Are Big FastPass+ Changes Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

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It looks like big FastPass+ changes are in store for Disney’s Hollywood Studios once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens on August 29, with all but one ride moving to the “select one in advance” tier. The practical effect of these changes is that most people will be able to get an advance FastPass+ for only one ride at Hollywood Studios, with only show-based attractions available as options for their other two advance FastPass+ selections.

As a refresher, remember that FastPass+ attractions at Hollywood Studios are separated into two “tiers.” Guests may make up to three FastPass+ selections per day at HS in advance of their trips, but only one of those can be for a Tier A attraction. The tiers are designed to spread guests throughout all the attractions in the parks by “forcing” them to obtain FastPasses to non-headliner attractions.

Here’s the current tier structure:

We were anticipating that there would be changes to the tier structure at HS when Galaxy’s Edge opens, but we did not know what to expect.

Today we learned that guests booking FastPass+ selections on August 29 and beyond are seeing different attractions in the two tiers. A friend who is able to book FastPass+ 90 days in advance (through a Club Level FastPass+ perk) shared these screenshots. They seem to indicate that when Galaxy’s Edge opens, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror will move to the Tier A group:

There is some oddity happening in that Star Tours and Fantasmic! are not (yet?) available for FP+ booking. We’re not sure what this means:

It could be that Star Tours will run without FastPass+ during the opening phase of Galaxy’s Edge. That would make sense as a “consolation prize” Star Wars-themed ride for those who can’t tolerate the waits for attractions at Galaxy’s Edge, and having no FastPass+ at Star Tours would make its standby line move faster.

Note that our reader is being offered FastPass+ options for Tier A attractions as early as 6:00 a.m. on August 29, indicating that those attractions are scheduled to open with the park at 6:00 a.m. on August 29, 30, and 31. (Starting on September 1, “Extra, Extra Magic Hours” exclusively for Disney-affiliated hotel guests are from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. daily through at least November 2. As with normal Extra Magic Hours, we do not expect FastPass+ to be available during this EMH time.)

All the Tier B offerings (again, they’re all shows) start later in the morning, on a “normal day” sort of schedule:

We have updated our Personalized Touring Plan software has to reflect these changes.

If you’ve got 90-day access to FastPass+ inventory at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, let us know if you see the same thing!

Len Testa

Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and has contributed to the Disneyland and Las Vegas Unofficial Guides. Most of his time is spent trying to keep up with the team. Len's email address is len@touringplans.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @lentesta.

54 thoughts on “Are Big FastPass+ Changes Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

  • June 4, 2019 at 7:21 pm
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    This stinks. I have no interest in any of the shows. I guess I’ll have to figure out a way to get them and tap in as soon as possible to be able to attempt to get a second “tier 1.” Looks like the earliest you could do that would be about 10:30 unless you modify your third one to 10:10 or so.

    Reply
  • June 4, 2019 at 8:57 pm
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    I agree. Makes me much less likely to plan to go to Hollywood Studios entirely. I’m planning a trip for next October, and this might make me cut short my WDW trip (originally scheduled for 8 nights on property). This will definitely seal the deal. I’ll absolutely not do no more than 6 nights, and then we’ll head to UOR for 2. My older son really wants to go to Universal anyway, but I was originally intent on doing all 4 parks. If I can only get a FP for one good ride across 8 headliners (Toy story Mania, Alien Saucers, Slinky, Mickey’s RR, Millenial Falcon, RnR, ToT, and RoR.) why on earth would I go?

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  • June 4, 2019 at 9:49 pm
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    I too, will skip DHS while this ridiculous system is in place. My son isn’t interested in any of the shows, but he loves the toy story rides, ToT, and Star Tours. We were already planning on skipping GE for the first year or so that it’s open. Now I think we’ll just skip DHS entirely in favor of going to other parks where we know we can do at least 3 rides without waiting.

