What's next in Disney's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge reveals?

April 13, 2019, 11:25 AM · The voice of Frozen's Olaf, Josh Gad, switched Disney franchises today to host the "Bringing Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to Life at Disney Parks" panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. During the hour-long event, Walt Disney Imagineering's Scott Trowbridge joined several other WDI and Lucasfilm creative leaders to reveal a few more details about the new Star Wars lands that will debut this year at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The big commercial reveal was that Galaxy's Edge will serve specially packaged Coca-Cola products, with the famous Coke logo recreated in the Star Wars language of Auerbesh.

Executive Creative Director for Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run Asa Kalama also shared that the exit hallway that guests walk through after their time flying the Falcon from its cockpit will change appearance based on how well they performed. Fly the Falcon well, and the hallway will appear pristine. But if you mess up, the hallway will reflect the level of wreckage you caused.

Kalama also provides some more details about how fans will be able to use the Play Disney Parks app inside Galaxy's Edge. Inside the land, the app will transform into an in-story Star Wars data pad, which will include a Hacking Tool to interact with droids, light panels, and spaceships around the Black Spire Outpost — so that you can "plug in" like R2D2. It also will include a Scanning Device to all you to look inside cargo containers in land, a Translation Device to read the Auerbesh signs on Batuu, and a Tuning Tool to allow you to listen in on transmissions on the land's satellite dishes and attennae.

The app also will include a "Outpost Control" game that will allow visitors to pick whether to help the Resistance or the First Order to control surveillance panels installed throughout the land.

Trowbridge and Galaxy's Edge Executive Creative Director Chris Beatty also noted that Disney has retained original voice actors for the land, from Paul Reubens, who will reprise his Star Tours role for Rex, who's now a DJ in Oga's Cantina, to Frank Oz, who will voice Yoda, though we don't yet know where the Jedi Master will factor in the new land.

The panel also played some of the new music Disney has commissioned for the land, including new tracks from Star Wars Cantina band Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes and John Williams' new Theme for Galaxy's Edge.

The first phase of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens May 31 on a reservation-only basis at Disneyland and then to all on June 24. The land opens to all at Disney's Hollywood Studios on August 29. The Rise of the Resistance ride will open in both lands later this year.

Replies (38)

April 13, 2019 at 11:29 AM

I'm curious as to how big this land will be, compared to Pandora. Quick wiki check and it's about the same size. Anyone confirm?

April 13, 2019 at 12:37 PM

It's 14 acres. Pandora was 12 acres, so Star Wars is larger.

April 13, 2019 at 1:58 PM

So it's around 10% bigger. Not much difference.

April 13, 2019 at 3:58 PM

With all of these things for people to stop to look at, listen to and read, I wonder if they’ll cause a fair bit of congestion in the land. I guess it depends on where these interactive elements are placed. I hope I’m wrong, but I have visions of GE being a nightmare to navigate.

April 13, 2019 at 6:25 PM

I have visions of GE being a resounding success as it is being managed by a company that has shown time and again that they are the gold standard in themed entertainment operations.

Just sayin'

April 13, 2019 at 6:32 PM

And there's Coca-Cola in a galaxy far, far away...probably goes with a legend of the Lost City Of Atlanta, delivered from a Delta Hub far, far away...

April 13, 2019 at 6:38 PM

Ever since Disney announced these expansions, I’ve been excited to see what they come up with to mirror the success of Butter Beer and Pumpkin Juice.
Today we found out - It’s Coca-Cola in spherical bottles. Seriously?
Those Coke bottles are a massive disappointment. This is exactly why JK was right to ban it from tWWoHP. I think this is a strong indication that as great as Galaxy's Edge will undoubtedly be, it will still fall short of the complete immersive quality of what Universal created in their Harry Potter attractions.
Even the fact that using one’s Earth bound mobil device will be so integrated in to the experience will only drag the guest out of the experience. Using your iPhone to “scan” the insides of a cargo ship, or connect to things like R2-D2 does in the films will be neat, but you will continue to get notifications of incoming Emails announcing a big sale at Bed Bath & Beyond as you do so.
Don’t misunderstand y’all. I’m still really excited about this, and I’m sure it will be great, but unless Lando asks for a Likstro with a Diet Coke chaser in the next movie, I think this will do nothing but distract from the overall quality.
Disney and Star Wars fan boys will no doubt wave this away, but deep inside they know that the lyrics speak of “buying the world”, not the Galaxy a Coke.
I have to assume there wasn’t much to be done with blue and or green milk especially after that disturbing scene in The Last Jedi.

