As you know Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open and there is no formal reservation system like there was back in May, it’s open to the general public. How can you get into Galaxy’s Edge though if the lines are super long? A Virtual Queuing system…
In a similar fashion to how the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge reservation system worked, Disneyland and Disney World introduced a virtual queuing system which has been designed to limit the crowds and make visiting this far off planet a more enjoyable experience. How does it work and is it a good idea?
We’ve had a chance to experience the virtual queue ourselves and feel confident that we can share with you everything you need to know about it.
In this post we are going to share with you the basics about the Galaxy’s Edge Virtual Queue, When you need to use it, How to use it and if there will be any need for it in the future. Let’s take a look.
How it works:
Just because there aren’t any formal online reservations or you don’t have to book a Disney hotel to get into Galaxy’s Edge, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can always walk right into Galaxy’s Edge. When capacity is high, guests still need a certain type of reservation and that’s where the virtual queue system comes in…
Basically the virtual queue is like holding your place in line until space opens up inside Galaxy’s Edge. It’s a way to wait in line, but not physically have to stand there waiting in line. If you want to go do another attraction or eat something, you can.
Then you come back when it’s your turn in the queue.
When Galaxy’s Edge capacity is high and guests enter the Hollywood Studios or Disneyland Park, they have the option to secure a “boarding pass” which they can use to enter Galaxy’s Edge. It won’t always be necessary, but Galaxy’s Edge is still going to have a capacity limit, so on days when Galaxy’s Edge is filled up you need a boarding pass to enter.
Now I must say, Disney was using the virtual queue in both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios when Star Wars Land opened up in both those locations, but they really haven’t had the need to run the virtual queue much since the first couple of weeks.
Attendance hasn’t been nearly as crazy as Disney thought it would be, and on most days you can walk right into Galaxy’s Edge without a problem.
If however you go on a day when the Virtual Queue is in effect, here is what you do:
Getting Your Boarding Pass:
You have ways of getting a boarding pass for Galaxy’s’ Edge. These are the instructions for the Virtual Queue in Disneyland and in Disney World.
- Download the Walt Disney World/Disneyland app. You don’t want to get to the park without this installed on your mobile device, it’s the easiest way to get a boarding pass
- If you don’t have a mobile device then you can also use one of the many FastPass kiosks located throughout the park to secure your boarding pass.
- These kiosks are located at:
Hollywood Studios – Echo Lake, Pixar Place (near the entrance to Toy Story Land), near Tower of Terror and Center Stage.
Disneyland – Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones Adventure, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain or near the Matterhorn Bobsleds
Ready to Secure Boarding Pass:
If you are using the Walt Disney World app or Disneyland app then the first thing you want to do when you get to the park is check there if Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is already at capacity and if a boarding pass is required. If you arrive early enough then there might not be any need to get into the virtual queue.
There will be signage up when you enter the park telling you if you need a boarding pass or if the land is open. You can also check this on the My Disney Experience or Disneyland app.
You must be inside the park however to make a reservation, it can’t be done outside. If you use one of the FastPass kiosks then you will be given a paper boarding pass you need to hold on to.
The boarding group will save you a virtual spot in line so you can enjoy other experiences while you wait to be notified of a time to enter. Once you receive your pass you will be given a boarding group number which will determine when you will be able to enter Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
Using the App:
- Open the My Disney Experience or Disneyland app and look for “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Status and Access” which will be right on the homepage.
- The “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Status and Access” landing screen will tell you if Galaxy’s Edge is at capacity and if a boarding pass is needed or not.
- If it’s labeled “Open” then you can go directly into Galaxy’s Edge without waiting.
- If it’s labeled “Access by Boarding Group Only” if will tell you which boarding groups are currently loading and have a red button: “Join Boarding Group” you can press to receive your group’s boarding pass
Just link the theme park tickets of everyone in your party together on the app to request the same boarding group for your entire party.
Using the In-Park Kiosks:
If you aren’t using the Disneyland App to reserve your Galaxy’s Edge boarding pass, you can do it at one of the many FastPass Kiosks located in the park. You can find them at:
In Hollywood Studios:
- Near Toy Story Land Entrance
- Tower of Terror
- Echo Lake
- Center Stage
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Sapce Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Matterhorn area
Once you arrive at one of the kiosks:
- Enter your theme park ticket in the machine to receive your boarding group.
- Do this with every ticket in your party to all be in the same group together.
Even though you can get into the virtual queue with a kiosk, it’s better to make your reservation by using the app. This is going to save you a lot of time in the long run, and you can take advantage of its notifications, keeping you up-to-date quicker.
How do I know When to Enter Galaxy’s Edge?
When you get your boarding pass group, there will be a group number attached to it and Disney will call guests according to that number in order. Ex. Group 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.
Disney is loading guests into Galaxy’s Edge in multiple groups at one time so you will see: “Now Boarding Groups 5-8 for example. If you are in any of those number groups, you can enter.
Once your reservation time begins, you’ll have 2 hours to show up and use your pass without having to stand in line to enter Galaxy’s Edge. However the difference is that there won’t be a time limit on the time you can spend in Galaxy’s Edge, which is a huge upgrade.
You have multiple ways to check if it’s time to enter Galaxy’s Edge:
- Check the status of your boarding group on the My Disney Experience or Disneyland App in the section: “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Status and Access”
- You can setup push notifications to alert your phone when it’s your time for your boarding group to enter. Guests will then be notified by push notifications on their mobile phones.
