Interior of the Millenium Falcon in Galaxy’s Edge | © Tabitha Ancil
Disneyland Resort is about to unveil its biggest land expansion to the public — Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Galaxy’s Edge is sure to attract a diverse group of visitors… fans of Disney, fans of Star Wars, and fans of a good, immersive experience. In fact, Disney is anticipating so many guests that they’re requiring no-cost reservations for access into the land for the first couple of weeks. So with all of this in mind, when should you visit this new land?
Those of us who aren’t local, already struggle with a similar question. “When’s the best time to visit the park?” We try to plan our trips around special events, holiday offerings, refurbishments, and crowd expectations. If you don’t have the ability to visit on a whim, it’s nice to plan your trip for the best time possible. But with Galaxy’s Edge promising a packed park after the reservation period ends, when would be the best time for you to visit?
The most important thing to keep in mind are blockout dates. Annual Passholders (except those with the Signature and Signature Plus passes) are experiencing a new facet to blockout dates -- there are some dates where Passholders are only allowed entrance into one of the two parks. During the summer months, this really comes into play. Many Passholders are only allowed access into Disney California Adventure, not Disneyland Resort.
If you’re not an Annual Passholder, this may be good news! Although Galaxy’s Edge will bring in a bigger crowd, certain Annual Passholders won’t be allowed access into Disneyland Resort. This could mean you’ll have a smaller crowd during the summer months when the blockout dates are active, but I wouldn’t count on it. There’s a chance that many Annual Passholders will buy individual day tickets to see Galaxy’s Edge this summer, so the blockout dates may not have the largest impact.
For Annual Pass blockout dates, click here.
Holiday times are also important to think about. Disneyland Resort’s annual Halloween party has moved to Disney California Adventure (DCA). That means that party guests will be in DCA, not Disneyland. These party dates could be a good time to visit, as a large portion of guests will be confined to DCA, and you might have more access to Galaxy’s Edge. You can thank Disney for sneakily moving the party’s location.
For party dates, click here.
Virtual Queueing System
After the reservation period ends on June 23rd, a new virtual queueing system will take its place. This will be implemented in an effort to give guests accessibility to Galaxy's Edge without the large crowds. Early morning guests will most likely not need these boarding passes, but once the land fills up, boarding passes via the virtual queueing system will be required. Guests can view the system on the Disneyland App, and there will be a dedicated in-app area that will notify you when boarding passes are required for entrance into the land. If it's required, you will be able to grab your boarding passes on the app, or at kiosks throughout the park.
Unlike the current reservation system, guests will be able to stay in the land for as long as they'd like, so long as they show up within two hours of their reservation time. This virtual queueing system definitely has the potential to control crowds, but this system will eventually stop when crowds get lighter.
For more information on this system, click here.
So When Do You Visit?
Fireworks over Galaxy’s Edge | © Abbey McMurtrey
We’re currently in June, so there aren’t many months in the year left for you to visit. Especially considering the fact that you’ll need a reservation just to visit the land until June 24th. To be completely honest, the summer months will be rough. If visiting Galaxy’s Edge is important to you, than you may be able to justify braving the summer crowds. But these summer crowds will be bad. The parks do usually lighten up mid-August, but that may not be the case this year, due to the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. It’s important to be honest with yourself, and really consider whether or not a summer visit will be worth it to you.
Fall may be your best bet. Galaxy’s Edge in WDW will be opening in August of this year, so that’ll attract fans to their park. We’ll hopefully be seeing smaller crowds once Florida’s Galaxy’s Edge opens, so September is a good bet. That’s when Oogie Boogie Bash starts as well, so you can plan your trip around party dates when party guests will be in DCA, not DLR, where Galaxy’s Edge resides.
October will be a little busier, as the park usually starts to fill up more as you near Halloween. However, October will definitely have smaller crowds than summer, so it’s at least going to be a decent time to visit.
November may have some slow times, so there could be some sweet spots within that month as well. Right after Halloween, before Christmas decorations go up (usually somewhere around November 9th), crowds tend to be a little smaller, so it may be wise to plan a trip at this time
Be aware of Veterans Day weekend and Thanksgiving. The parks will start to fill up during those weeks.
So if you’re planning on visiting Galaxy’s Edge in 2019, there are some periods of time that will be calmer than others. September, especially during halloween party dates, should be a good time to visit the new land. If you can’t make it then, early November should also be a be good time to visit. Summer crowds will be pretty difficult to maneuver through, but these crowds should start to die down in August when WDW’s Galaxy’s Edge opens. At the end of the day, regardless of when you visit, expect it to be crowded! And may the force be with you.