Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Crowd Calendar Update

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We will be doing a YouTube Live on March 13, 11:00 a.m. EDT. Come join us as we talk Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge crowds!

It’s safe to say that most people were surprised by Disney’s announcement last week that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is opening ahead of schedule, on May 31 at Disneyland in California and on August 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Last week we posted about how this land’s opening will impact wait times, the Crowd Calendar, and the touring plans.

Crowd Levels

Disney is using a reservation system to restrict Galaxy’s Edge access at Disneyland for the first month the new land is open. As of today, there are no plans to restrict crowds at Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios when that land opens. If DHS’s Galaxy’s Edge opens without restrictions, we expect DHS crowds to be a ’10’ on our 1-to-10 scale. It’s likely the land will reach capacity on many days this year, too.

Further, if Disney does not control the number of people queuing for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, its wait times should reach record levels. Our current record for highest posted wait time is 450 minutes for Universal Orlando’s Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts at 1:50 p.m. on July 8, 2014.

The crowd levels on the crowd calendars are for the non-Galaxy’s Edge areas. We expect attendance will be higher at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The new land will have an impact on crowds at all parks.

Park Operations

We know that there will be an increase in attendance due to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Disney will limit the number of guests in a park and land when they approach capacity. We don’t know what Disney is planning to do to handle the crowds that arrive before park opening. It is unlikely that Disney will allow guests to line up for multiple hours to get into the new land. In California, Disneyland will have a reservation system for access to Galaxy’s Edge between May 31 and June 23. We expect Disney will have some sort of reservation system for Galaxy’s Edge for California beyond June 23 and for Florida when it opens in August.

Digging into Disney’s Frequently Asked Questions, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is going to open without FastPass+ (Disney World) and without FASTPASS (Disneyland). This is an interesting strategy, and probably a smart move. This will give more people an opportunity to ride and help keep the standby line moving.

My personal guess is that Disney will run Galaxy’s Edge similar to how it ran previews for Pandora – The World of Avatar. Groups of people will be allowed entrance to Galaxy’s Edge for a set time and allowed to ride Smugglers Run once. They could hand out wristbands at the park’s entrance that grants access to the land at a specific time.

How Disney handles the crowds will affect wait times at all rides. If it is a free-for-all and people have to wait in line to get into Galaxy’s Edge, wait times could go down at other attraction. If people are allowed to reserve an entry time, guests can go to other attractions while waiting to enter Galaxy’s Edge.

Disneyland – California

We assumed a mid-June opening date for Galaxy’s Edge,  so the announcement is only affecting days from May 31 to June 18.  For these 19 days, we expect Disneyland to have crowd levels of either a 9 or 10. We expect guests will arrive at Disneyland even if they don’t have a reservation. Those guests will likely be disappointed and not get into Galaxy’s Edge.

The following is from Disneyland’s website:

Only guests staying at the three on-property Disneyland Resort Hotels (Paradise Pier, Grand Californian, and Disneyland Hotel) will be guaranteed access to Galaxy’s Edge between May 31 and June 23. Others guests may be able to get a reservation via an unannounced process.

June 24 will be the first day when all park guests will have access to Galaxy’s Edge. Disneyland has park-specific blockouts on its various Annual Passports. As a result of that, many Annual Passholders will be blocked out all summer from Disneyland Park and thus cannot visit Galaxy’s Edge. That means that August and September will be the first time that many Passholders will have access.

Since these Annual Passholders are blocked out of Disneyland Park during the summer, we expect increased wait times across the Esplanade at Disney California Adventure; this is already reflected in the crowd levels we posted in early March.

Walt Disney World – Florida

Since Disney had said Galaxy’s Edge would open in “Late Fall” in Florida, the opening date of August 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was a big surprise. Many people expected a slow fall for Walt Disney World. Unfortunately for them, this fall will see above normal crowds. But fortunately, early fall is a slow time at Walt Disney World, so “above normal” could be worse.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will not open on August 29. This will prevent some people from going to Walt Disney World in early fall.

We expect the biggest impact on crowds will be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The other parks will have increased crowds, but not as large as those at the Studios.

