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A revolving topic of conversation for Mainstream media as well as in the Disney community, is the low crowds at Disneyland since the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Is the land a flop? Where are the massive crowds that were anticipated?
The short answer is that Disney has done it again and they did it right.
Well, I am so glad that you asked.
Let’s first start with the rumors and then we will address the facts.
Rumor 1: Galaxy’s Edge has now been open for well over a month and the reservation system has been over for several weeks now so clearly no one is as interested in Galaxy’s Edge as Disney thought they would be.
Rumor 2: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is stale. The ride is just a souped up version of Star Tours and is nothing out of this galaxy.
Rumor 3: Everything worth experiencing costs extra, so people aren’t even bothering since their park ticket doesn’t get them anything.
Disneyland and Disney World are two very different parks. Disneyland is far less of a destination and much more of a passholder, locals, day trip experience.
The Southern California, Southern California Select and Deluxe Passes are all blocked out until at least the middle of August. The Signature and Signature Plus Annual Passholders were blocked out until July 14.
Because of the reservation system and the success of that for the first month, many annual passholders booked rooms at the resorts that apart of the system and were able to gain entry to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that way. Once the reservation system ended, that left only people purchasing park admissions and tourists to enter either Disneyland park.
Disney only opened a partially completed land which is marketing genius on their part for several reasons. One of the reasons is that die-hard fans of both Disney and Star Wars will travel for both openings, giving Disney double the chances to score big off big fans. Another reason is that because they opened a partially completed land, many guests will wait until the full land is open and the more highly anticipated attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, to get more bang for their travel bucks and it will spread out the crowds far more effectively than opening the entire land at one time even with passholder block out dates.
The die-hard Disney fans and Star Wars fans are more likely to flock to an opening regardless of which coast it is on. Those looking to get the most vacation for their money are more likely to head to the opening of Walt Disney World’s version because there are more parks, more resorts, more to do for an entire family or crew on a vacation than if that same group were to go to Disneyland.
Disney World is a travel destination while Disneyland is more of a locals park that doesn’t have the capacity to hold or entertain nearly as many people as Disney World.
The opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Disney World is August 29 and that is also the opening day of Food and Wine Festival. Annual Passholders are going to be given a preview for Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World beginning several weeks before the official opening of the land and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will likely be their destination of choice if they are local as opposed to the actual opening day of the land since they will already have been able to preview it.
We do believe it is a mistake for Disney to not implement a reservation system for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and you can read all about that HERE! Although there is still time for Disney to do so, time is running out and with the implementation of passholder previews, it is becoming far less likely that Disney will do so.
We expect the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney World to be far different from that of Disneyland and for the crowds to begin early for that opening day. Disney has also changed the Fast Pass tiers for Hollywood Studios ahead of the opening to force more guests to shows and less popular experiences during those first few months.
As far as the experiences all costing ridiculous amounts of money and your park ticket alone not getting you anything. Completely false. Your park tickets get you a one-of-a-kind immersive experience into Batuu. Yes, the food is extra (just like every other theme park), the light saber and the droid are extra because they are merchandise. They are experiences that you partake in, and then get an actual piece of merchandise to take home with you. It would take away from the experience if every Tom, Dick and Larry was allowed into the room to get the light saber, it would cheapen the experience.
Stay tuned right here for more information on how Disney will handle the crowds and what they are doing to prepare. One saving grace for Disney World is that there are other parks that Disney goers can enjoy if the land is too crowded or at capacity and Disney will rely heavily on those parks to house those unable or uninterested in Galaxy’s Edge.
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.
(All Photos from this post are courtesy of Disney and Lucas Films)