Disney launches new promo blitz for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

September 23, 2019, 5:02 PM · Disney is looking to push attendance at its Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World with a week-long promotion across several ABC television network shows.

The highlight for theme park fans likely will be Thursday's edition of Good Morning America, which will broadcast "an exclusive sneak peek" of the upcoming Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride, which opens December 5 at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida and on January 17 at Disneyland in California. I got a look inside the first Star Destroyer scene during the Galaxy's Edge media preview in Orlando last month, but Disney has several other ready-to-go show scenes it also could feature in a sneak peek on its nationally broadcast morning show.

Elsewhere, Disney will be dropping mentions of Galaxy's Edge and other Star Wars properties into Live with Kelly and Ryan, The View, Strahan, Sara & Keke, Nightline, Black-ish, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, American Housewife, America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Rookie, and Dancing with the Stars, starting tomorrow through next Monday evening. Disney's Freeform cable channel also will show a two-hour special about the land, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, on Sunday, September 29 at 8pm Eastern.

Disney's long been the master at cross-media promotion for its theme parks, with many fans having grown up with old TGIF sitcom nights where all the shows ended up at Walt Disney World for whatever reason. But this latest promo blast might be the most ambitious one Disney has ever launched for a single theme park product.

So much for Bob Iger's suggestion during an investor's call earlier this year that Disney wouldn't need to promote Galaxy's Edge - that all the company would need to do is tweet out, "it's open," and the fans would queue up.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge has wowed many of the fans who have showed up to enjoy the new lands, but that enthusiasm hasn't translated to an increase in overall crowd levels at either the Disneyland or Walt Disney World resorts since the lands opened earlier this year. In fact, Disney has had to offer new discounts in both markets to try to keep attendance level as fans balked at increased ticket prices, or waited for Rise of the Resistance to open... or both.

Disneyland tickets Disneyland Tickets: For the latest current discount tickets to the Disneyland theme parks, including Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge inside Disneyland, visit our Disneyland tickets page.

Replies (66)

September 23, 2019 at 5:27 PM

It's a nice land. But it's not Star Wars Land. It's a random land, with a Millenium falcon thrown in.

Whoever came up with the creative decision to bypass any of the original trilogy and the iconic characters and scenes needs to walk away from this mess very slowly.

September 23, 2019 at 8:37 PM

Disagree with AndrewMciveR. The land very strongly resembles Mos Eisley from the original and Jakku from the Force Awakens. It screams Star Wars without needing to directly duplicate an existing location. The Cantina, the droids, the architecture are all more than enough to let you know precisely what universe this is without the need to spell it out.

Besides, if this actually does become a problem Disney could easily write it into a future Star Wars movie.

September 23, 2019 at 7:50 PM

Agree with Andrew

September 23, 2019 at 9:21 PM

I agree with Stevenz. I do wish we could of gotten an original trilogy planet but I really respect and appreciate the work done on creating Batuu. It is a completely new and an original concept that the imagineers had to think of and design. They didn't have to look at the movies and easily replicate a planet. Everything came from scratch. People want a original trilogy planet because of nostalgia. They created something new and exciting, that's what's important. Not to cater to the crowds but to give something creative.

September 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

Really is disheartening to see so many people afraid of anything new and original. Oh well, shorter lines for me!

September 23, 2019 at 10:20 PM

FWIW, I put this up for a vote six years ago, and the choice that Disney ultimately made for the land's setting came in last in that poll: Vote of the week: The setting of Star Wars Land?

September 23, 2019 at 10:23 PM

As a Star Wars fan, it bothers me that the movies felt like they had to 'check the boxes.' Somebody had to say, "I've got a bad feeling about this;" a planet had to be a sand planet, etc., etc. I am glad they close something new to allow them to tell a story outside the confines of the time constraints. They want to repurpose the rides to future films, they can do so. While I have not been there (am waiting for everything to be going), it does not seem that they are going 'all in' to this location. By that I mean to say there should be cast members that are in non-human costume. They should have events that happen throughout the land other than fireworks show. They may do this, but selling funny shaped Cokes is not what I have in mind. Universal completely transports you to the world of Harry Potter. There are no real world sodas. The cast members really, really know their Potter trivia and tend to stay in character. The Slytherin cast members act like they don't like the other cast members. Does Disney do this with Star Wars?

September 23, 2019 at 11:31 PM

I thought I saw something about the person who designed the star wars land stepping down. Anyhow you know it's not a good look when there is a video out that says Knotts ghost town is more lively and interactive. I just feel like Disney lost thier way years ago when they had to make everything related to a movie. Dont be surprise to see the rock somewhere on the jungle cruise.

September 23, 2019 at 11:58 PM

Yeah I'm disappointed that so much of the stuff disney promised about the interactivity throughout the land isn't there. A D-ticket attraction, another restaurant, droids and aliens walking around. I remember when there were rumors of random "fights" breaking out in the land. I hope that when more people go to GE, it'll give Disney incentive and a bigger budget to follow through with their plans.

September 24, 2019 at 6:14 AM

The real key here is music. Turn the corner into Hogsmeade at HP and the John Williams score is soaring. It sets the tone, as it does in a movie. I'm sure Rise... will solve a lot of issues, yet music would be my first, easiest fix to the overall land.

The sound design at SW:GE is cool, yet it's more like the SFX track to the movie. Star Wars *is* John Williams as much as it is George Lucas. Yet you barely hear his SW:GE theme when you walk into the land. And no one yet knows that tune, and it's different in the land than in the recording that is streaming.

I don't recall hearing the famous notes to the end title sequences of the films at the end of Smuggler's Run, like you do at the end of Star Tours. I truthfully got as much SW feeling on my first ride on Hyperspace Mountain with it's John Williams score, as I did when seeing the Falcon for the first time. (Which was awesome--overall I like Galaxy's Edge.)

Also agree: where are the non-human aliens? Where are the droids who actually move and interact? Where is interactivity that feels like SW? While I don't cast spells, it's fun to watch other guests do so at HP. Not fun? Watching guests pull at an iPhone hoping some app will do something eventually. Oh, and Blue Milk shouldn't be a slushie. (I'm pro regular, non-frozen Butterbeer, too. Fine to have both, yet only one seems like it truly came from the movies/books.)

September 24, 2019 at 6:26 AM

I may be in the minority, but I think this land is mostly a failure. When Rise of the Resistance opens, I’ll likely still consider the land as a whole a failure. Why? Too much land given to one property with not enough t do. Is it beautiful? Yes. Do I enjoy Falcon? Yes? But, there’s not much else to do. I’m not a merchandise person, so two experiences are out for me. Where’s the ambient entertainment? Why aren’t there more droids? Or Ewoks? Or stormtroopers?

This could have easily been an 8 or 9 acre land. Give some space for something more engaging. I think ultimately, this is the problem with Parks & Resorts being tied in with consumer products.

September 24, 2019 at 6:41 AM

MY major problem with the thinking, "This isn't Star Wars - It should have been the original trilogy" is that Disney can't build anything new with the Original Trilogy. That time is over. It would have been nice, yes, but we are thirty years too late for an effective "original trilogy" Star Wars Land.

For years to come they can hire and use Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, and the rest of the new actors to appear/voice their characters visiting Batuu. Harrison Ford and Mark Hammill are too old. Carrie Fisher is gone.

Imagine Harry Potter Land, but no footage of Daniel Radcliff an his gang (even in Escape From Gringotts, I thought the actors were looking a little bit old in their footage). You wouldn't want to see the pre-show video of Hagrid's coaster, if Hagrid had to come out with a walker.

It IS a Star Wars land. There's the Falcon, and Chewie, and droids and Star Wars aliens. It's just not the Star Wars land that some people want; but that's a Star Wars land that can never be.

September 24, 2019 at 7:31 AM

I guess that sets up the interesting question: what is Star Wars? What about the movies we know and love makes a land really feel like we're stepping into the Star Wars universe?

Disney took a bet that they could create a land that look, felt, and sounded like Star Wars without any story connection to the films. My takeaway is that this was the wrong bet. For most people it is a gut thing - it either feels like Star Wars or it doesn't. Maybe the land's whole just doesn't add up to more than the sum of its parts.

