At today’s shareholder meeting, Disney was expected to announce the opening dates for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but they did so in a completely unexpected way.
The completely unexpected part was that Disneyland’s version of the new land is going to open on May 31. That is almost a month earlier than the speculations of around June 23. Disney’s been saying “Summer of 2019” for some time, and May is not technically summer! Even more so, Disney marketed the opening of their Hollywood Studios Galaxy’s Edge as “Late Fall 2019” and now their opening date is August 29, which is practically midsummer, a far cry from late fall!
I can imagine that a lot of people are moving their reservations around this morning. There are two sides to this announcement: those who are looking forward to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and those who are looking to avoid it. Now both camps will likely need to reevaluate their plans because of this surprise from Disney.
Now this bit of news I find puzzling. The land is going to open on the respective dates without one of the main attractions (Rise of the Resistance) running, which is slated to open “later this year” in phase two. The shops, dining, and interactive components of the land, along with Smuggler’s Run, will open with phase one. I’m having a hard time understanding why they would move up the open date without all of their ducks in a row.
Luckily, Disney is still sticking to the concept of including this new land in your regular admission. For the first few weeks, guests will have to make a reservation at Disneyland to experience it. Those staying at one of the on-site hotels will automatically be assigned a reservation, while others will have to make one online. There are no plans for a reservation system at Disney World.
Galaxy’s Edge will not be accessible during Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour at Disneyland. However, on-site guests at Disney World will be able to experience the land during their Extra Magic Hours. FASTPASS and FastPass+ will not be available for the two attractions in the land initially. It will be interesting to see if access will be available during special ticketed events such as the Halloween party and Disneyland After Dark series.
This almost makes me want to shuffle my strategy to start at Disney World instead of Disneyland because of the craziness this will bring, but I am holding out hope that Disney knows what they are doing. I wouldn’t want to waste my hard-earned vacation dollars on a land that isn’t fully functioning, for sure! I know a lot of people will, but for now, I’d like to sit back and watch what happens. I am sure there are others who want to jump in with both feet, and Disney seems to be one, chomping at the bit to get this thing off the ground, maybe even before it’s ready to fly!