Disneyland’s Project Stardust is Code for Galaxy’s Edge Crowd Control
At Disneyland, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. Which means Easter is right around the corner, and that’s only a few weeks ahead of spring (which is hardly around long enough to be considered a season), so that means it’s basically summer at the Disneyland Resort in California. We all know what that means: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is almost set to open. And with that, Project Stardust!
I’ve been one of the many Disney/Star Wars fans out there who have been wondering how exactly Disneyland and Walt Disney World plan to accommodate the massive influx of guest attendances when the respective ‘Star Wars lands’ open on each coast. Just this week though, the Company revealed the tiny, unnoticed ways they’ve been working to alleviate that impending congestion- and it’s likely you’ve walked right by them.
Set to see the largest increase in Park attendance(s) since their openings, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be the most impactful expansion in theme park history. And Disney realizes the magnitude of their undertaking. So much so, that never-before-used guest management systems have been in development since the projects’ conception.
The biggest issue facing Disneyland and Hollywood Studios will be getting guests into parking lots not large enough to hold the volume of cars hoping to park, steadily feeding the guests to the entrances in a way that will prevent a bottleneck, and ultimately allow guests to walk through the Parks and to Galaxy’s Edge without injuring themselves or causing pathway blockages. Yikes, I would not want to be in charge of that project…
Since widening the existing pathways of Disneyland Park is an impossibility, constructing new, wider pathways was the clear choice. Given Disneyland’s space constraints, that option was out too. So, what is the world’s largest Theme Park corporation to do? The answer lies within ‘Project Stardust’.
It sounds quite magical, but at its core, Project Stardust is nothing more than a crowd control project. Beginning in 2017, the ongoing project has not garnered much attention, and Disneyland is hoping to keep it that way.
The project consists of small changes- like a large planter being replaced with a smaller planter, or moving designated stroller parking areas. A move of a tree to a smaller planter seems like it would have the same effect as fanning a fire with a tissue, but Disney seems to think otherwise…
No Guest Turned Away…?
When a Disney Theme Park reaches capacity, it is shut down to all new guests who wish to enter the Park on that given day. Until a designated number of guests exit the Park, no one new will be allowed admission. Aside from Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, it is a rarity that any of Disney’s Theme Parks ever reach this level…but daily capacity closures are a real fear for the latter half of 2019.
Disney is hoping that, by relieving some of that famous pathway congestion in Disneyland Park, more guests will be able to move freely to their desired destinations more quickly, ultimately making space for larger numbers of guests to navigate through the Park.
It’s a long shot, but in already-established Parks with major acreage limitations, there isn’t another way. In the words of Princess Leia “Help us, Project Stardust…you’re our only hope”. Do you think Project Stardust will make a major impact on crowd control? What would you do if it were up to you? Leave a comment and let us know!
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