Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the eagerly awaited and most detailed and immersive land that Disney has ever created, opened today at Disneyland. Seth Kubersky, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, and Liliane Opsomer, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids, were on hand to report for The Unofficial Guide Series about the land, the Millennium Falcon ride, the food, and, of course, the merch. Make sure to read our blogs and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
For starters let’s talk about the crowds and how to gain access to the land in the days to come. From May 31st through June 23rd, free access to Disneyland’s Star Wars expansion is restricted to guests with a reservation. Guests staying at the Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian, and Paradise Pier each got ONE designated reservation to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during their visit. You read this right. Staying one night or a week made no difference, as one (4-hour) reserved visit was given for the duration of stay. All other terrestrials, equipped with park admission, were left to launch their attack on Disney’s website on May 2nd for a chance to obtain a free reservation to visit the land. As you can imagine, these spots were all taken within 2 hours and are long gone by now. It is important to remember that, even with a reservation, access to the land is subject to capacity and technical constraints and is not guaranteed, even with a hotel package.
Note that guests with reservations to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are to check in up to two hours before their time slot at Launch Bay in Tomorrowland.
In case the above was not clear, we want to reiterate that until further notice, there is NO Fastpass service and the land is NOT open for Magic Mornings or Extra Magic Hours. Last but not least, there is NO stand-by line to enter the land.
A word about costumes: Before you go through the works of gearing up in your favorite Star Wars outfit be advised that costumes may not be worn by guests 14 years of age or older. Disney’s current Costume Policy is in effect at all times. Disney bounding however is permitted.
Now, let’s go into what will happen after June 23rd. The new land is super popular and will be for a long time. Star Wars fans are die-hard and will line up for entry into Galaxy’s Edge as early as Disney Security permits.
The first wave of guests to enter the park each morning will be walked straight into Galaxy’s Edge. However, once the area approaches its maximum capacity—which is determined by how many riders the attractions inside can process—direct entry to the land is shut off. At this point, guests must use their smartphone’s Disneyland app (or kiosks located around the park) to secure a free spot in the “virtual queue.”
This system works similarly to a Fastpass, but there’s no set time at which you schedule your return; rather, you’ll receive a push notification on your phone when your time has arrived, and you will then have up to 2 hours to use your boarding pass and enter Black Spire Outpost.
Like Fastpasses, you must have scanned your admission at a park entrance before retrieving a Galaxy’s Edge boarding pass. If the virtual queue is full for the day, check back an hour or two before closing, when crowds may disperse enough to allow unrestricted access.
Even if Disney eventually enters the rides into the Fastpass and Maxpass systems, there will be so much competition for them that your odds will be like winning the Powerball. Be prepared that, at times, the land could reach capacity and simply stop admitting guests.
Down the road we expect that Disney will offer Disney Early Morning Magic and Disney After Hours opportunities to get into Galaxy’s Edge before the park opens or after it closes. This will come with a price, but paying extra might be the only way to experience Galaxy’s Edge without huge crowds.
After June 23rd there will be no time limit on how long you can stay inside Galaxy’s Edge.
Galaxy’s Edge Touring Tips
The opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge brought record-breaking crowds to Disneyland, and we expect the expansion to be a mob scene for many years to come. The good news is that there is no extra cost to enter the land beyond your park admission.
The bad news is that the land is bound to fill to capacity almost instantly after park opening on all but the slowest days for the foreseeable future.
During peak periods, guests could be limited in the amount of time they are permitted to linger in Black Spire Outpost before being ushered out of Batuu.
Once both rides are operating and if you are among the first guests of the day entering the park, we suggest heading straight to Rise of the Resistance because it is a complicated ride that’s susceptible to breakdowns, and it has a modest hourly capacity under ideal conditions. The Millennium Falcon ride has redundant systems capable of running at reduced capacity rather than shutting down entirely, and it will probably offer a time-saving single rider option.
Also if you are in the market for a custom-built lightsaber, make sure to visit Savi’s Workshop as early as possible, as it can only handle 42 guests per hour. And don’t be shy about drinking at Oga’s Cantina before cocktail hour because it only gets more crowded as the day goes on (hey, it’s always 5 o’clock on some planet). For everything else, may the Force be with you!
Also check out where to shop and where to eatat Galaxy’s Edge, and our Batuu 101. For an inside look of The Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and a preview of what to expect from Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opening later this year, make sure to read our post here.
Opening hours, access, and Fastpass procedures for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are likely to change over the coming month. Check out our free, updated information as it becomes available.