Disney CEO Bob Iger addresses the low attendance numbers for the Galaxy's Edge theme park. When the Mouse House purchased Lucasfilm back in 2012, it was clear that their plans were much larger than a slate of new Star Wars films. In 2015, Disney officially announced Galaxy's Edge, which would be the largest park expansion in the company's history. Beginning construction back in 2016, Galaxy's Edge finally opened at Disneyland in California earlier this year. The Florida location at Hollywood Studios debuts later this month.
One of the reasons why Disney moved the opening dates for Galaxy's Edge up was because of high demand, and just by looking at videos and pictures it was easy to see why there was fervent interest. Galaxy's Edge promised to be arguably the most immersive Star Wars experience fans could ask for, transporting attendees to the world of Batuu. However, after it's been active for a few months, Galaxy's Edge attendance numbers are lower than some might have initially expected. Now, Iger's addressed the turn of events.
During Disney's earnings call, Iger touched on Galaxy's Edge attendance. He cited a few reasons for the attendance figures. Among them included overcrowding concerns, increased prices for Disneyland tickets and hotels, and the fact the highly-anticipated Rise of the Resistance ride wasn't ready at launch.
It'll be interesting to see if attendance goes up when Rise of the Resistance opens in Florida in December and California in January. That's one of the most ambitious attractions in Disney Parks history, throwing attendees in the middle of a high-stakes conflict between the Resistance and First Order. Since it isn't available right now, it's understandable why some people are opting to stay away. A trip to Disneyland is very expensive, so Star Wars fans might be waiting until the full Galaxy's Edge is ready before planning a vacation. That way, they can tour the entire park in one go instead of making two separate ventures out to Disney. Since Rise of the Resistance will be open in a handful of months, it's easier to be patient.
Iger noted that Galaxy's Edge feedback has been positive, so attendees are enjoying their time there. Ideally, more people will go to the park as time goes on. This was a massive investment on Disney's part, as they clearly spared no expense to bring the galaxy far, far away to life like never before. It would be a shame if the glitz and glamor of Galaxy's Edge was marred by low attendance numbers, but the park is still relatively new and things should improve in the near future. It wouldn't be surprising to see Disney put on another Galactic Nights event come December to celebrate the premiere of The Rise of Skywalker, so they'll be looking for ways to draw people in.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019