We will be at DL 6/29-7/1 (our first and likely our only trip here). It is starting to seem like that may be the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. We did not plan it this way. Crowd numbers look low now but what should I expect? We have been to WDW several times using Touring Plans and we feel confident about getting around at DL. I’m even OK with skipping the Galaxys Edge because I know we will be back at WDW to see it there. If it opens this weekend - how will that affect the rest of the park? I know DL is more compact so that concerns me a little. We purposely avoided WDW when Pandora opened but it is too late this time. Any thoughts?
The weather that day will be snowy and warm.
Well, okay. Point is, it is all guesswork at this point. Any claims about how busy it might be, or not be, are just a great big unknown.
BUT, I would expect that crowds will be HUGE because people will show up for GE and, when they can’t get in, will hang out in the rest of the park.
On the other hand, the crazies who are there for opening might just be willing to stand in line for GE for hours on end and avoid the parks, and everyone else who is avoiding the parks because of GE will make the regular park crowds lighter than usual.
On the third hand (you DO have three hands, don’t you?) perhaps folks, KNOWING people will want to avoid DL due the opening of GE, will PURPOSELY go during that time in hopes to get lower crowds, thereby driving UP the crowds.
I’ll take option 2! Thanks lol
Whatever an order of magnitude beyond totally insane might be. Unless they institute an “advance reservation only” system for entrance to SWGE, and advertise it as such, people will be lining up the day before just to get into the park.
If I was in charge, I would set up a dedicated entrance and exit just for SWGE, effectively making it a separate park included with a DL ticket. Wait in line for SWGE, “enjoy” your time there, exit, and then go through the gates for the main part of DL.
On the more optimistic side of things, there are many rumors of phased openings, special events, up-charge ticket events, etc for the first weeks that it is “open”, so even though it is officially open, it might not be available to the general admission masses, which would result in only somewhat higher crowds than usual for that time of year.
Short answer: It will be nothing short of an insane mass of humanity flooding straight to the back of Disneyland (where SWGE is being built).
If I were in charge, I would promote @bswan26 to implement the above dedicated entrance/exit because that would be an ideal solution to segregate & as much as possible isolate the craziness to to just SWGE.
In the real world what we know is that the entrances to SWGE are 3 pathways at the back of the DL park as we know it today (two in Frontierland on opposite sides of the Big Thunder Trail & one in Critter Country along side the Rivers of America passing the Hungry Bear QS restaurant).
My assumption is that they will use these 3 pathways to control the flow in/out but unless Disney has some super secret other entrance that they are building somewhere along the backside of SWGE, everyone who is going to both SWGE and the rest of Disneyland will use the same access point to enter Disneyland park (the existing Disneyland entry turnstiles on the north side of the Esplanade that also has the Disney California Adventure aka DCA entry turnstiles on the south side).
On busier days now, pre-SWGE, this area is very crowded & entry lines to the parks can get lengthy, meeting in the middle. On the busiest days when the parks are expected to reach capacity, Disney will create queuing areas to hold guests as they ascertain the park capacity and/or wait for capacity to open up to allow additional guests in.
Depending on what time of day you arrive on a day when the park reaches capacity, you could have a queue for the queue to wait for the queue to enter the park. Currently this level of crowds/insanity to enter is a very rare event at Disneyland, but when SWGE opens to the masses, I would expect similar conditions daily for the first few weeks, maybe even months. And I agree that people will line up the day (if not more) before.
Now if they do have the rumored phased openings & paid previews for SWGE that will be a much more controlled flow. I would still expect them to be busy, but not the flood with the queues for the queues to get in to the park.
This year Disneyland made some changes to the structure of their Annual Passholder blockouts (increased for the lowest 3 levels of passes & introduced a new type of blockout where guests are able to enter DCA with their pass but not Disneyland). My own personal guess is that SWGE will be made available to the masses on or near the date that the new blockout (where passholders can enter DCA but not Disneyland) starts which is sometime in June (I think mid-June). It could be that those are the start of the paid previews though.
If I were in your shoes, I would stay tuned as Disney is sure to make some kind of announcement on it between now & the spring. And I would definitely, absolutely, without a doubt, plan out this trip and encourage you to make the most of whatever experiences are in your budget to add (Maxpass, dining packages for shows- particularly Blue Bayou for Fantasmic! or any of the Plaza Inn packages for daytime parades, etc.)
And no matter what, I wish you happy planning & a fantastic vacation.
EDITING TO ADD: If you are considering Maxpass, I would purchase your tickets with Maxpass included in advance and sooner rather than later. Maxpass was introduced July 2017 at an “introductory rate” of $10/person/day and has long been expected that the amount will increase eventually, maybe in conjunction with raising ticket prices (has been in Feb the last few years). Enter SWGE & its 2 E-ticket attractions to the equation and it’s a no-brainer that Maxpass will surge in price. I have even seen a rumor that the attractions within SWGE will only have a FP offered through Maxpass with no free FP option. If that does turn out to be true, the price for Maxpass is sure to skyrocket. So get Maxpass while it’s still the $10/person/day, especially if you don’t plan to brave SWGE.
Thanks for the info. Not encouraging but it is what I expected lol. Our first day is really only a partial day - heading to DL straight from the airport and hopefully there by noon but heading to hotel by 6 to rest. We are dealing with a big time change (from Indiana) so we want to be well rested for rope drop the next day. If the park is that full, will this partial afternoon day be a wash by the time we get in? (If we get in??) I was hoping for a much more “go with the flow” trip instead of a “planned to the minute” WDW style trip. I’ll keep watching for news, plan for a crowd level 10 and hope for the best! We have loved all our WDW trips and will have fun with this trip too. Luckily I’ll have a few relaxing days in San Diego to recover afterwards. Fingers crossed the opening gets pushed back.
You might be better off looking at a DCA day on arrival…
Exactly what I was going to suggest.
I’ll be there mid July, whether its open or not. Both rides should have fastpasses, right? If I get in either park early and grab the first one while I start riding something else, that should work. I hope. And if the other one is available 90 minutes later, great. otherwise, there’s always the next day.
My advice if this is really important. Hire a plaid.
Thanks - I’m actually hoping GE is not open when we go. Either way, our dates are locked in. I know we’ll have plenty more trips to WDW but this may be an only trip to DL. We’ll be as prepared as possible and have a good time.
I understand. I am thinking of a sept trip to DL probably first and only. I love Orlando so much. I am trying to make up my mind. It will be our 25th anniversary