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  • June 4, 2019 at 10:59 pm
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    I can’t help but wonder if this is exactly the intent: deter people from going to DHS in the first place by making it a much less appealing FP system.

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  • June 4, 2019 at 11:28 pm
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    Seriously? My upcoming trip, Aug 26th-September 1st, which I’ve had planned for a year and a half, has had one major ‘announcement’ after another. I’ve changed my personalized plans, park days, and ADRs so many times it’s ridiculous. I actually extended my stay by a day so that we could attempt Galaxys edge on 9-1 when EEMH is open to resort guests early, but now we won’t be able to secure fast passes for Rockin or ToT to help give relief from the massive lines in GE (assuming we can score slinky dog fp)? AND no Runaway Train??? AND we have to get my 3 kids up at the crack of dawn if we want to make rope drop at MK and AK starting the 29th??? For a company that forces you to plan 180 in advance, they sure love changing huge things after you’ve already invested so much time, effort, and money into your trip. This used to all be so much fun, planning Disney trips was a true hobby. Maybe I’m just Disney Fatigued.

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    • June 5, 2019 at 10:01 am
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      Don’t go!!! Do something for a fraction of the cost, less cost and less stress!!

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    • June 5, 2019 at 10:07 am
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      Runaway Train was never scheduled to be open in 2019.

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      • June 5, 2019 at 12:39 pm
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        It was originally supposed to be open in 2019 before SWGE. An then it got pushed back.

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    • June 8, 2019 at 7:11 pm
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      thank you, i am so glad someone understands my pain and frustration!

      Reply
    • June 9, 2019 at 2:25 pm
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      I feel the same exact way! I too have changed plans 3X already. I booked b4 the land opening announcement and suffered through each announcement after. This latest is the worst for me because we haven’t even seen toy story land yet and TOT and RR are our favs! I’m not wasting a days worth of fastpasses for one ride! Now I’m afraid the other three parks will be jammed bc no one will want to go to HS!

      Reply
  • June 5, 2019 at 5:27 am
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    I am staying Club Level from 3 September so my 90 day FP window opens soon. I am going to contact Signature Services today and will report back.

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  • June 5, 2019 at 6:02 am
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    I get it…I do. I work in event planning and management so I can see their ideas to spread people out. But leaving no rides in tier B is a swift kick in the pants. I enjoy some of the shows at DHS (Indiana Jones, Beauty & The Beast) but the others are not for my age demographic.

    I’m with you Rosalie – changing things up inside the 180 day window isn’t ideal. But, at least it’s outside of the 60 day window!!

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  • June 5, 2019 at 6:15 am
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    Who gets 90 Day fastpass access??

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  • June 5, 2019 at 7:18 am
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    But won’t the lower number of fast passes being distributed result in lower wait times for standby? Of course, I would much prefer FastPass access, but it does seem like with smart touring, this could work out okay.

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    • June 5, 2019 at 10:37 am
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      This would only be true if not all FastPasses are distributed. It should take longer for FastPasses to run out, and early time slots may not “sell out.”

      My current thought on touring strategy is do Hollywood Studios on two mornings, and the hop to a different park and use FastPasses at the 2nd park. One morning do Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the other Morning do everything else. 99% of people enter Hollywood Studios at rope drop will be heading to Galaxy’s Edge, leaving the rest of the park with low wait times.

      Reply
    • June 5, 2019 at 11:33 am
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      There is no indication they will not distribute as many FPP as before. I think they should just ditch FPP altogether in HS until they get enough attractions operating to support the system. Stand by is isn’t such a headache when FPP holders aren’t loading ahead of you. And to offer FPP at 6am during extra extra hours? That stinks. I hope that is a mistake.

      Reply
      • June 5, 2019 at 12:26 pm
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        The first few days after Galaxy’s Edge opens, the park is open at 6am for all, not just for EEMH. I’m assuming once CL people are able to book Sept 1st FPs (first day of EEMH), we will not see 6am FP available.

