After careful crowd control for the West Coast version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the Disney World edition of the land attracted lines as long as five hours on its opening day.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios was scheduled to open at 6 a.m., but fans were led into the world of Batuu — the fictional Outer Rim planet that serves as the setting for Galaxy’s Edge — at 4:45 a.m. The earliest risers had been in line as early as 3:30 a.m., and some Disney hotels had opened the food courts at 2 a.m. for the ultra-early breakfast crowd.
Lines for the land’s only ride, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, quickly surged past the three-hour mark. At one point, the wait time was posted as five hours and the line stretched out of Galaxy’s Edge all the way to the park’s version of the Chinese Theatre.
To help spread out the crowds, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom also opened early for Disney hotel guests. With all the attention on Galaxy’s Edge, typically long waits for other in-demand attractions were lower than usual; around 9:30 a.m., Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was posting a 50-minute wait and Avatar Flight of Passage was only 60 minutes.
Disney did institute a virtual reservation system to limit overcrowding. Guests could sign up for a “boarding group” via the My Disney Experience app and get notified when they could enter.
It was a far cry from the tight controls imposed on Disneyland’s version of Galaxy’s Edge. For the first few weeks after its May 31 opening, access to the land required an advance reservation. Disneyland did set up a similar “boarding group” system, but it has only been used on June 24 — the first day it was available.
Early hours will be a fact of Disney World life for months to come. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open to all guests at 6 a.m. through Saturday. The early opening time will then only be available for Disney World hotel guests until Nov. 2.
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