Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Opening Dates

Well, it’s official: Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park lands will open this summer at Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. But don’t get too excited just yet – one of the two major rides that has been in development alongside the area won’t be ready in time for the opening.

The news was revealed in a Disney earnings call by company CEO Bob Iger, but a commercial offering fresh glimpses of the heavily-themed areas was released, confirming the opening dates. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland in Anaheim, California on May 31, 2019. The Walt Disney World version, at the Hollywood Studios park in Orlando, Florida, will follow a few months later on August 29, 2019.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opening Dates

If that footage seems to lean heavily on the Smuggler’s Run attraction, which puts visitors in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon for a video game-inspired motion simulator, that’s because it will be the only major ride running when Galaxy’ Edge opens. Rise of the Resistance, said to be the most technologically advanced theme park ride in Disney history (which may make it the most technologically advanced theme park ride ever built) will open “later this year.” Of course, this detail is relegated to tiny font in the actual commercial.

It’s not surprising that Rise of the Resistance is taking more time to get right. The attraction is said to be long and complex, with riders stepping on board a vehicle to escape from a First Order Star Destroyer, coming face-to-face with dozens of animatronic Stormtroopers, life-size AT-AT Walkers, and Kylo Ren himself. Everything we’ve heard about the ride makes it sound ambitious on a level rarely seen in themed entertainment. If Disney’s Imagineers need more time to get it working right, they should take it. First impressions are a powerful thing.

And yet, this makes us wonder what the opening months of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will look like with only one major attraction. Sure, there are plenty of other things to do – the land will be filled with immersive shopping and dining experiences staffed by in-character actors, as well as a store where you can build your own lightsaber – but rides and their queues are what really eat up the crowds. Without a massive line to draw thousands of people away from Smuggler’s Run and the marketplace, will Galaxy’s Edge be genuinely unbearable to visit in its opening months? That’s the concern and it’s surely something weighing heavily on Disney’s mind as well.

One way Disney seems to be handling this is through reservations. D23 reports that Disneyland guests will need a free reservation to access Galaxy’s Edge in its opening month:

If you’re planning to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland park between May 31 and June 23, 2019, you needn’t bring your own protocol droid—but you will need a valid theme park admission and you’ll be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, to access the land. More details about reservations will be available on Disneyland.com and the Disney Parks Blog. If you’re staying at any of the three Disneyland Resort hotels, you will receive a designated reservation—one per guest—to access the new land during your stay (if it falls during these dates), and valid theme park admission is required.

However, the Walt Disney World version won’t require or offer reservations. In other words, California visitors need to plan ahead if they want to visit a galaxy far, far away. In any case, you just know there will be a bunch of under-informed tourists angry they can’t get in during that first month.

More information about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge should be on the horizon. We’ll keep you informed.

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