UPDATE: The virtual queue “Boarding Passes” were only necessary in the morning and afternoon of June 24th at Disneyland. Since then Galaxy’s Edge status has remained “Open” and guests can just walk right into the land and enjoy it at their leisure. The land has been functioning well even during the busy July 4th holiday. The Boarding Pass system may still be used on busy days when the land hits it’s maximum capacity, but not using it makes the guest experience much simpler and easy to understand for guests, so Disney won’t use it unless needed.
We believe the lower crowds are due to a combination of guests being scared off by the massive crowds we all anticipated and the many measures Disney put in place to distribute the crowds over time: aggressive Summer Annual Pass blackouts, the phased later opening of the Rise of the Resistance attraction, the 3-weeks of reservation-only access, etc. Lower Summer crowd levels along with guests being spread out more in the 20% increase in acreage at Disneyland Park and other improvements from Project Stardust, makes it a great time to visit Disneyland!
We finally have official info courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog, on the virtual queue Boarding Pass process for how to get into Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland starting June 24th when reservations are no longer needed to enter the land. We were back on Batuu ourselves that day to try out these new systems and come up with strategies and tips to help you best experience Black Spire Outpost with these new systems in place. We’ll be gathering other intel and updating this article as we learn more.
No details have been announced for the Walt Disney World version of Galaxy’s Edge opening August 29th, 2019. While we don’t expect much official info until just a few weeks prior to that date, we do believe that
‘Boarding Pass’ Virtual Queue Process
Rather than just sitting in a standby line all day to get into Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland has implemented a new virtual queue system, similar to a FastPass, to get into the land. You’ll be able to see the capacity status of the land in the Disneyland app. If it’s available to just walk in, the status will be listed as Open and you can head directly there. If the land reaches capacity, Disney will stop letting people in, the status will change to Access by Boarding Group Only and you’ll be able to book Boarding Passes in the app for your party to enter the virtual queue for the land.
You’ll be assigned a Boarding Group number and once it’s your turn to enter you’ll be given a push notification on your smartphone with 2-hours to return and enter Galaxy’s Edge at the designated entrance (Big Thunder entrance is where they’ve been having guests return for this).
You won’t be given a specific return time when you request to join a Boarding Group, but will be given a general estimate of the time like “Late Morning” or “Early Afternoon”. In the app, you will be able to see what Groups are currently boarding, and a progress bar showing the Groups ahead of you, but again not a specific return time. There will also be digital signage at Guest Services locations throughout Disneyland Park.
There is no guaranteed access to Galaxy’s Edge through the Boarding Group system, although we assume Disney will do their best to stop booking additional Boarding Passes once they believe access will no longer be possible that day. Late nights at Disneyland tend to be slower, but we’ll see what demand is like in the weeks and months ahead.
Carlye Wisel at Travel and Leisure has also confirmed that unlike MaxPass, which lets guests enter either Disneyland Park or California Adventure before booking FastPasses resort-wide, all guests in your party will need to have scanned into Disneyland Park before joining a Boarding Group and additional guests cannot be added to your group once the request has been made.
Guests will also be able to get paper Boarding Passes at select FastPass locations such as Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones Adventure, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain or near the Matterhorn Bobsleds. As previously mentioned, there will be digital signage at Guest Services locations throughout the park for what Boarding Groups are currently launching to Galaxy’s Edge, so guests with paper Boarding Passes will need to keep checking that signage for when they can enter if they don’t have access to a smartphone.