Galaxy’s Edge is not the only thing opening at Hollywood Studios. We expect Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be open before Galaxy’s Edge opens. Runaway Railway will increase capacity to Hollywood Studios, and the park will need it when Galaxy’s Edge opens. We are increasing crowd levels at Hollywood Studios the week before August 29 based on the assumption that Runaway Railway will be open.

What’s Next?

This will not be our last Crowd Calendar update. As we learn more, we will fine-tune our predictions. We expect to learn more about park operations before Galaxy’s Edge opens in both parks. Once Galaxy’s Edge opens in California, it will help us predict what will happen in Florida.

Touring Suggestions

The best way to navigate the parks is to use a Touring Plan. Wait times are updated through the day, and a Touring Plan will keep you ahead of the crowds.

Get There Early

Getting to the parks before they open will always be a benefit to your touring. For Hollywood Studios plan on arriving extra early. Parking or transportation will take longer, security is going to take longer, getting through the turnstiles is going to take longer, etc. We will keep an eye on arrival times, but don’t be surprised if some Star Wars fans arrive more than 2 hours before the park opens.

Avoid Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Mornings are going to have a majority of the guests at Hollywood Studios going to Galaxy’s Edge. Zig when others zag: head to Sunset Boulevard and Toy Story Land while all the other guests go to Galaxy’s Edge. Afternoon crowds in the existing portions of the park will be higher as people leave Galaxy’s Edge.

Pay

We expect Disney will offer many Disney Early Morning Magic and Disney After Hours opportunities to get into Galaxy’s Edge before the park opens or after it closes. Possibly the only way to experience Galaxy’s Edge without huge crowds will be to pay extra.

Questions? Comments? Let us know and we’ll do our best to answer.

Steve Bloom

By helping TouringPlans.com continue to reach the most accurate crowd level predictions, Steve finally found a way to meld his training in statistical analysis with a lifelong passion for Disney. He first visited the Magic Kingdom in 1972, just a few months after it opened. Now he enjoys frequent trips with his two kids. At age four his son insisted on wearing cowboy boots to reach the height requirement for Test Track, and his daughter believes that a smoked turkey leg and Dole Whip make a perfectly balanced meal. Even though she doesn't quite get it, Steve's wife is supportive of his Disney activities.

97 thoughts on “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Crowd Calendar Update

  • March 11, 2019 at 1:18 pm
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    Did you just adjust the calendar for week before opening onward? Those of us going this spring are wondering if those scheduled to go in the fall to avoid crowds will be switching to spring? As of now, it looks like my CLs are unchanged.

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 1:44 pm
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      My question exactly! Lots of buzz about people changing their plans on DisTwitter…

      Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 1:50 pm
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      The update was for August 22 – December 31. If you are not seeing the changes try refreshing your browser by holding down Ctrl and press F5.

      Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 2:09 pm
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        I’m going April 27-May 3. So you’re thinking no changes to crowds before that?

        Reply
    • March 12, 2019 at 8:43 am
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      We’re booked for the Poly 9/8-9/14 and we’d like to switch to May.

      Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 1:40 pm
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    Any idea if park hours will update? I hope they’re planning to increase staff and ride capacity during early September to accommodate the extra bodies.

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    • March 11, 2019 at 2:49 pm
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      We fully expect there will be park hour changes. The summer of 2018 Disney had Extra Magic Hours every day for the opening of Toy Story Land. For Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge we expect Extra Magic Hours, Disney Early Morning Magic, or Disney After Hours every day.

      Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 2:56 pm
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        How were the crowds for Toy Story on the first few Extra Magic Hour days (during the actual EMH time frame)? Still outrageous?

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        • March 11, 2019 at 10:43 pm
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          We were there in July, early morning for Toy Story Land was busy bur not that bad, by 10:00 am we had finished with the land, chacater meetings. and all the rides.

          Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 3:13 pm
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        Do you think all parks will receive updated hours? or just DHS? Also, will staffing stay through September, unlike recent years? I know the tend to cut after Labor Day. We are really hoping staff+ ride capacity stay high after the opening of GE.

