By David G Allan, CNN
(CNN) — If you’re still plotting your entry into Disneyland’s newest, biggest and very popular new land, hold on. Today begins a shift away from a reservation system to general access into Galaxy’s Edge — the name of Disney’s new Star Wars land.
But, there are some “buts.”
If it’s as popular as expected, visitors who travel here will likely need to line up in a crowd controlling virtual queue on the morning of their visit to Disneyland or Disney Californian Adventure.
Through FastPass kiosks in the park or the Disney app (your presence in the park also required), guests can now sign up (as early as 7 a.m.) for a boarding group window of time on Batuu. That’s the planet that is now hosting an in-universe experience where you don’t just celebrate the films and series of Star Wars, you live them.
The virtual boarding group queue will reward whoever shoots first (Han Solo, of course) which means there’s no guarantee you’ll get into Galaxy’s Edge, as veteran FastPass users will tell you.
What are your odds? Not even C3-P0 can calculate your chances. And if you’re channeling your inner space pilot, you’d likely reply “Never tell me the odds” anyway.
Virtual queuing will go on as long as demand requires it.
The other “but” is that two of the more popular spots on Batuu will require specific reservations: Savi’s workshop, where you can assemble and purchase your very own lightsaber, and Oga’s Cantina, the only place in the Disneyland universe where you can enjoy an alcoholic libation.
I was in Galaxy’s Edge on opening day, and Savi’s was so popular that when I went to get in line I was told he was no longer taking appointments. Oga’s, though, I can personally attest is worth the reservation. The drinks are inventive and have clever Star Warsian names (Fuzzy Tauntaun, Bespin Fizz) but the whole look and vibe of the place is fun and yet gritty enough to still be intoxicating to your role-playing imagination.
Pro (er, Jedi) tip: If you get a reservation to see Savi or Oga, you and your party are automatically guaranteed entry into Galaxy’s Edge—virtual queue not needed. But (big “but” this time): If you don’t show up for your cantina reservation, it will cost you $10 per person, and no shows to the lightsaber workshop will cost you the price of a Jedi weapon, 199.99 credits (read: dollars), sans the lightsaber.
And just so you know, TSA has cleared lightsabers for flights, which was something I wondered as my daughter and I put her new droid through security x-rays at LAX airport, with no incident.
Maybe it’s easy for me to say since I’ve been on the Millennium Falcon three times already, but if you can delay your gratification, there are sensible reasons to wait to visit early next year.
There’s the current “no promises” state of affairs of virtual queuing and reservations, the big crowds in general and most compelling of all: the opening of the marquee attraction, Rise of the Resistance, in which you will be captured on the deck of a First Order Star Destroyer. Disney folks are saying it will be open by year’s end.
But if you can’t wait, good luck. I mean, may the Force be with you.
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