3 Questions about Hollywood Studios Strategy

I’m doing this in a 3 questions format partially for simplicity sake, so people don’t have to click in 3 different posts, to answer each question, but if the moderators think is better to post them separately please let me know.

When it comes to the parks we are early risers, last Christmas on the busiest days of the year, we were literally the first people in every park we visited, and we got the pictures to prove it :slight_smile:

We are planing to ride the two Galaxy Edge’s rides hopefully among the first groups that enter the park.

Now the question ares:

Galaxy Edge Strategy

Mentally I think we understand that we are probably going to do Galaxy Edge’s rides once, but especially Rise of the Resistance, because even if we are among the first groups to ride it, that ride is going to have a few hours of wait time during the whole day.

But what if there is a very slim chance of doing it again, when will this be?

  1. Getting back in the line, right after we finish riding it, to avoid waiting until more and more people enter the park?
  2. During lunch time?
  3. Late at night, close to the park closing time?
  4. Just keep monitoring the app for ride waiting times during the whole day?

At what time should we book our first fast pass for Hollywood Studios?

Our first fast pass is for 12:00 pm, just in case the Galaxy Edge takes a big part of our morning away. But I was wondering if I’m overreacting.

Since I don’t think there is a way we can do Galaxy Edge’s rides again in less than two hours after we exit the ride, we are planning to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror while everyone else is still at Galaxy Edge, hopefully more than once, but this window is probably very small and pretty soon the queues will be long every where.

So considering all of the above:
A: Should we move our first Fast Pass for 10:30 am?

B: Is 10:30 am a bit too ambitious, so try to change it to 11:00 am?

C: Leave it for 12:00 pm in case things don’t go smoothly?

Keeping the Disney hotel reservation:

We are staying at the Royal Pacific for 6 nights in our 5 days Universal Studios trip, we are going to drive from the Royal Pacific to HS on December 17, while in the middle of our reservation, and then go back to the RP resort at night to continue visiting Universal Studios parks the next day.

The dilemma is that even though we already have a hotel, we booked a Disney’s Hotel very close to HS, just in case Disney decided to add extra magic hours close to our Dec 17 visit. Is only $157 and we can cancel it without penalties 5 days prior to our arrival, but after talking to a Disney cast member on the phone, she told me that Disney only add extra magic hours, months in advance and is not something they do close to the day.

Another thing is that since we want to stay at the park until it closes at 9:30pm, we purposely booked the Disney room from Dec 17 to 18, rather than 16 to 17, so in case Disney added magic hours, we could have a place to take a small break or nap, in case our kids have a hard time keeping up with staying until park closing hours after waking up so early.

Now our dilemma is:
A: Should we keep the room because the Disney cast member on the phone may be mistaking?

B: Should we keep the room just for a one time beak during the day?

C: Should we just cancel it?

I know at the end of the day these all are our decision to make, but I’m curious to listen to what will you guys do in these situations. Thanks!

My gut says late at night close to closing time. When are you going? I would monitor the wait times in the days/weeks leading up to your trip to see what the pattern is. The wait times usually follow a bell curve and typically lunch time is the worst, so definitely don’t do that.

What time does park open that day? IMO 3 hours is enough of a buffer because remember your fast pass is good for another hour past the start time

Even if on the off chance Disney does add extra magic hours, they’ve already announced that RotR will not be running during extra magic. Cancel it.

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Thanks dianelynn for the reply,

We are going on December 17, the park opens that day at 9:00 am.

I know RotR won’t be part of the early magic hour, but I think we will still like to do it, if it becomes available because of the other rides we care to try.

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Yeah, just regular rope drop the park.

FYI, rumors are they aren’t even giving VIP tours Fastpass lane access to the attraction, so the standby should move fairly quickly. Only exception will be the insane world of dreams tour, and I’m sure because they HAVE too legally, guests with DAS. But even then the queue is fully accessible for ECVs and wheelchairs.

You should be fine. Side note, if you see a lady with a hot pink knee scooter and sparkly shoes? That’s me, say hello!! I’m in town that week. Solo trip, although I’m meeting up with many many people.

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I think if they were going to do EMH it would already be announced. If it’s really busy, they may announce an 8am opening for everyone. I’d cancel the room too.

