New attractions continue to be added to Walt Disney World. Today, we’re talking about 3 new (well, 2 new-new and 1 kinda new) rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
When Galaxy’s Edge first opened in Hollywood Studios on May 31st, 2019, it promised to be the most immersive expansion ever brought to a Disney park, and in my opinion it completely lived up to the hype that surrounded it. The land opened with several restaurants and shops, including two unique “merchandise” experiences where you could build your own droid and lightsaber. The character interactions were unique, as well, with characters mingling with the crowds in impromtu “meet and greets” instead of queued lines at specific times. The attention to detail was incredible. But, on opening date, there was only one bona fide ride experience open and available, and that was Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Initially, the ride opened without FastPass availability, only offering Stand By or Single Rider queue options. That has changed, though, and beginning February 19th, 2020, you can now book FastPasses for the fastest hunk of junk to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
Staying in Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened to high praise on December 5th, 2019. Unlike Smuggler’s Run, Rise of the Resistance opened only to an in-app virtual queuing system called Boarding Groups. So, no Stand By, no Single Rider, and no FastPasses available.
Then, how do you ride? You and your party have to be physically inside the visitor’s entrance gates on the day you want to ride, and once in, you can book your party into a Boarding Group through the My Disney Experience app on your Android or iOS device. However, and I speak from experience, these boarding passes go quick and have typically all been assigned within the first hour the park is open. Your best bet is to get there early, at least 30 minutes prior to park open, and get your whole party scanned through the ticket gates and into the park. Book your boarding pass as soon as they become available. Once booked, you do not have to stay in the park, as the app will notify you via a push notification that your boarding group is called and you will have one hour from that notification to report to the real queue.
When I went, we booked first thing, then we stayed in the park for about 2 hours and rode Star Tours, Smuggler’s Run, Alien Saucer Swirl, and Toy Story Mania before taking the new Skyliner over to Epcot for half the day. Once our boarding group got close (you can see which groups were last called in the My Disney Experience app so you can gauge when yours may be called), we took the Skyliner back over to Hollywood Studios. And I can say, without hesitation, that this ride is SOOOOO worth the wait. It is hands down the best ride experience I’ve ever been on. Truly amazing and inspired, from the moment you step into the line to the moment you arrive back on Batuu. Be forewarned, as soon as this ride gets its FastPass queue enabled, it will be the most coveted FastPass you’ll attempt to get, right up there with Frozen at Epcot and Avatar at Animal Kingdom.
Finally, there’s another new ride that will be open for all beginning on March 4th, 2020, and that’s Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This is the ride that replaced one of my favorites, The Great Movie Ride, in the Chinese Theater at the entrance of the park, and I do hope it’s a worth successor. Different than the Galaxy’s Edge rides, though, this one is opening up with FastPass availability out of the gate.
Both Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway are available as choices in the FastPass+ Finder app. Just remember to book on or after the dates above that each will actually be available through Disney’s FastPass system. Happy Finding!