rope drop ceremony
Photos of the rope drop ceremony show that officially begins each day in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
The rope drop ceremony is a daily ritual in the Magic Kingdom and other Disney theme parks.
Traditionally, guests would be allowed to enter the Magic Kingdom and have access to Main Street, U.S.A. before the park's official opening time. Guests would then gather at one of three points (either the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant, the central hub in front of Cinderella Castle, or the Crystal Palace restaurant) and position themselves to head to their first ride of the day. A special announcement would play on the park's PA system, welcoming guests to the Magic Kingdom and encouraging them to have a safe day. Cast members would pull back the ropes and the crowds of people would head into the rest of the park.
This part of the ceremony normally turned into a foot race for most people. People gathered near the entrance to Tomorrowland would race to Space Mountain, and those on the other side of the park would run to Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The race to Space Mountain was unofficially known as the "Space Mountain Mini Marathon."
This was how the Magic Kingdom started its day for the longest of time. But that tradition ended in 2011 with the emergence of the new version of the rope drop ceremony with the Let the Memories Begin! celebration.
The Magic Kingdom's entrance procedure was changed and now guests are blocked at the Main Street train station. Main Street, U.S.A. is now closed until the theme park officially opens. Guests now have to wait and gather in front of the train station for the park's opening ceremony show.
Like Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom theme parks, the Magic Kingdom now has an official show to welcome guests to the theme park. The show begins with the Mayor of Main Street, U.S.A. appearing and welcoming us to the Magic Kingdom. Other people from Main Street join him with the celebration. All of a sudden they point to the right and a steam train arrives at the station. On board the train are a bunch of Disney characters. They all disembark and also welcome us to the Magic Kingdom.
After Mickey and Minnie Mouse appear and also welcome us, the Magic Kingdom's official family of the day also makes an appearance. There's a brief fireworks display and the Magic Kingdom is open for all guests to enjoy. The ropes are down and people rush underneath the train station and pour into the park.
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