- Use the In-Park Digital Displays located throughout Hollywood Studios and Disneyland which will tell you which boarding group is currently being admitted to the land.
If you have a paper boarding pass, your group number will be printed on there.
Disney has released a video with updated information on how the virtual queuing system will work for Galaxy’s Edge:
They also posted a cool infographic showing all the steps to take. Check it out:
Tips to Make Sure you Get a Boarding Pass:
Lately getting into Galaxy’s Edge has not been hard, and therefore has not required a virtual queue. However that all is likely to change pretty soon for two reasons.
- The holiday season in Walt Disney World is now upon us, and the crowd levels are about to go to max in the coming weeks. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, there is a much highly probability that the virtual queue will be needed at some point.
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is going to be open starting December 5th, and that means big crowds, bigger than we’ve seen so far in Galaxy’s Edge.
If you are going during any of these busy times of the year where you think the virtual queue might be used, my suggestion is to get to the parks early. There is never a virtual queue when the park opens, so if you are among the first thousands of guests in the park, there will be no problem getting in Galaxy’s Edge.
It’s when the land fills up that the virtual queue kicks in.
Luckily the My Disney Experience app will notify guests inside the park when Galaxy’s Edge is full and that they need a boarding pass to enter.
Disney management commented on the new system: “It’s very, very important for us that our guests who are coming here don’t spend their time standing in line to get into the land,” said Disneyland vice president Kris Theiler.
This sounds like Disney still won’t being using a FastPass system in Galaxy’s Edge anytime soon, because having a virtual queue eliminates the need for FastPass and it also should help keep the Star Wars Land attraction wait times down.
Disney plans to stop using the virtual queuing system as soon as crowds die down and don’t have the threat to get too crazy. We don’t see Disney phasing out the virtual queue in 2019, especially in Hollywood Studios. Until we see what the initial crowds from Rise of the Resistance are, and until the holiday season passes there will always be the possibly of the virtual queue.
When the system has been needed it’s worked wonderfully and there is reason to believe that Disney could role it out to other rides and attractions, specifically the new Marvel-themed Super Hero Land coming to Disney California Adventure in 2020.
Reservations for Experiences in Galaxy’s Edge:
While you don’t need a reservation to enter Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, you definitely need one to do some of the more popular experiences in this amazing new land like Oga’s Cantina and Savi’s Workshop.
Reservations are required for both of these and they tend to disappear quickly each day. If you want to do either of them, then plan on getting booking them months in advance.
You can start booking your reservations for for each of these two experiences well before you visit Galaxy’s Edge. Make sure you do this because if you expect to just show up in Galaxy’s Edge and get into either the Cantina or Savi’s Workshop, you’re terribly mistaken.
TIP: If you have a reservation for Oga’s Cantina or Savi’s Workshop, then you don’t have to use the virtual queue, you will be given access to Galaxy’s Edge at least an hour ahead of your reservation time, no boarding pass required.
Please visit the following links for more important details on reservations:
What Should you Do while Waiting in Hollywood Studios?
What should you do while you’re waiting and if you do end up getting put into the virtual queue and have to wait to get into Galaxy’s Edge?
I recommend you find some other big attractions in Hollywood Studios like Rock ‘n” Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror for example so you don’t waste time while you wait.
You also could use the time you have to get a bite to eat at a place like 50’s Prime Time Cafe or the Hollywood Brown Derby, my two favorite restaurants in Hollywood Studios.
Whatever you do, make the best use of your time and cross off some of the other must-do things in Hollywood Studios while you wait.
Do I Absoltutely have to Go for Rope Drop to Get into Galaxy’s Edge?
While it might be tempting to walk into the park whenever you want in the morning, I think you will get the most out of your day by going early for the 9am rope drop. On some days it might not be absolutely 100% necessary, but with crowds starting to pick up it will definitely allow you to get more done quickly.
There are though are a couple advantages to going later in the day. One is that it allows you to see Star Wars Land at night, which is 2x as beautiful as it is in the day.
Another strategy by not showing up for rope drop and waiting till later in the day, is that the biggest crowds are going to be in the morning, and things will slow a bit as the day goes on. You’re bound to get into the virtual queue and maybe even find less people in Galaxy’s Edge than you thought.
It also would be a good idea to try for Oga’s Cantina or Savi’s Workshop reservations later in the day in this case.
All in all we think the virtual queue for Galaxy’ Edge works really well when it’s necessary to use it, it’s a relatively painless experience and something that every guest can do. We love the fact that you can go off and do something else instead of waiting in a physical line.
That being said, don’t get too worried about having to use it. Most days Galaxy’s Edge is open and the virtual queue isn’t active. That might change with Rise of the Resistance, but we’ll update you when it does.
Stay tuned here at Ziggy Knows Disney for more information about the Virtual Queueing system in Disneyland and Walt Disney World including tips how to use it as some of the bigger crowds start coming into the parks.
For more info read our Complete Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for a detailed look at the attractions, dining, planning and touring strategies.
Other Disney World Star Wars Posts:
- Everything We Know about Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel
I want to know what you think about the new Virtual Queuing system Disneyland is introducing…
- Do you think it’s a good idea?
- What time will you be getting in line for Galaxy’s Edge?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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