September 24, 2019 at 8:04 AM

Disney's problem is deeper than just putting Star Wars without all the bells and whistles. All signs show Rise to be a game changer, so Imagineering can still do it. The attractions in Pandora are great, but the land simply does not bring it like Potter does. Why? My thought is a corporate change years ago that went from the customer being the ultimate deciding factor. The theory was if the customer was the sole factor, then they would want to return and would tell others. They even had other companies sending management to Disney to learn this. Now it is about how to pack as many people in as possible and use technology to do so. See, I agree that the last thing I want to do in GE is walk around looking at my phone. I don't want to pre-plan my trip. This is convenient for Disney (and some guests). Therefore, it seems to me (and it is just a theory) that the bean-counter management has involved themselves with Imagineering which is why you see cheap, plastic toys and cups in Pandora next to the amazing design. I have been a massive, massive Star Wars fan, but I would much rather casually wander through Hogsmeade to be perfectly honest just because it can be done casually. We don't have to be a slave to our phone and plan.

September 24, 2019 at 8:33 AM

Is no one else totally exhausted by this discussion?

September 24, 2019 at 8:44 AM

Yes and no. I love going to these places, and when I do it is great. It is like people that debate the sound of vinyl over CD. They argue and argue about what sounds better until they are red in the face, but they still listen to all forms of media. There really is much greater problems in the world than whether a specific land in a theme park is performing well, but here we are.

September 24, 2019 at 8:50 AM

I’m not tired of discussing Galaxy’s Edge, I’m tired of discussing if it’s a success because a bunch of old guys don’t like the new Star Wars movies. Some corrections to this thread:

- the land does have a defined setting in the film series, in the period between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. RotR will make this explicit, but it’s already there.
- you do not have to “be a slave to your phone and plan.” For one, Millennium Falcon does not offer FP+, so enjoy it whenever you’d like! I’ve been to Galaxy’s Edge multiple times and have not even downloaded the Datapad app. It’s a wonderful land without it!
- I still think Potter is the best theme park land ever, but let’s not get super revisionist about it because we’re pouty over Rian Johnson doing something interesting. There are plastic cups and cheap toys in WWoHP too, it’s mostly composed of shops with one or two major attractions, and the team members actually do far less in the way of interactivity and immersion than SWGE.

If we’re going to talk about Galaxy’s Edge, can we please do it on the merits of the land, and not carry out petty arguments about whether or not our childhoods were respected, as if that matters at all?

September 24, 2019 at 9:42 AM

I’ve been to SWGE about a dozen times, and for me now it’s just another land I wander thru as I make my way round the park. I’m still in awe of the detail of the place, but I’m not a Star Wars fan, so the only draw is the blue milk with rum … :) and MFSR. Although I’ve had my fill of the engineer and gunner positions, so I can’t wait for FP+ to start so I can (hopefully) get more time in the pilot’s seat. Trust me when I say, if you don’t have at least one ½ decent pilot it’s a rough old ride.

Of course, I’m looking forward to RotR, but will it be a repeatable ride ? How many times will I be going thru SWGE and experiencing RotR compared to MFSR ? If RotR takes people away from smuggler’s run, maybe not many. With it opening just before Christmas, the attendance is going to be inflated anyway, so not until January will we truly see how much of an impact RotR has on GE.

I can only assume Disney has been very disappointed by the reaction to SWGE at both parks, and they are putting a lot of faith in RotR to buck that trend and get people back into the land. Time will tell.

September 24, 2019 at 9:49 AM

Makorider, if you ask the cast member that holds you up just before you're released into credential distribution to be pilot, they will fill the rest of the cockpit without you and then release you first into the next one so you can be pilot. As long as you wait in the standby, you don't ever have to be in a different position. Single rider you're almost certainly going to get engineer, of course.

I fully expect RotR to become the best theme park attraction in the United States, based on the concrete details that have already been released, but we'll see if they can get it operating at its full potential, or if the mechanical complexity ends up compromising it in some way. I can't see Chapek choosing to spend what's necessary to fix it if it ends up breaking in a major way, especially with the land disappointing in terms of drawing power.

Though, I should note, DHS is packed at the moment, with Slinky, ToT, and RnR all registering at over an hour before 11 am and the FP+-less capacity beast MFSR at 55 minutes. So perhaps the attendance concerns at WDW specifically have been overblown.

September 24, 2019 at 9:51 AM

Thank you evanweston. Grumpy OT fans can whine and complain all they want that Disney's version of the franchise doesn't live up to Lucas's vision, but it's unfair to judge the success of the land simply because you wanted it to capture the scenes from your childhood. It's also ridiculous to evaluate the land as currently presented. Yes, the interaction is not as promised, there's only 1 ride, lots of rampant commercialism on display (like Star Wars under Lucas ever shied away from selling you stuff), and the whole experience may feel somewhat hollow to some. However, there's more to come, and based on reports, Disney IS listening to what guests are saying about the land. My sister-in-law was at DHS yesterday and posted photos of her family with BOTH Chewie AND Rey, so it's clear there are some modifications being made to the character interactions. There are changes being made to the Datapad app to address some complaints, and I have read more and more trip reports that are talking about more cordial and comfortable interactions with CMs as well as more guests experimenting with full-on role playing on Batuu.

As with any experience, it is what you make of it. Disney has been very clear in stating that they want guests to live their own Star Wars story, not rehash stories already told. That conceit is fundamentally necessary to ensure the land will have longevity (kind of important if you're investing over $1 billion dollars). The land that so many critics seem to want is nothing more than a movie set, while Galaxy's Edge has been established to be an ever-evolving experience where guests can visit over and over again, essentially a movie that's constantly in-production with YOU as the star.

Is Galaxy's Edge perfectly executed? Absolutely not, and there are some definite issues that I think Disney needs to address even before RotR opens as I noted in my recent trip report...

Galaxy's Edge Part 1

Galaxy's Edge Part 2

However, I think people need to get a grip and take a longer view.

September 24, 2019 at 9:52 AM

Well said, Russell. In addition, RotR is the centerpiece of that whole "you're the star of a Star Wars film" concept, as the whole premise of the ride seems to be throwing you into the middle of a fully operational (heh) Star Wars movie, or at least action sequence. It will probably cast you as a passive observer, of course, but the idea is sound. I just don't find it possible to give the land a full review until the primary attraction is open. You wouldn't grade a jelly donut without the jelly.

September 24, 2019 at 9:53 AM

Imagine if they built a Harry Potter land - that had no connection to the books or movies, and was a place that maybe Harry Potter maybe go to in the future.

That how's absurd the creative decision to make this a 'random land' was.

This isn't old guys whinging about old movies. I wasn't even born when the original trilogy were released, but those are landmark movies. To simply ignore them is absurd on a level that has never been seen before.

September 24, 2019 at 10:19 AM

@evanW .... ah yes, I should have said most of my "flights" have been thru the single rider line, and the one time I braved the 30 minute standby the CM did give me the pilot position on asking. Although I subsequently gave it up to a 4/5 year old who had the time of his life. Another rough ride ... LOL.

For a non Star Wars fan like me, I just cannot see the fuss of those who want to see SWGE be something out of the movies. It's great, I love it and would never visit DHS with going thru the land.

I was at DHS on Saturday, and MFSR was 70mins max, so for visitors it must have seemed a welcome relief to typical FofP standbys of 2 hours plus. Single rider varied between a fast 10-12 mins to a mind numbing 45mins. Some CM's are happy to fill vacant places with the single rider line, others will go down the standby line to try and fill in those spots.

I heard someone say there are 3 coaxium containers to grab ... ?? Does anyone know if that's true. I've only ever seen 2 ??

I also learnt there's an actual brake, activated by the left side pilot, that stops you hitting the first container, although so far we have crashed into it every time .... :)

September 24, 2019 at 10:32 AM

@AnderMciveR - I wouldn't call it "absurd", but I would call it ambitious. Setting Galaxy's Edge on Tatooine, Couruscant, Naboo, Hoth, Jakuu, or any other previously established location would have been the EASY way out, and doing so would have grounded the experiences in previously told stories. Setting Galaxy's Edge on Batuu allows Disney and their guests the freedom to expand the mythology and for new stories to be told. Instead of setting the land in stone, stuck in a specific place and time that has already been seen on film a million times, Disney took those locations as inspiration to allow guests to inhabit the Star Wars Universe.