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      • March 12, 2019 at 5:27 pm
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        Do you think that these extra hours, will be going on as soon as opening week? We are planning a trip to Disney September 3. We plan on doing Hollywood studios on September 6th. I was able to snag a ADR to Hollywood and Vine at 8:20 A.M before park opens. I don’t plan to keep this if any extra hours events become Avalible. Do you think it’s wise to keep, or should we just wait in line for entry to the park as early as possible? I just assume getting in the park and doing breakfast would be a good stategy considering the lines to get in the park will be so crazy this early in the game.

        Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 1:46 pm
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    What are your thoughts on CLs in the couple of weeks before Galaxy’s Edge opening at Disneyland in CA? We booked early may specifically to avoid SWGE crowds (although can’t wait see it eventually!!) it, and it also happens to be over the week of (at least a portion) of CA’s public school state testing, which I’d think would keep some families out of the parks.

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 2:03 pm
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      We expect crowds will be low in may before Galaxy’s Edge opens. Schools will still be in session. There might be a slight bump in crowds with passport holders going to Disneyland before they are blocked out for the summer.

      Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 2:09 pm
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    We were planning to visit DL and DCA June 11 – 15 (staying at a good neighbor hotel). If we arrive before rope drop, do you think we will get in? If we can get in, will we be able to ride many rides? Will crowd levels be limited based on reservations required to get into SWGE? I’m trying to determine if we should cancel this portion of our trip (we are going to the LA area later in the trip). I don’t want to spend money on park tickets and a hotel if we won’t be able to get in and/or ride many rides.

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 2:11 pm
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      Note: We would like to experience SWGE eventually, but we are more concerned about experiencing DL and DCA on this trip. This will be our first time at DL and DCA. We have been to WDW several times.

      Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm
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      You will be able to get into DL and DCA. You will need a reservation to get into SWGE. I assume reservations for non-Disney hotel guests are going to be sparse. Disney will want the keep crowds low in the new land, so they can evaluate how things are working.

      Depending on how flexible you are, watch how things are going May 31-June 10.

      Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 4:40 pm
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        Unfortunately, we can’t wait until after it opens to change our plans. Any idea when they will open up the reservations? Will we need to purchase park tickets before reservations are available? What kind of wait times can we expect for 8 – 9 crowd levels? Thank you!!!

        Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 4:14 pm
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      We are scheduled for September 29-Oct 9th at DW. First trip to DW and have two sons with autism. Expected low crowds and now have been surprised by this early opening of GE. We almost cancelled but decided we will probably just shorten our trip and maybe head over to Universal. What are your expectations on Rise of Resistance opening? I’m nervous about that opening right when we arrive and needing to just cancel our trip to DW and just do Universal. I had been thinking AK may be ok but your thoughts that Pandora will see a bump make sense. If we skip Pandora what do you think the crowds will be like in the rest of AK? Bob Iger has definitely thrown a wrench in our plans

      Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 6:01 pm
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        same here, and he doesn’t care one bit. i have been incredibly upset.

        Reply
        • March 11, 2019 at 7:06 pm
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          No he definitely doesn’t. Tell everyone late Fall and then open a half done park in August. What?! We need a touring plan just for us families that booked when it was supposed to be slower and now are scrambling to figure out what to do.

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          • March 13, 2019 at 2:33 pm
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            completely agree 🙁

      • March 11, 2019 at 7:16 pm
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        My cynical opinion, Disney will not rush to get Rise of the Resistance open. They will let this opening raise attendance through 2019, and then open Rise of the Resistance after New Years. This will bump up crowds before spring break 2020.

        Reply
        • March 11, 2019 at 8:31 pm
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          That is my hope too. They definitely want to milk this as long as possible. Can I love the magic of Disney and hate Disney at the same time? Kind of where I’m at right now. I’ve been planning this trip for almost a year and I’m still months away and I’m so worried that this time and money will be a big waste with huge crowds and a ruined trip. What do we do ( all of us that Disney has royally screwed with the early opening)? What are your recommendations to still have a fun and magical trip?

          Reply
          • March 11, 2019 at 8:48 pm
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            September is not going to be as crazy as the end of December. People who go for Christmas and New Years still have fun and a magical trip. This September is going to be different. Different does not have to be bad. Plan on being at the parks early and taking a break in the afternoon. With the higher crowds, parks will have longer hours. Take advantage of the evenings and the cooler weather.

