Tell Me About Soft Openings

Tom Bricker at disneytouristblog predicts a 50/50 chance of soft openings (for non passholders) from Aug 22-24. We are planning to be in Hollywood Studios on the 24th from 1 to close.

So tell me about these soft openings. They are not advertised. If you have been to one, how did you find out about it? When did it open (in the morning, in the afternoon, etc) . Did it stay open until close after opening. What were wait times like during these soft opening.

Thank is advance for any 1st hand knowledge that you have.

I don’t know if Disney does it the same way as Universal does for rides, but when the King Kong ride opened it was a combo of being willing to stand around outside the queue and being in the right place at the right time and having a cast member approach you.

I was wondering is stalking the land entrance might be involved.

We attended a soft opening several years ago when New Fantasyland opened. The land (minus 7DMT) was scheduled to open a few weeks after our trip. While we were at the MK one morning we noticed a CM at the entrance to the construction wall letting groups of people in. My DH approached and questioned them. They stated it was opened for invited guests only until 3pm. She did not specifically say it would open to everyone after that but she hinted to check back then. We came back around 5pm after taking a rest at our resort and where allowed in the land. We got to ride Little Mermaid and do Belle and visit Gaston’s pub that evening. It was really fun, low crowds and totally unexpected that we would get to experience those attractions.

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Thanks, that’s useful info.

It’s pretty much being at the right place at the right time. It might be just a few hours a day, maybe all day, maybe not at all. You have to remember that soft openings are not for the benefit of the guests, it’s to give the CMs a chance to practice with “real” crowds. Pandora did not have any. I don’t think TSL did either. But if they do have a soft opening, it will light up every social media site (including TP Chat) almost instantly.

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I also was at MK during a soft opening for New Fantasyland (other than 7DMT). The entrance to New Fantasyland (which had previously been blocked off) was open with a CM standing at the entrance letting people in. It wasn’t announced anywhere. The CM told me it was open at the moment, but they could close it at any time. We waited about 20 mins for Under the Sea.

Bottom line from my experience … either (a) you have to get lucky in terms of walking by at the right time or (b) you have to wait in the area and hope for the best.

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Which media site would be best to follow? I will have my 5 and 7 year Olds so I’m can’t be glued to the phone. Ifor I’m can only check one thing regularly, what should it be?

We were at Hollywood studios for the soft opening of toy story land. It was not announced at all. We noticed people walking in that direction and then we saw a CM standing with a sign directing people to toy story land. Everything was open, no waits. My family waited less than 10 minutes for slinky dog and then we walked on to tsmm. We got to walk through the stand by lines, which we probably wouldn’t get to see otherwise (no chance I’m standing in line for over 2 hours). We waited in a short line for a picture in front of the toy story line. They also opened the restaurant and had carts everywhere selling toy story merchandise. They were thinking they were going to sell out on slinky dog headbands that night. As we were leaving, I think the whole park must have known, because it got super packed in there. That was fine with us because the rest of the park was empty!
I think someone else already said it, but it’s really a right place at the right time kinda thing. We will be at Hollywood studios on 8/26 so kinda hoping :crossed_fingers:t2:.

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Both Pandora and TSL had soft openings. All totally random, and AFAIK each one was just for those in the vicinity of the entrance at the time. The CMs opened the entrances for about 20 minutes each time, so no where near enough time for word to get out even within the park and many people to get there in time.

I remember there were rumours circulating that they could happen, but WDW seemed to avoid the times that large crowds had gathered, waiting for the crowd to disappear and then opening up.

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I thought so too. I remember when Pandora did, and it was just a matter of being picked out of the crowd. @Shermonica, I wouldn’t try to make it happen. For me, it would just be frustrating trying to force the magic and also one more thing to think about. Maybe just make sure the kids are wearing some Star Wars attire and walk back that way a few times, hoping for the best.

It sounds like FL did it like Pandora, and just because they are letting some in doesn’t mean they are letting anyone who wants/asks. There was still an element of being randomly chosen.

I’d follow along on liner chat. Figure with this community it will pop up there quicker than here.

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Actually, for TSL, they opened it at about 6pm and kept it open. They let everyone in, and the place was packed after a while. We were there :blush:

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Where is the entrance. I have only been to holy wood studios once. I know look for the construction walls. Where should I look. Is it near Toy story land?

Didn’t realise they did that too. I guess they also need to run it with large crowds.

There were other times though during the day when it just opened briefly.

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The main entrance is near Muppets. There is a tunnel into SW:GE, and at the moment there’s a large gate IIRC. No construction walls as such, because the whole area is “screened” by the berm and trees planted along it.

There is also an entrance from TSL but initially that will likely be used just as an exit. That said, worth watching because they may decide to open it briefly.

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Thanks. I just looked at the my map from my touring plan. I see both paths to the land on that map. I think the toy story land entrance would be the busiest. So I could see it opening from the Muppet entrance for a soft opening. But you really never know.

This surprises me.

Invites are out for media previews from the 22nd to 26th. I would think Tom Bricker would be on the list, so maybe he knows something about the timings. :thinking:

It may be that if the media are done for the day, or there are times excluded from the media invites, they do some soft openings.

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I leave the 21st :confused:

I think I’ll still wear my Star Wars shirt on my HS day and stroll past the entrance talking loudly of how the Falcon made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs…you never know!

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The 21st is the last day of AP previews. The last time slot was either 3-7pm or 5-9pm.

You’ll have to be around one of the entrances from 7/9pm onwards, with fingers crossed. But I like your thinking. :joy:

While on the topic of soft openings, any idea if they’ll do a soft opening for the gondolas? We’re staying at AoA and leave the week before the official date. I’m totally bummed about it. Good luck with the soft opening for Galaxy’s Edge, hope you get to experience it!

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