A galaxy far, far away may be closer than you think and larger than you ever imagined thanks to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger just announced that the new “Star Wars”-themed lands at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA will be “the biggest lands we’ve ever built.” Iger shared during The Walt Disney Company’s earnings call on Thursday that he expects the new lands, named Galaxy’s Edge in both parks, will significantly increase demand when they open in 2019.
Iger said that while the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands are large in both size and scale, they are also hugely ambitious. The company aims to create immersive and innovative experiences, and they continue to design and Imagineer “compelling and exciting e-ticket attractions” for park guests. The Walt Disney Company previously announced that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will provide guests with the opportunity to feel completely transported to a “galaxy far, far away,” where they’ll experience two brand-new attractions and meet beloved characters from the “Star Wars” films. They expect the films to be highly profitable next year and beyond.
Iger’s statements on Galaxy’s Edge during The Walt Disney Company’s earnings report were supported by the strong financial performance of the U.S. Disney theme parks in 2018. The report reads that this year, revenue for Disney Parks and Resorts rose 9% to $5.1 billion in the fourth quarter. The company also generated $14.3 billion in revenue for the quarter. Disney theme park attendance in the U.S. increased in 2018, and ticket prices, hotel rates, and food and beverage cost increases led guests to spend even more money throughout their visits. While revenue and attendance rose in 2018, The Walt Disney Company predicts that demand will increase even more next year.
“We’ve aimed to actually grow the attendance to that park, which has lagged a bit over the last number of years, because we haven’t invested anything that is even this close to size or scale or of compelling nature of it,” Iger said during the call. “So we think in both cases, they will have a dramatic impact positively on both businesses.”
The opening dates of Galaxy’s Edge will differ on each coast, which should only help with these revenue increases. Anaheim’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland Park in summer 2019, while Orlando’s will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in late fall of that same year. This may prompt eager “Star Wars” fans to visit the west coast version of the land first, as Galaxy’s Edge is planned to be identical in both parks.
And with Galaxy’s Edge attracting new Disney Parks visitors, “Star Wars” fanatics, and annual passholders on both coasts when each land opens in 2019, Walt Disney World Resort will draw even more crowds with their planned “Star Wars”-themed hotel. Earlier this year, The Walt Disney Company released a statement during Japan’s D23 event revealing details about the Orlando hotel:
The Star Wars-themed hotel at Walt Disney World Resort will be seamlessly connected to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The luxury resort, announced at D23 Expo 2017, will completely immerse guests into an authentic Star Wars story at Walt Disney Resort—and that immersion will start the moment guests arrive! The journey through space will begin as you board a star ship and depart with your fellow guests on a multi-day Star Wars adventure that will be connected to the new land being built at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
It’s no question that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will draw more Disney Parks guests than ever before when it opens in California and Florida in 2019. It’s become clear that Disney Parks and Resorts are aiming for highly immersive experiences with each new project they announce. Pandora: The World of Avatar wowed guests with its otherworldly atmosphere and futuristic Flight of Passage attraction when it opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017. The land continues to attract guests to its e-ticket attraction and awe-inspiring environment. The film the land is based on has a fan base that hardly compares to that of “Star Wars,” so if Pandora: The World of Avatar is still a smash hit among parkgoers, we expect Galaxy’s Edge to blow the Animal Kingdom land out of the water.
What do you think of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort next year?
Source: Orlando Sentinel