          • March 12, 2019 at 11:27 am
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            Ok thanks Steve. 🙂

          • March 15, 2019 at 10:28 am
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            Steve I’m trying to figure out if it’s better to get say an 8am dining reservation for say Tusker House or just be at the park an hour before rope drop and go directly to rides and then do Tusker House for lunch. What is better at giving us an advantage for getting to the rides and such before the crowds descend?

          • March 15, 2019 at 11:12 am
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            You will want the 8am tasker house. This will get you into the park 1st. They have a early restuarant reservation entry to the left of the line. Will get you in as early as 730. After you are in call Disney dinning reservation and ask for a time change if possible. Now you are first in line for Pandora. I have just skip my reservation before and lost 10$ each. But was first in line. This work at MK also at be are guest. I go on mine train and Peter pan flight. Then show up for my reservation and say sorry I’m late. I have a video on YouTube about how to do this. Disney4u2

  • March 11, 2019 at 2:31 pm
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    Any thoughts of how this will affect crowd levels at Universal Orlando? We are out there until 9/3 and wondering about spending our last few days at universal instead of Disney to avoid the madness, but conscious that others may do the same too.

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 3:10 pm
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      We don’t expect any large effect on Universal. Last minute trips being planned for the opening of SWGE will likely be shorter than other trips. Adding the extra expense for an extra day at Universal is likely not in the cards for many people.

      Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 3:46 pm
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        Thanks Steve, that’s useful. Coming from the Uk, we have tickets for both. I wish the opening was delayed but the kids are thrilled! 🙂

        Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 2:32 pm
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    So, WDW HS will allow fast pass+ at this time?

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 2:45 pm
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      Disney made clear that there will be not be FastPass+ when Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run opens on August 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. There may be some other system to control access to the Galaxy’s Edge land, the Falcon ride, or maybe the park: we do not know at this time, and Disney may not have decided. It’d be sensible for Disney to craft its Florida operational practices from what it learns from experiences in California earlier in the summer.

      We expect FastPass+ to be offered for Millennium Falcon at some point in the future, but we do not know when.

      Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 6:03 pm
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        heavens i hope so… i can’t imagine the free for all and personal safety concerns if they just open it up for people to go to. they really should have done a back entrance and keep the barriers up for a few months.

        Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 2:55 pm
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    Do you think they will continue with EMM for TSL into September????

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 3:04 pm
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      EMM may shift to Galaxy’s Edge or add Galaxy’s Edge to Toy Story Land. I expect the later. This will increase the capacity for EMM and give Disney the opportunity to charge more to more people.

      Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 3:13 pm
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    Thanks for this helpful piece. Can I assume your advice to “go later” doesn’t apply if there are EMH available first thing in the morning? ie it’s still better to attempt to visit Galaxy’s Edge during the Magic Hours?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 3:24 pm
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      The crowd will be lower during EMH. If EMH starts at 8 am, be at Hollywood Studios at 6 am.

      Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 10:36 pm
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        Be there at 6:00 am ?*#! Disney has finally ruined it self for me. I have gone 3 times per for the last 10 years but no more. That have taken all the fun away by only caring about money and how many people they can sqeeze into the parks. They should have created a new park for star wars and super heros. But it’s better for them to sqeeze more people into the existing parks even if they can’t handle it. It’s sad to say but I will never go to Disney world again.

        Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 3:14 pm
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    We have our vacation booked the week of Labor Day. We’ve not ever seen Toy Story Land/Pandora and go at this time for the low crowds. Disney will let us move our trip to Aug 21-28 – before GE opens. I noticed the crowd levels are a tad bit higher than in September – barring HS GE at 7-10 levels. Would this still be a better option if we want a quieter trip?

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm
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      Yes. Using a Touring Plan will negate any of the higher crowd levels.

      Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 3:29 pm
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    We will be going in mid-November…was definitely hoping to go before all this nonsense, but oh well.

    From your recent experience with “big” openings (e.g. Toy Story Land & Pandora) it sounds like you expect some combination of either Extra Magic Hours, Early Morning Magic, or After Hours every day at Hollywood Studios.

