Category: Hollywood Studios Rides and Attractions

After Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland, What Should we Expect at Disney World?

Watching many Disney vloggers over the past few weeks, one thing is for sure – I should have booked a reservation in Anaheim and got a reservation for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! I watched so many videos of bloggers during their 4-hour reservation time that was allotted (if you were staying at a Disneyland hotel) and there was hardly any wait for Millennium Falcon. Now, I cannot say that was the case for Olga’s Cantina, which always showed a very long line, but everything else seemed very reasonable in terms of traffic flow. Disneyland was smart about this – from their opening day, which was May 31st and until June 24, 2019, you must have a reservation, and your reservation time is only for 4 hours. This is a way to control the crowds and slowly introduce people to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Disneyland = Successful Opening!

From every video that I’ve seen, it looks amazing. They also started out with opening only one attraction – The Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, to slowly introduce the public to the land. Eventually, the second attraction called Rise of the Resistance will open as well. This will obviously add even more people to the land since there will be two major attractions, but for now, it looks very manageable. We will find out on June 24, 2019, what the regular crowd will look like.

So, this seems like an awesome idea, right? A reservation system to get into the land and only have a 4-hour window? Seems like a smart way to control the crowd for at least a few weeks.

How will Disney World be Different?

However, Disney World is not doing this. On August 29, 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios to anyone and everyone who wants to attend. The actual park is scheduled to open at like 6:00 am that morning I believe and I’m sure that there will be people getting to the parking lot way before then.  They are only going to let so many people into the land, however, so they will be controlling the capacity, but on a first come and first serve basis. I guess this is also fair but will provoke a somewhat Hunger Games feeling to arrive in the morning.

How is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge going to differ from Toy Story Land or Avatar?

Any time that there is a new attraction- and a very popular and fun attraction, Disney World Rope Droppers come out in full force. My family and I rope dropped Hollywood Studios in November 2018 because we could not get a fast pass for Slinky Dog (that had only opened in June 2018) to ensure that we were able to ride it. The park opened at 9:00 am this morning and we made it to the park at 7:45 am in hopes of being some of the first few people in line. We did make it to the turnstile line with about 5 families in front of us, but by the time that all turnstiles let people in and we made it down the main stretch of Hollywood studios, we were behind a group of people that were probably close to 50 people. From here, it was crazy. Cast members slowly walked the group to Toy Story Land behind a large sign that one of them held, which said “This way to Toy Story Land.” So, when I mentioned Hunger Games, it really was an approach to out speed-walk the person next to you. People were getting nudged & jostled in the thick of the crowd, so my husband had to take my 3-year-old and maneuver her through the crowd like he was a racecar driver with a stroller. We clipped some ankles, but we also were clipped by strollers behind us. No one was doing anything on purpose, it was just the name of the game.

Rope Drop on Opening Day?

Knowing this, what will this rope drop look like at Hollywood Studios for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?   Will there be a huge line waiting in the wee hours every morning, the night before?  What will this do the rest of Hollywood Studios? Will there be no crowds anywhere else? Or, will so many people hope to get into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that when they can’t, they go to every other Disney Park and there will be lines everywhere?

We are heading out that way in August of this year, but it will be around two weeks before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. We have some favorite YouTube vloggers that will more than likely be there, so we hope to report our findings and observations in the next few months!

Official Date Announced for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

Today is the day that so many people have been waiting for – the official announcement for the opening dates of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World! Disney just announced that the much anticipated Galaxy’s Edge will open on May 31st at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California and on August 29th in Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Official Announcement from Disney

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Opening in Phases

While Disney is excited to announce that the parks will both be opening a little ahead of time, there is one thing that might upset some. According to their release today, the new land will open up in two phases. In phase one which begins on the dates announced today, guests of both Disney parks will be allowed to:

Live your own Star Wars story and take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, sample amazing galactic food and beverages, explore an intriguing collection of merchant shops and more.

disneyparks.disney.go.com

As for phase two, here is what Disney had to say:

And for phase two, opening later this year, will be Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the most ambitious, immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined that will put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance and will blur the lines between fantasy and reality.  In light of tremendous demand, Disney made the decision to open the land in phases to allow guests to sooner enjoy the one-of-a-kind experiences that make Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge so spectacular.

disneyparks.disney.go.com

Will you need any special reservations?

So, if you will be heading out to Disneyland, we did find out that in order to experience Galaxy’s Edge during the first month of operation, you will need to make a no-cost reservation in advance that will be subject to availability. The good news (or bad depending on how you view it) is that you will not need to make any special reservations to visit the land once it opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You will need a valid Hollywood Studios ticket, but other than that, it will be open to all guests, but I must add that they did state that “capacity is limited”. The release today also stated that Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will be available during extra magic hours.

