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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is one of the most anticipated theme park additions in the history of Disney and beyond. And with that anticipation comes the reality that massive crowds are going to descend on both Disneyland and Disney World for the opening of this immersive experience.
Be sure to check out what Disneyland is doing to prepare for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as Disneyland will be opening on May 31, almost a full three months prior to Galaxy’s Edge Disney World and we are sure Disney World will be taking several preparation pages out of Disneyland’s experience to prepare for their own opening.
Disney has already been working for months to prepare Hollywood Studios, one of the parks typically experiencing some of the lowest crowd numbers in Walt Disney World.
The new mode of transportation the Disney Skyliner system will be making a direct stop at Hollywood Studios and will transport guests from Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and the brand new, Disney’s Riviera Resort as well as from Epcot directly to Hollywood Studios with an average time of five to fifteen minutes per trip.
New Bus Stops
For quite some time the bus and parking situation at Hollywood Studios has been a bit of a mess. Disney has been reimagineering the entire front entrance of Hollywood Studios in preparation for the massive amounts of crowds that are anticipated to hit that park in a matter of months.
The new bus stops are much larger and similar to those at Magic Kingdom. Good news too because as of March 19, they are now open. The new bus stops closer to the entrance and will house stops for each Walt Disney World Resort. Busses from other off property resorts and charter busses will also have a section specifically for them in the third section of the bus lot.
Plus there are brand new restrooms between the Bus Stop, Skyliner and entrance.
The parking lots received upgrades on March 19 as well. The lots were renamed for character highlighted at Hollywood Studios. Mickey and Minnie of course got their own lot, plus Jessie, Buzz and BB-8 got their name in lights as well.
These changes are yet another step in the overall enhancement of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which includes the new entrance on Osceola Parkway, refreshed parking tram lanes and walkways, additional security screening areas, and a station for the Disney Skyliner gondolas that will begin operation this fall.
New Parking Entrance
On November 8. 2018, guests entering the park were directed through a new entrance. For over a year, major highway construction was in process at Victory Way and Osceola Parkway near the entrance to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
The former entrance to the park which was located on Buena Vista Drive now serves as a bus lane and the former entrance at World Drive is now castmember only.
Hollywood Studios, which is already short on dining locations especially considering the crowds that will be descending on the park come fall, has made adjustments to ABC Commissary, making it eligible for dining reservations beginning June 2. Self-serve soda machines are also being installed at this location to speed along the ordering process.
Pizza Rizzo will also be reopening in May and we expect it to remain open throughout the opening of Star Wars Land. If it does close again after the summer crowds, it will be necessary to reopen to feed the crowds of Star Wars fans.
New Security Checkpoints
New and enlarged security checkpoints are open at Hollywood Studios. In the matter of one day, the security points were moved to the left at Hollywood Studios, scrim was removed and it is now easier to get into Hollywood Studios as the new security checkpoints offer more tables and more officers allowing for quicker entry and shorter lines (for now). Phase one has been completed but several more phases of changes to the front of the theme park are still underway so expect even more changes to come about in the next few months before the opening of Phase 1 of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
No Fast Pass
Although Disney World has not announced how it will handle the crowds for opening day, we do know that there will be no Fast Passes for Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will be offered initially for the attraction. In addition, when Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens at a later date, the same will be true with no Fast Passes being offered.
When Nature Calls
Crowds are expected to be upwards of five to six hours to ride the attractions even though they are opening at separate times. It has been announced that for Disneyland, bathroom passes will be made allowed for guests who need to excuse themselves while waiting in line.
Snacks and beverages will be made available for purchase for those waiting to board the Millenium Falcon as well.
For Disneyland, it has been announced that reservations must be made for entrance into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge between May 31 (opening day) and June 23. Reservations are guaranteed for those who are staying on property. We are eagerly awaiting any news from Walt Disney World for similar policies that might be put into place to ensure resort guests have access to the land for the limited time that they are in Walt Disney World.
Check out our blog posts chock full of new policies and procedures that go into affect as of May 1 at both Disneyland and Disneyworld that are likely to effect many guests. The new policies affect smoking in the parks, stroller sizes and coolers that are allowed into the parks. You do not want to get told at the park entrance that your stroller is not going into the park because it is too large so check out our post Policy Changes Coming to Walt Disney World so that you are prepped for your trip.
That’s what we know for now. Stay tuned right here for more information as it becomes available.
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