    Assuming we have to draw a line somewhere and not pay for Early Morning Magic or After Hours…I’m just curious if you have any insight to how bad it was getting there for the other openings for Extra Magic Hours? Say you are lining up an hour before they start…it’s already limited to resort guests. Maybe those are somewhat sane tolerable crowds?

    I’m wondering if doing the early morning, then just leaving to relax by the hotel pool could be a decent strategy. Maybe return to use FastPasses and do dinner before Fantasmic or something. Being at HS for a whole day seems likes it will be intolerable.

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 6:47 pm
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      By November the logistics of getting into GE will be worked out. We will know early you have to arrive to be ahead of the crowds. For Pandora, get to the Animal Kingdom an hour early before EMH was sufficient to be at the front of the pack.

      Going in the morning and leaving would be my strategy. Even for the other HS attractions. The mornings are going to be calm at the non-Galaxy Edge. I would go to a different park in the afternoon.

      Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 3:54 pm
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    Very reassuring. Updating my CL’s keeps almost all my originally planned time windows at the respective parks b/w 8/29 and 9/2 at around a 3 or 4. My Epcot window remains unchanged. My window in DHS is up to a 9, but we’ve decided to get there early, use our FP+ on three non-GE rides…..and then make the Kessel run right out of there when those three are done!

    Thanks for crunching the numbers guys. I’m sure evolving hours will impact all of this, but this generally reflects the best-case scenario being shared in a lot of WDW forums (you’re still my #1 though!!!)

    Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 5:06 pm
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    You mentioned the possibility of Disney World GE pre-opening Sneak Previews? Or am I dreaming? I’m going 8/6-8/12 and wonder about the chances?

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 6:40 pm
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      There are people hoping for previews. (Fred Hazelton will be at WDW in August and he is hoping for a preview.) With the early opening dates, I doubt it. I think the Disneyland opening will be the closes WDW operations will get as a preview.

      Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 5:22 pm
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    This update reassured me as well! I was SO upset when I saw August 29 as the opening date, because we booked our Sept. 12-15 trip thinking we would avoid the crowds. I almost cancelled the trip, but we’ve already bought our MNSSHP tickets. Will definitely be using my touring plan to beat the crowds and NOT going to GE at all!

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 5:58 pm
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      exactly the same boat here! i almost canceled our trip within an hour of this announcement, the only thing stopping me was our MNSSHP had already been purchased and we’d have to eat that cost. i have no idea where to start now trying to make the best of this mess.

      Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 7:44 pm
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        Ah! Someone who feels my pain! Yes, what a mess. Who would have guessed I’d be mad at Disney for opening a land early but here we are! Feeling bamboozled!

        Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 5:56 pm
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    hi steve,

    you said, “It’s likely the land will reach capacity on many days this year, too.” what about overall PARK capacity at hollywood studios? will people not wishing to see star wars (who planned september trips to avoid that “late fall” window) even be able to access the park period to see other attractions?

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 7:01 pm
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      It is possible (and likely in my opinion) that Galaxy’s Edge will close due to capacity, but Hollywood Studios does not. I truly believe Disney will do something to give people access windows to Galaxy Edge. If it is first come, first serve, I would expect Disney to post a Castmember with a sign outside Hollywood Studios saying that access for Galaxy’s Edge is closed for the day.

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      • March 11, 2019 at 8:19 pm
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        I hope you are right about this. I booked my family’s first trip to DW sept 7-14 to avoid crowds. I have already booked all my dining for the entire trip. Our first afternoon of the 7th is at HS and I purchased a fantasmic package at mama melrose, also plan to get 3 FP that day. We probably will not be able to arrive until 4 PM or so and just want to do our fast passes, eat dinner, watch fantasmic and get out. I realize this stinks because it is a Saturday but at this point I really cannot rearrange everything as parks on other days have good crowd levels and I got the dining I wanted. I am hoping our plan will work ok since we will have FastPass for everything. But, what are the chances that we will not be allowed in the park at all with the dining reservations? We are staying onsite at BLT for what that is worth. We do NOT have the option of being at HS from the start as that is our arrival day and we have two young kids who will need naps. Advice?

