What Does “Rope Drop” Mean? (A Glossary of Disney Park-Specific Terms)

What does “rope drop” mean? As frequent Disney park-goers, this is a term that we often use – but to a newer visitor, it obviously is confusing! Use this list to understand not only “rope dropping”, but also some of the other Disney-specific terms and acronyms that are found throughout the parks.

What Does Rope Drop Mean? (A Glossary of Disney Park-Specific Terms)

Disney Parks Terms

Backstage: Disney parks consider themselves to be a show. Therefore, they refer to any guest-accessible area of the park as “onstage” and the areas that guests cannot access as “backstage”.

Cast Member: Again, since Disney parks consider themselves to be a show, all of the people who work at Disney are part of the show’s “cast” and are therefore called “cast members”.

Dark Ride: A ride that takes place “in the dark” and uses special lighting to highlight the scenes. Despite how they sound, these rides are typically not scary – many of the Disney “classic” rides are dark rides (such as Peter Pan’s Flight or Haunted Mansion).

Disney College Program (DCP): This is a program that allows college students to live and work at Disney in a variety of roles for a semester. It is often referred to as “the DCP”. More information can be found here.

Disney Dining Plan: As of publish, Disney Dining Plans are not available. However, the Disney Dining Plan is a pre-paid package of various types of meals. More information can be found here.

Disney Genie: Disney Genie is a free service that helps guests plan their day at the parks with tailored recommendations and suggestions. More information can be found here. (Note that Disney Genie is different from Genie+!)

Disney Vacation Club (DVC): Disney Vacation Club (commonly referred to as “DVC”) is Disney’s timeshare program. More information can be found here.

Extra Magic Hours: Extra Magic Hours have been retired, but they refer to an old program that allowed onsite guests to access the parks during times that they were typically closed on select days.

Early Theme Park Entry: This is the new version of Extra Magic Hours. Guests of participating hotels (onsite and Good Neighbor) can enter every park 30 minutes before park opening every day to experience select attractions. Learn more here.

Genie+: This is a paid service that gives you access to MOST Lightning Lanes in each park (but not all!). See our full breakdown here (and check below to see the definition of Lightning Lane!)

Good Neighbor Hotels: These are off-property and/or non-Disney owned and operated hotels that have a partnership with Disney that allows them to have many of the same perks that onsite guests have. More information can be found here.

Hard-Ticket Event: This is an event that requires admission separate from normal park admission (such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party).

Hidden Mickey: Unlike other artists, imagineers are not able to sign their work with a physical signature. Instead, the leave small Mickey Mouses (or occasionally, other characters) hidden throughout the land/attraction to sign the work in their own special way. Our article here shows some of the Hidden Mickeys that can be found at Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Animal Kingdom if you’d like to see an example.

Lightning Lane: If you were familiar with the old FastPass system, a Lightning Lane is the same as a FastPass queue – it’s an expedited line that lets you “skip” the wait. Unlike FastPasses, which were free, Lightning Lanes are a paid service. See our full breakdown here.

Magic Band: A Magic Band is a bracelet that connects to your My Disney Experience account and can be used to scan into the parks, scan into Lightning Lanes, open your Disney resort hotel door, and even pay for items (if you link a credit card).

Memory Maker: Memory Maker is Disney’s package that gives you unlimited access to all Photopass photos.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: A hard-ticket event that happens at Halloween time (typically August to October) in which guests can trick-or-treat thoughout the park, dress up in their favorite costumes, and experience special Halloween-themed shows and parades.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:A hard-ticket event that happens at Christmas time (typically November to December) in which guests can experience special Christmas-themed shows, parades, meet and greets, and snacks.

My Disney Experience: Disney’s app for all things Walt Disney World. Here, you can make dining reservations, view Disney Genie or Genie+, manage your Friends & Family list, and much more.

Onsite vs. Offsite: Anything that sits on the grounds owned by Walt Disney World is considered “onsite”. This basically encompasses all of Disney’s resorts, parks, and Disney Springs. Anything else is “offsite”! Note that on-property and off-property have the same meaning.

Parkhopper: A ticket that allows you to visit multiple theme parks in the same day. Note that this does not include water parks.

Photopass: Disney’s photograph service that can be found throughout the parks. Cast Members stationed in khaki vests will take your photo at designated photo spots and some rides have photos included. All of these are considered “Photopass” photos and can be purchased individually or via Memory Maker (see above).

Quick Service Restaurant: A restaurant in which you order at a counter and then receive your food on a tray. Similar to a Chipotle or a Panera! Quick Service Restaurants do not need reservations. The alternate would be a “Table Service Restaurant” (see below).

Rope Drop: A literal rope used to block entry to the parks during off hours and when the park opened, the rope would be “dropped” and guests could enter. This term therefore now means to arrive at the park before it opens so that you are there when the “rope drops” aka when the gates open for guests to enter the park. This is a technique used to beat crowds for popular attractions.

Signature Dining: Disney’s top-tier Table Service restaurants that offer high-end food and service. See a full list here.

Table Service Restaurant: A traditional restaurant in which you are seated by a hostess and then have a waiter or waitress who handles your meal. Table Service Restaurants typically do need reservations. The alternate would be a “Quick Service Restaurant” (see above).

Disney Parks Acronyms

ADR: Advanced Dining Reservation

AK or DAK: (Disney’s) Animal Kingdom

AP: Annual Pass

BB: Blizzard Beach water park

BOG: Be Our Guest restaurant

CM: Cast Member

DCL: Disney Cruise Line

DCP: Disney College Program

DDP: Disney Dining Plan

DL or DLR: Disneyland (Resort)

DVC: Disney Vacation Club

ECV: Electric Convenience Vehicle (aka an electric scooter)

EP: Epcot

F&G: Flower & Garden Festival

F&W: Food & Wine Festival

FoA: Festival of the Arts

HS or DHS: (Disney’s) Hollywood Studios

LBV: Lake Buena Vista

MDE: My Disney Experience app

MK: Magic Kingdom

MM: Memory Maker

MNSSHP: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

MVMCP: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

QS: Quick Service restaurant

TL: Typhoon Lagoon water park

TS: Table Service restaurant

TSM: Toy Story Mania

TTC: Ticket & Transportation Center

V&A: Victoria & Alberts Restaurant

WDW: Walt Disney World

Advertisement