Normally I would say getting in line at closing would be your shortest wait, but word is that RotR is unreliable and will have lots of downtime. Universal had this problem with Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure, and dealt with it by closing the line really early, like 3pm. So it may not be an option.

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Even if they have EMH, rise won’t be included in that either.

Lots of rumors swirling. They are doing some CM ride testing though, and a bunch of guests got to ride it this last week!

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I know but OP said they would do EMH anyway for other rides.

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Thanks for the reply JuliaMc, I’ll keep my eyes open for the pink scooter and the sparkly shoes, would love to say hello :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the reply missoverexcited, because of Hagrids unreliability we decided to extend the Universal trip to 5 days so we can increase our chances of riding it at least a few times. We were going to only use 3 or 4 days our of the 5 day tickets at first.

So I think this probably is going to be, be happy to ride it once :slight_smile:

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We rode once in 3 days by rope dropping, I was going to get in line again if the wait went down to 2 hours but it never did… But really I was suggesting that Disney might do the same. If it’s 3pm and there are 4 hours worth of people in line and the ride is down and not expected to be up anytime soon, they may just close the line.

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missoverexcited we are planning to rope drop almost everyday at Island of Adventure, by the way I just changed my first fast pass for HS to 11 am, that means that we have until 12 pm to do our first fast pass, that give us 3 hours in Galaxy’s Edge, that should be enough I think.

We have 12 days from Dec 5 to Dec 17 to monitor the HS crowds, so we should be able to know by the time of our visit, at what time we need to be at those gates to be close to the first groups that enter that ride. So I’m guessing we can be out of RotR by around 9:30am and have at least 2 1/2 hours to ride the Millennium Falcon.

Does it sound doable or should I move the first fast pass a bit farther away, like from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm?

I think it sounds doable, it’s just hard to know right now. As long as you’re prepared to be flexible based on the info coming in from 5th, you’ll do ok.

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Thanks missoverexcited for all the help!

The fact that after the two rides from the Galaxy’s Edge, our most desirable ride to try, in our first visit to this park is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and that is our second fast pass from 12:00 to 1:00 pm should be a safe bet for us to ride it.

The flexibility in the plan comes from the fact that if we have to miss our first fast pass, Star Tours from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm to ride the Millennium Falcon, we are going to be ok with it. :slight_smile:

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And don’t forget you can usually move your FPs on the day.

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Just a thought… if you can afford the hotel, why not stay there the night before touring so you’ll be able to make RD with no issues on the I4 or other traffic problems. I know you talked aobut the kids having a break, but I think being there and being parked would be more important. You don’t have to move everything, just take a toothbrush, your clothes for the day and a bathing suit, if needed and leave the rest at the other hotel.

Also, note if you’ve booked your FPs at 60 days and then cancel the hotel, you run the risk of them cancelling the FPs, too, as you got them with the hotel ressie perk.

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Thanks Ariadne,

We thought of the option you proposed from Dec 16 to the 17, so we can wake up closer to the park, but our current hotel Loews Royal Pacific is 20 minutes away vs our Disney one that is 8 minutes away, so we were thinking that maybe 12 minutes wouldn’t be that much of a difference.

We didn’t book the hotel for the fast passes at all, we actually bought our tickets only a few days ago which is 20 days before our arrival, we even missed the 30 days none hotel window lol.

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I think RD ROTR is better than waiting till late at night unless the data collected when it opens tells us otherwise.

I’ll be there on 12/14 and I’m inwardly stressing out. I have no choice but to RD GE cause we have BOG reservations that night so we are park hopping and I’ve been planning to just keep to the left, walk directly to ROTR and wait as soon as they let us. Hopefully the wait won’t be more than an hour if I do that and get to HS at 7:30 with a 9am entry. Jumping directly to SR right after and then just chilling till 1 for our Oga’s reservations (unless we manage to really get in both rides quickly and we can jump out to Star Tours and Launch Bay with plenty of time to come back at 1).

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Padme501st, I will RD ROTR for sure, I was just mentioning about when would be the best time for us, if we will try to ride RotR again

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I would check the line as soon as you exit then and see how long it has grown. If it’s 90 mins or less get back in again.

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If it ends up looking like GE is taking longer, or less time than expected, you can always try and adjust your FP day of. SInce all rides are Tier 1 except Star Tours, I have found there is usually pretty good availability to modify for RnRC and ToT especially.

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