        Reply
        • March 11, 2019 at 8:32 pm
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          You will be fine. When there are park closers due to capacity, they do it in stages. Onsite guest with pre-paid reservations would be the last group of people they would block. The first few days of Galaxy’s Edge might have some park closures, not September 7.

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          • March 11, 2019 at 8:36 pm
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            what about labor day monday? that’s the day we had planned on HS in the morning through lunch, due to assuming that of the 4 parks it would be the least crowded on the holiday. we head to MNSSHP by 4pm.

          • March 11, 2019 at 8:57 pm
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            Historically Labor Day is not a big holiday at WDW. Most schools are back in session on the Tuesday after Labor Day and summer travel is done.

            With Labor Day only being a few days after the opening day of Galaxy’s Edge, Hollywood could see closures. Closures will not happen at park opening. If you arrive at 2 pm, you may be turned away. If you want to get into Galaxy’s Edge plan on arriving 2 hours before park opening. If you are going to avoid Galaxy’s Edge plan on being at Hollywood Studios 30-60 minutes before park opening. You should be able to do most of the park before lunch.

          • March 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm
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            Thank you, I was not sure since you ranked it at a 10 all day long.

  • March 11, 2019 at 7:49 pm
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    We are booked for September. At this point would you recommend a
    May trip before Memorial Day for fewer crowds or stick with the first week in sept?

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    • March 11, 2019 at 8:36 pm
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      A May trip will have lower crowds and better weather. If you have the flexibility and you want to avoid the new Attractions at Hollywood Studios, change your dates. With planning, I don’t think September will be awful.

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      • March 11, 2019 at 8:56 pm
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        Thank you for your help. Looking at the crowd tracker, some parks still seem to have lower crowds in Sept than in May. Do you think those crowd numbers will stay around the same? Other than Hollywood studios of course which are already at 7. This is a hard call. Either way we will have fun.

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        • March 11, 2019 at 9:08 pm
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          It is a hard call. With a Touring Plan, May will be easy to manage. There is more risk in going in September. May is going to be like other Mays. September not going to be like other Septembers. We are making educated guesses on what crowds will be like. Hopeful Disney will be over prepared and everything will run smoothly in September.

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          • March 12, 2019 at 1:28 pm
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            So, even with Star Wars opening…looking at the updated calendar the week of Sept 2-8, you are still predicting possibly 1’s at some of the other parks?

  • March 11, 2019 at 10:01 pm
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    I’ll be at Disney on 08/27 to 09/06. what day do you think it will be easier for me to get to GE?

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    • March 11, 2019 at 10:08 pm
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      The first few days will be crazy. I would wait till 9/3. Avoid Labor Day and weekends.

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  • March 11, 2019 at 10:14 pm
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    When do you expect to update the customizable touring plans? Currently when I put in Savi’s Workshop and Smugglers Run it comes up as a middle of the day activity with 0 minute wait in line times.

    Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 11:10 pm
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    We’re going late Sept thru early Oct, and noticed that while MK crowds increased by +1 most days, AK often increased by +2. What is the logic on this?

    PS- frankly surprised that HS averages only 5.5 on weekdays during our visit after the revisions. Still hoping to ride the Mickey/Minnie Rwy; as far as GE is concerned, if we can get in and walk around somewhat that will be enough. Don’t want to spend most of a day standing in line on what will likely be high heat and humidity for a ride that lasts a few minutes.

    Reply
  • March 12, 2019 at 12:41 am
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    Only popping in here to thank Steve Bloom for answering so many questions, and giving battle-hardened advice.

    Cheers, Steve!

    Reply
  • March 12, 2019 at 5:04 am
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    We have reservations for Disneyland the first week of July, we have no huge interest in Galaxy’s Edge and are ok with some crowds, we had planned on being there when the park opens. What I am most concerned about is being able to just get into the park in general. We are staying on property, but honestly, how many hours early will I have to arrive to be able to even get in?

    Reply
    • March 12, 2019 at 9:07 am
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      Today, I would say 2-hours before the park opens. By July we will have more than a month of Galaxy’s Edge being open and we will know how quickly the crowds build to get in. We will keep you posted.

