What’s the longest you’ve ever waited for a theme park attraction? 2 Hours? 3? Whether it’s more or less, we’re going to break down what the wait times in Galaxy’s Edge have been like so far and what we think you can expect moving forward.
In this post we’ll explain what our latest estimates are for Star Wars Land wait times including the rides, shops, restaurants and experiences that are coming to this incredible new land and how we think Disney is going to be able to handle it all. We’ll cover both the Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios versions of Galaxy’s Edge.
Before we get into the Galaxy’s Edge wait times you can read my Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Complete Guide for more info on all the rides, restaurants, tips and strategies for touring Star Wars Land.
Right now the thought of waiting 2-3 hours in Galaxy’s Edge seems laughable, but that was supposed to be the very minimum when Disney opened the most anticipated theme park land in history in Disneyland on May 31. The wait time estimates were all supposed to be beyond what we’d ever seen in a theme park before.
Early reports were saying that the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge attractions could have up to 6+ hour waits! This seemed pretty likely at the time seeing how high the expected popularity of this land was going to be.
Now is a 6+ Hour wait time unprecedented? Not at all. You just have to look back at some of the Disney attractions that have opened in the last few years and you can find multiple examples.
Frozen Ever After in Epcot and Flight of Passage in Pandora: The World of Avatar each had lines of 5+ hours in the first days of operation, with Flight of Passage’s queue keeping lines of 5+ hours even weeks after opening. Seeing that Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge has been hyped up 10x as much as those, it wasn’t hard to imagine worse scenarios coming in 2019 and beyond.
That hasn’t happened thus far however and Galaxy’s Edge wait times have actually been surprisingly low. Of course probably the most hyped theme park attraction of all time still isn’t open yet, and this is likely to look quite different in a couple of months.
One reason the wait times have looked pretty low in Disneyland so far is that they were using a reservations system in Galaxy’s Edge for the first month which limited guests to 4-hour time windows. That really kept crowds down quite low to where there were a decent amount of people in the first and last hours of ever shift, but the middle two felt almost empty at times.
Even though the reservation system is over, Disney still is limiting the overall capacity of Star Wars Land and has been implementing a virtual queue in place to limit the land’s capacity. Without a 4-hour limit you’d think the wait times in Galaxy’s Edge would be off the charts but again, it hasn’t been the case.
Let’s talk about the current state and how long you can expect to wait in Galaxy’s Edge:
Galaxy’s Edge Capacity:
Whether or not the wait times get out of control or are manageable all depends on how many guests Galaxy’s Edge holds and how many Disney continues to let in at a time. So far the reservation system that was in place the first month and the virtual queue have not let in an extremely large amount of people which has made crowds manageable.
Let’s look at some of the stats:
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is 14 acres in size in both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios. That is a huge footprint but we still don’t know how many people it holds exactly. I don’t know the numbers for sure but in my time there is seems like Disney has been keeping things limited to no more than about 7,000-8,000 guests at a time.
The ride queues for both attraction are extremely long and built to hold around 4-5 hours worth of people at any one time which is easily 3,000+ people each.
So if you want to talk about true max capacity with 2 restaurants, shops and walking paths, and both attractions up and running, I think we’re looking at roughly 15,000 guests at any one time in Galaxy’s Edge at max capacity. However with the virtual queue system in place and Rise of the Resistance closed still, Disney is letting in much less than that, and honestly there hasn’t been crowds beating down the doors anyways to this point.
So with all these numbers what does it come out to in wait times so far? Let’s take a look…
Let’s dive into the numbers for the attractions. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge when it’s complete is going to have 2 attractions: “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” and “Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.”
However the Rise of the Resistance opening has been delayed and won’t be up and running when Galaxy’s Edge opens in either park, which is one of the main reasons Disney is limiting capacity. It also means that people are going to have one less option to go to, and Smuggler’s Run is going to get most of the attention in the land.
- Estimated Wait Times Before Opening: 2 – 3 Hours
- Normal Current Wait Times: 30 – 90 minutes
This is a flight simulator which will take guests on a unique and randomized mission in the most iconic spaceship in cinematic history. Each guest on board has their own responsibility to perform and has a part in whether the mission turns out a success or not. Think of it as Star Tours on steroids with up-to-date advanced computer processing power as the engine behind it. It’s pretty awesome tech.
Wach cockpit on the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run holds 6 guests. In the whole attraction there are 4 turntables, with 7 cockpits on each one. 4 x 7 = 28 x 6 guests each = 168 guests at a time.
Disney built the attraction to be able to handle 1,800 guests per hour, and with loading and unloading and that actual ride, the total ride time is somewhere in the 5:30 – 6 min per ride. That comes out to 1,800 in an hour. It’s also estimated that the Smuggler’s Run ride queue can hold upwards of 4,000 – 5,000 people at a time. I don’t think they’ve reach that number yet so the max has yet to be put to the test.