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge to open on August 29th at Disney World's Hollywood Studios
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge to open on August 29th at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

What are your thoughts?

So many guests have been waiting to plan their vacations around the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge – either because they wanted to be there from the beginning or they were wanting to avoid it at all costs. How does this affect your plans to visit Disney World? How do you feel about Disney opening Galaxy’s Edge on what will most likely be the first or second week of school for most kids in the US? Will you be there? Let us know in the comments below!

What To Expect at the Opening of Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

For the longest time, it feels like Disney has been building one of their largest expansions to the Disney parks ever – Stars Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This expansion is happening simultaneously at Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. We will focus on Walt Disney World in Florida.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Photo Credit Disney World

So, when does it open? We’ve heard the slated date of opening is “Fall 2019,” which could be anywhere between September 2019-December 2019. One thing is for sure- it will be busy! There are so many Disney Parks’ fans that will want to enjoy the land, but also just Star Wars fans in general will more than likely be booking trips to Walt Disney World for this specific attraction.

What will Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge be like?

Stars Wars land is promised to be one of the most immersive lands that Disney has ever built. For comparisons, if you’ve been to Pandora inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, you’ve experienced feeling like you are in another land that is nothing like in your current world. For Star Wars Land, it is promised to be even bigger and more immersive than Pandora. As far as putting into words, I’ll have to venture out to Disney in the future to adequately do this for you.

The expansion is on the planet called Batuu, which is located at the Galaxy’s Edge (hence the name of the land) and the village that you will embark upon (with the restaurants, rides, and shopping) is called Black Spire Outpost. In this bustling village, you are expected to see cast members walking around in full Star Wars garb, which based on pictures of these costumes, it will truly feel like you are on the set of the movie Star Wars. Much different than the costumes that regular cast members wear around the parks like in Toy Story Land, or even in Pandora. Based on the images I’ve seen already, you will truly feel like you’ve landed on another planet. (I cannot wait)

What is there to do at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?

For starters, this land will be so large, it will take you awhile to just take in all the sights around you. You can get lost in just people watching and exploring this new planet. In addition to looking at the architecture of the buildings and the trees and rocks that form the natural looking landscape, you will be able to experience two major ride attractions, restaurants, and shopping.

The Rides at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

The two major ride attractions added to Galaxy’s Edge are Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is set to be an attraction that sort of acts like 4 attractions in one-concluding with a trackless dark ride at the very end. It is based on an epic battle between the Resistance and the First Order. The attraction is also boasted to be Disney’s longest attraction created as well. I thought Splash Mountain or Carousel of Progress was long (just under 11 minutes for Splash and like 21 minutes for Carousel of Progress) – what is this ride going to be like? Holy Cow I’m excited!

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will be an attraction where you will sit in individual seats and each has a role in piloting the Millennium Falcon aircraft and each ride experience is said to be different because it is based on how well you piloted the aircraft.  Imagine an amped-up version of Star Tours with an interactive screen and simulations. There is supposed to be technology (rumored) that will link to your Magic Band that tracks if you accomplished or failed the mission – so that cast members inside Black Spire Outpost will be able to engage with you and ask you about it. What? That seems like so much fun!

What about food at Galaxy’s Edge?

There will be several different options (fast-casual, quick service) to choose from, but it is promised to have unique and tantalizing flavors that are out of this world- well, because they are- you are on another planet.

Dining at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Photo Credit Disney World
Dining at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Photo Credit Disney World

There will be the main quick service location, called Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. You will also be able to buy food and drinks from multiple window service locations and kiosks/carts.

Galaxy’s Edge Merchandise?

Yep, there will be a lot of merchandise located in Black Spire Outpost- anything from plush toys, to unique trinkets that make you feel like you landed on another planet and found something so unique, it could not be replicated anywhere else. That is what Disney does- it makes you feel like you have left your current world and embarked upon another. They are in the business of making Magic.

Create a Lightsaber at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Create a Lightsaber at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
– Photo Credit Disney World

There will be one unique destination where you can get a hand built, customized lightsaber and the masters of this shop will teach you the ways of the Jedi. Where else can you get this type of experience? Answer: Only at Disney!

In summary

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is going to live up to the hype- it will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. We cannot wait to book our next trip to Disney, so that we can fully experience the newest attraction that is set to be – OUT OF THIS WORLD.

What do you think? Are you excited? Do you plan on booking a trip to Disney World when Galaxy’s Edge is open? Let us know in the comments below!

Oh yeah, did we mention that we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics in our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers?  If you want to hang out with us and thousands of other Disney World Fanatics that are there to get all of your Disney World vacation questions answered, click here to join our FREE private Facebook Group!

