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 Star Wars: 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 are some tips and thoughts to take with you as you plot out your visit.
Planning for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World
How to ride Rise of the Resistance
On the very first day that it opened, Galaxy’s Edge (the entire land!) used a virtual queue to limit access and for a long time, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance issued highly competitive boarding groups that were your only way to ride.
But things work differently now.
Instead of Boarding Groups being the only way you can ride, they now have 2 lines available: Standby and Lightning Lane.
You can access the standby line at any time, but if you want to keep your waits to a minimum, here are 8 ways you can do that:
- Pay to ride using an Individual Lightning Lane selection
- Ride during Early Theme Park Entry (onsite guests only)
- Ride right when the park opens
- Hop in line right before the park closes
- Ride during Extended Theme Park Hours (onsite Deluxe and Deluxe villa guests only)
Although those 5 are the most common ways to skip the long waits at Rise of the Resistance, there are a few other ways that might apply for you:
- Ride using Disability Access Service (DAS)
- Ride while on a VIP tour
- Stay at the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser resort
Reservations are available for 3 of the most popular experiences
Yes all 3 may have standby lines (if there is space available), 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.
- Make a reservation for Savi’s Workshop (lightsaber)
- Make a reservation for Oga’s Cantina
- Make a reservation for Droid Depot
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 60 minutes before park opening or Early Theme Park Entry.
Doing that will maximize your chances of riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (if you are planning to ride standby) AND help you tour the rest of the park with the shortest lines possible.
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:
- 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)
- 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 share service or taxi, earlier is better.
Also, keep in mind the time of day.
You’ll likely find fewer Lyft and Uber drivers available at 7 in the morning than you would see later in the day, so keep that in mind when you are planning your arrival.
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 roughly an hour before Early Theme Park Entry begins. Your goal is to be on that first bus of the day, so you’ll need to be at the bus stop about 90 minutes before Early Theme Park Entry is scheduled to begin.
Gondolas (Disney Skyliner)
The Disney Skyliner gondolas are a good option for getting to Hollywood Studios. But, much like the buses, they can form long lines first thing in the morning.
If your goal is to make it to Hollywood Studios for Early Theme Park Entry, aim to get to the Skyliner Station about 90 minutes before Early Theme Park Entry is scheduled to begin.
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.
Genie+ and Lightning Lanes are available
Both Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run have standby lines.
But, if you want to minimize your waits, you can do that by purchasing Genie+ (for use at Smugglers Run) and an Individual Lightning Lane return time (for Rise of the Resistance).
These 2 new services are complex, and because of that we’ve written a bunch of articles to help you understand how they work.
Be sure to read all of our guides on Disney Genie, Genie+, and individual Lightning Lane attraction selections.
- How to Use Disney Genie at Walt Disney World
- How to Use Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World
- How to Book Lightning Lane Selections at Walt Disney World
- The Most Frequently Asked Disney Genie+ Questions — Answered
- Best Genie+ Choices at Walt Disney World (book these first!)
- Touring plan strategies for Disney World (with and without Genie+)
- First Thoughts on Disney Genie & Genie+
- How Genie, Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Selections Differ
- A Genie+ Timeline of What to Book When for Walt Disney World
- Comparing Genie+ at Walt Disney World and Disneyland
- Complete Guide to Genie+ at Disneyland (including timeline and WDW comparison chart)
- Lightning Lane passes at Disney World (price & more)
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 Disney After Hours Boo Bash, Disney encourages “bounding” but not full costumes that could be mistaken for Disney Cast Members or characters.
Just what is DisneyBounding, 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: