One of our biggest questions for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is how will Disney handle the crowds. People are still arriving at the Animal Kingdom two hours before the park opens to beat the crowds at Pandora- World of Avatar. The fan base for Star Wars is much larger than Pandora. If allowed, some Star Wars fans would camp out several days to get into the park. The only thing that Disney has announced is that to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park between May 31, 2019, and June 23, 2019, guests will be required to make a no-cost reservation (subject to availability) to access the land. Disney will need to do something beyond June 23 at Disneyland and in August when the land opens at Walt Disney World.
This blog post is just wishful thinking. We have no information from Disney about what they are planning for crowd control into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I’m 100% certain Disney will do something, but we do not have details about what their plans are at present. With that said, here’s some Armchair Imagineering.
My first idea is to have the exit of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run to take users out of the land. This would give a constant flow of guests exiting the land, and allowing a constant flow of guests into the land.
Here is my elaborate idea for entering Galaxy Edge. It makes the entrance an experience of its own. The queuing process will transport guests from central Florida to a galaxy far, far away.
Guests may arrive 5 hours before the park opens. Guests wanting to arrive at that time will have to walk or take private transportation as Disney transportation will not start running until 2 hours before the park opens.
Guests can enter Hollywood Studios 4 hours before the park opens. Guests will go to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular theater where Star Wars movies will be playing. Guests will be seated in the order they arrive, and will be released in the same order. The amphitheater holds 2,000 people. An overflow queue will be set up around Echo Lake. Starbucks and Backlot Express will be open serving coffee and breakfast.
The next stop for the queue experience is the Grand Arts Theatre (aka the Muppets theater). The Resistance has taken over the theater. The movie will be replaced with a film with Rey and Finn looking for recruits to join the Resistance.
People willing to join the Resistance will be given a “boarding pass” to take a Star Speeder 1000 to Batuu. The boarding pass will be a FastPass+ for Star Tours. The last three simulators at Star Tours will be used for the Galaxy’s Edge queue. A new video and storyline will be used for the ride to Batuu. For people prone to motion sickness there would be an option to ride Star Tours without motion.
When the flight is complete, you will exit Star Tours in the opposite direction to a backstage area. The backstage area will be themed as the spaceport on Batuu. The spaceport will have bathrooms facilities, food, and drink. You will be able to signup for Savi’s Workshop and learn more about Batuu and Black Spire Outpost.
The spaceport will be partially a queueless queue. When it is time for you to leave the spaceport your boarding pass group will be called to go through customs. Don’t tell the officers that you have joined the resistance or Stormtroopers may take you away.
The queuing process can take less than an hour if you do not have to wait between the Muppets’ Theater, Star Tours, and the spaceport. Further in the day, the time between the Muppets and Star Tours will grow. The time before Star Tours will be the time you can visit other attractions in the park. The last boarding pass time will be 3 hours before the park closes. Once all the boarding passes have been distributed, Muppet Vision 3D will return to Grand Arts Theatre. The cast members at Muppets will have no idea what Galaxy’s Edge is or that the Resistance was there.
Since Galaxy’s Edge will be using the spaceport as a temporary entrance, the two permanent entrances to the land will only be used for exiting.
The first 2,000 people into the Indiana Jones Theater are expected to be through the queue by the time the park opens. Boarding passes will likely run out before noon. No boarding pass means no entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for that day.
On days with Extra Magic Hours, the Indiana Jones Theater will be divided by on-site and off-site guests. Off-site guests will be held back until the park opening. All on-site guest that arrive before the park opens will be allowed ahead of the off-site guests in the queue.
As we mentioned, this is just a bit of Armchair Imagineering to figure out how to handle the large crowds that will descend on Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Galaxy’s Edge this fall. It’s clear that Disney will need to do something to manage crowds and capacity issues, and we all eagerly await news about what their plan will be.
If you were in charge, what would you do for crowd control at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Let us know in the comments.