Reporter Jack Hough from Barron’s recently got an exclusive first look at Disney’s most ambitious theme park ever, “Stars Wars: Galaxy’s Edge”
They got a firsthand experience of the park led by executives from the construction, operations, and creative side of things. Heck, they even had a Star Wars “expert” in tow who I’m assuming was Lucafilm's Carrie Beck although they don’t mention anyone by name.
The article mentions that Galaxy’s Edge will open in Disneyland this summer, perhaps by early June, with the Orlando site following suit later this year. It’s worth noting that Disney CEO Bob Iger has stated this recently but to this point, no dates have been made official by either park.
Here are some selected highlights from that piece…
“Visitors will enter Galaxy’s Edge through one of three entrances near the park’s Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Critter Country themed areas, with the expansion turning what are now dead ends into a circuitous route. Short, enclosed passageways between lands are designed to compress and then expand the view of visitors, like a movie fading out and then back in, to ensure that the first sight of Galaxy’s Edge is a carefully framed, cinematic view.”
“The land brings to life Black Spire Outpost on planet Batuu, near the outer limits of the Star Wars universe. It is mentioned in passing in the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story, and featured more prominently in a 2018 novel from the Star Wars canon, Thrawn: Alliances, but it won’t be familiar to casual fans. This is by design, giving visitors a way into the storytelling regardless of their experience with the films.”
“Galaxy’s Edge will open in Disneyland this summer, perhaps by early June. A twin land will open in Disney World later this year. At the Disneyland site, major structures are in place. Walkways and interiors are unfinished, although key set pieces are installed at the attractions. Each land will be 14 acres, compared with 12 acres for Radiator Springs Racers in Disneyland’s sister park, California Adventure.”
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run...
"In this attraction, Hondo Ohnaka, a pirate, has cut a deal with Chewbacca for the use of the Millennium Falcon, and the visitor is the pilot. The attraction entrance will be subtly marked, so as not to disrupt the look of the land."
"Visitors will fly the ship in groups of six, and see the real-time results of their actions, such as knocking over a spire during takeoff. The flight will be different each visit. After a ride, the visitor might, say, stop at Oga’s for a drink and be told something like, “The boss isn’t happy about how you brought the ship back.” This is part of an interactive, story-building experience throughout the land that visitors can opt in to or out of."
Rise of the Resistance...
"Visitors waiting in line for this attraction will wind through highly themed interiors that evoke rundown rooms the Resistance has repurposed as a base for operations against the First Order. Groups of guests might be “captured” at one point and ordered along by the enemy, before making their escape aboard a trackless troop transport. They will see scenes including a Stormtrooper formation and one featuring Kylo Ren, perhaps resembling the interrogation scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The transport will evade familiar war machines, like the four-legged AT-AT Walkers from The Empire Strikes Back. Up close, these towering metal beasts do not disappoint."
“The first public restaurant in Disneyland to serve alcohol, Oga’s is relatively small for aesthetic reasons, and is likely to be popular. To maximize capacity and keep visits from becoming all-afternoon affairs, most guests will stand. There will be a handful of booths with seating around the outer edge of the restaurant; no decision has been made yet on whether or how these can be reserved.”
“Visitors will be able to order blue milk at Galaxy’s Edge, recalling the secretion of a bantha—a large, hairy animal with spiral horns—drank by Luke Skywalker in the first film. This will be a nondairy drink. It’s unclear whether it will be sold in Oga’s or in the outdoor marketplace, or both.”
"One shop will feature droids that visitors can customize through an interactive experience. A droid that is made to be, say, afraid of Stormtroopers might signal its fear when one comes close. Droids owned by members of the same group might recognize each other when they meet. Prices have not been set. The shop might also sell a full-size R2-D2 for well-heeled fans, perhaps costing thousands."
“There will be another shop presided over by Dok-Ondar, a collector who is briefly mentioned in Solo. This character, likely animatronic, will be set apart in a booth from the rest of the staff. Cast members might interact with Dok-Ondar, asking him what he’s willing to let certain items go for.”
This all sounds pretty amazing really. I especially like what I’m hearing as far as authenticity goes, such as you won’t be able to buy anything with a Star Wars logo on it because that wouldn’t exist in this fictional world. This attention to detail will truly make your experience on Batuu and Black Spire Outpost feel “alien” to be sure.
As reported weeks ago, the people in charge are expecting massive crowds when these theme parks open. They are predicting 10-12 hour line-ups not to mention the cost associated with attending such a state-of-the-art park will be significant.
To read the entire article by Jack Hough, click HERE.
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