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  • June 5, 2019 at 9:18 am
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    I know that we’re all different, but I just can’t understand going to a theme park with a Hollywood showbiz theme and having “no interest in the shows”…

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    • June 7, 2019 at 3:10 pm
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      Of course that begs the question about whether or not Disney’s “Hollywood” Studios still has a Hollywood showbiz theme…. 😉

      Reply
  • June 5, 2019 at 9:25 am
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    Okay I will be in the parks on the Aug 21-30 and Unless they figure out a fast pass of some kind for the Millennium Falcon then my daughter and I only like the B rides. We prefer Star Tours, Rocking Roller coaster and Tower of Terror. Forcing us to chose an A list ride we don’t want Unless it is the Falcon does nothing but waste our time on a fast pass we don’t want and won’t use. Why not let me chose just from the B Rides and why when I try to check My Plans today does it say FAST PASSES are not available..I mean I have reservations and should not be able to book until June 22 BUT we have another set of % day Park Hopper tickets linked to our account so should be able to technically see ALL fast Pass options…Just weird and annoying. I for one, would actually love it if they sold resort guest MAXIPASS options to a soft opening of Galaxys Edge for our stay. That way if we want to go then we could and if not then we dont have to buy one , but at least it gives resorts guest a perk of being assured they can get in without fighting the overnight campers And Disney gets extra bucks for a soft opening. Sounds like a Win Win to me as well as a no brainer, but I also realize they are closely watching how it goes in Disneyland now.

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    • June 5, 2019 at 10:44 am
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      You don’t have to choose any Tier A rides if you don’t want to Michele. You can choose 3 Tier B in lieu of 1 Tier A and 2 Tier B

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      • June 5, 2019 at 1:00 pm
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        This is what I saw above…. “Guests may make up to three FastPass+ selections per day at DHS in advance of their trip, but the selections must be one from Tier A and two from Tier B. The tiers are designed to spread guests throughout all the attractions in the parks by “forcing” them to obtain FastPasses to non-headliner attractions.”….Note the MUST BE ONE from TIER A and Two from TIER B. That would indicate to me I had no other option but to waste a FP on a ride I dont want and then try to rebook as soon as that window closes for another ride I do want.

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        • June 5, 2019 at 1:21 pm
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          Yeah, Len’s wording there does make it seem like you HAVE to choose a Tier A, however it should say you can select UP TO one Tier A and the other of your first 3 must be Tier B in that case. If you only want Tier B rides, you can select 3 Tier B and no Tier A rides. This practice has been confirmed by Disneyparksmompanel on several different posts including this one: https://disneyparksmomspanel.disney.go.com/question/picking-fp-selections-pick-three-tier-two-instead-one-372145/

          Please write back and let us know if you have a different experience when it’s time to book your FPs! I can’t imagine they would block people from booking MORE Tier B FPs. The whole point of the tier system is to limit the number of Tier A fastpasses distributed.

          Reply
          • June 5, 2019 at 1:37 pm
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            If you’re going Aug 29th or 30th to Hollywood Studios to experience Millenium Falcon, I’d be more concerned that Rock n RollerCoaster and ToT will at that point both be Tier A rides, so you’d be able to select FP for only one of those, and no FP at all for Star Tours or Millenium Falcon (if the fastpass bookings this Club level member sent to Len are rolled out to everyone else 60days out from Aug 29th).
            All of this is making me really consider planning a trip to HS before GE opens so I can have one day with the current FP tiers before they put every ride into Tier A. (which is probably what Disney wants haha)

    • June 5, 2019 at 10:45 am
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      Also, Disney has stated that Millenium Falcon will not have FastPass when it first opens. Though it will likely be added later

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      • June 5, 2019 at 1:01 pm
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        I kind of figured that but it certainly would be a way to bring in cash for those of us who want a guaranteed in…

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  • June 5, 2019 at 11:29 am
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    This is absolutely ridiculous. GE is going to be a nightmare as it is. Why not make TS Land and GE the Tier 1 attractions, and leave everything as a Tier 2? That way the older attractions are still available as an escape option for people who aren’t interested in GE or TS Land.

