WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby Haymaker » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:27 am

coasterbill wrote:
A.J. wrote:
coasterbill wrote:They are but they’re often opening later. Today they opened at 8am.

And on Sunday they opened at like... 7:30 AM. It's rather inconsistent.


Yesterday was the first 8AM opening but (highly subject to change because they were supposed to start later openings weeks ago and then switched the hours) it seems to be a pretty standard thing going forward.


And dont confuse soft opening with actual opening (which is when boarding passes are released)

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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby A.J. » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:00 pm

I was referring to the ride - when I went in the middle of the January the ride opened at around 8, but when I went last Sunday the ride opened at 7:30. I had to dump my Rock n' Roller Coaster Fastpass for 7 AM - 8 AM because my boarding group was called much earlier than I expected it to be based on that previous visit.

Though in all seriousness, the turnstile openings have also been inconsistent, they started letting people in at 6:30 back in January but last Sunday they started letting people in at 6:15.
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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby Nrthwnd » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:09 pm

Boarding Groups = Evil.


:wink:
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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby A.J. » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:06 pm

Personally, I think it could be a lot worse... At least everyone inside the park at opening has the same chance of getting a spot.

The one very nice thing about the virtual queuing system is that, once you walk through the ride's entrance, it's a maximum of 15-20 minutes before you begin the story portion. The main queue is always nice and quiet, though, the second queue section after the hangar scene will always be crowded regardless of what system they use.
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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:49 pm

Nrthwnd wrote:Boarding Groups = Evil.


:wink:


I see the wink but for the sake of discussion after experiencing it (now that they’re not forcing people to get there at 5:30 AM to ride the ride) I don’t mind it.

It’s not a perfect system but I can’t fault them for it because I don’t really have a better one. The alternative is basically Hagrid’s with 5 hour posted wait times and probably even more downtime or the ride not being open at all. People would complain no matter what.
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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby Nrthwnd » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:05 pm

^ Understood. But we've just done so well without cell phones currently.... I'm always aware that they "might" be needed, especially when we've been on over seas trips. But taking on DLR or WDW in any future trip might tip the scales in favor of even renting a pair to use, if only for those trips.
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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby A.J. » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:16 am

You CAN do it without the mobile app, you just go to the cast members in the central plaza with the blue tent. Though, you'll probably want to get there earlier if you do so to be close to the front of THAT line, because boarding groups are often exhausted within minutes.

You technically don't even need a smartphone, something like a cheapo iPod Touch could also do the trick so long as the mobile app is supported by it.
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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:02 am

Nrthwnd wrote:^ Understood. But we've just done so well without cell phones currently.... I'm always aware that they "might" be needed, especially when we've been on over seas trips. But taking on DLR or WDW in any future trip might tip the scales in favor of even renting a pair to use, if only for those trips.


If you know someone with a smartphone (I'm sure you do) just scan into the park, give them the login to your Disney account and have them get it for you. Buy them some Baby Yoda merch from the park for their trouble or something.

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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:07 pm

I was a little stressed about the boarding groups too but now that I experienced it I really do think it's the best solution:

With a standby line you would have Hagrid's. The line could be 5 hours long and the ride might not open for the first 3 hours of the day and would close whenever they felt like closing it for maintenance. Couple that with the fact that everyone would probably have existing conflicting Fastpasses and you'd have a nightmare. Nobody wants to spend $180 per day to stand in a 5 hour line with frequent breakdowns. Standby works for Millennium Falcon because it's a capacity whore and the uptime percentage of the Florida ride and the Disneyland ride for the last 7 days is 100%, neither ride has broken one time in over 7 days. From an operations standpoint it's a fantastic attraction. Rise of the Resistance is incredibly unreliable.

With a first come-first serve situation people would have to get to the park at an ungodly hour like 3am to guarantee a boarding group and then be exhausted all day. Now look, when they were opening at 6am that was pretty brutal but they don't do that now. There's no advantage to getting there at 5am vs getting there at 7:45 except if they want to rope drop Slinky Dog Dash or Millennium Falcon so people won't feel the need to leave any more time than they feel comfortable with to ensure that they're at the park on time. There's no better solution.

Also, it's really easy to get a boarding group. Even if you wait until exactly 8am and open the app right then you'll get a guaranteed boarding group. Guaranteed boarding groups are gone in about 45 seconds which sounds like a stressful, awful, tiny amount of time but in practice it's an eternity. You can try from home and open the app, hit the red button, select everyone and proceed to the next screen like 3 times before it finally says that your estimated land wait is a backup group and in reality even an early backup group will guarantee you a ride 99% of the time. It's 3 in the afternoon, guaranteed groups end at 62 and they're already into backups at 67.

This was our experience from Monday...

We were at the parking gates 50 minutes before opening (easy to do if you're staying on site or even 192 or something, it was a 10 minute drive for us and we weren't staying on property), we were in the park like 30 minutes before opening and since we didn't care about Slinky or Falcon we grabbed a cup of coffee and leisurely made our way over to the smaller group near the Tower of Terror holding area. We sat on a bench, sipped our coffee and then at park open we opened the app and got boarding group 15.

Cast members know that the park will look like the world's largest Pokemon Go raid for the first minute or two so rope drop doesn't start right away but after a minute or two we walked over to tower, walked right on, got off the ride and they had already called us and gave us an hour to get there (most people get 2 hours unless you get a great group or a very late group). We went to Rise of the Resistance and got in line.

The ride broke down but since they're doing a boarding group system and not a 5 hour standby line they simply dumped the line and gave us all fastpasses to come back at our leisure later on in the day, though if we wanted to wait for a bit they offered us free water, chips and cookies. They couldn't have really done that without this system where the amount of people in the queue was so limited. Anyone in standby would have been forced to stay there or give up their spot.

We waited a few minutes, had cookies and then finally left. We knew that the ride would be up soon but we had stacked Space Mountain, Mansion and Big Thunder fastpasses so we opted instead to go to Magic Kingdom and use them before coming back later on since we were now free to ride the ride whenever we wanted.

After a great time at Magic Kingdom we came back (now free to make Hollywood Studios fastpasses because we used our Magic Kingdom ones so Brit grabbed Slinky Dog on the bus) and rode Rise with zero wait since we had a fastpass totally stress free even though we only spent like 20 minutes in the line earlier (and we got delicious cookies out of it).

So yeah, I guess you could invent a tiny subset of people that would prefer another option but this is really the best solution for the masses and I'm at the point now where when we visit Disneyland in a few months I hope that the boarding group system is still the system because with any other I probably wouldn't even bother riding it (the ride is AMAZING, but we can just ride it in Orlando where we go much more often).
Last edited by coasterbill on Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:27 pm.

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Re: WDW Disney's Hollywood Studios Discussion Thread

Postby Nrthwnd » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:09 pm

^ and ^^^ Thanks for all your help and information about this, guys. :smile:
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