Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is gearing up to open this week at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. To celebrate the grand opening of this brand-new land, Inside the Magic got an exclusive interview with Bob Chapek, Chairman of Parks, Experiences, and Products for The Walt Disney Company.
Chapek shared his perspective on crowd expectations and guest experience at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. While many have criticized Disney after the grand opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for the lower than predicted crowd levels, manageable wait times, and an overall emptier-than-usual park, Chapek says this doesn’t mean the land wasn’t successful at Disneyland. Here’s what he has to say.
“When we’re building a land, we look at it as, what does it contribute, not only in the land itself, but what does it contribute to the overall park, the overall experience? And as such, the physicality of this make look identical to Disneyland, but the software will start to diverge,” Chapek shared in an interview with Inside the Magic. “We had a reservation system at Disneyland that we’re not executing here. We never planned to, ’cause it’s a different thing then in terms of how guests use it. And so I think to a certain extent…the programming elements of this will probably be a little bit different. But we’re real happy with the Millennium Falcon attraction.”
Chapek referenced the virtual queue system at Disneyland as it relates to plans for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge guest experience at Walt Disney World. While there are not currently any plans to use a virtual queue system as of now, Chapek did mention that there is a virtual queue system in place if they ever need to deploy it after the park has opened.
Most poignantly, Chapek revealed how he and the rest of the Disney team define success at the theme parks.
“We got over a million people through the attraction over at Disneyland so we’re learning and it’s operating extremely well…so the fact that we don’t have backup lines is actually going according to plan. That’s not a great guest experience, so we don’t define success as 10 hour waits. We define success as great guest experiences. We like to move people through and have a great time. We have a virtual queue planned if we need to deploy it. Most of all, I think our guests are having a great time in California, and they’ll have a great time here.”
There you have it, folks. Galaxy’s Edge is a success in Chapek’s eyes at Disneyland, and he predicts it will be just as successful at Walt Disney World.