Katelyn shares her experiences from opening day at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Welcome back Future of the Force readers! I was fortunate enough to get to attend Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the opening day of Galaxy’s Edge. It was an absolutely fantastic day, and I can’t wait to tell you all about the park and give a few hints about how to make your experience better.
4 days prior to the opening, Disney quietly told resort guests that there would be a virtual que line to get into the park. Busses to Hollywood Studios started running at 3:45 am with lines allowed at 4am. When I arrived at 4:45am, the park was already open, leading guests to Galaxy’s Edge. If you arrived before 5:30am, then there was no que needed. After that, you had to wait for the rope drop at 6am and grab a boarding group. A cast member mentioned to me that by 5am the park already had 1/5 of normal capacity, a full hour before officially opening.
Groups seemed to move quickly. I left the land at one point in the day and was able to get back in only 2 hours later. The crowd seemed to cycle through and I’m confident everyone got to see everything. Right at the opening, Smuggler’s Run had a wait of 5 hours. By 6:30pm, that had dropped to only 75 min. If you choose to go the single rider route, it’s a much faster ride with a wait of less than an hour all day. Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities was my personal longest wait at 2 hours. I really wanted those holocrons.
If you are planning your trip to Galaxy’s Edge, here are a few hints.
You don’t have to be at the park an hour before rope drop to get into the land. As soon as the park opens, go to your My Disney Experience app and hit the “join boarding group” button. You’ll then be added to a group and notified when it’s time to enter the land. Make sure your notifications are on so you don’t miss it. You’ll have 2 hours after your group is called to enter. Once you enter, you can stay as long as you like.
Make sure you download the Disney Play app before going in. The land is extremely interactive with games and missions placed everywhere. You can Bluetooth with devices, hack control panels and triangulate rebel communications. The more you play, the more missions are available.
Don’t be afraid to leave the land. Simply join a boarding group and expect to be welcomed back within 2.5 hrs. Remember that Galaxy’s Edge is part of a larger park with other Star Wars areas to explore. Space out your time so you can do other things. When I left at 11:30am the food options in GE were packed. When I returned at 2pm, the Ronto Roasters line was only 5 min long. Take a snack and try to put off eating until after the rush.
By 6pm the lines had started to quiet down. Most guests that had wanted to see Battu had by then, so there were more people leaving than coming. If you really don’t want to deal with the crowds or heat, come after 5pm. You’ll come into a slightly emptier park.
I cannot stress how awesome this land is. The classic Disney attention to detail has created a mesmerizing park, showcasing all the classic things you’d expect from a Star Wars world. This is truly the closest we will ever come to actually visiting those places, so soak it up. Enjoy yourself. And may the force be with you.
Until the spires!
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing. feature
Katelyn Mathis is a Senior Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is the go-to source for Force Knowledge. Follow her on Twitter @ForceKnowledge where she uses the force frequently!
Writer. Creator of forceknowledge.org. Networking manager for GarageWorx. Leader of Entrepreneurial Blueprint Behavioral Insights.