Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Opening Dates Announced
Sometimes, reading the Disney Parks Blog is more rewarding than others. One day, they may show an adorable picture of Lilo & Stitch riding Space Mountain or delectable images of Disney desserts. Then, there are days like yesterday, when Disney made a momentous announcement. Yes, we now know when Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge will open, at least in a general sense. And it’s something of a surprise. Here’s what we can tell you about Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge based on today’s new intel.
What We Just Learned
I’m just going to quote the source here:
“Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in summer 2019 at Disneyland Resort and in late fall 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort, when guests will land in the middle of the action as they live their own Star Wars stories.”
First of all, wow! Disney just revealed that they feel good enough about their progress on Star Wars Land that they can guarantee a 2019 opening date. Remember how many times Pandora – The World of Avatar got pushed back? History clearly isn’t repeating itself with Galaxy’s Edge.
Disney wouldn’t set a hard deadline like this unless they were sure they could meet it. They have no need to do so, after all. They could easily remain silent on the issue until they have more information. The fact that they’re calling their shot here is a strong indication that Star Wars Land is much closer to completion than we’d believed.
What This Means
There’s a lot to unpack here. The one jaw-dropping confirmation is something that MickeyBlog News had previously discussed. It’s an open secret among Disney cast members that Star Wars Land at Disneyland is well ahead of schedule while Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is lagging behind its counterpart. The fact that Disney will open one park several months ahead of the other one validates the “rumor.”
In 2019, Anaheim residents will have serious bragging rights. The most important themed land since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010 will debut on the West Coast first. Presumably, Disney will schedule its opening date in June or July of 2019.
Earlier is better with this one, as Galaxy’s Edge WILL drive ticket sales. We just learned last week that Pandora caused an unprecedented surge in admission at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Park traffic increased 15 percent year over year, and that’s despite the fact that The World of Avatar was only open for six months. Star Wars Land should cause a similar increase in park attendance, likely in the millions.
Disney would love to bank all of that business immediately. Unfortunately, the sweeping changes at Hollywood Studios have delayed construction a bit, at least compared to Disneyland. Rather than cede the lucrative summer season entirely, park planners have wisely chosen to get what they can from the Happiest Place on Earth.
Later in the year, they can still introduce the Orlando version of the themed land. The difference is that any immediate traffic gains at Hollywood Studios will seem minimal. Why is that? Disney theme parks approach maximum occupancy during the Thanksgiving and December holiday periods anyway. While Star Wars Land will guarantee large crowds at Hollywood Studios for at least a calendar year after the themed land’s opening, its 2018 attendance impact won’t compare to Disneyland.
Other Aspects of the Star Wars Land Puzzle
Let’s talk about what we know of Star Wars Land. I previously discussed the five new attractions coming to Hollywood Studios over the next 18 months. Two of them are Star Wars rides. Our friends at WDWNT also sussed out a potential Lightsaber experience at Star Wars Hotel. What can we take from this information?
Two of the reasons why Disney’s delayed the Hollywood Studios opening of Star Wars Land aren’t theme park-related per se. The announced park space for Star Wars Land is identical at Disneyland and Hollywood Studios. Both places are 14 acres, and they share the same two attractions. Thus far, the pictures indicate that the entire lands are, at the very least, quite similar.
Why is one so far behind the other one? Disneyland isn’t adding a Star Wars Hotel. They won’t have a temporary residency that connects directly to the park. Hollywood Studios, on the other hand, has to integrate a backdoor to a hotel under construction. They also must build this corridor in a way that Star Wars Hotel guests maintain the immersive illusion that they’re in the Star Wars universe. It’s an extra degree of difficulty that slows down construction.
At the same time, Imagineers are adding an entirely new transportation system. They’re building the Disney Skyliner, which will connect several resorts to two different theme parks. The process of adding an overhead gondola system is another level of overhead. Disney would prefer to have this system running when Star Wars Land opens. It should alleviate the expected traffic problems when Hollywood Studios attendance increases dramatically.
The current rumored completion date for the Disney Skyliner is the fall of 2019. Should that date hold, it would operate for a couple of months prior to the debut of Star Wars Land. That’s plenty of time for Disney to guarantee that the gondola system is working as predicted. With it in operation, the introduction of Galaxy’s Edge will go more smoothly. For this reason, delaying the new themed land until after the opening of the Disney Skyliner makes perfect sense.
How to Plan Your 2019
You’re a Star Wars fanatic, right? Almost everyone born after the 1960s loves this franchise, one of the seminal intellectual properties of the 20th and 21st century. The introduction of a themed land based on the Star Wars universe is a dream come true for many. It’s why everyone expects Disney theme parks to have record-setting attendance numbers in 2019 and (especially) 2020. You don’t want to miss out on the fun.
I have great news for you, too! The splitting of the Star Wars Land openings gives you a tremendous opportunity. Presuming that you have the vacation time and budget, you can double down on your 2019 Star Wars experience! You can schedule a summer trip to Disneyland, allowing you to be one of the first people ever to visit Batuu, the planet that’s the setting for Star Wars Land.
Next, you can schedule a December holiday vacation to Orlando. There, you can compare the differences between the two versions of Galaxy’s Edge! Plus, you can visit the other theme parks that comprise the most visited tourist destination on the planet, Walt Disney World!
You’ll want to get a jump on other Star Wars fans to guarantee that you have a room and tickets for your trip(s). Speak to a MickeyTravels agent to get your Star Wars Land vacation scheduled. Their services are *free*! And their expertise is unrivaled in the industry.
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