Usually the problem is that like with Flight of Passage in the beginning, those numbers sound great on paper, but in reality, they very rarely are able to meet them exactly the way it’s planned and it ends up being longer. Honestly it hasn’t been bad so far and Smuggler’s Run has been a pretty reliable attraction with few breakdowns to this point.
On thing to keep in mind with an attraction like Smuggler’s Run is that you have 6 people per ride vehicle who all need to work together to complete the mission.
In both versions of the ride in Disneyland, and even more so in Walt Disney World, you can have a lot of people in the same vehicle who aren’t in the same party and who don’t speak the same language. That means some are going to have a real problem understanding the instructions of what they have to do, leading to more questions and longer load times.
Up to me I haven’t experienced this, but have heard from others who have. From the initial projection of 1,800 per hour I’d say Disney has been pretty close and is probably hitting between the 1,600 and 1,700 range consistently which is commendable.
Where does that rank compared to other Disneyland attractions? Some other big E-Ticket attractions include:
- Pirates of the Caribbean (2,800 riders per hour)
- Big Thunder Mountain (2,200)
- Haunted Mansion (2,100)
- Splash Mountain (1,600)
- Matterhorn (1,500)
- Star Tours (1,300)
That puts Millennium Flacon Smuggler’s Run down in the middle or lower when comparing other attractions, but can’t really be compared to a ride like Pirates of the Caribbean which is infinitely easier to load and unload than Smuggler’s Run is.
So what do all these numbers translate to in real wait times? During the reservation period Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run had wait times of up to 90 minutes (not higher for the most part) but the average was closer to 45.
With the virtual queue I’d say it’s been pretty much the same. They’ve hit periods of 2 hours, but it’s much closer to 1 hour usually and there are many times of the day where you can find it at 30 minutes. It seems like the wait times are higher in the earlier part of the day when Galaxy’s Edge has been closed with the virtual queue, and then later in the day is where you usually find the lowest wait times.
If I was planning to go, I’d prioritize other things like Savi’s Workshop and Oga’s Cantina early in the day and then go to Smuggler’s Run later on.
We have to think that overall crowds to Disneyland and Galaxy’s Edge are going to pick up soon, but until they do you are in the clear for Smuggler’s Run!
- Estimated Wait Times Before Opening: 4-5 Hours
- Normal Current Wait Times: TBD
We don’t yet know the capacity estimates for Rise of the Resistance, and we still don’t know when it’s going to be open. We do know however that it will be split into 2 parts, one in a traditional ride vehicle that holds 8 people, and another part of the attraction where guests will actually have to get out of the vehicle and supposedly do part of the mission on foot.
It’s hard enough to get people to move INTO a ride vehicle, but if you have to move them along without them stopping in the middle it’s going to be even longer. While we don’t know the numbers, it has to be a high capacity attraction and similar in numbers to the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
So what does this mean for your chances to get on one, or both attractions once they are both open? In 2017 the average number of guests in Disneyland was 50,000+ per day and the reported maximum capacity for Disneyland is 80,000, which you can expect to be tested later on in 2019 and towards the holiday season.
If you can somehow squeeze 30,000 – 40,000 guests in Galaxy’s Edge throughout the day, between the 2 attractions you should be able to get on both of them, but Rise of the Resistance is such a wild card and many visitors might just be holding off until it’s open which could really test things.
The bottom line though for riding Rise of the Resistance is that your best bet is to go early and be in the beginning of the day to be sure to get on both.
There are 2 restaurants in Galaxy’s Edge along with 3 food stands. The thing is, there are wait times to get into some of them and reservations involved too.
Here is our initial estimate for the wait times:
- Estimated Wait Times Before Opening: 60-90 minutes
- Normal Current Wait Times: 5 minutes because of Required Reservations
This is a Bar/Lounge and the smaller of the two “restaurants.” Oga’s Cantina holds about 100-150 people with time limits of 45 minutes and 2 drinks per guest.
During the first few days, Oga’s Cantina was the hottest ticket in Galaxy’s Edge and lines were HUGE up to almost 2 hours at times. Now Disney has made reservations required to enter which can be made every morning starting at 7am.
Reservations can sell out for the day within the first couple hours, so make it a priority to get there early to book it. Once your turn gets called you only have to wait a few minutes to get in.
I like the way Disney is handling Oga’s and I hope they continue it this way for the foreseeable future.
- Expected Wait Times Before Opening: 30-60 minutes
- Normal Current Wait Times: 15 – 30 minutes
This is a Fast Casual restaurant which has the biggest quantity food choices in Galaxy’s Edge. Definitely bigger than Oga’s and if I had to guess I’d say it probably holds about 300 people or so.
