In Part One, we began our morning on Hollywood Boulevard, waiting patiently for the 18-minute walk back to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run to begin. We then walked…very slowly…through Echo Lake and Grand Avenue before eventually arriving in the magnificent Galaxy’s Edge.
I wrote about my thoughts on Smugglers Run last month, but it really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about it. You’ll want to experience the ride for yourself. Considering Hollywood Studios has exactly *checks notes* six other rides, that probably won’t be too difficult, particularly if you follow the advice in these posts EXACTLY.
Once you’re inside the Ohnaka Transport Solutions building, you’re 15 to 20 minutes away from the first pre-show area, where you’ll meet Hondo.
Thanks to a lot of available space in the queue first thing in the morning, as people continuously stop to take pictures, it only took 13 minutes for me to arrive in the pre-show. Keep in mind that the posted wait at this time was 120 minutes. That’s probably accurate for those getting in the back of the line at 6:20am, but it isn’t for those of us who arrived early and moved relatively quickly to the attraction.
You might remember that I initially found resistance in the line all the way back at Oga’s Cantina, a good distance away from the ride’s entrance. But with none of the external queue full and a low density of people in line inside, I’ll be able to walk through the queue at a relatively quick pace. For every 800 people who get in front of you, your actual wait will increase by about a half hour. I probably arrived around the 500th person, so a 20ish minute wait should be what I find.
While it’s not on the same level as Flight of Passage, in my opinion, seeing the queue for Smugglers Run is a highlight of the experience. Unfortunately, the views of the Falcon outside aren’t great this early with the humidity, darkness, and reflections.
But there’s still a lot to see.
Single rider bypasses all of that, including the scene with Hondo. I’d consider doing single rider on successive visits, but walking the queue and experiencing the entire attraction as it’s meant to be consumed will certainly make your first ride “feel” complete.
The worst position.
Your standard tourist seemed less “in the know” about the “chess room” photo opportunity and few people took the time to sit and get a picture. That’s probably a good thing, as you’ll remember that you only have about 90 seconds before it’s time for your crew to board the Falcon. I have a lot more details about the experience in this post, but you might just see what happens for yourself. Load the page for the sake of the ads, though.
After talking to some number of tourists over the course of several days, I’m under the impression that the majority still think that pressing the buttons and “doing their job” has no effect on the outcome of the ride, a la Mission: SPACE. That’s after experiencing it.
Even I have no idea what this means. There’s definitely a lack of communication, but that’s probably my fault as much as anybody else’s. I wasn’t paying attention to anything anyone said. And neither is anybody else. Maybe there should be a test before boarding. Fail, and you have to spend the rest of the day at Hollywood Studios.
Considering it “felt” like the ship was about to collapse on itself after we exited the cockpit, I’m guessing things didn’t go too well.
I arrived at the main entrance to Hollywood Studios at 5:25am, made it to the entrance to Smugglers Run at 6:18am, was on-board the ride at 6:38am, and found myself back out front at 6:45am. That’s not too bad considering it took almost 20 minutes just to inch back to the ride. It would certainly be nice if Disney moved the start of the walk back to Batuu closer to 5:40am, so we could take advantage of our full Extra Extra Magic Hours time. With three full hours of EEMH scheduled, and considering how early in the morning it is, that may not happen.
We’re now exactly two days into Extra, Extra Magic Hours, both of which are in the wake of Hurricane Dorian warnings, so it’s impossible to say what “normal” waits are going to look like at Smugglers Run moving forward. Nonetheless, here’s posted waits on day one:
This goes back to my point that you should abandon your plans to visit Smugglers Run first thing if you’re running late because 6:30am – 7:15am is basically the worst time of day to get in line. It looks like there’s another influx of people arriving at the ride around 9:15am, which makes sense given the fact that Extra Extra Magic Hours ends at that time and those who are ineligible to participate may enter the Park for the first time. Higher wait times continue for about two hours before dropping down to about 90 minutes for the majority of the afternoon. Waits drop in the late evening with the second lowest waits of the day found in the final hour of operation. The trends should remain the same moving forward, even if the exact wait times fluctuate. This is basically what we see at Flight of Passage over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you can’t be among the first 800 or so people to arrive at the attraction, put it off for later, and ideally, last thing at night. With the current schedule, waits will be shorter from 8:15am to 9am than from 6:30am to 8am. Expect to wait about 45 minutes last thing at night.
We benefit from the location of Galaxy’s Edge from a touring efficiency perspective, as we’re going to be able to exit into Toy Story Land after just a short walk. To get to Toy Story Land after disembarking Smugglers Run, walk straight out towards Kylo Ren’s bright blue illuminated ship and take a right.
We’ll also be able to marvel at the great length of the line. While I was stopped here myself for a bit on the walk in, none of the external queue was yet in use and the delays were caused by guests stopping to take photos. At this point, the entire queue has filled and there’s much less available space, which means far more people in line. We’re taking a right at this ship.