Yes, it's harder to get guests to make this leap, and Disney is not doing a great job helping guests inhabit Batuu, but I think the elements are there to make it happen. This is not brick by brick recreation from a movie or book like WWoHP. I really love the execution of all the WWoHP lands, but ultimately it doesn't allow you to interact with characters in the land nor develop your own story like Galaxy's Edge does. What's forgotten by many Galaxy's Edge critics are the complaints that WWoHP guests can't take a picture with ANY of the characters. The early reviews of Hogsmeade were that aside from Forbidden Journey, there wasn't a wizard to be seen in the place. You could take a photo with a nondescript Hogwart's Express engineer or some shopkeeper wearing a robe, but no Hagrid, no Harry, no Dumbledore, no nothing. No matter how much you wave around your wand, Harry, Hermoine, Ron, and Voldemort are not going to show up and discuss spells with you.

I get it that some guests may not want that. They want to see familiar places, walk through a recreation of the movie, ride a couple of rides, and be done. If that's you're M.O., then fine. However, recognize that Imagineers created Galaxy's Edge to be much more than that, and while you can similarly walk around and experience the land the same way that you do at UO and USH as a "muggle", Galaxy's Edge allows you the chance to immerse yourself within a constantly evolving story. While those interactions may not quite be where they need to be for a full-on role playing experience, the foundations are there if you are willing to give it a try.

I would just ask that anyone complaining about Galaxy's Edge to detail how they attempted to interact with the land. If you just walked in, rode MFSR, bought a light saber/droid, hung out in Oga's, and maybe had a bite to eat and left, then you missed what the land is about. Galaxy's Edge is NOT the individual experiences listed on the map. It's supposed to be far more than that, and perhaps a lot of guests are missing that. They check off an itinerary of things they accomplished, and talking to CMs or trying to interact with characters beyond a "face scan" is typically not on those lists.

The final installment of my SoCal Trip Report that I'm currently writing will detail what Knott's has established with Ghost Town Alive. If you've ever experienced that, you can see where the bar has been set for theme park interactivity. Disney has a ways to go to get there, but if you've spent more than a few minutes poking around on Batuu, you can see what they're trying to do. Guests need to buy into the conceit, and if they're going to just hop from ride to ride, they're obviously going to miss out. Interactivity is a 2-way street, and if guests are not willing to participate, then Galaxy's Edge is going to leave some of those people cold. Just because Disney tried to make the land more than a bunch of movie sets, doesn't make the decision to create Batuu "absurd". It's just not what YOU wanted, or are not yet comfortable experiencing.

September 24, 2019 at 10:55 AM

For the record I love The Last Jedi.

September 24, 2019 at 11:11 AM

The wisest thing would have been for Disney to make a land based on each trilogy. Universal is supposedly already making a 3rd Harry Potter Land for UEU so it is definitely possible. That would have ensured that the vast majority of SW fans would have been pleased. Making 1 land which doesnt represent any trilogy doesnt really appeal to anybody (although it references the Sequel Trilogy most) and that seems to be what is happening unfortunately. I visited GE recently and I enjoyed it for what its worth. The detail is amazing and the ride is fun but its not a place I would be in any hurry to revisit. And on top of the problems with the land you add the problems with the Sequel Trilogy itself and that creates quite a problem for Disney Star Wars in general.

September 24, 2019 at 11:29 AM

If they just play the musical score John Williams wrote for the land in the actual land it would make the whole experience feel 100% more "Star Wars".

September 24, 2019 at 11:36 AM

Daniel’s comment is exactly what I’m talking about. No willingness to actually engage with the land beyond “it doesn’t tick my nostalgia box,” expanding that to pretend everyone else feels the same way, and then a snarky comment about the Sequel Trilogy having “problems,” which is of course the real issue this segment of critics has.

I actually 100% agree about the music. I think Williams’ score is the single most important part of Star Wars’ inherent magic, and I think it would enhance rather than detract from full on role play in the land. I am desperately hoping RotR is fully scored with motifs enhancing the climactic moments of the attraction.

September 24, 2019 at 11:46 AM

The problem is that you can't force guests to engage with a land - they either do or they don't. It's a gut thing. You can explain to them why the land should be engaging, but people will decide on their own.

With the opening of ROTR we will certainly get a better picture of the overall success of the land. We can only judge now based on what we currently have, and that is maybe why people are underwhelmed.

September 24, 2019 at 12:16 PM

So right evanweston....People criticizing the land simply because it's not based on the OT or because they are in some way offended by the current trilogy is precisely the problem with the Galaxy's Edge dialogue. Instead of discussing the successes and failures of the land itself, any dialogue devolves in the automatic superiority of the OT as sacrosanct. Every movie has problems, and I can cite dozens of "problems" with all three original movies even before Lucas went back and fiddled with them. We're not here to talk about movies, we're here to talk about Galaxy's Edge as a theme park land. If you want to discuss how a theme park land would be built around settings from the OT, go right ahead and put those ideas on the table. However, bashing what Disney has created simply because you have "problems" with the current movies doesn't really lend much to the discussion.

I was similarly taken by the lack of music within Galaxy's Edge, but wasn't necessarily bothered with it. I think if the land was relatively empty and quiet, it might be more noticeable, but with thousands of guests, a few characters, and all the CMs, the lack of background music doesn't make a huge difference for me. Plus, I think Disney is consciously trying to drive home the idea that guests are really on Batuu and no longer in a theme park. If you're visiting a foreign country, there's no background music playing. You don't hear God Save the Queen on the top of Big Ben or I Left My Heart in San Francisco walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. John Williams music playing in the background would take guests out of the scene, and turn them into tourists visiting a movie set which is what WWoHP feels like. I actually think some of the sound design, like the ships flying overhead and the radio broadcasts heard throughout the Black Spire Outpost, works pretty well. Maybe some of Williams' iconic melodies playing in the entry portals in addition to the sound effects could help make that connection, but playing those themes in the background across the land would not make that big of a difference unless its accompanying the characters moving throughout the land (which is what happens for Kylo Ren at least).

You're absolutely right Nick, and I think this is where Disney has to do a little more work. Most guests are naturally going to be introverted, and more likely to be passive observers and let things unfold in front of them. In order for Galaxy's Edge to succeed, guests need to be engaged to interact with it, which just isn't happening enough right now. If you're gung ho into role playing, it's easy to engage with characters and CMs on Batuu. However, most Disney guests are just not like that, and because of the way characters and CMs have been instructed to interact within the land, the result is not what Imagineers envisioned. This happens with everything from theme parks to restaurants to sports leagues to other business ventures around the world. Customers/guests don't always behave the way you want or expect them to, so you have to make changes to create the desired outcome. I think that's exactly what's happening with Galaxy's Edge. The characters and basic storylines on Batuu are based on guests walking through and being active participants. This is an entirely foreign concept to most theme park guests who are used to standing in a line, riding a ride, or taking a posed picture with a prop or character. It's going to take time for guests to warm up to how things work on Batuu and for the natives to figure out how to best engage with off-worlders. Disney has only been at this for just under 4 months in California and not even a month in Florida (both with very different types of guests FWIW), so it's going to be a work in progress with lots of growing pains. The important thing for observers to see is that Disney is actively working to make improvements, and has already made a lot of tweaks to better the overall guest experience.

September 24, 2019 at 1:13 PM

I think the non human aspect (and maybe the music) is the key. In the first two SW trilogies, every new planet that was introduced, you got that establishing shot. You got a few scenes showing the day in the life on that planet. The aliens, the droids, the ships, and even the humans going about the grind of life on that planet. That was what made you want to want to visit the iconic locations. When you arrive on Batuu, it's almost entirely "tourists" walking around. A handful of droids, mostly behind barriers, and two stormtroopers at most. When you watch A New Hope, the buildings are ok I guess but people want to see and interact with the aliens and droids. When you think about the cantina, you want to have a drink hanging out with the aliens, not The Smiths and their kids from Fresno. Why does the Falcon have a fence around it? It should have been built so people could touch it or Disney built it on a platform to make it look in world. Don't just thrown droids behind a railing. Either let them move around and/or let guests touch them or be more clever with how you separate them with guests. The land just needs to feel more organic and alive for it to feel Star Wars. Right now it feels only like a film set for a cut segment in a Star Wars film.

