Disney World hotel guests to get early crack at Galaxy's Edge

The Droid Depot at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland.
The Droid Depot at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada

When Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando later this year, guests staying at Disney hotels or select partner hotels will have exclusive access to the land from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily.

Disney regularly allows resort guests into its parks for extra time before or after the park opens, its Extra Magic Hours perk, but that perk is expanding to become "extra" Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios in anticipation of the popularity of Galaxy's Edge.

"That really gives our resort guests an opportunity to come in and enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Toy Story Land and other popular attractions," said Claire Bilby, senior vice president of sales, services and events for Disney Destinations.

Galaxy's Edge opens in Disney World on Aug. 29. It opened at the end of May in Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. 

At Disney World, additional Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios will be available every day from Sept. 1 to Nov. 2. Daily Extra Magic Hours will be added at the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks for resort guests, as well, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.

In addition to Disney resorts, the benefits extend to guests staying at the Swan Hotel, Dolphin Hotel, Shades of Green Resort, Disney Springs resort-area hotels, Four Seasons Resort Orlando, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando.

"We're trying to make sure we give that great guest experience," Bilby said. "I think we've got a great plan."

To travel advisors specifically, Bilby said, "I want them to feel very comfortable recommending to their clients that this is now the time to come."

Bilby also wants agents to know that you don't have to be a big Star Wars fan to like Galaxy's Edge. She said that she had only seen about half of the movies before visiting Galaxy's Edge but it "still blew me away." Travel advisors with a similar experiene told her they, too, were impressed.

In Disneyland, Galaxy's Edge was first open only to Disneyland hotel guests for a period of time; it opened to the public on June 24. Disneyland has implemented a virtual queue system for use when guest demand is high.

"The team out at Disneyland has done such a fabulous job focused on managing that demand seamlessly," Bilby said.

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