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How to Navigate Disney’s Hollywood Studios Once Galaxy’s Edge Opens

We are quickly approaching the official opening date for Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Once the gates open to the Black Spire Outpost, we are confident that Hollywood Studios will quickly become THE destination for guests visiting Walt Disney World as they explore the shops for a lightsaber, cruise into the cantina for a refreshing drink, or climb aboard the Millennium Falcon and chart a course through the galaxy!  Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when visiting Hollywood Studios after Galaxy’s Edge opens!

1. Located in the Back of the Park

Galaxy’s Edge is occupying the space that was previously home to Lights, Motors, Action, as well as the Streets of America in the back of the park.  This will make avoiding the crowds easier for guests not wanting to experience Galaxy’s Edge or looking to steer clear of the crowds during their visit.  This will help keep the flow of guests in and out of the park going smoothly and allowing guests to experience the remainder of the park. This also means that if you are headed to Galaxy’s Edge when you get to the park, you better make sure you have your shoes tied tight!

2. Two Entrances

Unlike the Disneyland version that has THREE entrances, the Hollywood Studios version has two ways to access the land.  Guests can find their way into the land either through Toy Story Land past Alien Swirling Saucers or through a entryway located off Grand Avenue near MuppetVision 3D! Opening day details have not been announced yet, but it is possible that park operations may decide to direct guests to enter through one gate and exit out of another, so be sure to check with Cast Members when you enter the park so you know which way to go!

Star Wars Land

3. Utilize FastPass+

It is expected that wait times for both of the attractions in Galaxy’s Edge will exceed the wait times that plagued Flight of Passage when Pandora: The World of Avatar opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  It will be highly recommended to guests that they obtain a FastPass+ when visiting.  Since Hollywood Studios utilizes a tiered FastPass+ distribution system, guests will have to choose between the premiere attractions — Rise of the First Order and Smuggler’s Run.  We hope that the standby wait times that we are seeing in Disneyland will follow to Hollywood Studios — at times the wait is only 15 minutes!

FastPass

4. Rope Drop Strategy

Lacking FastPass+ options (and barring a metered method of entry), we would recommend heading to Galaxy’s Edge right at park opening (which can begin as early as 6 AM).  It is assumed that guests will be lead back to the land to prevent any kind of stampede to the land, but if that isn’t the case, we would recommend cutting through Echo Lake, past Gertie the Dinosaur and Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and enter the land through the Grand Avenue entrance.



5. Visit Early in the Day

As is the case with every Disney theme park, the crowds build over the day as families with young children get up and get moving, so crowd levels in Galaxy’s Edge will be slightly smaller in the mornings.  An added benefit of going in the morning is to avoid waiting in the intense heat of the day if lines do get very long and queues are pushed outside!

Galaxy’s Edge is opening in two phases with Smuggler’s Run opening at the end of August and Rise of the Resistance opening in December.  Given the holiday opening for the full land, we would expect large crowds coupled with the large crowds that celebrate at Walt Disney World, so be aware of this as you’re making your plans for your next Disney World vacation and keep these tips in mind on your next voyage to Hollywood Studios!

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About Tyler

Tyler is a lawyer living in South Florida who visits Disney World at least once a month. He enjoys re-living classic Disney experiences and discovering new things about the parks when he visits. Friends and family always ask him to plan their trip for maximum Disney magic!