September 24, 2019 at 11:20 PM

Roy D: "Why does the Falcon have a fence around it? It should have been built so people could touch it or Disney built it on a platform to make it look in world. Don't just thrown droids behind a railing. Either let them move around and/or let guests touch them or be more clever with how you separate them with guests."

^^^This.

September 24, 2019 at 2:02 PM

Maybe they should not have opened it until RoR was ready. I think they clearly decided to wait to stagger the crowds, and that possibly worked too well. The thing is, people are doing an awful lot of speculating when the marquee attraction is not even open. It is kind of like discussing Liberty Square in WDW without the Haunted Mansion. It would kind of suck without it.

I do see many points of the detractors. I like the new movies and like that it is a new location. Potter is unique as it is easy to make attractions based on locations that are clearly described like restaurants and castles. Yes, you do get to see Harry and Hermione, you just have to find them, but for certain fans of Star Wars, you can’t find Darth Vader. You can find R2D2, and he can be yours for $35,000. That is likely off putting for some. What will really be off putting is when the 1% of the 1% book the hotel for $4000 for two nights and skip the line in front of everybody else, then watch people flock to the dark side.

I think they were incredibly short sighted. They could have quadrupled their money by making a fifth gate of Star Wars, but that is not the current Disney mindset. They want to make more hotels and put as many people in the parks as possible.

September 24, 2019 at 2:38 PM

"Yes, you do get to see Harry and Hermione, you just have to find them, but for certain fans of Star Wars, you can’t find Darth Vader."

Aside from on the rides, where can you find Harry and Hermione? You certainly can't interact with them like the characters in Galaxy's Edge.

Darth Vader is dead within the conceit of Galaxy's Edge. However, if you're nostalgic, you can meet him in the Launch Bay or hang out with his grandson stomping around Black Spire Outpost.

I agree that having the droids being behind fencing is a bit lame. Imaginneers promised us a world where there would be droids and aliens throughout Batuu. There are rumors that interactive walk/roll around droids are still part of the plans for Galaxy's Edge, but it's believed that Disney wants to wait until after RotR opens and crowds are more predictable to unleash them. I can understand their concern not wanting to have complicated and expensive pieces of machinery exposed to overwhelming crowds of guests that could cause them to fail or get damaged. There's also the issue with the droids guests can build in the Droid Depot that interact (read beep and bloop) with different parts of Galaxy's Edge, but must remain boxed up. The whole point of building the droids on Batuu is to see what they do around the land, and letting them roll around. I also see the concern here that Disney does not want guests spending $100 on something only to have it get stepped on by another guest. However, at the very least, Disney should have created a kind of "Droid Playground" where guests could play with their new creations with special interactive elements.

The Falcon behind fencing makes complete sense. Sure, it would be cool if you could board the ride through the entry ramp as seen throughout the series, but that simply wasn't practical. When you board a plane, even if getting on from the tarmac, are you ever allowed close enough to touch the wings or fuselage? That's the same here as guests must go through the hanger before boarding, just like at an airport. I actually think the way the Falcon is presented is incredibly inventive and clever while still allowing ample photo ops around the ship's parking spot.

I think trying to make a theme park around a singular IP would be the biggest mistake any company could make. Even the most popular IPs in the world do not touch more than half the people on the planet, so it's important to have any theme park appeal to the largest number of guests possible. Creating a Star Wars theme park sounds like such an amazing idea, but in the end it would be self defeating and carry even more risk than Disney took with building Galaxy's Edge based on a previously unheard planet.

September 24, 2019 at 2:49 PM

Joining late, but random thoughts:

An established planet would not work. Tatooine and Jakku are desert planets, and the daily afternoon shower in Florida would not fit in. Same for Hoth. Naboo may work, but that planet is pretty boring and wasn't seen in the OT, leading us to...

...the OT wouldn't work well with attractions. An older Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford would look right now if new footage was created to be set in a movie made 40 years ago. I suppose they could digitally change their faces, but the OT fanboys would have an issue with that, too.

The Falcon has to be fenced off. I would love to touch it and get closer, but that's all I would do. Some idiot would feel the need to take a souvenir off of it. Remember, people were stealing the SPORKS out of Oga's at Disneyland, and Disney had to discontinue their use very quickly. I have already seen ebay listings for the job cards you get in the Falcon.

I have said this several times on other threads, but until the next quarterly report comes out, we can't say whether this is a success or failure. Disney considers profits the measure of success or failure. Last quarter, attendance was down, but per person spending was up due to higher ticket, souvenir, and hotel prices. Profits is Disney's goal, plain and simple, and if their profits continue to rise, they have no reason to change their business practices.

September 24, 2019 at 6:17 PM

The fence around the Falcon is one of the most ridiculous things Disney did in Galaxy's Edge, and they did quite a few ridiculous things in this new land. The argument that guests would try to "steal" a piece of the Falcon is ridiculous when the castle has been there for over 60 years without all these "thieving" guests trying to take a piece home... or any other part of the park for that matter. The fence is unnecessary and emblematic of what's wrong with the land. It's just not designed to be fun. For goodness sake, let guests take photos next to the ramp to the Falcon. Let guests lean on the struts for a great shot. It's not a real plane like at LAX. Guests won't actually endanger anyone, or themselves, by getting up close, taking pics, and admiring the details. The fence is Disney putting the brakes on fun and exploration. Mr. Iger, tear down that fence!

And everyone involved who green-lit the design of a land themed to Star Wars without Darth Vader or John Williams music should be immediately fired. The crux is that Imagineering and Consumer Products created a land that they wanted guests to want, rather than a land that guests actually wanted. Guests want to have fun in a happy place. And Disney had kind of a blueprint: Star Wars Celebration, which is fun and mixes up all the trilogies. Galaxy's Edge is depressing, like being in a dirty bombed-out facility. And this is in "the happiest place on Earth?" I want to ride the Falcon with Han Solo, not Hondo the creepy smug jerk that is berating me to get co-ax-whatever and then charging me for the damage I did to the ship.

Disney wasted all that money when they should have done something fun and joyous, which is the point of the park. The apologists for the land keep making tiresome and hollow excuses, but even the mainstream corporate press that usually shills for Disney is starting to report that the land was botched. The good news is that the land is not beyond fixing, but Disney needs to admit they goofed as they eventually did with DCA 1.0 and make a bunch of changes and improvements. And even if RotR is a great ride, that won't fix the problems with the land. Eventually there will be a reckoning.

September 24, 2019 at 6:55 PM

I did not see this thread ending with someone comparing Galaxy's Edge to the 2001 California Adventure, but I suppose crazier things have happened on the internet! Lmao

September 24, 2019 at 8:30 PM

@Evanweston and Russell

Sorry but I paid $130 to experience this land and if I came out unsatisfied than that really shouldnt concern you. If you like it well then great but you seem unnecessarily bothered by a differing opinion. Feel free to dispute the argument or the conclusion but you seem to suggest that its somehow the person thats the problem (like calling people "grumpy ot fans" or that people are "afraid of anything new" or "unwilling to engage in the land"). These are baseless personal accusations and not at all constructive to the conversation. Thats also not how business works. If a customer doesnt like the product then the worst thing you can do is blame the customer. The correct thing to do is improve the product. Disney is offering a product and were all merely criticising it. We all pay for this product so all opinions are valid.

September 24, 2019 at 8:30 PM

I feel like the opening of Galaxy's Edge is so similar to the release of the Last Jedi. Two sides constantly arguing over the quality of the product lol

September 24, 2019 at 8:46 PM

@EvanW

I never mentioned my nostalgia box and I actually suggested a way that they could have appealed to everyone, not just myself. How do I pretend everyone feels the same way (ironically Robert cited a poll in which the majority of people polled would agree although thats not the basis for my opinion)? And I mention the sequel trilogy as something that exacerbates the problems already inherent in GE never as the sole or "real" problem. And Im amazed that you found any snark in my comment at all as I certainly didnt intend any. 4 straw man fallacies in 1 reply thats exactly what Im talking about.

