Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios is just about as immersive of a land as you can create.
From the attractions (like Rise of the Resistance) to the shops to the dining, when guests visit Batuu they find themselves transported deep into the land and lore of Star Wars.
But with so much to see and do you'll want to do a little planning before you go.
Here's some tips and thoughts to take with you as you plot out your visit.
Planning for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney World
Rise of the Resistance uses a virtual queue
On the very first day that it opened, Galaxy's Edge (the entire land) used a virtual queue but now that is no longer required to get into the land.
But, while the land itself doesn't require a spot in a virtual queue (or reservation at one of the shops or Oga's), the main attraction - Rise of the Resistance - does.
In fact, the only way you can ride Rise of the Resistance right now is by joining the virual queue and getting a boarding group.
What happens if you don't have a boarding group?
If you don't have a boarding group you can still visit the land (and ride the other attraction, Smugglers Run) but you won't be able to ride Rise of the Resistance.
Extra Magic Hours
Disney has been playing around a bit with Extra Magic Hours since the opening of Rise of the Resistance.
Unlike the daily Extra, EXTRA Magic Hours we saw when the entire land opened, Disney has opted to tweak park hours on a nearly weekly basis as well as switching a.m. Extra Magic Hours to p.m. Extra Magic Hours.
No word yet on how long that will continue, but we highly recommend you frequently check the operating schedule for Hollywood Studios, especially in the final days before your visit, and the night before you plan to go.
Note: Rise of the Resistance will not be open for Extra Magic Hours.
Reservations are available for 3 of the most popular experiences
Yes all 3 may have standby lines, but without a reservation you won't be guaranteed to get in AND, more importantly, you could find yourself waiting in a long line, wasting precious touring time!
So if any of those are a "must do" for you, get a reservation.
We've heard lots of reports from people that have had success by being persistent at checking their travel dates.
Opt for some non-ride experiences first
You'll find that some of the non-attractions will get lines, too, so if you are planning on visiting some of the shops around Batuu, plan ahead.
- Savi's Workshop* - design and build your own Lightsabers (reservation recommended)
- Droid Depot* - Design and build droids (reservation recommended)
- Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities - souvenirs from all eras of the Star Wars galaxy (often has lines)
- First Order Cargo - First Order-themed gear including caps, pins, and more
- Resistance Supply - Resistance-themed gear including hats, pins, and more
- Market Stalls - Toydarian Toymaker (toys), Creature Stall (critters you can take home with you), Black Spire Outfitters (clothes), The Jewels of Birth (accessories)
- Oga’s Cantina* - Star Wars-themed cocktails (including non-alcoholic options) plus entertainment provided by RX-24 (reservations recommended)
- Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo - Quick Service dining (Mobile Ordering available here, often has lines during peak dining hours)
- Milk Stand - Blue and green milk (Mobile Ordering available here)
- Ronto Roasters - Sandwiches and drinks (Mobile Ordering available here)
- Kat Saka’s Kettle - Popcorn
There are lots (and lots) of PhotoPass opportunities around Batuu, and most of them have lines all day long.
But, these photos are great souvenirs so we highly recommend you try snag at least a couple on your visit.
Plan to arrive early
Your goal should be to arrive to the front gates of Hollywood Studios no later than 90 minutes before park opening.
Doing that will maximize your chances of snagging a coveted spot in a Boarding Group to ride Rise of the Resistance AND help you tour the rest of the park with the shortest lines possible.
That means if Extra Magic Hours start at 7 a.m., you'll want to be to the gates (that means through the security/bag check and to the turnstiles) around 5:30 a.m.
Depending on where you are staying you'll have to factor in transportation time plus the time needed to go through the security checkpoints as well as the ticket turnstiles.
Plan where you stay wisely
If convenience to Hollywood Studios and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is a priority, you'll definitely find that some resorts are better options than others.
Here's the pros and cons of your best choices:
Boardwalk Area resorts: Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk Inn, Swan, Dolphin
Pros: within walking distance which is a HUGE perk
Cons: can be pricey (although the Swan and Dolphin are typically less expensive since they are not official Disney Resorts but they do have resort fees you won't find at the Disney properties)
Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, Riviera
Pros: Disney Skyliner (gondola) access, Pop Century and Art of Animation are Value Resorts with affordable family-friendly room options
Cons: The Disney Skyliner isn't typically available for Rope Drop
Choose your best transportation option
If you are staying at one of the Boardwalk Area resorts, walking to the park will be the best way to get there. Hands down, this is the best option around.
If you find yourself tired at the end of the day you can always take the boat back to your resort (or even use Lyft/Uber), but for getting to Hollywood Studios, walking is the way to go.
If you're driving, remember you'll either have to stop to pay to park (or to show/scan your MagicBand), so the earlier you can get to the entrance of the parking lots the better.
