Earlier this month it was announced that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland in the summer of 2019 and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in late fall of 2019. Since then, many in the Disney community have tried to pinpoint exactly when the openings will be, but at this point, everything is still speculation. While there may not be an official opening date, it hasn’t stopped many Star Wars and Disney Parks fans from thinking up their tentative plan for visiting the new land.
Obviously, I have no idea what exact numbers will look like in terms of crowds, but I thought it would be fun to offer a speculative outlook to give potential guests an idea of what the first year of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge might look like, and what that means for when you should book your first Disney vacation in which the new land will be included.
Opening Day Guests
This is going to take some impressive planning, a flexible schedule, some straight up luck, and a tolerance for the worst crowds you’ll likely ever see in a Disney park. Disney is about to release the 2019 Packages, likely starting in mid to late June, which means guests are going to start booking up the hotel rooms around the time that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be opening. Not only are hotel prices going to skyrocket around this time, but availability is likely going to be slim. On one hand, you’ll want to plan this out as far in advance as possible, but if Disney doesn’t release the exact opening dates anytime soon this will all be a guessing game.
So, in order for all of this to work, you’ll have to have a flexible schedule. We still have no clue when the exact dates will be, but when it is announced you’ll need to drop whatever you’re doing to make sure you book your hotel room as quickly as possible.
The crowds are going to be horrendous, to the point where I can almost guarantee that Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will hit capacity on their iterations of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on opening day. If you hate crowds then it might not be worth the hoopla.
1 Week – 1 Month After Opening Day Guests
Crowds are still going to be bad, and finding a hotel on either property will still likely be difficult, but at this point I’d guess the new lands won’t still be having capacity issues — at least hopefully. This is probably a good range for someone that can deal with really heavy crowds, wants to be there to see it early, but doesn’t necessarily need to be there on the very first day. You’re also still going to need a good amount of luck if you want any shot at booking a hotel on property. Realize that at this point it is still going to be insanely busy, and I wouldn't be surprised if both attractions consistently have wait times close to 4 hours or more.
3-6 Months After Opening Day Guests
Everything will still be fairly new at this point, the crowds will still be somewhat heavy but nowhere near as bad as they were. This will likely be the first period when entering the new land won’t be a complete madhouse. With a good plan, a FastPass reservation for one of the new Star Wars-themed rides, and a realistic acceptance that it will be a little hectic, I’m speculating that three to six months after its opening will be the first time period in which the land will be enjoyed the way it has been intended by the Imagineers — as hopefully at this point it won’t feel like a complete a zoo. It’ll still be crowded, but with any luck guests won’t feel like they are being herded like cattle around the land by cast members.
1 Year After Opening Day Guests
It has been one year since Pandora: The World of Avatar has opened, and it is still extremely popular. There is no denying that hardcore Star Wars fans outnumber hardcore Avatar fans — frankly, it’s not even close. So, one year after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens it’ll still be very popular, but I'm hoping it will at least be manageable. Proper planning and a willingness to wait in some decently long lines will make the new land very enjoyable, hopefully even for guests in your party that could care less about Star Wars. That brings me to my last group of visitors.
You'll Get There When You Get There
You may fall into this last category, in which you couldn’t care any less about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. If this is the case, I would highly recommend booking your vacation either months before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, or I’d choose to wait for at least 6 months to a year to visit because the crowds and the prices are likely going to be something you’ve never seen before — it will be best to stand clear if you don’t care about the new land.
Image Credit: Disney
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