September 24, 2019 at 11:58 PM

All the people defending Galaxy's Edge cannot deny one fact, that attendance is down at Disneyland. It's not just light at GE, it's light in the whole park. And you can't explain that with just an additional 14 acres and stardusting. Even after the unblocking of SoCal passes, the rides are still mostly walk ons during the day, until people show up at night to watch the Electrical Parade. This was inconceivable a year ago. So no matter how much you say that you're supposed to live your own Star Wars story, how beautiful it is, and how the old trilogy is no longer relevant, the crowds still tell the story.

September 25, 2019 at 1:21 AM

Coming in late but shared my thoughts that there is NO satisfying Star Wars uber-fans. And I'm speaking as one who has first been slammed for daring to enjoy the prequels and now on "if you like Last Jedi, you are NOT a real fan." NOTHING Disney would have done would have made fans perfectly, happy, they would always find something to complain about.

There will be folks ignoring how attendance is down at scores of other parks and that GE still has crowds coming. They will continue to insist "SJW Disney ruined Star Wars and everyone now hates the movies" and believe they speak for the entire fandom. Me, I LOVE the new movies and make no apologies of it and I enjoy GE uses a new place more than "same old same old" but again, even had they used the OT, Star Wars fans would still find a reason to complain.

September 25, 2019 at 7:15 AM

I think the Star Wars negativity is mainly internet culture. The movies still do well, and I suspect a lot of this attendance issue has to do with many factors: the economy, the fact that it is not fully opened, price, and (in WDW) inconvenience. I suspect that will change. The wait times for other attractions at WDW are still long. The Haunted Mansion still sits at about 45 minutes, and for September with school in session is still kind of crazy. With gas prices going up, I bet attendance will go lower before it corrects itself. There is nothing inherently bad about Star Wars fans. There are just a very vocal, loud voice on the internet. You can find the same hate for Avatar, but look at the lines for that. I will say FoP is very impressive, but it is nowhere near the Forbidden Journey to me which has a much shorter line.

September 25, 2019 at 7:22 AM

@Disfan - Attendance is down across all of Disney's parks, and other park chains around the world. It's not just a Star Wars problem, it's an industry-wide problem. FWIW, guests were showing up in the evenings at DL before Galaxy's Edge, so the phenomenon is not unique because of Batuu. Aggressive price increases and economic forces are affecting attendance more than 2 new lands that can't seem to please everyone.

Don't get me wrong, I think Disney massively misread the market leading up to the debut of Galaxy's Edge (they really should have taken a closer look at the opening of WWoHP at USH), and it also didn't help that the land was not complete when it opened, missing it's marquee attraction. However, there is far too much baseless criticism here that has nothing to do with the execution of the land itself and the untapped potential that exists within the concept. Disney doesn't build parks, lands, and attractions to draw massive opening day crowds, they create them to last the test of time and continue to interest guests for decades to come (that is why PtWoA is more concerning to me despite the success and brilliance of FoP). If this was the response to a Six Flags or Cedar Fair attraction, we could certainly bash those chains for not immediately drawing record crowds based on the size of the investment. That simply is not the goal here with Galaxy's Edge, and Disney is in this for the long haul, meaning that the land has to have the ability to grow and evolve with guests.

September 25, 2019 at 8:37 AM

Going back to Robert’s original point about the ABC cross promotion.
I presume the Goldbergs will feature “other Star Wars properties” because Galaxy’s Edge didn’t exist in 1980-something...

September 25, 2019 at 10:01 AM

Here's my input to the many discussions of role playing or willingness to be "immersed". I do many interactive exercises for teaching people from age 20 to age 60. Many require the volunteer to "play act" in front of large groups (50-200 people); other is done in small groups (4-8). I am an old codger, so I have now done this with over 5000 people (yes, 200 people/yr, 25 years). It is like swimming in cold water.

I had a mentor tell me to ask (one at a time) who wanted to be a ringleader, a trapeze artist, or a clown; if they were joining a circus. Then pick your volunteers from the "clowns".

And, there are good techniques to make it MUCH more successful. One that comes to mind is using low tech (not smart phone) items to initiate the bond. Years ago, and just an okay technique, there were passports where you could get characters to sign. Perhaps better, are prepared mini-skits that are hastily assembled (scripts and really basic props given to volunteers) and then briefly acted out.

I am sure for many of you readers, you realize this is real live work with lots of trial and error.

BTW: planning on going for first time to DHS SWGE in Feb with very shy 14 year old son (and me, uninhibited dad).

September 25, 2019 at 10:29 AM

@Tony Perkins: To paraphrase a Star Wars movie line: You underestimate the power of the Star Wars fan. The Falcon needs protection. To reiterate what I already stated: people stole sporks from Oga's and are steal taking the job cards from Smuggler's Run. There are currently $100+ bids on eBay for both items. I will agree with you on the need for more Star Wars music in the land.

@MikeW: There is no one that hates Star Wars like a Star Wars fan. It's the current Internet culture that is spreading the Star Wars hate. There is still no denying that three of the last four movies still took in over $1 billion at the box office, and despite the relatively poor showing of Solo, the prevailing opinion is it is a very good film and deserved better at the box office. Disney is going all in with three new Disney+ series in development, and we already have opening dates for three new movies in 2022, 2024, and 2026. The haters are the very un-silent minority.

@Scottland: I'm looking forward to tonight's Goldbergs! There could still be a Star Wars tie-in as Star Tours was open in Disneyland in 1987, and The Goldbergs don't necessarily follow a strict timeline. As long as it occured sometime in the 80's, it can be included in a Goldbergs story.

September 25, 2019 at 10:35 AM

Agree with Andrew, but I did go, bad news is I'm not in a hurry to go again as I thought I would. It seems familiar except every 3 feet is a restaurant or souvenir shop. I think the new ride will help immensely. Disney has other problems with attendance this year with the massive construction going on. People are probably putting off their trips a year or more due to that.

September 25, 2019 at 10:37 AM

Welcome at the new Peter Pan ride (we demolished the old one).
We bring you on a flying donkey to Alwaysland, it's next to Neverland and you will meet cook Betty Hook, Hook's sister, who invites you for tea (upcharge $200). You will see Hooks ship and with a team you can pilot it over the sea. There will be a ticking goldfish for sure.
We have the Found Girls and no Peter Pan. We substituted him with a responsible wine drinking soccer-mom. What do you say, Wendy and the kids, nope never heard of them.The new kids on the block are Wanda, a vegan, Donny, a transgender Asian girl and Michel who loves pink shoes. Now sprinkle some hay dust, Cowerbell, and lets beam us up to Alwaysland.
That is new Star Wars land to me, a Chinese knockoff.

September 25, 2019 at 11:04 AM

OT: Wow....I mean...wow. Way to play into 1970s era stereotypes on people....

To repeat a line I used in another thread, I can guarantee you that if GE was using the OT constantly, the exact same "fans" would be going "Disney went the easy route, using the same stuff is lame, GE is failing because Disney wasn't daring enough to do something different." I've been part of this fandom for 40 years so I know how they make Star Trek fans look sane and rational in some of their intensity.

September 25, 2019 at 9:46 PM

Russell, I have read all of your retorts and I do respect you, but you are quite the Disney apologist. I haven't visited GE yet, and I wanted to like it as I enjoy the new Star Wars movie better than the classics, but it has no soul. There are no music loops, currently one ride, and is mostly shopping.

Disney passing on Harry Potter due to creative control issues will go down as the biggest blunder of all time. Acquiring all this IP and trying to build lands around them doesn't seem to be working all that well for Disney. They simply cannot admit nor accept failure, yet we all know it is happening.

September 25, 2019 at 10:26 PM

@NB, actualy now we don't "all know failure is happening" as the land still doesn't have ROTR open and does get good visitors.

I'm confused, you say you haven't visited yet you talk of "no soul" so it seems your rant is a bit off.

