(finally!) opens in Walt Disney World this month (August 29!), and if you are planning to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the early days of Black Spire Outpost, you’re likely sitting on some FastPass+ reservations or trying to figure out what to select.
With the announcement that Hollywood Studios will change to a tiered FastPass system on August 29 (of course) and knowing that Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run won’t utilize FastPass in the land’s initial opening period, it’s trickier than ever to know what to do.
UPDATE: Hollywood Studios’ FastPass Tiers have changed. Click here to see the most up-to-date Tiers.
Here we’ll discuss the FastPass system at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and how Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will impact your plans.
Tiered FastPass at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Like Epcot and Animal Kingdom before it, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a tiered FastPass system that will expand on August 29, which means many of you with late-summer travel plans will already have made some tough decisions — and possibly encountered some deep frustration — if our DFB comments are any indication.
That’s because all of Hollywood Studios’ E-Ticket-level rides are now clustered in Tier 1, meaning guests can only select a FastPass for one of them (and will choose Tier 2 attractions for the Park day’s other two FastPass reservations). Tier 1 rides when Galaxy’s Edge opens are Toy Story Mania!, Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
The tiered FastPass system prevents guests from reserving a FastPass for more than one of the Park’s most popular rides and, as a result, strives to spread guests out a little more evenly over the Tier 2 attractions as well. But it may mean more time in queue for those who are used to maximizing the FastPass system to avoid long waits.
Impact of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on FastPass+
When Galaxy’s Edge opens, only one of the land’s headliner attractions will open with it: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Black Spire Outpost’s second attraction, Rise of the Resistance, will open on December 5, 2019. (It won’t open until January 17, 2020, in Disneyland Park.)
When Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge opens later this month, Millennium Falcon will not use the FastPass system. (We expect the ride will use a single rider line, however, so keep that in mind if it helps you navigate the queue more efficiently.)
What this means for your Hollywood Studios FastPass plans is that you’ll want to time strategically your Park FastPasses. And we’ve got some great tips for you to do that:
If you plan to rope drop the Park (don’t forget that Hollywood Studios will offer extra Extra Magic Hours from 6-9AM on September 1 through November 2, and the Park will open to all guests at 6AM on August 29 to August 31), plan your FastPasses for later in the day (think noon or later). This way you’ll finish with Millennium Falcon (and anything else you can experience in Black Spire Outpost) before you need to leave the land for your FastPasses. And don’t forget: once you complete your three FastPass+ reservations, you can immediately search for a fourth, “on-the-fly” FastPass in any Tier (and then a fifth, a sixth, and so on as you complete each fastpass)! On lucky low-crowd days, this may help you to score a second, third, or more Tier 1 FastPasses.
If you’re more of a night owl, you’ll want to schedule your FastPasses for earlier in the day, and try to cluster them so you can take advantage of those on-the-fly FastPasses, too. Also remember that if you’re in line when the Park closes, you’ll still be allowed to ride, so burning that midnight (or 10 or 11PM) oil might work in your favor with Millennium Falcon. (Just note that if the land closes due to capacity, there may be a prohibitively long line just to enter the line later in the day!)
We do expect that FastPass+ will eventually be activated for both Millennium Falcon and Rise of the Resistance (we’ve even spotted signage for FastPass at the entrance of Rise of the Resistance), and that will further throw a wrench into the FastPass planning at Hollywood Studios. But until that day, we’ll be doing our best to keep you posted on how the Tier 1 and 2 system expansion shakes out and Galaxy’s Edge opens to the masses!
What do you think about the FastPass Tiers system? What would you lock down with your Tier 1 reservation? Let us know in the comments!