Then it’s a pretty easy walk into Toy Story Land, which isn’t more than a couple hundred feet away, if that.
We’re actually going to have to pass through the line for Smugglers to get into Toy Story Land. It loops around the same area. In line for Smugglers Run is the absolute worst place you could be right now, also taking into account the fact that you’re at Hollywood Studios. Slinky Dog Dash is a 15-minute wait and “literally” every other ride is a walk-on. The wait for Smugglers Run will never be longer than it is right now. By the time these people finish with the Millennium Falcon, around 9am, waits will already be much longer everywhere else. On the other hand, I felt like I should shake every single person’s hand who is currently waiting for the Falcon out there. They could just as easily be in line in front of me at Slinky Dog. But they’re not. And for that, we thank them.
Red rover, red rover…
Looking back in the opposite direction.
It’s worth noting that everything is open in Galaxy’s Edge during Extra Extra Magic Hours, including Oga’s Cantina, Savi’s Workshop, Droid Depot, Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, the Milk Stand, Kat Saka’s Kettle, Ronto Roasters, Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, and all of the various shops and stalls in the Marketplace and around Batuu. You might spend some time looking around if you’d like, though moving about is more of a hassle with all of the people in line for Smugglers Run.
Other than the first day, Galaxy’s Edge has not closed to capacity at any point, so you should be able to freely move about the Land later in the day. I’ll update if that changes, but it likely won’t given all of the open space. Still, many of the experiences will see waits later in the day. At 7am, you could walk right into Oga’s Cantina or Savi’s Workshop without a reservation, though both do offer reservations if you’d like to visit later in the day. There also won’t be waits for the other experiences in the early morning. When I return around 11am, Oga’s and Savi’s will be reservation-only, while short waits for Dok Ondar’s, the Milk Stand, etc. will be the norm.
You could spend another 30 to 45 minutes in the Land and not have it adversely affect the rest of your touring plan, from an efficiency perspective, too much. The actual wait for Slinky Dog Dash at 7am will be about 15 minutes. At 7:45am, it will be about 20 minutes. If you’d like to prioritize the other rides, and potentially ride each more than once, then you’ll want to get going as quickly as possible. But if you’d like to look around Black Spire Outpost for a while, you can do that too. You’ll just wait a little longer at each of the attractions that follow.
I’m heading up to Toy Story Land with about ten other people at 6:49am. Just about everyone you see in this picture is in line for the ride.
There’s probably about 750 people spread out across Toy Story Land, if that.
Alien Swirling Saucers is a walk-on and your third Toy Story Land priority. It’s also the first attraction that you’ll see as you exit Galaxy’s Edge.
Toy Story Land is going to be “exit only” from Galaxy’s Edge for the majority of the day, though Disney has already used it as an entrance in the afternoon and evening.
If your principal destination is Galaxy’s Edge, then you’ll want to use the main entrance on Grand Avenue. If you find yourself using a FastPass+ in Toy Story Land and your next stop is in Galaxy’s Edge, then you may want to check to see if they’re letting in people over here. Grand Avenue is a long walk away. In the morning, you’ll also want to keep that in mind. If you ride Smugglers Run and then head over to Toy Story Land, you won’t be able to quickly head back into Galaxy’s Edge from Toy Story Land.
I was a bit surprised that just about every Alien was already occupied with guests.
It’s always comforting to find that some things never change. Woody’s Lunch Box is open with two registers and a line. Before 7am. During Extra Extra Magic Hours. With Galaxy’s Edge open. In September. In the midst of a hurricane. WOULD THREE REGISTERS HAVE KILLED THEM?
I’m heading to Slinky Dog Dash.
At 6:51am, the posted wait is 30 minutes.
If you can’t verify the time by the angle of the sun, here’s further proof.
Eyeballing the queue, it looked like the majority of it was empty.
And the line looked to be about 15 minutes long.
That ended up being accurate as I boarded at 7:07am, or 16 minutes after getting in line:
For a couple of years now, our best view of Galaxy’s Edge has been from the crest of Slinky Dog Dash. It’s weird to actually be able to go see it up close.
I was back out front at 7:10am, to daylight, and a 19-minute overall experience.
Just in time for Hurricane Dorian, Disney built this colorful canopy over part of the extended queue for Slinky Dog. What a time to be alive.
The actual wait looks to remain about 15 minutes, or half of what’s currently posted.
Here’s a look at posted waits over the course of the day:
Waits are about 35% lower than the average since Slinky Dog Dash opened a little over a year ago. That probably makes sense given an increased interest in everything Galaxy’s Edge, along with three extra hours in the morning helping to spread crowds out more. Since I’m able to ride at 7am with a short wait, I’m not going to be in line taking up space later in the day. The hurricane and lower attendance probably also have something to do with it. We’ll certainly keep an eye on how things change next week and into the future.
In addition to the seven rides operating during Extra Extra Magic Hours, several of the popular Meet and Greets are open for at least part of the time. Jessie, who meets across from the (two) registers at Woody’s Lunch Box and out in front of Alien Swirling Saucers, arrives at 7am.