Must Do Rides in Each of the Disney World Parks

If you read our post about Avatar – Flight of Passage, you already know that it is our favorite ride out of all four Walt Disney World parks, so you can go ahead and assume that it will top the list at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While that is true, since I have already given that away, I will go ahead and list an honorable mention when I get to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Being that we are getting a handful of new rides in 2019, there is a chance that this list might change next year.  That said, here is our official list of favorite rides in each of the Disney World parks.

My Favorite Ride at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park

The Magic Kingdom is a park that can be hard to rate my favorite ride for so many reasons.  When I first started writing this, I used scratch paper to try and narrow down the list as my original list included five rides.  Of the five, I like each of them for different reasons. 

Enjoying the scenery on the PeopleMover

First off, I really enjoy the PeopleMover.  Call me crazy, but I love it!  Also, newest addition to the Magic Kingdom is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train which is a great ride that everyone in my family was able to enjoy, including my three-year-old.  That said, knowing that the next time we go, my youngest daughter will be tall enough for each of the mountains, they must be considered.  If you are looking for bang for your buck, the winner is Splash Mountain.  If you consider the fact that the ride offers you just under 12 minutes of entertainment with a top speed of 45 mils per hour and a 50-foot drop, Splash Mountain just can’t be beat!

My Favorite Ride at Epcot

For me, Epcot is much easier to rank.  While I really enjoy being able to take the whole family on Frozen Ever After, it just doesn’t do it for me.  Don’t get me wrong, it is fun, and it can be a great break from the heat outside, I think that the total experience is just okay.  Another ride that is a lot of fun is Test Track.  I like the fact that you get to create your car and then test it on the test track.  I also enjoy when the car busts through the door and hits the track at full speed, but again, there is just something missing for me.  If you are looking for a ride that is both memorable, exhilarating, and will appeal to every one of your senses, then the clear winner at Epcot must be Soarin’ Around the World.  On my first trip to Disney World, I did not ride this ride as there was a wait, and I had no idea what the ride was (the name didn’t sound appealing to me).  Ever since then, I have made sure that it is something that I do at least once if not more.

My Favorite Ride at Hollywood Studios

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at night

The addition of Toy Story land gave us a couple of new rides that are both child friendly and still fun.  While we had to arrive at the park an hour before open, we were able to walk right on Slinky Dog, and because everyone behind us was still in line, we were also able to get onto Alien Swirling Saucers quickly as well.  If you are a morning family, I would strongly suggest you do this!  Like I mentioned, Hollywood Studios is adding a few more rides throughout 2019 including Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.  Once these are all on board, my favorite might change, but as of today, my favorite ride at Hollywood Studios is still the classic Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  This has been my favorite ride here since my first visit back in 1997, and I always look forward to getting on it again!

My Favorite Ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Like I mentioned earlier, I lover Avatar – Flight of Passage.  I have never experienced the physical and emotional thrill that I feel when I ride this ride.  So, setting that aside since it is a complete given, we need to look around at the other options available.  I really enjoy Kilimanjaro Safaris as well as Kali River Rapids (even though I feel this ride could have been much better if they added about two to three minutes to it).  The first time I visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I thought that Dinosaur was the greatest thing ever.  It was so much fun and since there were no lines, we rode it like five times in a row!  Then, we made our way to the back of the park where I came across Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain.  After giving it a try, this became my favorite ride in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  For many years (until Pandora arrived), Expedition Everest was my favorite ride.  That said, I will give my Honorable Mention trophy to Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain.

In Conclusion

Well, there you have it!  These are my favorite and must-ride rides for each of the parks at Walt Disney World.  What are your thoughts?  Did I forget anything?  Do you dare challenge my trophy winners?  Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.  As always, please be sure and like our work and share it with all of your Disney Fanatic friends.

Oh yeah, did we mention that we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics in our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers?  If you want to hang out with us and thousands of other Disney World Fanatics that are there to get all of your Disney World vacation questions answered, click here to join our FREE private Facebook Group!

Prioritizing Your Disney World Vacation Fast Pass Selections

When it comes to planning your next Disney World vacation, one of the most important tasks (also our favorite task) is prioritizing, choosing, and booking your fast passes.  Remember, if you are staying on property, you can book 60 days in advance.  If you are staying off property, you can book 30 days in advance.  If you are looking to get fast passes for the biggest attractions, please believe me when I say, log in the first day that you can and make your selections!  This means that you need to have a plan before logging in (what days will you be in what parks, how early will you be in the parks, what rides are the most important).

My recommendations for booking

If you will be getting to the park at rope drop, I would suggest that you not book your first fast pass until about an hour-and-a-half after the park opens.  If you are there at rope drop, you can prioritize a ride or two that you did not get fast passes for.  Most likely, you will be able to head in and get one or more rides knocked out before the crowds start getting heavy in the parks. 

