By Erik Johnson
The hype never seems to end, raising the question of why so many care so much about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Might as well ask why we care so much about Star Wars. Since its announcement, the massive expansion in Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios captured our imaginations and garnered speculation for the last few years. Now that the Disneyland
version is open, the internet is flooded anew with reviews, analyses, gushing praise, and griping complaint. This sort of activity is unlikely to abate before the next park opens up on the east coast.
I, for one, am amazingly envious of friends who have already been. Despite my usual tendency to avoid reading too many things or seeing too many pictures, I can’t stay away! How can I be a better pilot on Smuggler’s Run? What components will I put into my lightsaber hilt? Do I support the First Order or the Resistance in the Play app? What food and drink options will I try on my first visit? I can’t be alone here, people.
I have been watching and thinking about Star Wars for several decades now. I taped all three original movies when they first aired on cable back in the day. (Remember how a two-hour movie became three hours with all those commercials? This is how I learned to be an expert pauser.) I have purchased these movies on every format available, except for laser disc. I have
read novels, comic books, role-playing game sourcebooks, and encyclopedias. Late-night arguments about specific plot developments and the upcoming prequels dominated high school and college dorm room nights. Not many films have spurred so much fanaticism in their lifetimes.
Flip to the other side, now. No, not the Dark Side, but the realm of theme park fans. Disney Resort guests have long enjoyed intricately themed attractions and areas. We love the details on Main Street just as much as we gush over the neon glow at night in Cars Land. We are used to a certain level of quality at our Parks! When we all experienced just how immersive a land could be at Universal Studios of all places, we all turned back to Disney and asked, “So what do you have up the baggy, red sleeves of your sorcerer robes?”
Galaxy’s Edge, or Star Wars land as many will likely continue to call it is that answer. Disney took a beloved set of locations, stories, and characters (and merchandise!) and promised us all of our theme park dreams would come true. We could finally live in that universe to which Star Wars fans have devoted so much attention and love for so long. Even if you aren’t a big Star Wars fan, there is sure to be something inside this new land that will captivate you!
Simply put, Disney raised the bar. Galaxy’s Edge represents the next level in theme park
evolution. Major ride attractions promise advanced entertainment, but everything else in this land represents everything Disney has been working on for years. The Disney Play app allows you to interact with the richly detailed environment in a way that goes beyond simple trivia to pass the time in line. Restaurants serve up high-quality food that stays in the theme and proves that we can get more than a burger and some fries for lunch. The merchandise is better than a t-shirt that shows you were there. Now you can put on a hat or a uniform or a monkey lizard and feel like you are back in the Parks! Disney wants you to take these mementos home and think about booking another trip every time you see that Porg mug on your shelf. And I can’t wait to let them.
Disney is working hard to provide more entertainment for us in the future, too. A refresh of Epcot is peeking over the horizon (sorry, couldn’t resist) and Marvel heroes are set to invade Disney California Adventure. Seeing the innovations in Galaxy’s Edge, I can only assume greater
wonders will continue to transform our vacation experience. It is this broadening of immersion and new technology that transformed me from a biannual visitor to a twice annual (and more) visitor. It is why I and so many others spend our time writing about the Parks and wishing we were there right now.
And it’s why I’m taking an extra long weekend in August to check out this business when it opens up in Orlando.
Do you have Galaxy’s Edge envy, too? Don’t wait! Booking period are open at the Disney Resorts into 2020. Call or email your magical vacation planners at ConciEARS and check out the fun for yourself! There’s a whole galaxy of vacation options out there and we are sure to find something that fits your family’s budget.