As you know Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is opening and there is no formal reservation system, 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 works, Disneyland and Disney World are introducing a new virtual queuing system which is being 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? Let’s discuss…
UPDATE 8/26/19: Disney has announced that it will be using a Virtual Queue for Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
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 they can get in line to Disney World or Disneyland and walk right into Galaxy’s Edge. When capacity is high, guests will still need a certain type of reservation and that’s where the virtual queue system comes in…
When guests enter the Hollywood Studios or Disneyland Park they will have the option to secure a “boarding pass” which they can use to Galaxy’s Edge and eventually other rides and attractions throughout the park too. 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.
Disney has most likely watched and taken notes on how Disneyland is doing running Galaxy’s Edge during the first few months and we can see Hollywood Studios management were impressed, because it’s being implemented in Walt Disney World’s version of Galaxy’s Edge as soon as it opens in August.
Getting Your Boarding Pass:
You have ways of getting a boarding pass for Galaxy’s’ Edge. These were the instructions for the Virtual Queue in Disneyland and they will be the same for 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:
Getting in line early in the morning starting August 29 is going to be important to getting into Galaxy’s Edge, because the first guests into Disneyland will not have to get a boarding pass but will be allowed right into the new land. Once it reaches capacity is when the boarding pass system 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 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, but we don’t see that happening anytime in 2019, especially in Hollywood Studios. If this system works there is the possibility 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.
New Reservation Changes to Experiences in Galaxy’s Edge:
While you don’t need a reservation to enter Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, you will 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 are going to disappear quickly each day. If you want to do either of them, then plan on getting to Galaxy’s Edge EARLY as reservations will sell out throughout the day and probably in the first hour of operation for that day.
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.
A valid credit card will be required to reserve a spot inside Oga’s Cantina or Savi’s Workshop. A $10 deposit is required for Oga’s and for Savi’s it’s the cost of a lightsaber ($199 plus tax) and we don’t yet know for Oga’s Cantina.
Please visit the following links for more important details on reservations:
What Should you Do while Waiting in Hollywood Studios?
There aren’t going to be “reservations” like we had the first month in Disneyland, but Hollywood Studios will implement a virtual queue when the land reaches capacity, which will allow guests to walk around and visit the rest of the park while they are waiting.
That leads to a whole lot of guests who don’t know what to do while they are waiting, and thus will lead to higher than normal crowd levels at some other attractions in Hollywood Studios.
If you have to wait a while, then I would go for the bigger attractions in Hollywood Studios first. Try Rock ‘n” Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror to kill some time.
Do I absoltutely have to Go for Rope Drop to Get into Galaxy’s Edge?
While I think you will get the most out of your day by going early for the 6am rope drop, I don’t think it’s 100% absolutely necessary. In fact there 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.
Strategy for how things will work in Hollywood Studios is still not 100%, we’ll have to wait a little while to evaluate how things are going and then make some adjustments to our suggestions at that point if necessary.
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 is as soon as it opens.
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.
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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