Hollywood Studios Fri or Sat after RotR opens

Thoughts on crowd level better the day after RoTR open (a Friday - Dec 6), vs the following day (a Saturday - Dec 7, and also the day POTUS is at Disney World Grand Floridian)? Thanks!

From what I’ve understood, following the opening of SWGE in august there was not a huge difference in crowds on day 2 or 3. The land opening was also a thursday, so day of week (friday vs saturday) didn’t make a dramatic difference back then. Whether or not we will see the same pattern in dec, very difficult to say.

This is my understanding based on observed wait times and some videos or reports, someone who was there will certainly have better insight.

Now how the president being there affects all this, I have absolutely no clue…

It’s going to be a super busy time for DHS / SWGE that weekend. I’ve got a plan for Dec. 4 - 14 and my DHS days don’t even start until 12/9 to avoid DHS until that first weekend is over.

IMHO - If you want to experience SWGE that opening weekend, you’ll have to be OK with just riding those two attractions once, maybe twice, and shuffling around a crowded Batuu.

and perhaps having to use the virtual queue/boarding pass system, unless you have a reservation at Oga’s or to build light sabers and droids. The number of guests in the land is limited. The boarding pass system was only needed opening day of SWGE and has not been used since, I believe, but with RotR it is far more likely to be a factor in December.

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I totally understand the number of people wanting an answer about crowds for this event / week. However, it’s just almost impossible to predict. The hype of SWGE versus the attendance. Plus, the uncertainty of “did everyone wait for RotR to open before coming to SWGE??”

IMHO - You have to go in with the mindset of, “It’s going to be crowded & crazy, but I’m OK with that!”

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My dates are 11/27 - 12/7. I have Oga reservations in the 9am hour for 12/5 - 12/7. They haven’t announced EEMH/new hours for those days yet, but I am assuming HS will open before 9. My dilemma is then whether or not to try to be at the front of the RD, or just wait and go in an hour before my reservation.

I also have to decide which day to go. Will 12/5 really be that much crazier than 12/6? We are doing MVMCP on 12/5, so I really don’t want to wake up early on 12/6. And we have to check out on 12/7, so I don’t want to have to get up super early to go check my bags and whatnot. So that really leaves opening day as the best day in my schedule.

I fully expect it to be crazy. We are getting the rest of HS in on 2 days earlier in the trip (including MFSR once or twice). My only goal for that morning would be RotR. And maybe MFSR depending on waits. But ultimately, I’d want to get back to the resort for a rest before we head to MK.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!

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Since this is all speculation, I will stake my prediction:

December 5th at HS will be very busy. Probably not the busiest day of the year, but maybe top 5 busiest days. The lines for RotR will reach 3 hours+ in the afternoon that day and will remain 2 hours+ for a long time, probably a year or more (similar pattern to FoP, SDD, and 7DMT, except maybe better as long as there is no FP offered). Shorter waits will be available only at rope drop or park closing.

As for the rest of the parks and even the rest of HS and SWGE, the fact that early December is off season (and a really inconvenient time to take kids out of school) will partially offset the opening of RotR. Locals will come just to ride RotR and see whatever is convenient nearby, especially nights and weekends. Christmas will be extremely busy as always and RotR lines will spike during the two holiday weeks.

If I were visiting from December 5 - January 5, I’d expect a zoo, but be pleasantly surprised if it was less than that.

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The first week of Dec. used to be a great time to go. However, the Pop Warner Cheer & Dance Championships have started to pack those dates too. They will be there 12/7 - 12/14 this year. That’s gonna be something to consider during the SWGE opening.

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Thanks, everyone. Several factors to consider, and I realize it is just taking a stab at predicting, yet with the weather influencing the first opening for SWGE, I wasn’t sure about using that as data.

The weather in Orlando may have slowed the crowds when SWGE opened. However, Disneyland experienced similar low crowds, once the dust settled, after the grand opening with no weather “excuses”.

Plus, a large number of people didn’t go to the opening of SWGE because RotR wasn’t open yet. I really think we are going to see the crowds going to SWGE that Disney wanted after RotR opens on both coasts. (Maybe not nonstop 3 hour waits for a year, but it’ll be a draw.)

I thought it was interesting in Episode 2 of the The Imagineering Story they mentioned that not a lot of people came to the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom at WDW because they were afraid it was going to be too busy, but the crowds arrived eventually and it was considered a success in hindsight. That’s similar to what happened at SWGE (except you have the added complication that the headliner attraction was delayed).

You have a spectrum of things being 1) unpopular, 2) popular enough to draw huge crowds, and 3) so popular that people are afraid to come because of the crowds. It’s not common, but in rare circumstances that third scenario happens.

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This is actually why I didn’t plan a trip during EEMM, even though WDW was dropping hotel / package prices. Of course the crowds didn’t happen and I missed out on all those great low CL days w/ 6am RD.

I’m still kicking myself for not doing it! Oh well… I rolled that money into my first DLR trip in 2020.

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It got moved to Miami, thank goodness. Should make things a little less hectic and crazy