September 26, 2019 at 12:06 AM

I went to Galaxy's Edge twice during the past few weeks. The place was a dump. Got people in there, though no more crowded than the rest of Hollywood Studios. Wait time for Smuggler's Run was 30 minutes. My kids went on it while I waited for them near the Falcon. There was absolutely nothing to do there besides drinking the thermal detonator pop. I didn't recognize any of the buildings or the droids or the spaceships, and I just watched the original trilogy 5 times in the last 5 months. My son claims that the blue space ship is the one Yoda lifted out of the swamp, but I didn't think so -- it's too small. Luke had to use a ladder to get on the original one. You are not allowed to get too close anyway, and there's no Luke, so I didn't care. I didn't care about the Falcon either. It looked weird next to those "Black Spires," which are ugly and disgusting. Of course, Han is nowhere to be found, and Chewy looked weird by himself, not to mention he can't talk anyway.

They gave out a phamphlet that explains that you can find Darth Vader SOMEWHERE ELSE! At "Star Wars Launch Bay" or something like that, not Galaxy's Edge! Makes sense, doesn't it?
When I bought the detonator Pop, the guy said, till the spires. What's that supposed to mean? Till the spires what? Rot? Turn into aliens? And they greet you with "bright suns," not "May the force be with you." Is the sun in Florida/California not bright enough already? How incredibly stupid.
What really bugs me is that Disney keeps bragging about "You can create your own Star Wars story!" NO I CAN'T! If I could create my own story would I pay a boatload of money to be in Disney World? In Star Wars Land? Why don't I just sit at home and create my own story?"
This whole media push is a complete waste. It's not that people don't know about Galaxy's Edge, it's that it totally sucks!
There are still idiots out there who think RotR will fix it. RotR, which features "General Organa". I quizzed my kids and my husband: none of them know who that is. My kids liked the Falcon ride but didn't recognize any of the characters or scenery in there. So it's more a "General Scifi Ride."
Last week, as I was leaving WDW one day, I noticed that Smuggler's Run wait time was 45 minutes in the afternoon. The Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean were both 55 minutes. Flight of Passage? 130 minutes. Smuggler's Run just opened, and is already forgotten.

September 26, 2019 at 8:05 AM

See, it's comments like this from mayshamp that will continue to undermine the advancement of theme parks. If you want to go and ride some rides, eat some food, and maybe see a show, go to your local amusement park or carnival. If you want to go to a place that is literally "out of this world" and takes you away from the mundane, frustrating toils of planet Earth, then you have to let theme park designers do their job. Disney could have just as easily made Galaxy's Edge a series of movie sets paying homage to movies past. We could have walked through Mos Eisley Spaceport, taken a cargo ship to Hoth, and then experienced a battle on the moon of Endor. Lucasfilm did just that a couple of decades ago with exhibits that toured the country. That would have been the EASY way out for Disney, but it would be like going to some Star Wars museum or fan cave. I think such a concept would have worked (the touring Star Wars exhibits were quite popular though were only limited time affairs), and would been perfectly acceptable to both younger and older fans of the franchise. However, not only would have such a land lacked soul and relevance to future generations, but it would have undermined everything Disney is trying to do with the franchise on the big and small screens.

The fact of the matter is, Disney had to select a time and place to set the land if they wanted to make it a role playing-style land (which is what a lot of hard-core SW fans supposedly wanted for decades BTW). When would you set it? Just after RotJ, between ANH and ESB, during the Clone Wars (between AotC and RotS), or on some nebulous planet in the current cinematic timeline that can easily adjust and adapt as the Star Wars Saga plays out over the decades to come? Having an adaptable and flexible setting allows Disney to change and pivot for these very reasons. If they decide fans are not taking to the current conceits, it's relatively easy for them to shake things up. If the fact that Han and Darth Vader are DEAD when Galaxy's Edge is set, Disney can introduce those characters at a later date and reset the land's timeline. However, that's not going to happen after just a few months (less than month in Florida) of whiny nerds and so-called Star Wars fans complaining that they simply don't like anything Star Wars coming from Disney. These are the same fans that complained about Star Tours being too generic in its initial form even though it came completely from Lucasfilm/Lucasarts. There's just no pleasing these people, and even if you dumped them into a perfect recreation of the Death Star trash compactor, they would find something wrong when C-3PO bailed them out.

Galaxy's Edge is not perfect, and it's never going to be perfect for every single guest, though I have a hard time understanding how artificial rockwork can be "disgusting" (Jaba the Hut is disgusting. The Pit of Sarlacc is disgusting. Jar Jar Binks lecturing me on the ways of the Force is disgusting, but some fake rocks??). Disneyland and WDW see tens of millions of visitors per year, of which only a small percentage are sufficiently hard core enough Star Wars fans to even know how fast the Falcon completed the Kessel Run, never mind recognizing Bossk or IG-88. There are tons of guests out there Disney has to please, and it didn't matter what Disney tried to do with Galaxy's Edge, they were going to be roundly criticized by some group. You can criticize the conceit of the land all you want, but it just demonstrates close mindedness and an unwillingness to accept more from a theme park than just a collection of rides and shows. If guests are unwilling to at least give Galaxy's Edge a chance, I fear that the concept of a theme park will die a slow death.

@NB - I'm by no means a Disney apologist. I've taken TH to task for over-praising PtWoA, and I still think the land and IP are being propped up by the brilliance of FoP. I've criticized Galaxy's Edge for it's failures, but I don't dismiss it out of hand simply because it's challenging guests to think beyond what we've already seen on screen. The land is a living, breathing interactive laboratory that Disney is actively modifying, and guests need to see that Galaxy's Edge is not a static place like so many theme park lands and attractions that have come before. Disney has lots of work to do to meet their promises and expectations from guests, but constantly bashing and berating it based on a singular experience just shows your own preconceptions, and to criticize a theme park land without having visited it is the pinnacle of ignorance.

September 26, 2019 at 9:48 AM

I have always taken this site with a grain of salt. The apparent Disney bias has always been present from the top down. Any hint of displeasure it met with vitriol.

There are first hand accounts from recent visitors (mayshamp) expressing an opinion, even explaining how his children have zero interest in the new Star Wars universe. The biggest factor in my decision to forego a re-visit to Hollywood Studios is the live streaming / YouTube videos of the most hardcore Disney fans themselves.

You can't trust a Universal fanboy because they want to see Disney fail at everything, but I see it all over social media. People who would never say a bad word about the mouse company completely disappointed with the way Galaxy's Edge has gone and pointing out where the mistakes started (Bob Iger).

Listen I realize all of the TPI staff has to walk on eggshells and be careful what they post about Disney or the special event invites and perks may stop coming. I would go as far as to bet there have been private meetings to discuss what to post and what not to regarding this latest Disney gaffe.

TPI is in fact a "Disney influencer" as this site has more credibility than most of the others. I think this site suffers from Disney theme park myopia. Way too close to the company and its interests to see the problems.

September 26, 2019 at 10:09 AM

maryshamp, the reason why you don't and never will see any original trilogy Star Wars in Galaxy's Edge is because those movies and characters were not part of the Disney deal. Lucas retains the rights to them.

Iger, in his infinite wisdom, stepped in and made sure the latest (and most hated) installments of the franchise were the focus of the new land. Everything (from all the pics and videos I have watched) is grey and depressing.

I actually like the last two movies better than all of the others, and I still have no interest in going after seeing the reviews of Disney die-hards.

They need to hire a composer to create hour long music loops to make it at least a little interesting. You walk into Diagon Alley, and you hear the same song from the movie on Harry's first visit with Hagrid in the Sorcerer's Stone. Instant movie connection, not to mention the scents they pump in that makes it smell like an old antique store.

From what I can tell, Galaxy's Edge has none of that. Just silence and a feeling of emptiness. The psychological effect is the first impression you have walking in. I don;t think there is any magic at all. There are no videos of fans breaking down into tears when walking in because they were swept into another world.

All of the media blitzes in the world won't fix this. The influencers have spoken, and the masses are staying away.

You can literally watch videos of people walking into Diagon alley / Hogsmeade for the first time and watch them break down into tears of happiness. Sight lines, sounds, and scents is what an immersive land is all about.