April 13, 2019 at 8:19 PM

/\ You're missing the point, the blue milk slushie is exlusive to Star Wars land. When you go to Star Wars Land and order a Coke product you are going to get a special Star Wars exclusive bottle, I think 99.9% of the GP will think that is really cool and something only Disney would think of (and a lot of people will take the bottle home and show it to their friends "look at how much Disney cares about theming in Star Wars land"). Banning Coke from Star Wars land would accomplish nothing other than piss off the GP which is one of the reasons Disney didn't build Harry Potter is because JK wanted to control things like that.

April 13, 2019 at 8:26 PM

Got to say “JK banning things like that” is why Potter works so well and why GE is being built in the first place. I will hold off until I see it. I am highly optimistic but skeptical. The crowds will be the big problem.

April 13, 2019 at 8:36 PM

Don Draper's campaign never says which specific world he would like to buy a Coke for- though I suspect Jedi are mostly Peppers;)

April 13, 2019 at 11:25 PM

I'm really mixed on the Coke thing. On one hand, it definitely gives the immersiveness of the land a big hit, as Earth beverages are not known to exist in the Star Wars Galaxy. That said, one of the biggest complaints about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is that the land isn't particularly accessible to those who are not fans of the franchise, and this is certainly one way to improve Galaxy's Edge's appeal to non-fans (or very casual fans). Would selling soft drinks in unbranded containers have been a better choice? Perhaps, but as long as these are relatively discreet I'm okay with it.

April 13, 2019 at 11:34 PM

Relatively discreet went out the window already, their presentation makes it clear as Sprite what these "alien" versions of Coca-Cola,Diet Coke, Sprite and DaSani are- see photo in article for details! Now just need some extraterrestrial versions of Fanta...in space, no one can here you burp after guzzling down your very American soft drink.

April 14, 2019 at 3:56 AM

Those coke bottles, lol, in a cash grab galaxy not so far away. A DJ in a Cantina, that we have never seen in a SW movie. And a phone app is now a "in-story Star Wars data pad" that replaces for one R2D2 and we never seen the pad in any movie. Expanding the universe is great but not when you get far, far away from said universe. It's what I expect from a Chinese knock off park.

April 14, 2019 at 6:50 AM

This has nothing to do with what’s in the bottle ... it’s all about selling the container as a collectible for the Star Wars loyal followers to take home. If it’s anything like the orange bird sippy cup at Epcot they’ll be gone within a couple of weeks at most. Considering we can take drinks into the parks anyway, then it’s easy money making pickings for Disney.

They will obviously be available to buy separately, but I’d guess also in a 4-pack presentation pack for close to $50 ??

Smart business by Disney .... but you would expect nothing less.

April 14, 2019 at 7:47 AM

About that whole "use the phone as a data pad" thing. It does seem somewhat odd within the Star Wars universe, because you never see anybody using tablets or even screens on the ships. Those are very Star Trek-like things. It's not like Disney is going to ignore incorporating use of the Disney Play app.

April 14, 2019 at 10:21 AM

When I finally experienced WWoHP, I was blown away and still am. From the second I walk in, I am transported to another world. Maybe it has to to with the ease of the IP. When I experienced Pandora, I was impressed by the engineering, but it slowly eroded. By the time I saw the cheap, plastic souvenirs, the illusion had worn off. This is what I worry about with GE. That once they build it, that they will let it run itself and the crowds with overwhelm the true fans. The true fans of Potter can get lost in the world, but hopefully they will allow real Star Wars fans to manage and run the land, then it may be fine.

April 14, 2019 at 3:51 PM

On the flip side of the cash grab argument, the only way to interact in WWOHP is to shell out $50 for a wand that only does anything in the park.

Yes using phones breaks immersion, but at least everyone is able to enjoy what's on offer in the land not just those with the extra $$$.

People whinge about Disney's upsells and commercialism. Most of the time they're added extras which in no way exclude the less moneyed from what there is to enjoy in the park. Most of Universals upsells (from wands, the Hogwarts train and express ticketing) don't allow those with deep pockets to enjoy things. Why is it that universal doesn't get called outon these things?

April 14, 2019 at 3:58 PM

There will surely be plenty of up-sell merchandise in GE.
At least, except for HHN, Universal doesn't kick out their guest early so the deep pocketed can spend 3 more hours in the park without the peasants, for the same price or more of a full day admission ticket!

April 14, 2019 at 5:14 PM

Thank you for reiterating my point. No-one acknowledges universals commercialism. People wait longer in queues every day so that express pass upsells can jump the queue, but thus is ignored.

Do I agree with Disney closing the park early for these events? No, I think its wrong. However, Universal does exactly the same thing for Halloween, which you conveniently ignore.

I'm not saying Disney doesn't upsell, but mostly it's not too the detriment of standard guests. I couldn't care if people want to pay $1000 for a lunch with a view as long as I can still watch the show (I am against Disney selling fast passes though).

I just think that Universals upcharges should be undergo the same as Disney's, as i find their transgressions far more offensive. Disney is being called in these comments for having a cash grab by selling coke. Seriously?

April 14, 2019 at 5:26 PM

Been to plenty of private events at Universal Orlando after regular park hours filled with things that aren't really part of the Potterverse so, no, they are not immune to any of these issues. But the article is about Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, not about Wizarding World and those Coke products are part of the Disney theme parks plans for this expansion theme area. Plenty of knocking to go around if you wish. Most of time, Central Florida weather puts the mug in muggles and yet no one here bitches that this makes no sense whatsoever in Hogwarts or Diagon Alley. Nor does using modern payment methods all over these themed areas. If you want to look beyond the obvious tells that you are in a theme park and enjoy the story being told as is, great.

April 14, 2019 at 5:43 PM

I did not ignore Halloween, I specifically mentioned it, but at least HHN is a 7 to 8 hour event, and you can go every night for the cost of 2 Disney up-charge 3 hour events, so there is much more value there.
Also, I'm just replying to a complaint of Universal, was not trying to change the subject about silly coke containers.
And having after hour events is not a big deal, they should have them. Just count the quantity between the 2 companies (scale result by # of parks if you wish) and see who has much much more, and they are always to the detriment of guest because they either close the park early or fill it up with a thousand people before regular opening. I personally don't count HHN or MNSSHP because the are annual events and have longer operating hours.
Lastly, sorry, not trying to be mean, but who cares about the Central Florida Weather? It actually fits Potter very well if you think about it, Britain is a very rainy place!

April 14, 2019 at 6:48 PM

Florida weather bares no resemblance to anything in the UK or the Potterverse;)

April 14, 2019 at 7:03 PM

Not my comment:
"Let’s just put this to rest now: setting the land in Tatooine would make ZERO sense. Disneyworld is in Central Florida where it rains nearly everyday. Don’t think a daily shower on a desert planet would be very immersive."

April 14, 2019 at 7:53 PM

Your comment is that Central Florida weather fits Hogwarts, despite the hot, steamy evidence that it clearly does not- it's 82°F here right now but 38° in London. Meanwhile Disney's backstories for both Galaxy's Edge and Pandora allow for this. Pandora's supposed to be hosting tourists from earth and Wizarding World acknowledges guests are mostly muggles. No where in the Star Wars mythos accounts for American soda brands or earthly devices or forms of payment. Can still enjoy the themed areas for what they are but don't pretend thousands of sweating muggles in t shirts and shorts with strollers fit anyone's definition of an immersive environment. I love Pandora and I love Wizarding World of Harry Potter regardless and I am certain I will love Galaxy's Edge- though I would have loved it more if Disney had insisted Coke had only bespoke products that fit the area on offer rather than repackaged earth soft drinks that can't fit the narrative.

April 14, 2019 at 7:51 PM

Orlando, Rain. Britain, Rain. That's all. I never once complained about Themes or backstories, just up-charge events, you are trying to change my posts, go back and read again Please. I Don't care about that, to each their own with regards to immersive lands, it's all personal preference. I have no issue with GE, if not for FP+ and crowds i'd be there this year, but because of that, maybe not until 2022.