The other thing to remember is that you want to book all your fast passes by about 2 pm.  You can book three fast passes in advance per day. The good news is that once you use these three fast passes, you can then book one at a time for the remainder of the day.  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS!!! Once you get in line for that third fast pass, open up your My Disney Experience app and start looking for your next fast pass. Keep this going into the night.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

How We Prioritize our Fast Pass Selections

Fast Pass Prioritization for Magic Kingdom

First off, I want to stress that this is my opinion.  This plan is what my family does, and this is what has been the most successful for us. This is assuming that we are there for rope drop.

Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom – Head into the park and go back towards Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain.  If the park opens at 9 am, you can get both in by 9:30 or 10 am.  From there, we will head over to Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise and try to get both in before our fast passes start. If I did my job right the time should be about 11 am.

Fast Passes at Magic Kingdom – I try and have fast passes booked in the 11am hour, the 12pm hour, and the 1pm hour.  The three that we prioritize are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Space Mountain.

As soon as we get in line for our third fast pass, I then head into the app to start looking for whatever will be next.  If you follow this, you should be able to get to every ride that you want, even if it is a busy day in the parks.

Fast Pass Prioritization for Epcot

Epcot uses a tiered system for fast passes, meaning that you can only book one attraction from tier one. For Epcot, the tier one rides are Frozen Ever After, Test Track, Soarin’, Epcot Character Greeting, and Illumination: Reflections of Earth.

Fast Passes at Epcot – I want to start this by saying that you should choose what ride out of tier one you cannot live without visiting.  For us, this was Frozen Ever After. Out of the tier one rides, this is the only one that our youngest daughter could ride.  After that, you get to choose any two other rides from tier two.

Don’t wait 100 minutes! Book a Fast Pass+!

Rope Drop at Epcot – Because of our fast pass selection for this park, we go straight to Soarin’ when the gates open.  With the additional screens that have been added, if you get in and head over here, you will get on quickly, allowing you to head over to Test Track where you can either wait in line or head into the single rider line.

After you get your three passes knocked out, you can book what you want from there, but there isn’t usually much left that you will need a fast pass for. You can check and see if a tier one that you may have missed is available, or you can just cruise around the world showcase and enjoy all the food, beverage, and shopping that the park has to offer.

Fast Pass Prioritization for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom uses a tiered system for their fast passes, but this one is much easier to choose if you can make it happen. Rope drop and fast pass selections will depend on what you are able to book before you go.  I try for Flight of Passage, but if you are unable to book Flight of Passage, go ahead and book Na’vi River Journey (the only tier one rides).

Avatar – Flight of Passage and the Na’vi River Journey

Rope Drop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – If you can get Avatar – Flight of Passage, I would recommend rope dropping Na’vi River Journey.  If you are unable to book Flight of Passage, then you should rope drop it.  For well over a year now, this has been the longest wait out of any ride in all of Disney World. It is not unusual for wait time to top out at four to five hours. Do anything you can to get this done as early as possible!

Fast Passes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – As discussed, your tier one ride will be one of the two rides in Pandora – Land of Avatar.  After that, the other two can be whatever is most important to you.  I would suggest getting Kilimanjaro Safaris booked in the 10am to 11am time frame as the animals tend to be more active earlier in the day.  For me, the third is going to be Kali River Rapids.  I tend to not book fast passes for Everest because the single rider line is usually a viable option.  If you knock out your fast passes early enough in the day, you should be able to get everything else done using your additional fast pass selections.

Fast Pass Prioritization for Hollywood Studios

I intentionally left this last, as what is important today, is going to be changed so many times in 2019 to even try and predict what to do.  As of February 1st, of 2019, the three different tier one rides are the ones that you will find in Toy Story Land (Andy’s Backyard) which are Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, and Toy Story Mania.  Here is how we handled this park.

Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios – We rope dropped Slinky Dog Dash, and because of its popularity over the other tier one rides, from there, we were able to ride it and then get on to Alien Swirling Saucers quickly afterwards.

This was at rope drop! So many people!

Fast Passes at Hollywood Studios – We went with Toy Story Mania! As our tier one followed by Rockin Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.  After knocking out these five rides (two at rope drop and three fast passes), we were able to get to everything else easily.  Like I mentioned at the beginning, this is how we plan our days at Disney World in Orlando.  I know that every family is different, and every family prioritizes differently.  Leave me a comment or send me a message and let us know how your family takes advantage of Disney’s fast pass system.  Please like our post and be sure and share the magic with all of your fanatic Disney friends!

Oh yeah, did we mention that we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics in our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers?  If you want to hang out with us and thousands of other Disney World Fanatics that are there to get all of your Disney World vacation questions answered, click here to join our FREE private Facebook Group!