that splits up the recommended and not recommended Parks for the color blind or those printing in black and white (the Parks to the left of the | sign are recommended). I use the usual abbreviations for the Parks; AK is Animal Kingdom, EP is Epcot, HS is Hollywood Studios, and MK is Magic Kingdom. In addition to the colors, the Park on the far left is the most recommended Park to visit that day. The Park second to the left is the second most recommended and so on. For example, if the line reads AK EP | HS MK then the Animal Kingdom is the most recommended and Epcot is the second most recommended. On the other side of the | sign, Hollywood Studios is not recommended and the Magic Kingdom is expressly not recommended even more. If possible, I would strongly recommend you visit the Park that is most recommended each day. Please read below the calendar for an overview of how I’ve selected the recommended Parks and also a day-by-day explanation.
  • The fifth line lists which Parks have Extra Magic Hours and at what time they start. Morning Extra Magic Hour lasts one hour and usually starts at 8am. Evening Extra Magic Hours last two hours from the start time. For example, if you see AK:8am EP:9pm, that means Animal Kingdom has a morning Extra Magic Hour from 8am-9am and Epcot has evening Extra Magic Hours from 9pm-11pm.
  • The sixth line lists the Fantasmic(!) and Nighttime Spectacular and Star Wars A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks (SWAGS) show times at Hollywood Studios.
  • The seventh line lists the start time of the Wishes Fireworks (W:) and Once Upon A Time Castle Projection Show (OUAT:) at Magic Kingdom. For example, if you see, W: 9pm OUAT: 9:45pm, it would mean that Wishes begins at 9pm and Once Upon A Time begins at 9:45pm.
  • The eighth line lists Rivers of Light (RoL) start times at Animal Kingdom.

The Calendar is also available in an easy to view and print PDF file, Here.

Click the image to enlarge it.

Above is what we’re looking at for April. The current operating schedule is available here: https://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDW_TAC_2017apr.pdf. and those times can be confirmed at DisneyWorld.com here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/ by changing the date at the top.

Saturday April 1

4 Park Crowd Level: 7 out of 10

Animal Kingdom: 9am – 9:30pm (Not Recommended)

Rivers of Light: 8:45pm and 10pm

Morning Extra Magic Hour: 8am-9am

Expected Average Wait: 30 minutes.

Actual Average Wait: TBD

Epcot: 9am – 9pm (Not Recommended)

Illuminations: 9pm

Expected Average Wait: 26 minutes.

Actual Average Wait: TBD

Hollywood Studios: 9am – 9pm (Most Recommended)

Fantasmic: 8:30pm, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks: 9pm

Expected Average Wait: 40 minutes.

Actual Average Wait: TBD

Magic Kingdom: 9am – 11pm (Tentatively Recommended)

Wishes Fireworks: 9pm, Once Upon A Time Castle Projection Show: 9:45pm

Expected Average Wait: 36 minutes.

Actual Average Wait: TBD

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A Walk Around the 2017 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival – Future World

We’ll take a walk around Future World to see what this year’s Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot brings.

Figment debuted at this year’s Festival of the Arts and continues presiding over the Park, now with some backup flowers.

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2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise and Festival Center Walkabout

The Festival Center for Flower and Garden returns inside the old Wonders of Life Pavilion on the east side of Future World to the left of Mission: SPACE.

Topiaries for the Fab 5 sit outside.

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