April 14, 2019 at 9:15 PM

I was confused when walking around Hogsmeade when it was hot. I was really confused walking around Pandora wondering why I was not being poisoned breathing the toxic planetary air.

April 14, 2019 at 9:18 PM

Best thing about Diagon Alley is Knockturn Alley, cool and covered from rain. Best escape ever from Florida sun and rain!

April 14, 2019 at 11:50 PM

My issue is that people are criticising the use of mobile devices, saying it breaks immersion. The alternative is a $50 upsell that has practically no value out of the park. I think Disney has showed good judgement in planing for an interactive environment that everyone can enjoy.

The thing is that everyone has their phones out anyway, do i don't actually think this will break the immersion anymore

April 15, 2019 at 9:11 AM

My Kids play with their wands all the time at home. Also, they get fixed for FREE any time they break the sensor, no receipt, no questions asked.

April 15, 2019 at 9:33 AM

You can get a Harry Potter wand for $5 at Target. Looks even better without the sensor on the tip. Like I say, practically no value out of the park.

April 15, 2019 at 12:14 PM

I would say that allowing guests to use phones to interact with Galaxy's Edge was a smart move by Disney. However, I think it's going to be a serious challenge for them to pull it off. The app has to be near flawless in every respect from the launch date, or guests will get frustrated and give up on it. Also, if Disney can't keep the interactive content fresh and interesting, frequent guests will also give up on it. Finally, there's the aspect of accessibility. I know it's reasonable to assume that virtually everyone has access to a smart phone, but there are still enough people that don't to make this decision tough for some families. While the $50 interactive wands can be cost prohibitive to some guests, at least that option is there. If you walk into Galaxy's Edge without a smart phone, you're pretty much SOL when it comes to unlocking the interactivity of the land. Unless Disney is going to move into the mobile device market, techno-phobes are not going to be thrilled about having such a large chunk of the Galaxy's Edge experience inaccessible. Also, part of accessibility is WiFi/broadband access and the overall capacity of the interactive elements. WDW has occasionally run into problems with some of their interactive games (Agent P at EPCOT and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom). While Disney has done a good job of modifying the games to split guests up around the parks to avoid long lines at windows, you can still occasionally run into 5-8 minute waits to progress in the games. WWoHP ran into similar issues when they introduced the interactive wands that necessitated lots of extra staffing to expedite and assist spell casters. However, is Disney prepared to assist guests and can the interactive elements meet the capacity required for what is bound to be a mob scene? I think utilizing as much AR as possible would be one way to increase capacity of the interactive elements, but there are bound to be lines for physical interactions like there is in Pandora. Finally, if Disney is forcing everyone onto their smart phones to fully enjoy Galaxy's Edge, will they have the bandwidth necessary to meet the demand. I've been in numerous sporting venues and theme parks where the operators have touted increased bandwidth and access to WiFi only to see slow buffering times and clunky, intermittent access. Will Disney control/throttle access to their WiFi networks (prohibiting streaming and other data-intensive applications) to ensure guests can interact with Galaxy's Edge uninterrupted? What level of control will Disney exert, and how much bandwidth will they make available to guests? Again, it will only take a few poor experiences to generate a bad reputation - one which Disney already has with how intuitive their apps are and the overall reliability of their current WiFi networks. Disney is setting a very high bar here (and failed to meet the level of interactivity promised with PtWoA), and has their work cut out here far more than what they need to deliver for the rides. After all, guests could be wandering Galaxy's Edge for hours waiting for their times to ride MFSR and RotR, so these interactive elements MUST deliver.

The Coke stuff is a total gimmick, but one that's likely to get soaked up by your average Disney guest. The issue I see is the markup that Disney puts on these bottles, which I expect to sell for close to $5 for what appears to be no more than a 10 oz beverage. Then you'll have the Drones snapping up all these Galaxy's Edge exclusive bottles to resell, forcing Disney to continue to up the price where guests are spending more for the novelty than they are for the refreshment inside. Star Wars has always been about licensing, and with tie ins with MLB, Nissan, Coke, Ziplock, and zillions of other companies, having corporate tie-ins within Galaxy's Edge should not be a surprise to anyone. It doesn't break the illusion for me, because that's the way Star Wars has been marketed for decades, and precisely why Rowling didn't want Harry Potter to fall victim to the same consumerist tropes. However, I worry about finding an affordable drink in Galaxy's Edge, especially if most guests are going to spend somewhere between 2-4 hours in the land not wanting to leave because of the impossibility of getting back in.

