Walt Disney World expands Extra Magic Hours for Galaxy's Edge

May 4, 2019, 9:27 AM · Now that Disneyland has given out all its early reservations for its upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land, now let's turn our attention to the land's opening at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios on August 29. Unlike at Disneyland, advance reservations will not be required to get into the land for its first weeks of operation. But that doesn't mean Disney isn't changing things up to accommodate the expected crowds.

Disney today announced that it will be expanding its Extra Magic Hours program for on-site hotel guests between August 29 and November 2. In addition, Disney's Hollywood Studios will open at 6 am for the first three days that Galaxy's Edge is open.

Actually, Hollywood Studios will continue to open at 6 am every day through November 2, except that the park will be open only to Disney World hotel guests from 6-9 am starting September 1, in what Disney is calling "Extra Extra Magic Hours." During those three hours, on-site hotel guests can visit Galaxy's Edge, Toy Story Land, and other select attractions in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Of course, this means that for everyone else, they will encounter a Star Wars land already filled with guests when the park opens to all at 9 am. And with no Fastpass offered for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, that means that there will be no way to avoid what promises to be a long standby wait unless you book a stay at a Disney World hotel and hightail it to the park well before 6 am.

In an effort to alleviate the expected crush of fans visiting the resort for Galaxy's Edge, Walt Disney World is expanding those "Extra Extra Magic Hours" to Disney's Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom, too. Both parks will be open daily from 7am to 8am for hotel guests from August 29 through November 2. The typical Extra Magic Hours line-ups will be available at that time: selected attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland in the MK and Pandora – The World of Avatar and other select attractions at Animal Kingdom.

Extra Magic Hours will continue as scheduled at Epcot and in the evenings at the Magic Kingdom.

For discounted theme park tickets to Walt Disney World and other area attractions, please visit our Orlando area attractions page. Extra Magic Hours are available to guests staying at the Swan and Dolphin as well as the Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, and the Disney Springs area hotels. You can book many of those on our Disney Springs hotels page.

Replies (16)

May 4, 2019 at 9:43 AM

6am start ..... Mmmmmm .... It will be interesting to see what time people actually start arriving to form the inevitable queue that will attract all the local media with their mind numbing interviews with people who are first in line !!

I suspect Disney will somehow try and block any lines forming before the close of DHS on the 28th, but after that I think it will become fair game to start that line for the 6am opening.

I hope they somehow stop the stampede .... someone could seriously get injured in the mad crush.

Robert ..... you forgot to mention in the photo it's the new DHS logo :)

May 4, 2019 at 10:18 AM

I have my tickets reservations for the opening days at Disneyland we have the first time slot but there's overlaps on other time slots how is Disney going to kick out the first group or can we hide in the bathrooms and stay longer LOL

May 4, 2019 at 12:26 PM

Wristbands? I’ll try to find out for certain though.

May 4, 2019 at 1:24 PM

With no reservation slots or time limits at DHS, how on earth are they going to manage crowd levels?

May 4, 2019 at 2:05 PM

To Beagles and Robert - I messaged Disney about special front gate lines for Galaxy’s Edge 8am reservations and the specifics on exiting the land (especially if waiting for Smuggler’s Run, food/drink, shopping, etc.). Here is their response:

“At this time, there have not been any announcements as to how guests will be queuing up to enter the park each day nor any additional information regarding your time on Batuu.”

I look forward to more (helpful) information!

May 4, 2019 at 3:24 PM

I think they’ll alternate between the Fronteirtown and Critter Country entrances and push people towards the Fantasyland exit. Probably will have wristbands like the after hours to tell the different groups apart.

May 4, 2019 at 10:13 PM

"With no reservation slots or time limits at DHS, how on earth are they going to manage crowd levels?"

For DHS, I'm assuming they'll do the same as Pandora and just queue everyone up outside the park, The problem with DLR, there is no space to queue people outside or inside the park.

Although I have no desire to wake up at 6am, 3 hours is a great perk. I would assume you would be able to do most of the area with that much time.

May 5, 2019 at 1:35 AM

So basically, if you don't stay on property at Walt Disney World you'll have to invest at least half your day to see Galaxy's Edge due to a queue to enter the land as well as lines inside. Hopefully enough people will be done with Galaxy's Edge by the time the park opens to everyone, or I could see this becoming a disaster.

Regarding the Disneyland time slots, from what I've heard it will be a wristband system. Once your time slot is over, you will not be physically forced out of the land, but you will be barred from joining any queues or making any purchases.

May 5, 2019 at 3:09 AM

With the majority of us , using the app. We shouldn’t have to endure 3 hour lines.
It’s the one big let down of the place.
It’s 2019, why do they continue with this outdated model.
Selects slots.
Max wait time 45 mins
Character meets photo opportunity incorporated into the line.
They must be able to do this

May 5, 2019 at 8:25 AM

I don't know, WDW has about 30,000 hotel rooms. Say there are 3 per room and occupation is 90%. That are about 81,000 guests. Say the ride will have a throughput of 2000 guests an hour and nothing breaks down. It would take a bit more that 40 hours to get those guests trough that ride. Sure not everyone would want to ride, say 50%, then we still see 20 hours for hotel guests only.
Only thing to soften the problem is having other new rides open so guests would spread (like Universal did by opening Transformers in tandem with Diagon Alley).
And if they ever wanted to have the park open for 24 hours, they should do it for DHS.

Edit: I just read there are 36,077 so my numbers are a bit off.

May 5, 2019 at 1:49 PM

I have been told that it will be a virtual queue to enter the land (so you can go do other stuff inside the park while you wait), but I've heard no details yet on its implementation. But once inside, it's traditional queues.

May 5, 2019 at 6:57 PM

So like Universal did with Hogsmead?
That worked well so smart move.

May 6, 2019 at 7:50 AM

What doesn't make any sense is that Disney is using the perk of "Extra Extra Magic Hours" for on-site resort guests during a time period where they already offered a promotion/sale and very few rooms remain. It's great for those guests that already booked at discount prices, who are paying less but getting more, but it means that Disney has very limited room inventory to leverage this perk to generate additional revenue. This really seems like a missed opportunity and perhaps indicates that Disney may be shooting from the hip in regards to managing crowds at DHS's version of Galaxy's Edge.

I think most people are expecting pure chaos from the initial debuts of Galaxy's Edge on both coasts, but it really worries me that Disney seems to just be flinging ideas against the wall in WDW trying to cater to the insatiable demand for these highly anticipated additions. The fact that they are NOT using FP+ reinforces that guests HATE the system, and Disney is not confident that it can actually work to manage crowds for attractions with this level of demand.

May 6, 2019 at 3:11 PM

Robert, sounds like a "virtual queue" would be a lot like the Disneyland reservation system, except that you have to show up during Extra Extra Magic Hours in order to get on the virtual queue? Of course, if the lineup to get a virtual queue reservation is 2 hours, how does that help anyone?

May 6, 2019 at 4:20 PM

@OT, we happened to already have a trip booked for WDW 8/27-8/31, but were already planning on avoiding DHS. You can take the 4 of us out of your count. ;)

May 7, 2019 at 8:03 AM

Are we all still ignoring this HORRIBLE new Logo “design“? Robert, please an article on this monstrosity on the gate to DHS and the total unreadability of it all.

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