One of the largest expansions at any Disney park has begun to make its turn towards being completed. While Star Wars has existed in both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM), it has never been present to the scale of Galaxy’s Edge. The entirety of Hollywood Studios has been restructured for the upcoming land. Meanwhile, Disneyland had closed off a big piece of their park for years. Now, 2019 will see each of the lands officially open.
Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, has officially dropped the dates for the much-anticipated lands. Galaxy’s Edge will first open in California on May 31, 2019. A few months later, Hollywood Studios will see their version of the land open on August 29, 2019. The expected crowds will likely far overshadow anything either park has seen since they opened Animal Kingdom or California Adventure during the 1990s. Considering the popularity of Star Wars, and it reintroduction into the mainstream, the crowds could be even larger.
Universal Studios Orlando saw massive crowds when it opened Harry Potter areas in each of their parks. In the case of Diagon Alley, I personally witnessed an 8-hour wait to get into the section of the park, despite the fact that I was there at park open. Expect similar, if not much larger crowds for Galaxy’s Edge over the first few weeks, and continuing through the end of the year. The land takes place in-between Last Jedi and Episode IX, meaning this will be the first attraction to fully embrace the new trilogy.
Disney unveiled a video that showed some of the cool new attractions coming with Galaxy’s Edge when it opens. One of those attractions will be “Rise of the Resistance” which looks to blend several attractions into one. It seems like audiences will get sucked into the story in a way that hasn’t ever been done in a theme park ride. In most circumstances, this would be the crown jewel. It might end up being their best ride in the new land. (UPDATE: It Appears that Rise of the Resistance will not open with the park. It is not clear if this will only be the case at Disneyland or if it will also the case in Hollywood Studios. Regardless, the DisneyParks Blog had additional information.
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.
And for phase two, opening later this year, will be Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the most ambitious, immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined that will put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance and will blur the lines between fantasy and reality. In light of tremendous demand, Disney made the decision to open the land in phases to allow guests to sooner enjoy the one-of-a-kind experiences that make Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge so spectacular.
Guests planning to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland park in California between May 31 and June 23, 2019 will need valid theme park admission and will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, to access the land. Information on how to make a reservation will be available at a later date on Disneyland.com and the Disney Parks Blog. Guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels during these dates will receive a designated reservation to access Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during their stay (one reservation per registered guest); valid theme park admission is required.
A reservation will not be offered or required to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Walt Disney World Resort at this time. And you should know that valid theme park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge after its opening on August 29, 2019. Capacity is limited. Additionally, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be available during Extra Magic Hours. During Extra Magic Hours guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can spend extra time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios enjoying select attractions.
The other big one that will draw attention will be “Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.” This ride is anticipated to be the more popular of the two rides, beginning its run without a Fast Pass. This will likely make some guests upset, but will turn the attraction into a free-for-all. Anything to do with the Falcon looks to be a lot of fun.
Not to be too cynical about it, but the opening date for the Hollywood Studios attractions is kind of brilliant. Late August and the first few weeks of September were the slowest time of year (as a former Cast Member it could get really slow). This offsets the normally low attendance time of year by adding a huge boost to numbers. This was always going to be popular no matter when it opened. Using it to draw extra attendance during the slow season will help boost their numbers in 2019.
What do you think of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening date? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below!