Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Opens
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been all of the talk in the Disney fandom for quite a long time. Back in late May Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened up in Disneyland, although huge crowds failed to materialize over the Summer. Today, the equivalent land opened in Walt Disney World, so the big question is, “Will it suffer the same fate?”
Read Our Galaxy’s Edge Reviews
Before we start, I have been to both versions of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and reviewed them. I was one of the first reviewers to be less than positive, although as you’ll see my long term outlook is good. Take a look!
Batuu East Open!
So back to whether or not Batuu East will suffer the undercrowding we saw out West in Disneyland. The answer is no. This morning Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened around 4am (their posted opening time was 6am) to let the first guests “officially” go to Batuu East. And oh boy there were a lot of them out to enjoy the August heat!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened to insane crowds today! Lines started forming around 2-3 AM and Smuggler’s Run was around a 300+ minute wait at 5 AM.. I can’t WAIT to visit! 😅 #GalaxysEdge #StarWars (📸: @theme_park, @SirBrayden, @AweMagic) pic.twitter.com/eX9MbdZ5TI
— MIDWAYMUNCHIN (@midwaymunchin) August 29, 2019
— BlogMickey.com (@Blog_Mickey) August 29, 2019
I think someone forgot to tell everyone that a land with the same ride and a virtually identical layout/feel has been open for 3 months across the country. 😉
— Mickey Views (@MickeyViews) August 29, 2019
While this may be somewhat of a hand drawn illustration, apparently the line for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run stretched out to 300 minutes at one point and did snake its way entirely through Galaxy’s Edge, making its way on to Grand Ave and out into the park’s hub.
— CollectorsCantina (@CollectCantina) August 29, 2019
Even Orlando International Airport (MCO) got into the fun with a video of their own acknowledging what is perhaps the biggest opening in Orlando since the original Harry Potter ride opened at Universal nearly a decade ago.
— Orlando International Airport (@MCO) August 29, 2019
But the biggest pain I think (other than waiting 5 hours just to get stuck as an Engineer on Smuggler’s Run) is the crowds. It seems the land is PACKED, which can’t make it too much fun to roam around or interact with everything. I have been there during some busy periods, but nothing like this.
— BeautifulAttractions (@CityBeautiful_) August 29, 2019
East Coast Bias?
As someone who pays attention to the Disney fan community, I can always say there has and will always be a huge bias towards Walt Disney World. I could write an article about this subject just by itself, but the vast majority of Disney fans in the U.S. are “Walt Disney World” people and not “Disneyland” people.
Again, this stereotype doesn’t apply 100% of the time and of course Disney fans love Disneyland too, but this bias is evident with today’s opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Masses of people are there to attend the public opening of a land that has really been open for previews for almost a month and has been open to the public across the country for 3 months. But you would think no one has ever seen this before. 😉 Either way, I’m glad to see the launch is so successful out there in Florida.
Disney Doing It On Purpose?
It is no secret that Disney has been struggling with the public perception of Star: Wars Galaxy’s Edge and thus they NEED this opening to go well. I wouldn’t be surprised if they let or even encourage overcrowding (within safety rules & guidelines of course) in this new area of the park in order to get the visuals to match the message they want to send.
While I do think this will work, eventually the hype will die down and everyone will begin to look towards the opening of the real ride in December. Yes, no matter how much you hype it, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is not fully open and it won’t be for a few months. This is a glaringly obvious reality for anyone who visits more than once.
Rise of the Resistance
Just as the opening day crowds were getting ready to descend on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge something interesting happened. Just a couple of days ago Disney actually invited select press (think huge publications) to actually go inside Rise of the Resistance to see some of the show scenes. They also confirmed a ton of details of this new ride.
— CollectorsCantina (@CollectCantina) August 28, 2019
What we learned was that there will be 4 ride vehicles that will take you on an experience unlike any other. You will join the resistance, get captured by a First Order ship and then eventually make your way into an escape pod. It sounds amazing. More importantly Disney felt it was necessary to pull back the curtains to control the message just before SWGE in Florida opened. Maybe unnecessary, but confirmation enough of what I have always believed. Rise of the Resistance will take Disney rides to another level and Disney wishes it was open now!
As I have said all along, I think Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a bit boring for the return visitor, although I expect Rise of the Resistance (which is the land’s unopened ride) to complete the land. Disney was in a tough position and ultimately paid a PR price by only opening the first (lesser) ride of the land, but in five years we will all forget about this. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be a success.
So there you have it. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is open on both coasts now in its limited form without its best ride. Just as expected the vacation crowds at Walt Disney World are swarming the land and I don’t expect that to stop for years to come. If you want to know more search #GalaxysEdge on Twitter and consider reading my reviews of the lands in each park.
Have you been to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on either coast? What do you think? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments!