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Disneyland Article
Star Wars Greatest Trick Making Disneyland Lines Disappear

Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run
ID:
TMS-4365
Source:
Orange County Register
Author:
Robert Niles
Dateline:
June 11, 2019
Posted:
June 19, 2019
Status:
Current
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The impossible is happening at Disneyland.

I’m not talking about flying the Millennium Falcon on a new planet in the Star Wars universe. Disney has been creating that kind of entertainment magic for decades. I am talking instead about something far more unusual for one of the world’s most popular theme parks.

The lines are disappearing. Ever since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened to reservation holders on May 31, Disneyland has been experiencing some of the smallest queues that it has seen on sunny days in years.

Is this another Olympic phenomenon? Back in 1984, when Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympics, the fear of traffic gridlock during the games led Southern Californians to either stay home or flee the area, leading to the freest freeways locals had ever seen. Could the fear of galactic-sized crowds have kept fans away from Disneyland this month?

Fans claimed all the reservation times for the first 24 days of operation at Galaxy’s Edge within two hours after Disneyland made them available last month. It’s possible that some tourists who did not get one of those reservations decided to postpone their visits until after the land opens to all Disneyland ticket-holders on June 24.

More likely, Disneyland’s new annual pass blockout calendar has had a greater effect upon attendance at the resort. In anticipation of Galaxy’s Edge, the Disneyland Resort created separate blockout calendars for its two theme parks, with Southern California Select annual pass holders losing access to Disneyland for the summer starting the day the new Star Wars land opened.

And let’s not forget that there’s a new 14-acre land in Disneyland with a new ride, restaurants and shops that are drawing people in, adding to the resort’s overall capacity. Disneyland also has been trying to lure more people across the esplanade to Disney California Adventure, too, opening Mickey’s Philharmagic in the old Muppets theater, debuting a new Lion King musical in Paradise Gardens Park and returning the original version of Soarin’ Over California for this month. Those new attractions also increase resort capacity, helping to reduce waits at other locations.

Whether it is the result of a reservation system, annual pass blockouts or increased capacity, this month has shown that long lines at the Disneyland Resort are not inevitable. This month proves that it is possible, through aggressive management, to find ways to make Disneyland’s lines disappear.

But can Disneyland keep making this particular type of magic? What happens on June 24, when the reservation-only period for Galaxy’s Edge ends? Or on Sept. 3, when the summer blockout lifts for Southern California Select annual pass holders?

With advance scheduling and virtual queues, the Disneyland Resort has new tools that it can use to reduce or eliminate the some of the long lines that have clogged its theme parks over the past several years. It has introduced a new Disney Flex annual pass, which allows pass holders to make advance reservations to visit on days that would be otherwise blocked. But can these new tools, along with additional park capacity, help Disneyland avoid a return to never-ending queues?

Like with the next chapter in the Star Wars universe, we will just have to wait to find out.
 
Attractions Referenced

Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run

 
Lands Referenced

Star Wars Galaxys Edge

 
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