If you run into lines at the parking lot you'll definitely be behind the game and find yourself in lines at the security checkpoint and turnstiles.
Again, we can't stress this enough: to get to the front of the pack, earlier is better.
Much like with driving yourself, if your plan is to use a ride sharing service or taxi or Minnie Van, earlier is better (especially with Minnie Vans which have a much smaller fleet of vehicles).
Also, keep in mind the time of day.
Bus service is typically a solid option, however there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Always allow yourself more time than you think you need when using a bus. Always.
- Buses typically start around 6:30 a.m. OR roughly an hour before park opening (whichever is earlier)
- Resorts with Disney Skyliner (gondola) access: during operating hours for the Skyliner, bus service to Hollywood Studios and Epcot is reduced to 1 bus/hour
Gondolas (Disney Skyliner)
That means if you rely on them to get you to the park you will miss out on snagging a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance in the virtual queue we mentioned above!
But, if you are staying at a resort that has access to them (Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and Disney's Riviera) they make for a very convenient way to get back to your resort after a fun day checking out Batuu.
If Single Rider is an option for your family, use it
Unlike Disneyland where there seem to be lots of Single Rider lines, Disney World currently only has 4, including the new Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Galaxy's Edge.
The great thing about using a Single Rider line is that it can greatly decrease the amount of time you wait, however, there are 2 important things to remember if you opt to use them:
- You must be at least 7 years old to use the Single Rider Line. But, more importantly than that age cutoff is having your child be ok with riding an attraction by themselves. If you have a young person that is technically old enough but they seem hesitant at the idea of boarding an attraction without somebody they know, we recommend skipping the Single Rider Line and using the regular line instead.
- You will be split up. The likelihood you will be together with anybody in your group is quite small, so if you absolutely MUST ride the new attractions in Galaxy's Edge with a friend/family member, don't do Single Rider.
FastPass+ won't be available...yet
Even though Disney is quite proud of its FastPass technology, it is currently only available for Smugglers Run and NOT for Rise of the Resistance.
Use Mobile Order
Mobile Order allows you to place your food and beverage orders via the My Disney Experience App instead of by waiting in line at a cash register. Even though you'll likely have to wait a bit at the window for your items, skipping the line to pay definitely saves time and being able to order at your own pace on your phone is a huge perk, too.
You can Mobile Order at these location's in Galaxy's Edge:
- Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo
- Ronto Roasters
- Milk Stand
You'll notice that Oga's Cantina is not listed meaning if that is on your "To Do" list, you'll want to make sure you snag a reservation.
Understand the costume rules
Just like with Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Disney encourages "bounding" but not full costumes that could be mistaken for Disney Cast Members or characters.
Just what is Disney Bounding, you ask?
Disney Bounding means using a majority of regular clothing items to put together ensembles that resemble popular Disney (or in this case, Star Wars) characters.
It lets fans represent their favorite heroes or villains without causing issues that would pop up if guests looked too much like the real thing.
When planning what to wear, Disney states that these things are NOT allowed:
- All robes or military-style attire
- Masks, face paint, elaborate headwear, blasters or holsters (lightsabers are allowed) or hard items such as body armor, helmets or kneepads
- Full character suits
Check out this Disney Parks Blog post for more information on what clothing items are (and are not) allowed.
Look for fun additions in the Play Disney App
Play Disney is a fun app that lets you enjoy games while waiting in line.
In addition, the app provides chances for some interactive experiences in several different attractions like Peter Pan's Flight, Toy Story Mania!, and Slinky Dog Dash.
But, the app takes the interactive element to the next level in Galaxy's Edge.
First, once you get into the Galaxy's Edge area of the park your Play Disney App will be transformed into the Star Wars: Datapad which you can then use to "hack into droids, scan encrypted cargo, tune into transmissions, translate galactic languages, and even help the Millennium Falcon for hyperspace."
Here's the video Disney has inserted in the app that helps explain it a little more:
If possible, an easy way to cut a little bit of time off of your arrival is to skip bringing a bag into the parks.
This won't work for everybody, but, if you don't have a bag you won't be required to go through bag check (which is easily one of the most cumbersome parts of entering a park).
Instead, try to stick with what you can carry with you in your pockets.
Sample touring plan for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
- Plan to arrive to the gates of Hollywood Studios at least 90 minutes before opening (even on days with Extra Magic Hours)
- As soon as the park opens, secure your Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance
- Do non-attraction experiences first (like building a lightsaber, visiting the Cantina, and shopping)
- Take photos and explore the area a bit, following along with the Play Disney App as you go
- Jump into line for Smugglers Run (but be prepared for a wait)
- When your boarding group is called, take a spin on Rise of the Resistance
Want to visit the rest of the Hollywood Studios, too?
Check out our touring plans for Hollywood Studios where we show you how to incorporate a visit to Batuu into your day.