Pre-dawn rush crowds Disney for Star Wars land opening

August 29, 2019, 7:31 PM · Walt Disney World had planned to open its new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land to the public at 6am this morning. But swelling crowds prompted the resort to throw open the gates of Disney’s Hollywood Studios before 4am and then to let thousands of eager fans into the Black Spire Outpost before 5am.

Fans quickly filled the 14-acre land to capacity, forcing Disney to deploy the same virtual queue system on its official app that sibling Disneyland used on the first day that its installation of Galaxy’s Edge was open to all park ticket holders. The wait time for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run swelled to a posted five hours as dawn broke across the Central Florida sky this morning.

Millennium Falcon queue

Apparently those who decided to brave the Studios today went all in early, for as the Falcon queue snaked toward Toy Story Land, the queues at the park’s security checkpoints all but disappeared by mid-morning. The wait time for the Falcon ride settled in at a posted three hours for much of the morning, as latecomers were directed to return in the early afternoon by the virtual queue.

Yet by mid-afternoon, much as happened at Disneyland on its first all-comers day for Galaxy’s Edge, Disney’s Hollywood Studios no longer needed the virtual queue and any park visitor could walk into the land. The wait time for the Falcon dropped throughout the day, and by late afternoon stood at just 70 minutes — less than the wait at that same time for Disney World’s recent wait-time king, Flight of Passage in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

What does this mean? Who knows? The impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian no doubt kept locals away from the parks, as they chose instead to fill grocery check-out lanes and gas stations to capacity across Central Florida today. Even Disney seems to be looking ahead to the opening of Rise of the Resistance in December by launching today a new sweepstakes to give away trips to the resort for that opening.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open at 6am to all park ticket holders through Saturday, after which it will restrict the 6am opening as an “Extra Extra Magic Hour” to on-site hotel guests, daily through November 2. The park will open to all ticket holders at 9am starting Sunday.

Replies (10)

August 29, 2019 at 9:36 PM

It was a mess this morning. I got there around 1am and they had us waiting at the bridge between Hollywood Studios and the hotels, but then when the buses and parking lot opened at 3:30 they did not let us go first, it just became a free for all. Also, there wasn't really an organized line until you got to the Falcon, it was just people pushing and shoving their way through from the front gates all the way to the Falcon. However, I was able to be the very first ride on the Falcon this morning!

August 29, 2019 at 9:43 PM

I heard you early birds had the worst of it this morning. Glad I left it until late afternoon.

It was nicely populated, but not really a great deal busier than a usual day at DHS.

I wandered round, enjoying the sights, and visiting the shops all with relative ease.

August 29, 2019 at 10:09 PM

@Makorider After I got off MFSM it was great, got on Slinky's twice and Toy Story Mania once all before 6:30 - it was just going into the new land that was very poorly organized

August 30, 2019 at 2:32 AM

Sounds like what Disney wanted this time. Busy but nothing like the insane opening of Harry Potter. Once the lands are completely open may be a different story though. Still nothing like Harry Potter, but the die hard Star Wars are probably waiting for the complete experience and crowds will finally come. At that price point the hotel may struggle though.

August 30, 2019 at 2:15 PM

Do you get any special trinket or plaque or gift package for being one of the Day 01 guests to be there for the Galaxy's Edge opening? Or is it just memories of a hot, disorganized mess, showing the worst of people?

I'm not interested in being "first", unless there's something tangible that I can hold on to for my troubles - such as being at Shanghai Disneyland for its opening day. That was worth it. Universal's Epic Adventure will be worth it. Universal Studios Beijing will be worth it.

Galaxy's Edge...not so much.

August 30, 2019 at 3:58 PM

I swear, there are already claims out there from the "Disney ruined Star Wars" sect that over half the crowd are Disney employees "to cover up how everyone hates the new movies and the land is a huge flop. It's just like how they ruined Dark Phoenix to save Captain Marvel and then spent $800 million buying up empty theaters to make CM look like a hit!"

These people make "Truthers" look rational.

August 31, 2019 at 7:27 PM

5 hours on opening day and 75 minutes in the evening? MFSR is going to need a Guardians of the Galaxy retheme pretty quickly!

September 1, 2019 at 10:01 AM

“Boarding passes” to enter the land were issued in the afternoon, so crowds were a bit more under control. Plus the early risers had to be worn out by the evening and left just the casual fans roaming the land wondering where Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader were.

September 3, 2019 at 5:06 PM

I hear they only used the virtual queue on day one.

September 3, 2019 at 7:55 PM

The ‘boarding pass’ was used up until around 2pm on opening day, and hasn’t been used since.

It’ll be interesting to see if they use it again come Thanksgiving, opening of RoftR and Christmas and New Year.

Dec 5th is a long way off, but if, and it’s a big if, they decide to use FP+ for the area it’s only a couple of days away from the club level 90 day people to make their selections ??

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