      Reply
  • March 12, 2019 at 5:16 am
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    I’m staying on property may31 at Disneyland. They keep telling me that even though I have a guarentee time at GE. I’m not guaranteed to get into the park. What time and where do you think people start lining up. If I can’t get into the park because it if at max capacity. That would suck.

    Reply
    • March 12, 2019 at 9:05 am
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      Since reservations will be required on May 31, I think you will be fine. I would be at the park entrance 2-hours before it opens.

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  • March 12, 2019 at 6:53 am
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    Thank you for your insight and experience. We are scheduled to arrive on the 29th and and leave on the 2nd. Since my daughter is a teacher this is the only chance we have. We really want in HS for the shows and TSM. Do you think if we get there at rope drop on Sunday, 9/1, we will be able to get into the park for the other attractions? Not going to try for Star Wars on this trip. Thank you for your advice.

    Reply
    • March 12, 2019 at 9:02 am
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      Yes. Once you split from the Star Wars crowd you will have the park to yourselves. Disney could even have a different queue for non-Galaxy’s Edge guests.

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      • March 17, 2019 at 11:14 am
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        i am crossing my fingers for this exact thing. that would at least be some form of “apology” to those guests disney walked all over with this push-up of the opening who were planning trips to avoid it before it opened. if they do this, and they would almost have to for cast member’s and people’s personal safety to avoid a trample, then we won’t have to skip the park opening week.

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  • March 12, 2019 at 8:55 am
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    Steve! Send prayers….the last day of our disney vkay is August 29th. I was hoping to spend it by the pool at beach resort, but my hubby is a star wars junkie. Now we’ll be up at the a$$crack of dawn to wait 2 hours before rope drop on opening day at GE. May the force be with us….

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  • March 12, 2019 at 9:36 am
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    What do you reckon will happen to the other Disney World parks in September, do you think it will be Christmas and Easter level busy or take it from a level 3 to level 6? We usually go in mid Sept but won’t be able to stomach massive queues after being used to small ones.

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    • March 12, 2019 at 9:52 am
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      We are expecting level 3 to 6. We are estimating 10-25% increase in wait times. People still have to work and kids have to go to school. The Rise of the Resistance not being open will also keep people away.

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      • March 13, 2019 at 2:48 pm
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        i really, really appreciate all your responses. i’m checking this post every day for new comments and questions and to see your responses. it’s helping put my mind at ease.

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  • March 12, 2019 at 10:02 am
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    Steve, thank you for your responses.

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  • March 12, 2019 at 10:05 am
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    Thanks Steve, will keep the Sept booking I think and just leave HS well alone, well except for Toy Story Mania on a FastPass, oh and a quick Tower of Terror. Oh heck, I just love the park so we’ll have to go in and just bare it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  • March 12, 2019 at 10:47 am
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    Thank you so much for this great post Steve and for taking the time to answer our questions!

    I was one who suddenly had a sinking feeling when the Aug 31st date was announced. We have a Sep 7-15 trip booked for what we thought would be a quiet Sep visit. LOL – nope!

    After the announcement I quickly booked a mid-August Plan B trip but just went in and cancelled all of those reservations. Thanks to your hard work and the rest of the TP team, I now feel much better about our Sep trip and am beginning to formulate a bit of a plan. We’re in the ‘We’ll see SWGE at a future date’ camp so hope that they somehow differ the SW crowds from other guests. I also moved our Bon Voyage breakfast to 11:30 hoping to RD DHS, go out of the park for breakfast and a break and then depending on crowds and park hours, return to DHS later that evening. We’ll see how it all works.

    Thanks again!

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  • March 12, 2019 at 11:51 am
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    Can you comment on how the just released military promotions will add to the crowds at an already crazy time with GE opening? Why would they do a promotion when the park should already be packed from GE opening?

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  • March 12, 2019 at 12:06 pm
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    I booked on property may31 just for a time slot and quick bag check. If park opens at 8am I’m going to be in line at 420. That’s the plan.

