If you’re a Star Wars fan, or any kind of Disney fan at all that likes it enough to read a blog like this, you probably heard the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge announcement yesterday. Like any good fan I was following along, excited to find out the opening dates and share the news, but I did not expect to become as personally invested in it as I now am.
This past spring I wanted to get a quick trip to Disneyland in, so we booked a 3 night stay beginning on June 1st. I thought it would be good timing to visit before the madness of Star Wars. Well, with the announcement that Galaxy’s Edge will open there on May 31st… we were there for opening weekend!
That being said, this is probably the biggest opening Disney has seen in a long time. There’s a lot of info you should be aware of if you want to visit Galaxy’s Edge. Particularly if you want to be there in the next few months, but also in the next few YEARS. That being said, I want to do my best to prepare myself – and YOU – if you’ll be visiting either coast in 2019 and beyond.
We have opening dates
This is earlier than most people were guessing due to the originally announced openings of “Summer 2019” for Disneyland and “Fall 2019” for Disney World. Disney World is currently doing cast member and annual passholder previews.
This is a PHASE ONE opening
“On opening day for phase one, you’ll be able to live your own Star Wars story and take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, sample amazing galactic food and beverages, explore an intriguing collection of merchant shops and more.”
This means that not everything in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be open on those dates. In particular, the major item missing is Rise of the Resistance, one of the two attractions coming to the land and what they’ve been touting as their main attraction. Rise of the Resistance will open December 5th in Disney World and January 17th in Disneyland. So keep in mind if you’re headed there right around these opening dates, not everything will be fully open.
You should book now
Whether you want to be there for opening day or plan to go to Disney World any time in 2019, you should book your trip NOW. Send me an email today and we’ll get it done – as a travel agent my services are totally FREE for you and I can help you plan the trip and ease some of that stress!
But it’s best to get it done ASAP. Prices for the rest of the year are sure to go up and we may see availability for the resorts go quickly, especially at the values. When you book a package through me you only need to make a $200 deposit that is totally refundable up to a month before travel – so if you’re thinking about it, I really recommend at least making a booking to lock in rates and availability as soon as you can.
Plus, if you book at an official Disney World resort you’ll have access to the extra extra magic hours that will get you into Galaxy’s Edge early (more below).
You can join a “boarding group” to get into the land
Though Disneyland has ended their reservation period, they are now offering a system with “boarding groups” to get into Galaxy’s Edge. These are only activated if the park is overly crowded – if it’s not you’ll be able to walk right in. If they do move to the boarding group system, you’ll be able to join a boarding group on the app. You will then get an alert when your group is able to join the land, and you’ll have about two hours to get there and enter.
It seems extremely likely that Disney World will start out using the same or a similar system. We have word from a CM that they will use this, but no official confirmation in the form of a Disney announcement has been made yet.
No fastpass will be available
“For your vacation planning purposes, please be aware that Disney FASTPASS service, including access via Disney MaxPass, (at Disneyland park) and Disney FastPass+ service (at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) will not initially be offered at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.”
No fastpass, no MaxPass. Right now it sounds like it will be standby or nothing, so be prepared to wait. I wouldn’t be surprised if they make an announcement about a different kind of fastpass that you pay for in order to get in a shorter line, but for now that is rumor only. There is a single rider line for Millennium Falcon.
Extra Magic Hours
Disneyland offers certain Extra Magic Hours and Magic Mornings – Galaxy’s Edge WILL NOT be open for these events.
Disney World offers Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios, and Galaxy’s Edge WILL be open during those Extra Magic Hours – making a stay on property even more of an incentive. In fact, Disney World is offering “extra extra magic hours” from September 1st-November 2nd. Disney’s Hollywood Studios—including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land and more— will be open from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM daily for resort guests.
Be prepared for crowds
There’s no denying it – the parks will be crowded. Not just opening week, but through the end of 2019 and beyond. This is going to see a huge boost to the number of people attending the parks. Big Star Wars fans who have been waiting to travel until this was announced, and there are a lot of them. Even though Disneyland didn’t see as high numbers as they expected, I really think Disney World will be crowded. Much of the smaller crowds in California were due to annual passes being blacked out and not as many locals coming in – something that is not an issue in Florida.
And I hate to say it, but don’t think that “oh, maybe Magic Kingdom will be empty since everyone will be at Hollywood Studios!” Nope. Lots of people will be traveling down and they’re going to want to visit all the parks while they are there. Everything will be more crowded. So may the force be with you.
And hey, I’ll plug myself again – just another great reason why you should consider using a Disney expert and travel agent to book your trip – with the extra crowds you might appreciate the help with dining reservations, fastpasses, and all of the logistics!
If you want to know more of what to expect at Galaxy’s Edge, make sure you check out these posts too:
Are you thinking about visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Or will you avoid the parks for awhile?