Disney World’s Galaxy's Edge loses another part of the Star Wars theme with the removal of ribbons from the Wishing Tree. One of the most anticipated attractions to arrive at the Disney theme parks in decades, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened earlier this year at Disneyland in California, and on August 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. Inspired by real-world locations, Galaxy’s Edge transports attendees to a galaxy far, far away.
Infused with activities, impressive Easter Eggs, and nods to the Star Wars franchise, visitors can ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, build a lightsaber, drink Luke’s blue milk, and socialize with droids at Oga’s cantina. Encompassing 14 acres of land, Galaxy’s Edge enthralls visitors with the immersive experience on the planet of Batuu called Black Spire Outpost. Shortly after launch, however, Disney reported attendance for Galaxy’s Edge was significantly lower than expected, and since, so many of the promised features have vanished.
Recently, Disney World's Hollywood Studios park altered a section of its recently opened Galaxy's Edge land, causing a part of the Star Wars theme to be lost. Penned by Zoraida Cordova, the Star Wars novel, “A Crash of Fate”, features a Wishing Tree where Batuuans tie a piece of string (or cloth) on a branch of the tree along with a wish. Following childhood best friends, Izzy and Jules, on their adventures through Batuu, the novel states that if the string breaks off on its own, it’s believed that your wish has been granted.
Located by Savi’s Workshop, the Wishing Tree at Hollywood Studios has been stripped of the plethora of strings, ribbons, and special wishes tied to its branches. AttractionsMagazine took to Twitter to post a photo of the Wishing Tree in its current state, as well as the vague explanation behind the changes that “Savi didn’t like that visitors were adding their own wishes,” as the tree is “for villagers only”. Check out the post below:
The Hollywood Studios version of the wishing tree (from the Star Wars books) at Galaxy’s Edge, no longer has any of ribbons on it. A Batuu “citizen” told us Savi didn’t like that visitors were adding their own wishes because it’s for villagers only. pic.twitter.com/Y2F6jo5UOx— Attractions Magazine (@Attractions) November 13, 2019
Disney has provided some insight for those who left a special wish tied to the Wishing Tree and stated, “Once the ribbon disintegrates, that means the wish has come true.” As for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland park, the Wishing Tree still has all its wishes dangling on the branches. Both parks however, still don't have the live shows and characters as promised, like the example of the Bounty Hunter that comes up to you in the cantina to talk about the damage you caused to the Millennium Falcon. There aren't bounty hunters or droids roaming around at all in reality, you need to book a time and have limits in the cantina, and the cool live pyrotechnics display starring Batuu's Vi Moradi character and Chewbacca battling stormtroopers from the Disneyland opening of Galaxy's Edge never happened again.
Amid a slew of kinks, Disney continues to iron out issues, one at a time. The Mouse House has numerous changes to nurture, including the arrival of Disney+, the upcoming launch of Rise of the Resistance that the team of Imagineers behind Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is busy at work preparing. Disney’s Epcot park is getting a massive overhaul and multiple attractions are in the work, some timed for the 50th anniversary of Disney World. No doubt the designers of the Wishing Tree aim to keep the magic alive (and the park clean) with the cunning removal of the wishing ribbons even if it further takes away from the immersion and detail of the Star Wars land. Although the Wishing Tree is intended for “villagers”, a fresh batch of visitors can still easily attempt to bind their wish to the tree. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge remains an impactful experience for visitors to Disney’s iconic theme parks.