    Reply
    • June 5, 2019 at 12:30 pm
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      I think they want to drive as many people away as they can so that the park is ONLY filled with those waiting to get into SWGE. Those people alone will fill the park and getting rid of all the good Tier B FPs will cause many people who aren’t interested in GE to skip HS entirely, or hit one ride and hop to another park, lessening the overall crowd level.

      Reply
  • June 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm
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    Having watched Brian’s videos and following TP’s twitter during the opening days of GE at Disneyland, I think if you don’t have interest in GE, then that would be a great time to visit HS. The rest of DL park was virtually empty, and the sudden change in FP tiers at HS may reflect that Disney does not believe FPs will be necessary for rides at HS having witnessed the crowd behavior at DL.

    Reply
    • June 5, 2019 at 1:16 pm
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      I’m concerned that because DL is so much more a locals park, I could see a lot of them having skipped opening weekend for GE. I’m afraid that WDW is going to attract a lot more folks who are completely unprepared for what crowds might look like that weekend but think it would just be fun to be there for the opening and then will be desperate to ride ANYTHING when they realize they can’t get in to GE. (i.e. The lady next to me at the TTC who asked which monorail went to HS at 10:00 am on opening day for Toy Story Land, bless her heart.)

      Reply
    • June 5, 2019 at 1:40 pm
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      I thought I heard that DL was PACKED outside the GE area during GE reservation days, especially the cast member preview day. Everyone who had a 4hour reservation that day stuck around the rest of the park before/after their reservation time and the waittimes for everything else in DL were high.

      Reply
      • June 7, 2019 at 3:14 pm
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        Can’t speak to cast member preview days, but I was lucky enough to be there 6/2-6/6 and it was incredibly, delightfully, wonderfully dead. Almost everything we wanted to do was a walk-on aside from some of the thrill rides, but even then, it was usually 30 minutes or so. It reminded me of WDW trips in the 80s.

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      • June 10, 2019 at 6:12 pm
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        This was definitely not the case, we were there for May 31 through June 5, the park was a complete breeze outside of GE.

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    • June 5, 2019 at 1:42 pm
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      Not to mention that DL has way more attractions than HS to spread out the crowds

      Reply
  • June 5, 2019 at 1:59 pm
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    The biggest issue I see with this which is going to impact everyone, not just those going to HS is that it will drive everyone to the other parks and they too will become unbearable.
    We all know that once Disney has your money they do not care for your comfort levels or whether you can do the things you want as long as they have your dollars.

    Reply
    • June 8, 2019 at 7:14 pm
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      thank you, i’ve been saying this and being criticized for it on other sites. that is my fear as well, other people filling up the other parks due to skipping HS. i’m hopign they go to universal instead…

      Reply
  • June 5, 2019 at 2:32 pm
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    Just do away with Fastpasses all together now. How many times do bloggers need to work out the stats that show that Fastpasses just make for longer crowds and tighter walkways before we’ll all believe them…

    Reply
    • August 19, 2019 at 1:26 am
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      Without FP, people like my wife who don’t move well would constantly get beat to ride by faster people. I hope they open FP for the Millennium Falcon by the time we go in November.

      Reply
  • June 6, 2019 at 11:28 am
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    I am very upset with this news as are most of you. Its like having only one FPP selection for the whole park. It totally stinks. I will seriously reconsider my planned trip!!

    Reply
  • June 6, 2019 at 11:46 am
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    In the spring I had planned a trip for 8/29 to 9/2 for one last hurrah before SWGE. Club Level- three extra FP+

    Then they announced SWGE opening on my arrival day

    Then they added all the EEMH impacting the other parks

    Then this (this impacts my planning immensely, even with the extra FP+)

    Then yesterday I cancelled.