April 15, 2019 at 11:11 AM

The Disney WiFi is average at best, and the thought of all those people trying to access the interactions using that is a scary thought. For a lot of people, I agree, it would make their experience less enjoyable if they couldn't get it to work as advertised.

Good point on the E-Bay selling for the coke bottles. When orange bird sold out (they were $14) prices on EBay were in the $50-$60 range. Now I see they are mostly in the $25-$35 range, but still a good profit margin. And I can see the Star Wars coke/water containers selling for way more than that. It'll be interesting to see if Disney restricts the number you can buy, as they have with the new stock of sippy cups.

My friends are talking about going on GE opening day !!! Watch this space.

April 15, 2019 at 11:21 AM

Totally agree with Russell, would be very worried about bandwidth and an app the already doesn't always work so well. The entire park is already refreshing all day to get their "Free" FP+ additions.
Wands, butter-beer, gimmicky coke and cupcakes, princess dresses, toys that you can buy anywhere else for half the price, etc... all overpriced, but everything in a theme park is. To complain about one thing, wands, that thousands of people enjoy using is ridiculous. I'd rather my kid was playing with a wand than their heads buried in their phone.

April 15, 2019 at 11:48 AM

Nitpicking about Coke products in GE seems a bit foolish to me. How do we know that Coke products haven't made their way up in space already? Do you think astronauts on the ISS might like comforts of home when they are up there for such long durations? Really I don't care. It's not ruining anything for me. I will be glad to have an ice cold Coke in Florida when the temps and humidity are the same number in August or September. Coca-Cola only cares that their product is in the attraction and Pepsi isn't.

April 15, 2019 at 1:39 PM

Regarding the Coke products, I imagine Coke saw the writing on the wall and realized they didn't want to be left out of another major theme park addition after Harry Potter so they offered to make some custom products for Disney. As a result of their ongoing partnership and in the name of "synergy" (and possibly some financial incentives) we ended up with what you see here. Personally I'm not a fan but I don't think this is what will make or break the land. I'm more concerned about the sign this gives on what else is still to come.

The usage of cell phones ruffles my feathers a bit more. We are already attached to our phones all the time so now we get to come to Disney and do more of the same? That hardly screams "immersive" to me. When you go to Universal and see folks waving their wands throughout the Harry Potter lands it actually enhances the themeing. I'm afraid that when I walk through Galaxy's Edge and everyone is staring at their phone it'll just seem like more of the same.

Time will tell on both issues I suppose.

April 16, 2019 at 6:33 PM

I don't have any problem with Coke products being in GE.

As much as (super) fans want TOTAL immersion, realistically, we are still in a theme park. The general public & guest, theoretically break any idea of complete immersion. Cast members will not stop guest with Mickey balloons & strollers, etc. from entering GE. There will be plenty of non SW items floating around GE ruining the "illusion" of complete immersion. That's just the reality of it.

If the plan was to confiscate all non "Star Wars" items from the land & individuals, then one could get close, but that's not happening.

In terms of the interactive app, lets be honest. Disney already KNOWS people will be on their phones. GE will not prevent people from taking selfies / social media / checking email, playing Heads Up talking on their phones, etc.

I want an immersive land, but we also need to be realistic. It will be OK to suspend disbelief. I'm guessing the restrooms won't have authentic toilet tissue....

April 17, 2019 at 7:19 AM

"I'm guessing the restrooms won't have authentic toilet tissue...."

Really?? I would be very disappointed if we don't see some Spaceballs: The Toilet Paper in Galaxy's Edge. Also, at least some of those Cracker Jack boxes they sell have to include a sacred ring so the little ones can wield the Schwartz.

April 17, 2019 at 8:06 PM

@ Russell......I mean, you never know, lol....I'm just thinking that level of immersion may be too much for many.

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