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  • March 12, 2019 at 6:30 pm
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    I had a sci fi reservation for 8/29 which I am now messing all my plans up. I plan to do HS earlier in the week. My son really wanted to sit in a sci fi car. I cannot get a reservation for that restaurant. I have tried 8/24-8/27. Any ideas why? All other HS restaurants are available. We are so upset!

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    • March 13, 2019 at 11:50 am
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      I highly recommend the TouringPlans Reservation Finder tool. Using that, I think you’ll be able to get in at Sci Fi on one of those days.

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      • March 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm
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        Thank you! Yes I put my request in there. I hope your right my son will be so sad. Thanks for the advice!!! Appreciate it.

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  • March 13, 2019 at 11:39 am
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    Any thoughts on if and when Toy Story land Early Morning Magic hours will be released for September? My only purpose for visiting HS is for Toy Story land. I have zero interest in anything Star Wars. I’m hoping TSL crowds will be minimal if everyone is flocking to SWL.

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  • March 13, 2019 at 6:04 pm
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    Wen you release the updated crowds for Nov 16-24th? I’m completely stressed out to the max over this and cant find them???? I’m terrified

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    • March 13, 2019 at 6:05 pm
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      When will… good grief. So stressed I cant type straight lol

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      • March 13, 2019 at 6:59 pm
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        Those have already been updated.

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  • March 13, 2019 at 9:36 pm
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    Just curious as to what the thinking is for the week just prior to GE opening at WDW? Are we just assuming it will be a bit more crowded and therefore the slight bump in crowd level or is there some data to back this up?

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  • March 14, 2019 at 8:23 am
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    We’ve booked a trip from Sept 2-10, coming from France it is impossible for us to change our trip. I was very worried about SW GE opening before our arrival but the CL calendar calmed my stress.
    Although, I keep hearing and reading from you that September will be crazy but then it will not be crazy like Christmas. This is our first trip to WDW and I am at lost with the CL, only being familiar with DLP. Could you tell me if there is a time of the year to which I can compare my travel dates?
    Thank you so much

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    • March 14, 2019 at 10:53 am
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      Bonjour Anaïs, merci d’utiliser le site pour planifier votre voyage. Malheureusement, notre calendrier ne comporte pas un ensemble de dates pouvant comparer à ce que nous nous attendons à voir en septembre. Chaque fois qu’une nouvelle section s’ouvre, il y a un certain niveau de mystère. Cependant, basé sur ce que nous avons vu dans le passé, la majorité de la folie sera localisée autour des nouvelles attractions de Star Wars Galaxy Edge. Vous avez choisi des dates qui sont, historiquement, parmi les plus basses vues par Disney World au cours d’une année typique. Cette annonce ne change rien à cela. Je pense que si vous vous tenez à vos Touring Plans et évitez la nouvelle section, tout ira bien.

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      • March 14, 2019 at 11:26 am
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        Merci beaucoup pour votre aide et conseils qui me rassurent.
        Ayant nos enfants scolarisés au Luxembourg nous avons l’avantage d’être encore en vacances scolaires jusqu’à la mi-septembre et avons particulièrement choisi cette période pour ne pas être dans un parc trop bondé.
        Alors évidemment ,l’annonce de l’ouverture de ce “land” bien qu’excitant nous a un peu refroidies. Mais grâce à votre application je sais que nous nous en sortirons très bien.
        À quand touringplans pour DLP ;-).

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  • March 17, 2019 at 1:52 pm
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    I for one am excited. I booked our holiday knowing about the impending opening (surely it was impossible not to), imagining there *might* be an early opening (they weren’t specific about the date after all) but not daring to hope they would.

    Now I get to participate in something that my kids will (hopefully) remember for years to come as something extra special..it may be chaos, we may not even get in…but will it ruin our holiday? Of course not. It might even be…dare I say it…magical!

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    • March 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm
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      while correct that a specific date was never mentioned, when a timeframe such as “late fall 2019” is promoted for nearly a year on official disney sites, then the actual date winds up being in a completely different season, people have legitimate gripes who were hoping to miss the madness by planning trips that didn’t land in “late fall”. if anything, these sorts of things usually wind up being late, not early, so this announcement screwed a lot of people up.

      Reply

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