The Disneyland version of its new Star Wars themed land called Galaxy’s Edge has struggled since opening to the general public in May with attendance below expectations. There are now many reports of Disneyland cast members (employees) having their hours cut back because a slower than expected park.
I visited the park the first day the new land was open without advance reservations but you still needed to reserve a time with your app when you arrived and it said my time would be early afternoon but in fact I was in by 11:30 am.
The first time i visited it was fairly busy but on later trips Disneyland as a whole and Galaxy’s Edge were slower leading to the pictures of a fairly empty park you have seen in the press. As it got towards July and now in to August it has got a lot busier although maybe not as busy as you would expect at peak Summer time.
Positive Things About Galaxy’s Edge
The Galaxy’s Edge land itself is cool looking and well done as you would expect from the Disney imagineers. Seeing the Millennium Falcon up close as shown in the picture is amazing for a Star Wars fan and although the ride Smugglers Run gets mixed reviews in some places its a fun ride. The theming with displays of things like the droids, ships and land speeders are worth checking out as well as the storm troopers who interact with the crowd.
The food and drinks at Galaxy’s Edge are also really good, theme park priced so not inexpensive but worth the money considering you are in a theme park. The Cantina is also worth checking out for the specialty drinks and showing how popular it is its not easy to walk in to you often need to reserve a time.
Issues With Galaxy’s Edge
I enjoy visiting Galaxy’s Edge as an annual pass holder but Disney did make a few mistakes in my opinion for the new Star Wars themed lands. The land is based on a place that doesn’t exist in the original movies and instead of using characters from the original trilogy it uses characters from the more recent movies.
Disneyland blacked out most annual pass holders until August 2nd because they were expecting huge crowds which didn’t materialize. The recent price hikes at the start of the season turned off many people and, I myself wasn’t going to renew my annual passport until their flex passport came along after slower than expected attendance; A Disneyland ticket can cost up to $149 a day now during Summer Weekends with park hopper tickets at $199 for Disneyland and California Adventure.
It wasn’t just the admission prices that were raised also their was big raise for parking and, food inside the park which combined with the admission price made many annual pass holders or locals reconsider visiting.
Galaxy’s Edge only opened with one ride with the more anticipated Rise Of The Resistance ride not opening until the end of the year at Disney World’s version or early next year for Disneyland so many people may have put off trips to later.
There is not a lot to do at Galaxy’s Edge other than the one ride open and, the cantina as well as the displays or interacting with the storm troopers there is not a lot that isn’t just some kind of retail, As you see in the picture above this area is themed well but its basically just a bunch of retail shops and interactive things such as build your own light saber or droid are basically just retail stores where you build your own item that you purchase. Yes the cast does help you build your own light saber so its a bit more of an interactive experience but its not really an attraction.
The storm trooper interaction is great but they built a huge stage that they use for a really short show, if it was Universal for example there would be things going on or around the stage all day long. Yes Chewie and Rey do walk through the crowd and pretend to fix a x wing but there is not characters or droids moving around making you think it could be a real spaceport outpost.
There are reports that is the attendance doesn’t improve next year after the second ride opens at Disneyland and Disney World that the land could close and be remade as an Aladdin themed land. Hopefully they can make changes and fix the issues with Galaxy’s Edge because there are a huge amount of Star Wars fans especially of the original trilogy, that would love to see this land work.