    They make you reserve months in advance to ensure you aren’t herded like cattle and then move the goal posts over and over again. There is no other business from whom I’d tolerate this. I’ve been to WDW about a dozen times, and I’m really going to miss it. I’m sure they aren’t going to lose any sleep over it.

    Reply
  • June 6, 2019 at 6:04 pm
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    Not going until Feb. 2020, but this is going to be my strategy. By then there may well be FP+ for SW:GE attractions, being the case, might do FP for morning of our water park day before going to the water park.

    Reply
  • June 7, 2019 at 3:03 pm
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    Well if this is confirmed (reported by numerous sites but not yet confirmed by Disney themselves as I understand it), I guess I’ll just have to adjust my plans. I have a trip in December, so maybe things will change by then (probably not). Since I haven’t been to Toy Story Land, I may try to FP a morning time in one of those rides and try to rope drop Galaxy’s edge. I actually don’t want to even attempt riding Smuggler’s at this time. I’m more interested in the lightsaber building experience and Oga’s Cantina. Just experiencing the land really.

    That said I do think this idea is not a good way for Disney to go about it. Hollywood Studios is already known as a Half Day park. Making it so only 1 ride is available for fastpass is going to solidify that for anyone who can’t get into GE at rope drop. They really should have tried to figure out how to make a reservation system work like they did with Disneyland.

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    • June 7, 2019 at 3:20 pm
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      Part of me wondered how they could have done it with the larger number of hotels at WDW than at Disneyland (because hotel guests staying on property would be more likely to receive reservations first). If they had given every hotel guest staying at a WDW hotel a 1-hour slot (which wouldn’t be nearly enough to see everything and wouldn’t even guarantee that you’d be able to ride the Falcon), they still wouldn’t have been able to let people in who didn’t have hotel reservations. If they had opened it up as first-come/first-serve advanced reservations, then you’d have a lot of people staying at Disney hotels ticked off that they didn’t get a chance to get in, even though they were paying for an on-property stay and the benefits. Lots of demand for such a small space. My experience at Disneyland was wonderful — I can’t imagine what it will be like at WDW, but I don’t expect it to be as much of a joy logistics-wise.

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      • June 7, 2019 at 3:32 pm
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        Sorry I just had images of Stormtroopers with helmets that could scan the long range chips in magic bands and let guests know their time was up XD.

        But no, I see your point. Maybe they considered a FP++ tier for the land with a 3-4 hr blockout, but again you’d have the PR nightmare as you mentioned. I feel an effective restructuring of FP would have been keeping Slinky Dog (and maybe Toy Story Mania) as Tier 1, moving one of the thrill rides (Hollywood Tower of Tower or Rock N’ Roller Coaster) to Tier 1, and then moving everything else to tier two. This should still spread people out fairly effectively I would think. But maybe I’m just armchair quarterbacking.

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    • June 7, 2019 at 3:23 pm
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      They are half day park for now. With the opening of Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge, it will go back to being a full day park once Rise of the Resistance opens up.

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  • June 10, 2019 at 9:28 am
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    My sister and I planned this year’s trip (Sept 17-27) hoping that we were going to miss GE opening and were upset when they announced that GE would open August 29th. We figured we could work around it in Hollywood Studios by going during the Extra Extra Magic hours but with this announcement on the new Fastpass tiers and times, not so sure anymore. WDW is really getting to be work and not fun any longer.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 10:57 am
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    I really don’t like this at all. HS is now a 1 FP+ park. Ugh.

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  • June 13, 2019 at 11:06 am
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    Since they are doing EMHs at most of the parks August 29-November 1, does that mean there will be no rope drop? How does entry work for guests who aren’t staying on site?

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  • June 14, 2019 at 2:47 pm
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    People aren’t loving eemh… y’all can still go to epcot at 9am lol.

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    • June 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm
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      Not on that day we can’t ! Food & Wine starts that day making it yet another park that is going to be super busy.

      Reply

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