September 26, 2019 at 10:48 AM

For the record NB, I am not "TPI Staff" nor have I received payment or compensation from TPI for anything I have written on this site in nearly 10 years. I consider myself a contributor to the community, and represent TPI at park media events as an unbiased critic.

If you think there is some conspiracy or deliberate skewing of the narrative on this website to curry favor from a company or park operator, you're gravely mistaken. I believe that Mr. Niles takes the journalistic integrity of this website very seriously, and any allegation that there is a "pay for play" aspect to the stories and discussions on this platform would be taken seriously, but likely found to be frivolous.

"From what I can tell, Galaxy's Edge has none of that."

And there's the problem. From what I can tell, there are plenty of fans who are thrilled with Batuu despite all of its shortcomings. I myself was in awe of the land and was brought to tears by some of the aspects of Galaxy's Edge. I have seen numerous reactions that have been similar to mine beyond the typical theme park media outlets and message boards. There are plenty of videos out there of guests being emotionally affected by their first glimpses and experiences within Galaxy's Edge (if you'd care to look). I myself have a POV video of my experience inside Savi's Workshop that was one of the most emotional experiences I've ever had inside of a theme park, and you can hear and feel the awe and wonder in the crowd inside that room who were all paying $200 per group just to be there. These weren't snobby media-types being given swag and freebies, these were real guests paying real money having their heart strings pulled and swinging their newfound connection to the Star Wars Universe around like it was their baby.

I'm not saying that there aren't people out there that don't like Galaxy's Edge, just as there are probably thousands upon thousands of guests who aren't wowed at all by WWoHP. My point is that many of the people that are complaining about Galaxy's Edge would be making the same statements regardless what the land looked and felt like along with the guests that just aren't willing or ready to make the leap into a more immersive theme park experience. Maybe Disney miscalculated what guests really wanted from the land, but all I can say is that despite its flaws, I see what Galaxy's Edge has been built to become, and that I can see them actively pursuing those goals while trying to bridge the gaps to the skeptical and more introverted guests. I'm not alone in that opinion.

September 26, 2019 at 11:07 AM

As this debate easily proves, it's very easy for someone on the Internet to see a few videos of someone not liking something and instantly translate it to "90 percent of all people hate it." When it comes to the Star Wars fandom (which, as I've mentioned before are a crowd that's impossible to please) it gets even worse.

September 26, 2019 at 11:38 AM

We can go back and forth ad infitum about Galaxy's Edge. The land you mentioned over at Universal could have been part of Disney, but they are sort of control freaks, and wouldn't let JK Rowling sign off on everything whereas Universal jumped on the opportunity.

I think the Florida them park landscape would be totally different right now had Disney made a different decision. I honestly thing Universal would have been left in the dust, struggling to find another IP to build around.

This brings me to my point. I think Avatar was pretty successful in taking a half day park and attracting new visitors. I would only want to see it at night, to be honest. It still felt like they were grasping at straws to get a highly themed land built quickly in response to Universal's success.

If I do visit Galaxy's Edge, I would be happy that it is not like Hogsmeade / Diagon Alley with regard to crowds, but it would have to be after the new ride opens. Disney's arrogance and it's belief that "We are Disney, people will show up if we tell them to" has backfired.

If Galaxy's Edge ever sees the average daily visitors of either HP land over at Universal, I will eat my words. When you let the original creator have absolute authority over every aspect of the land (like HP), you get a cohesive, immersive experience. Right now, we have a partially completed, disjointed First Order kind of Star Wars land with no sound loops. How was that detail overlooked? I am baffled.

September 26, 2019 at 12:00 PM

"As this debate easily proves, it's very easy for someone on the Internet to see a few videos of someone not liking something and instantly translate it to "90 percent of all people hate it." When it comes to the Star Wars fandom (which, as I've mentioned before are a crowd that's impossible to please) it gets even worse."

Can we at least agree the Star Wars land they built was a bad idea? Beautiful to look at for a few minutes, but not immersive enough to make you want to spend 3-4 hours in there. Almost no group of fanboys is more petty and whiny than hardcore Star Wars fans, and that is who they are trying to lure with this new endeavor.

Can we also agree that Bob Iger makes a lot of poor decisions? Didn't they just can some poor woman because of the "non existent" failure of Galaxy's Edge to drive attendance as they expected?

Time to stop cheerleading Disney's every move and face reality. Jacking up prices in anticipation of larger crowds etc... just one bad idea after another. Are they going to do the same for the 50th Anniversary?

Does anyone think Disney is going to rush build a new park in response to Epic Universe? The Harry Potter money printing machine at Universal is cranking out water parks, more hotels, a new ride almost every year, and now a brand new park. Should have agreed to JKs licensing terms, people.

September 26, 2019 at 12:15 PM

We can definitely both agree about Disney's hubris, and Iger's tongue in cheek proclamation that they didn't need to advertise Galaxy's Edge demonstrates that to a T.

I admire George Lucas immensely, but he's not the person I would want designing or even being part of a team to develop a theme park land. Disney/Kathleen Kennedy/JJ Abrmas are the creators of Star Wars now, and people need to accept that, and consider for a moment the even more disastrous alternative that may have occurred had Lucas still been in charge (Midichlorians for everyone!!).

There are sounds within Galaxy's Edge, just not the background music many theme park guests have grown accustomed to. The sound design wasn't overlooked, Disney just instead took a slightly different, and perhaps risky approach with it. A similar sound design was used in PtWoA, and nobody has uttered a word about it. There are just nature sounds, and general sound affects with not a lick of music outside the periodic drum circle concert and what is heard on the rides. Maybe Disney will reconsider the sound design in Galaxy's Edge over time, but right now there are the sounds of ships flying overhead, general computer effects, a radio station in the marketplace area, which occasionally plays music, and nature sounds in the Resistance Camp area.

I don't dispute that the land feels very unbalanced towards the First Order side, but that's because there's nothing to do on the Resistance Camp except take pictures until RotR open. The attraction's main gift shop isn't even open yet, and there's nothing there yet to draw guest attention for more than a few minutes. Consider that RotR is expected to be a nearly 30-minute experience that doesn't even include the time waiting on line, which some are guessing will be 2-3 hours even after the initial excitement wears off. That means the average guest that rides both attractions, spends time in the shops, Cantina, and the build experiences will probably spend the same amount of time on the Resistance side of the land as they will on the First Order side (about 3 hours each).

Certainly, Disney could have thrown something together to occupy guests' time around the abandoned, unfinished attraction for a few months (maybe Jedi Training Academy or some other participatory show/experience), but that's a lot to ask when Disney is putting all their resources into getting the ride up and running as soon as possible while still making sure the rest of the land stays fully operational. This is definitely a fair criticism, and it's obvious that Disney felt that opening an incomplete Galaxy's Edge was worth the risk. Park revenues seem to have justified their decision despite the notable declines in attendance and less than overwhelming acceptance of the new, but unfinished lands.

September 26, 2019 at 12:38 PM

@Russell, on your opening line, there's now a serious revisionist history for the prequel as the exact same fans who spent years slamming Lucas for them are now saying "the prequels are sooooo much better than the new movies." And the same guys who said "Lucas needs to let someone else take over Star Wars" are now saying "he should have been allowed to finish his vision."

Again, it ties in to the classic mentality that is common in any fandom of any sort: "It's not what I wanted to see so everyone else thinks it sucks."

September 27, 2019 at 5:08 AM

As I’ve mentioned many times, I can take or leave both Star Wars and Harry Potter, and I know very little of either other than the main characters from the original Star Wars movie back in 1977. I can’t even tell you the names of Harry’s friends, so it puts me in the group that Russell mentioned ……. I have no idea how fast the Falcon completed the Kessel Run, and I certainly have no idea what a Bossk or IG-88 is !!! The only thing I can relate to in the Potter movies, is the Ford Anglia 105E, and that’s only because I drove one when I was a lot younger than I am now …. :)

So, from a non-Star Wars and Potter junkie, here’s my take ……

The initial ‘pop’ of entering the Potter land at Universal Studios certainly impressed me more. I think because the entry way is sorta-kinda hidden, and then when moving thru it opens up into Diagon Alley. I thought it was a very good way to introduce us to the area. Other than that it’s just a place to wander round, and move on.

