Along with announcing an earlier-than-expected opening date for the Walt Disney World version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney also revealed some of its strategies for managing the massive crowds expected to swarm the 14-acre expansion.
When Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 29, guests will not be able to make Fastpass reservations — either in advance or inside the park — for the one attraction opening with the land, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The only option to experience the ride will be waiting in the standby line, though Disney has not said whether the attraction’s single rider queue will be available on opening day.
“We will continually evaluate our operations and services in order to help provide a great guest experience,” Thomas Smith, editorial content director for Disney Parks, wrote on the Disney Parks Blog.
By not offering Fastpasses for Smugglers Run, people staying at Disney World hotels will have fewer advantages over other guests. On-site guests are allowed to book Fastpass reservations 60 days ahead of their visit. Often all the reservations for Disney World’s newest attractions are taken by the time by the time the 30-day Fastpass booking window opens for guests staying off-site.
Those on Disney property will still have a few extra chances to see Galaxy’s Edge, however. The new land will be open whenever Disney’s Hollywood Studios holds Extra Magic Hours — extended theme park hours available exclusively to guests staying in Disney World hotels.
There is a precedent for limiting special perks on rides expected to draw huge crowds. Universal Orlando’s own priority boarding system, the Universal Express Pass, didn’t include three Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions until June 2017.
Disney is placing additional restrictions on Disneyland’s version of Galaxy’s Edge, which opens May 31. Along with similarly not offering advance reservations for the Millennium Falcon ride, through June 23, guests will need to make reservations (at no extra charge) to even get into Galaxy’s Edge. While some slots are being designated for people staying at Disneyland’s three on-site hotels, booking a room doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make it inside Black Spire Outpost during your stay.
“You should also note that vacation packages, park tickets and Disney Resort hotel stays do not guarantee access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” Smith wrote. “The land —including participation in its experiences—will be subject to capacity restraints and other restrictions.”
No such reservation system is being planned for Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World, the company said.