A couple of days ago someone asked a question in one of the Disney related Facebook groups that I am part of. The original poster wanted to know if people planned to visit Walt Disney World around the time that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, whenever that may be. Some of the replies surprised me. Several people said that they plan to visit, but stay away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They said that they plan to enjoy how empty the other three parks will be. That got me thinking, will the other parks be significantly less crowded because of Galaxy’s Edge?
It did not take me long to realize that these people are going to be in for a rude awakening. The opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is going to bring huge crowds to all four of the Walt Disney World theme parks. I bet that nearby Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando will see a boost in attendance as well. Here is why.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is going to bring a significant number of new people to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Many of these people will have never visited Walt Disney World before, or it will be their first time in a long time. They are not going to plan a vacation of several days to visit one land in one park, a land that only has two rides. Yes, they’ll hit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but if they traveled all the way to Florida they will want to check out the other three parks as well.
You are also going to have Walt Disney World regulars who want to see the new land. They will do the same thing, spend one or two days at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but they will also want to hit the other three parks.
The holidays also need to be factored in. While we don’t yet know an exact opening date for Galaxy’s Edge, we do know that there is little chance that it will open in September because of special offers such as Free Dining. My best guess is that it will open at the earliest in the middle of October, but more likely it will be in the beginning of November. That is around the same time that the Christmas decorations go up at the parks, which has become an extremely popular time to visit. The holiday crowds would mix with the Galaxy’s Edge crowds, making it a crazy busy time in all four parks.
It is true that there will be some people who come only because they are huge Star Wars fans, and they want a chance to explore the planet of Batuu. But I think that there won’t be all that many people here only to visit Galaxy’s Edge. I’m a huge Star Wars fan (big surprise if you know me), but if I didn’t live in the Orlando area I wouldn’t come only to see Galaxy’s Edge. I’d think of it more as a once in a lifetime type of thing, and I’d want to enjoy the full Walt Disney World experience. Star Wars fans are going to want to visit Pandora, fly to Mars, and blast off in a rocket to explore our solar system. They will want to see the other three parks.
This of course is just my opinion. Time will tell exactly how Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will affect the crowds at the other parks. If you want to visit with as small a crowd as possible, though, I’d recommend that you plan your vacation sooner than that. Galaxy’s Edge is going to be a game changer.