The tunnel/entryway to SWGE does not have that same effect. And the entrance from TSL is wide open, so more like walking into Hogsmeade. Once in SWGE, it does come across as being bland with all the various shades of brown, but I’m happy to accept that this is Batuu and this is what it looks like. A bit like living on Mars I would assume. The brown blandness is compensated by the amazing attention to detail that really is the beating heart of SWGE. I don’t do the play app, so I’m not tied to my phone for getting enjoyment out of the area. I do wish there were more storm troopers hanging around, with alien characters and/or droids to interact with, but do I care that Darth Vader, Luke or Hans are not there? Absolutely not. And, as there’s been talk of the emotional effect …… the only thing that got close was when I first saw Atlantis at KSC. Now that’s on a whole new level.

I thought the space ships looked realistic, and I accepted them as being from the movies. I liked the way they are presented as being ‘used and dirty’ as that added some realism for me. I don’t expect there not to fences around them. Many museums have their exhibits behind barriers, so why not those from a galaxy far far away ?

The shops are a little ‘tight’ but it’s supposed to be a market place, so again that worked for me. “Bright suns” is a bit naff, I do agree, but the CM’s are only doing what they are told. I do find the more I speak to them, the more they are dropping the in-character chat and saying Hi and asking me how my day’s going, so maybe “Bright suns” will become a thing of the past. Speaking to a CM I at least got to know there are cameras high on some buildings and a red flag means it’s a photo op place. The more I go, the more I’ll interact and learn little nuances like this. Like finding the hidden Mickey’s and Millennium Falcons. It’s all a learning curve, and I’m sure if you are only able to visit once or twice, the true intent of the land is not clear, and the perception could easily be “a waste of time”

I see it as being a land in flux, and it will take a lot longer than now until Dec 5th, for Disney to fully understand just what is, and what is not, the way to move forward. Even the newly introduced scoring and ranking on MFSR is a step in the right direction. Now give me a scoreboard and something to aim for. Something similar to the high score on Test Track would be good.

For me though, (and yes, because I’m a local passholder) FP+ is the next big and essential step. It should be a way to get away from the mundanity of being an engineer, and focus more on flying the Falcon. I’d even take a gunner, as I’m getting better at using the manual controls. Do I care about RotR … not really to be honest. Hopefully it will take people away from MFSR. Sure I’ll do it once, but the land itself is more of a draw than a 25+min ride/experience. Being a gamer for my sins, I suppose MFSR was always going to hold my interest in SWGE anyway. Something I can ride multiple times, and get better and better at, is a good enough reason for visiting the area every time I end up at DHS.

September 26, 2019 at 4:12 PM

Makorider - You clearly stated what I was talking about when it comes to the initial "pop" of walking into a themed land. I like that Diagon Alley is almost completely hidden from anywhere else in the park. You can see the dragon's tail spiraling up from certain places, but not much else.

Hogsmeade was a little harder to accomplish that, but the initial walk in from the Lost Continent side is way better than from the Jurassic Park side. I think that is why they make you go that way for early entry.

I have been looking for videos / pics of the initial view of Galaxy's Edge to compare. I haven't been to Avatar either, but I hear it is pretty amazing to see, especially at night. I think I would want to see Galaxy's Edge in the day, however, or maybe a half hour before sunset.

I know some of you think I am a Disney hater. We did four vacations in a row to the mouse in the early 2000s when my girls were young. They quickly developed a taste for thrills, which is why we go to Universal almost every year since.

I like Universal for the thrills, but also for selfish reasons. Namely the complimentary Express when staying at the three top tier hotels. I think I could only go back to Disney if they offered something like that, even as a paid perk.

I think the Universal creative team has their finger on the pulse of what people want lately. They do make mistakes. Hagrid, for instance... daily breakdown and delays are causing a lot of stress for people who are there a week and can't seem to get on the ride no matter what they do.

We lucked out on June 20th. The line opened, we happened to be walking by, and were on / off in under 2 hours. As soon as we got off, it clouded up, so they closed the ride for the rest of the day. It is a hot mess.

Russell, I certainly meant no disrespect, but not everything can be spun into a positive when it comes to Disney. Some things are just a disaster, like the new Hagrid ride. They need to close it for a month and fix it the right way.

September 26, 2019 at 10:48 PM

Huh, not sure call the Hagrid ride a disaster, heard good reports on it.

Which once more goes to show a key thing in this entire debate: What one person considers good, another thinks horrible, mostly because it's not what they wanted.

September 27, 2019 at 11:17 AM

I hear you NB, and Disney has made it's fair share of missteps recently. I try to look at things as objectively as possible, but I have to admit that I'm a mark for Star Wars. I've been waiting for Galaxy's Edge for decades, and while it's not specifically what I personally wanted from a Star Wars-themed land, it's not nearly as bad as some people are making it out to be. There are plenty of things to do if you're willing to look for them, and the attention to detail across the land is impeccable.

I also try to place myself in the shoes of the designers to understand what they are trying to do, which might come off as being a bit in the tank for Disney here. That's certainly not my intention, as I'm just trying to explain some of the frequent critiques of the land so that those that may not have been following the development of the land understand the "why" behind the creative decisions of Galaxy's Edge. For instance, the lack of music is definitely a valid criticism, but on the other hand having music playing in the background would have undermined the principle goal of the Imagineers to create a realistic environment. If you were REALLY in a market on a planet at the edge of the Galaxy, you're not going to hear John Williams playing in the background. For me, I was focused on being in the here and now on Batuu, and not thinking about how what I was doing in Galaxy's Edge would look and sound like if I was watching it through a TV or movie screen, so the lack of soundtrack-style music was not an issue. But I can definitely see how that might leave a lot of guests disconnected and cold, and how without the iconic music, the land feels less Star Wars-y.

It also infuriates me that people are automatically calling Galaxy's Edge a "failure" because it's not super crowded. I don't understand this criticism at all. Disney strategically made decisions to try to avoid the madness and guest frustration that accompanied the debuts of the WWoHP and PtWoA lands. You can specifically criticize those decisions as going too far, and I'd certainly agree with that (WWoHP's debut at USH should have been studied more carefully). However, you must also consider the world-wide flattening/drop of theme park attendance as well. Galaxy's Edge did not draw suffocating crowds as expected for a myriad of reasons, but there was more at play than just the debut of the highly anticipated land and the strategies Disney used to managed crowds. Disney made a lot of mistakes, but as a guest from the East Coast who specifically planned a vacation to visit Galaxy's Edge, I was satisfied with overall crowd levels that were neither too packed nor too quiet on Batuu. If nothing else, I think Disney, perhaps accidentally (thanks primarily to the delay of RotR), created an atmosphere that bucked recent trends of new attractions being bombarded with insufferable lines, and unable to operate at peak capacity to satisfy those crowds.

On top of it all, Disney was able to achieve near-record revenue in spite of the lower crowds, which furthers a trend within the chain to increase spending among their most affluent, deep-pocketed guests. I do think Disney needs to avoid going much further down this rabbit hole in search of riches to avoid alienating their core audience, but the numbers certainly provide some justification for what they did over the summer in California.

I love both Universal and Disney parks (as well as theme/amusement parks from other chains). I think every park offers something different, but WWoHP forever changed the landscape. I think I've mentioned it before, but I saw Joe Rohde once walking through Diagon Alley shortly before PtWoA was formally announced. It's clear that Disney admires what Universal has done, and their recent additions show a lot of the UC influence on their work. However, Disney is still going to do things their own way, which is going to be both loved and hated (sometimes by the same people). Ultimately, they are going to have their own internal measures for success, while fans/observers might have different measures for what success looks like. I contend that with Star Wars, success for Disney was always going to be maximizing revenue, and you can see the company's focus in the prices for items inside the land (a beer at Oga's in DHS is $3 more than one from the same brewery just outside the land at the Baseline Taphouse). If Star Wars fans knew 1 thing about their favorite franchise it's that it's sole reason to spawn sequels, prequels, and spinoffs is to make more money - it's been that way since 1977 and nothing about that has changed, and that's been further magnified as Disney took control. However, for all that money spent, it makes the fans happy, and I've seen it first hand inside Galaxy's Edge.

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