May the Fourth: Countdown to Galaxy’s Edge
May the Fourth: Countdown to Galaxy’s Edge
Kate K.

 May the Forth is once again upon us. So now’s the perfect time to cover what we know, what we’d like to know, and what we expect from Galaxy’s Edge when it opens on August 29th!

What We Knowcosmos

Galaxy’s Edge is one of the most highly anticipated Disney expansions in years. Ever since Disney purchased the rights to the iconic sci-fi and intergalactic fantasy series fans have been speculating about a bigger park presence. And slowly but surely they’ve been getting just that with meet-and-greets, fireworks shows and more. But then in August of 2015, we all got what we really wanted. Disney announced that they were going to build a Star Wars themed land. Since then, Disney has teased information a bit at a time. So here are a few things that we know.

The Land will be immersive

Universal changed the game on immersive theming when it opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And now Disney’s working to up the game. They’ve already had the groundwork for truly immersive systems in place for a few years. It started small, with the personalization of rides like ‘It’s a Small World’ and the Haunted Mansion. It’s based on the magic band system, which works for every guest, not just those staying in the parks. The idea is that your performance on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will carry over into the rest of your day. There are other smaller things you can do to impact your stay, like mini-games on the app.

The Ride itself Changesmillennium-falcon

This is probably one of the coolest things I’ve read about Galaxy’s Edge to date. We knew that the way the ride played out was going to impact the rest of your day in the park. But did you know that your choices in the ride will change your experience? It’s one part ‘Star Tours’ randomization, and one part the best, most immersive video game in existence. It’s a bit like what Mission: Space is trying to accomplish with the roles. Except in this ride, if you don’t do your job it will change things! So strap in Gold Leader, its time to make a run on the fastest ship in the Galaxy. (And really, who didn’t want their own Millennium Falcon growing up?

The New Land is Only Half of the Experience

As awesome as Galaxy’s edge is going to be, the truly immersive experience won’t start until the Star Wars Hotel opens. When you stay at this hotel, you’re staying in a hotel in space, complete with intergalactic views out of every window, shuttle service to and from the hotel and a dress code. From the moment you check in to the moment you check out you are a part of the world of Star Wars. So you need to be prepared to justify those Minnie’s ears.

Everything will be a part of the story

This is storytelling at its finest. Every object, store, costume, beverage and food item will be a part of the story. You’ll even be able to find a glass of the fabled blue milk as well. The food has been carefully crafted to taste ‘alien’ but delicious. And all the merchandise in the area is completely on thetheme. But you won’t find t-shirts and baubles that you can get over at World of Disney in Disney Springs. Instead, you’ll find items completely unique to the area including cosplay outfits, ‘antiques’ and the like. And the stores are partially run by droids. Or at least their audio-animatronic counterparts.

Be sure to save up for a custom-built lightsaber though. The lightsabers will be able to interact with the rest of the land (a la the wands at Universal). These should come in at about $160, so plan accordingly! And there’s even a droid station where you can design your own droid. These droids are similar to the banshees you can ‘adopt’ in Pandora. But the mini astromechs will also be able to talk to each other and the other denizens of the Black Spire Outpost (Galaxy’s Edge)darth-maul.

What We Want to Know.

We don’t know everything about the Edge yet. But one of the biggest questions is about a ride that already exists. With the opening of an entire Star Wars themed land, what will Disney do with the island that is Star Tours?

The only thing constant is change, and that even applies to beloved rides in Walt Disney World. In fact, Star Tours got a full overhaul just 6 years ago after the original version of the ride shut down in 2010 after nearly 25 years. Star Wars – The Adventure Continues opened in 2013 with an expanded set of places to visit from the full set of films. The interesting thing about this ride is that new worlds can be programmed into the new system without a lot of downtimes, making it continuously relevant. And it’s one of the few rides that feature in 4 different Disney resorts around the world.

However, Disney is a theme park, and that means that theming is paramount. So do I see them keeping a Star Wars ride outside of Galaxy’s Edge for long? No, I do not. However, what I’d like to see happen is a relocation of Star Tours to Galaxy’s Edge. It would need an overhaul to keep it in the right thematic time period though. And Smugglers Run has effectively replaced the old ride system. But Star Tours is still an awesome experience, so maybe they could use it for another franchize if they decide not to move it. But I still really want to know what’s going to happen to Star Tours.

What We Expectstar-wars

We expect that Galaxy’s Edge will be the most immersive, and innovative, themed land built in a park to date. And with the hotel expansion coming in the next few years, we expect that Disney won’t be resting on their laurels when it comes to the full Star Wars experience.

We also expect that Hollywood Studios is going to go from a half-day park at best to one of the most crowded parks in Orlando. Let’s face it; fans have been waiting for over 40 years for a place like Galaxy’s Edge. And I’d wager that you’ll get people coming to the parks who may never have traveled to Disney otherwise. We also expect that the crowds won’t go down for quite some time. So start planning your trip and packing your bags, we’ve only got three months left until the Black Spire Outpost opens.

Kate K.

Kate K. is a freelance writer, artist, designer, and programmer. She has been working with Homes4uu as our primary blogger, graphic designer, webmaster, and social media manager since 2014. You can also find Kate on her homesite and her blog

Read More About Kate K. here

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