Disney Parks' hotly anticipated Star Wars theme park, Galaxy's Edge, hit capacity within an hour on opening day, with guests being allowed to come back later as part of a "boarding party." The setting for Disney's latest and greatest theme park is, naturally, a galaxy far, far away. Its home is the planet of Batuu at the Black Spire Outpost, with its timeline falling between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Ever since its initial announcement, demand for the park has skyrocketed. Many were excited to see what Disney Parks was bringing to the table, and due to rising inquiries and a longing for balance in the force, the park is set to roll out in two separate phases: the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run attraction and the Rise of the Resistance attraction.
The park opened at Disneyland Resort in California on May 31 and will open at Disney World Resort in Florida later this year on August 29. In order to keep park-goers somewhat organized, only attendees with a reservation could enter the park between May 31 and June 23. Now that the reservation period has passed, they will no longer be required, but any interested parties will still have to wait in a queue in order to obtain passes. Disney Parks was very cautious and strategic with their planning, but they weren't prepared for just how many people were up and ready to go on opening day.
According to THR, crowds at Galaxy's Edge met capacity almost immediately after opening. It took, "less than an hour before people were turned away," even with the attraction being opened, "30 minutes early, at 7:30 a.m." Before the park had reached its max, the wait for, "Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run was already at three hours," and by 10 a.m., "the wait was down to 40 minutes." Now that reservations are no longer needed, "guests are allowed to walk right into the land as long as it's not at capacity," and if it is, "guests will have to use the Disneyland app to get an entrance time in the virtual queue." At the moment, it's not clear how the time intervals in the queue will work or if, "park-goers will have limited time in the land in order to rotate in new guests." Unfortunately, only time will tell with that.
The monumental success of Galaxy's Edge has left the door open for other park ideas. Recently, Disneyland received a permit for Marvel Land, which is set to begin building this year. Disney Parks' latest addition will be replacing A Bug's Land and will include bathroom renovations, a retail store, a microbrewery, and a character meet-and-greet-area. It's aiming to open next year, which gives Disneyland plenty of time to ease into the chaos and excitement of Galaxy's Edge.
The opening of Galaxy's Edge was an important lesson in planning for Disney Parks and any future attractions that they have in mind. Though preparations were well thought-out, it's difficult for a company to anticipate the exact number of attendees that they'll have. If there's one major thing that Disney can learn from opening day of Galaxy's Edge, it's that organization is incredibly important and there's no problem with setting a max number for their park. Not just for their sanity, but for those attending as well who hope to enjoy the park in an easy-going, stress-free manner.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019