lightsaber battle that Disney staged between Rey and Kylo Ren on a purpose-built stage above Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge during the Rise of the Resistance media event.Fans continue to email me asking how they can get to see in person great original theme park shows such as the
And they aren't asking for media access, either. Fans want Disney — and other theme parks — to share their best work with them, the paying guests. (For the record, before anyone asks in the comments, I pay for my Disney, Universal, and Six Flags annual passes, too. But I'm a geek just like you, in addition to covering the parks for living.)
My advice? Ask the parks for what you want. Next time a park employee asks for a moment to survey you, give them that time. If a show has put on a production that you would like to see in the park during normal operating hours, make a point to go inside the park's guest relations office on your next visit and request it.
Disney executives have been crowing since Galaxy's Edge opened at Disneyland last May that the land has scored highly on the company's guest satisfaction surveys. So, to the company, fans appear happy with what Disney is offering in the land. But the trouble with surveys is that it's tough to gauge how much the public wants something that they haven't seen. Disney visitors might be happy with what they've experienced inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. But that doesn't mean that they would not be much, much happier with an epic lightsaber duel every hour in the land, too.
Not every media event show can scale to that kind of schedule, of course. Nor does every made-for-the-cameras stunt look good in person. That media event X-wing flyby that looked impressive through long-lensed cameras atop a 20-foot riser looked like a couple of specks barely clearing the treetops from ground level.
But if fans demand an experience, motivated park managers can find a way to deliver it to them. When video of projection mapping on Hogwarts Castle during the opening media event for the opening at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Hollywood went viral, fan demand after the event encouraged Universal to find a way to develop a regularly scheduled Hogwarts projection show. Today, those shows entertain thousands of fans nightly throughout the year at Universal in Hollywood, Orlando, and Japan.
Several Universal Creative team members have told me that the company has steered hard away from developing new screen-based, media-driven attractions as a result of fan response. Parks listen to fan feedback.
Disney's Imagineers have said that they designed Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to stage the kind of live entertainment that Walt Disney World offered to the media and invited guests last week. Entertainment designers have written scripts. At this point, it's simply a question of convincing management to budget the money necessary to stage the productions.
If Disney management can be convinced that spending that money will result in them making more money through additional admissions and in-park spending, or even higher guest satisfaction that yields a higher guest return rate, they'll likely choose to make that investment. But Disney isn't going to change course just because a few people kvetch and moan online. Disney needs to hear polite, but consistent, requests from their customers inside the park — people who tell Disney that they would have liked their visit even more if they saw more characters inside Galaxy's Edge. And if some of those characters whipped out lightsabers to do battle... even better.
This goes for any park, too. (Well, not the lightsaber part.) If you feel like something is missing during your park visit, do not deny the park an opportunity to make that right. Maybe they can't, or maybe they can't do that on this visit. But honest feedback from guests provides an essential park of a theme park's creative and business development process.
Don't be a "Karen," who rudely asks for a manager to shriek a list of demands. Just give your honest, uncensored feedback in a friendly and polite way. Compliment what deserves praise and then suggest what you think could have made your day better.
Look, with fans claiming all the day's spots to ride Rise of the Resistance each morning before the park officially opens for the day, now would be a perfect time for Disney to add something extra inside Galaxy's Edge for those later-arriving fans who won't get a chance to ride the big new attraction.
But we're going to have to ask for it.Tweet
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