Waits for her should be 7-15 minutes during EEMH.
Woody and Bo Peep also arrive at 7am in their usual spot to the right of Toy Story Mania.
Lines are much longer for them and their wait will consistently be the second- or third-longest in the Park, potentially behind just Smugglers Run and sometimes both that and Slinky Dog Dash. At 7:23am, there’s more than 15 groups in line, which translates to a wait of at least 20 minutes. You might hang out here to get in line just before 7am to be among the first to greet them. You’ll eliminate the 15+ minute wait and the time you spend in line at Slinky Dog Dash won’t be demonstrably longer.
At 7:50am, the wait looks to be about the same.
Buzz also appears beginning at 7am in front of the main entrance into the Land. Waits should hover around five minutes until 9am.
Three characters in two locations actually appear even earlier in the morning. Olaf, across from Backlot Express and Star Tours, appears at 6:30am. Waits should be thirty seconds to three minutes.
Mickey and Minnie, who meet at Red Carpet Dreams across from Sci-Fi Dine-In, also appear at 6:30am to waits that should remain under ten minutes through 9am.
The Extra Extra Magic Hours time is a good opportunity to meet any of those characters. I’d say that you could put Olaf off for later, but meeting him over a total of three minutes isn’t a substantial time investment. Don’t go out of your way, though, and prioritize him below other characters and rides.
Back to Toy Story Land at 7:13am, things are incredibly quiet.
And it’s not like people are streaming into the Land from Galaxy’s Edge, either.
I think I see a total of seven guests in the vicinity, the majority of whom are probably lost.
It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that Toy Story Mania is a higher priority than Alien Swirling Saucers, given the fact that Saucers is newer and the hourly capacity is around a fifth of the spinning shooting gallery game. Still, since I’m coming from Slinky Dog Dash, it makes more sense to backtrack a little ways in this direction and then go Toy Story Mania after, since Mania is on our way out. With the low waits during Extra Extra Magic Hours, you could even ride Swirling Saucers first if you really wanted to minimize walking. It isn’t like 500+ people are going to stream in and get in line in front of you at Slinky in the six or seven minutes that Saucers takes.
At 7:13am, the posted wait is ten minutes and cast were sending guests through FastPass+, since it’s a shorter distance to the loading area.
Two people have found their way in front of me.
And some empty aliens.
Saucers should be a walk-on through at least 8am, at which point the actual wait may increase to a handful of minutes. From 9am to 10am, actual waits of 15 minutes should be the reality, before the actual wait increases to around 20 minutes at 10am and then continues to be between 25 and 35 minutes for most of the day. As long as you get here during the Extra Extra Magic Hours time, you shouldn’t experience a wait longer than ten minutes.
Still, there was a flow of people through the queue, so we’d need to disembark and walk through the line again to ride a second time.
I arrived at 7:13am, and was back out front at 7:22am, for a total experience time of nine minutes. There still aren’t very many people headed in this direction from Galaxy’s Edge. I see nine total guests.
But more people have found their way into Toy Story Land.
Still, you’re looking at an actual wait of 20ish minutes for Slinky Dog at 7:23am.
And we’ve got a clear path towards Toy Story Mania, with the help of our favorite cowgirl.
Toy Story Mania is still posted at 10 minutes.
While Slinky Dog’s queue stretched back to the Land’s entrance almost every day since it opened, and now the line for Smugglers Run winds its way all throughout the Land, Toy Story Mania still has these covered switchbacks built in as part of its own expansion. I have never seen more than the first two filled, and that was only because two of the three tracks were down and standby basically came to a standstill.
There is no FastPass+ offered during Extra Magic Hours, which means just about 100% of the ride’s capacity is dedicated to standby.
Toy Story was only running two of its three tracks, but we were still on-board in exactly ten minutes, as the standby sign promised.
My total experience time ended up being 24 minutes, which is about three to five minutes longer than it typically takes with FP+. That’s not bad considering we’re more than 90 minutes into the EEMH. Above is the scene inside the Land at 7:48am.
Slinky Dog is up to a posted 40 minutes.
But the length of the line isn’t any longer than it was an hour before when I got in line, indicating an actual wait of about 20 minutes.
At this point, I’m off to Sunset Boulevard along with other people who have finished up with what they wanted to do in Toy Story Land.
Toy Story Mania is posting a 20-minute wait almost two hours into the EEMH, with an actual wait that’s probably about 15.
For the next hour, just about everybody coming into Toy Story Land will do so from Galaxy’s Edge. I think I count seven people headed inside through the main entrance.
So far, my day has gone quite well. I’ve managed to do:
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run: 6:12am – 6:46am
- Slinky Dog Dash: 6:53am – 7:10am
- Alien Swirling Saucers: 7:14am – 7:22am
- Toy Story Mania: 7:24am – 7:48am
And I’ll be able to basically walk right on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours next.