Waits here haven’t been bad at all and usually go from 15 – 30 minutes depending on what time of day it is, like if it’s close to Lunch or Dinner. I think having 3 registers open has helped a lot and we’re not getting the same slowness you typically see at Woody’s Lunch Box.
Milk Stand, Ronto Roasters, Kat Saka’s Kettle:
- Expected Wait Times Before Opening: 30 minutes
- Normal Current Wait Times: 5-10 minutes
These are only food stands/carts but expected wait times were supposed to be up to 30 minute for each or more. The wait times haven’t been nearly this long though and the Milk Stand and Kat Saka’s have been somewhat of a disappointment so far.
The Blue and Green milks are just ok at best, and that $7.99 price tag has been scaring off enough people where the lines never really for past a handful of people. The popcorn at Kat Saka’s Kettle is one of the most controversial food items in Galaxy’s Edge which I can only describe as Fruit Loops popcorn and lines here aren’t bad at all.
Ronto Roasters is a great quick service location and a must-stop in Galaxy’s Edge, but again except at meal times the lines here don’t really get bad either so nothing to worry about.
Shops / Experiences:
Not only the attractions and restaurants are going to have wait times, but also the shops. Who knows how crazy people are going to go for some of this Galaxy’s Edge merchandise once they see it.
- Expected Wait Times Before Opening: 30 – 60 minutes
- Normal Current Wait Times: 0 – 15 minutes
This where you build you customized droids you can take home. Early on the Droid Depot was filled with people, but if you go later in the day you could literally be the only person in there at times.
No worries here, do this when you have time.
- Expected Wait Times Before Opening: 60 minutes
- Normal Current Wait Times: 30 minutes
This is by far the most difficult experience to get into in Galaxy’s Edge. First of all tons of people want to build a custom lightsaber. Secondly, this experience only holds 14 people at a time and the experience is about 20 minutes long with entering and exiting.
There is only one workshop, and so we are talking about a meager 42 people an hour out of the thousands that visit Galaxy’s Edge in a day.
Now Disney has made reservations required for Savi’s Workshop, which like Oga’s Cantina you can do every morning starting at 7am. It’s highly important you do this ASAP when you visit because it’s easy for reservations to sell out in the first hour of the day.
You should definitely show up early for your reservation because if you miss your window, that’s it, you lose your turn and your $200. That means you should expect to wait a solid 30+ minutes before getting into your reservation.
What this means in Disneyland:
Wait times were more of a problem during the reservation period in Disneyland for the first month. It was near impossible to do even 75% of the things you wanted in only 4 hours.
Now with the virtual queue in place and crowds lower than normal, you should be able to do everything in Galaxy’s Edge no problem without waiting in huge lines.
Things are obviously going to change big-time though once Rise of the Resistance opens up and Disneyland crowd levels return back to normal. There is not telling exactly how long the wait times will be that far out, but they will be significantly higher for sure.
Right now it’s great because Disney Imagineers worked so hard on creating a Star Wars Land that most guests will have plenty of time to walk around and explore its natural beauty without the fear of having to get in line if they want to be able to drink that blue milk.
My suggestion, is still to be one of the first people into Galaxy’s Edge in the morning to experience everything, but if you show up right now later in the day you will find totally manageable crowds. This could change at any moment, but enjoy it while it lasts.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
Hollywood Studios is going to face less problems when Galaxy’s Edge opens on August 29 2019, with Disneyland being the park that takes the brunt of the learning curve for handling crowds and wait times. Once the Hollywood Studios versions opens hopefully they’ll be able to apply the lessons to help facilitate better crowd movement.
The Hollywood Studios version will not have a reservation period (as of writing) and there won’t be any time limits but the virtual queue system is quite probably and you’ll probably have longer to wait in line.
Of course having a FastPass for one of the attractions would help a lot, but Disney has already said they won’t be offering FastPass during the initial opening period. No word yet on how long that will last and they will be quite near impossible to acquire anyways, so you may as well come to peace with that reality now and know you’ll be waiting.
It’ll also be interesting to see what improvements Disney makes to their Play Disney Parks mobile app to allow interactive entertainment for guests waiting in line for the Galaxy’s Edge attractions. The more they improve, the more guests will have to do while waiting.
The thought of super long wait times aren’t going to deter me from visiting Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge early on at Hollywood Studios, and neither should it you if you are a huge fan. I think the excitement and buzz in the air is going to outweigh the downside of waiting in line for a long time. I honestly think though that yes wait times will probably be higher in Disney World, but until Rise of the Resistance opens, wait times won’t be unbearable here either.
Stay tuned as we continue to update more info on the Galaxy’s Edge wait times as time goes on…
The official opening dates for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge are May 31, 2019 for Disneyland and August 29, 2019 for Walt Disney World.
I want to know what you think about the potential of the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge attraction wait times….
- Which attraction / experience would you be more willing to wait a long time for?
- What’s the longest you’d be willing to wait in line for an attraction?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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