Today marked the first day that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened its standby line at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the history of the attraction. We decided to head out “bright and early” to check out what rope drop crowds look like and how you might time your arrival if you want to get onto the attraction with minimal waits. It’s worth noting up front that crowds and wait times are likely inflated at least a bit, if not significantly, due to the First Day Effect. That said, there are some constants that will remain regardless of crowds such as opening times and operations.
Parking Lot Arrival
Disney continues to implement some of their pandemic-era operations when it comes to their parking lots and parking plaza opening times. As has been the case for some time now, you can expect the parking plaza to open anywhere from 60-75 minutes before posted official park opening. If you show up more than 75 minutes before the park is scheduled to open, you can expect to be turned away and drive around Walt Disney World property until the parking plaza is open.
Here’s a look at the situation as we arrived this morning at 7:46am.
By 7:50am, we were outside of the tap points as Disney had guests wait a few minutes before allowing guests to enter the park. This has become commonplace in recent months, and most guests won’t even see this wait.
This morning, guests were allowed to enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 7:56am.
Galaxy’s Edge Rope Drop Holding Area
Guests looking to rope drop Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will all need to go to the holding area until the rest of Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens around 30 minutes prior to the official park opening.
To find the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge rope drop holding area, walk down Hollywood Blvd and then turn left towards the Echo Lake area. You’ll want to essentially head towards the Indiana Jones Epic Stuntacular show entrance.
It’s worth noting that if you have a Savi’s Workshop reservation that is before park open, you’ll want to check in with the Cast Members near the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost.
Crowds will continue to build over the next 20-30 minutes until Disney opens the park and begins to walk guests back towards Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge about 30 minutes before the official park open.
Here’s a timelapse of what rope drop looked like earlier this morning.
As you begin to round the corner past Star Tours and head down Grand Avenue, Cast Members will start to funnel the crowds into the right half of the street. This is to allow for extended overflow queues to utilize the other half of the road. As a matter of fact, guests were initially routed into a backstage area to the right of the Grand Avenue tunnel to start the day, and then a more common overflow area was the MuppetVision extended queue. Here’s a look at the march down Grand Avenue and into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
While there were a significant amount of guests in front of us, the line was also long behind us. We’ll talk more about timing at the end of this article, but suffice it to say that we let hundreds of guests pass us to simulate a more average arrival time than what we actually had.
As we continued through the Grand Avenue tunnel connection to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Cast Members eventually funneled guests into a two-by-two formation to make the line narrow enough to accommodate the attraction entrance.
The attraction would eventually build to a multi-hour wait before normalizing to around 90 minutes.
Here’s a look at some of the overflow queue areas.
Rise of the Resistance Rope Drop Advice
As we were putting this story together, the advice section of the article quickly became obsolete as Disney added Rise of the Resistance to the attraction lineup for their Resort Guest Early Entry perk.
This essentially means that Disney resort guests will have a first crack at getting onto Rise of the Resistance 30 minutes before everyone else. Our advice was probably going to be to avoid Rise of the Resistance first thing in the morning anyway, but now that is solidified if you’re not a Disney Resort guest.
Briefly, the strategy that we used this morning hinged on our ability to arrive right at 7:45am for the 9am park opening. By ensuring that we were one of the first dozen cars into the parking lot, we could’ve been able to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance as one of the first guests had we not hung back a bit to get photos of the crowds.
For the next week, we suggest either ensuring that you’re in the parking lot before 8am, or picking another ride to do first thing in the morning while the masses head for Rise of the Resistance.
As expected, wait times for Rise of the Resistance were high right at rope drop, but dropped off from a high of 220 minutes. Through a half-day of operations, the average wait time is just over 100 minutes.
It’s also worth noting that wait times are higher than the reported actual wait times as well. Some guests reported waiting less than 30 minutes when the wait time was posted as 75 minutes earlier this morning.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!