We’ve come across information about the Disney Droid Factory Build A Droid attraction. Apparently, protocol droids may have not gone over as well as the astromech droids, and at the moment, there are no plans to add more protocol droids into the line. In fact, the Droid Factory protocol droids will be going away soon. The estimate is that the theme parks have a couple of months yet before the stock sells through. Rumored but not wholly confirmed is the idea that Disney Parks will return the popular astromech droids with a whole new collection shortly. It also unconfirmed if future collections will fall under the Droid Depot banner moving forward, but I imagine that’s a given at this point. If we learn more, we’ll be sure to share it with you. Check out the entire collection RIGHT HERE in our Research Droids Reviews.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the story yesterday: Catherine Powell, who oversaw Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World and Disneyland, is leaving the company, her position will be eliminated altogether and her staff will now report directly to Bob Chapek, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences & Products. The Hollywood Reporter article implies that Howell’s departure may have something to do with the drop in theme park attendance, following the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. Click through for some more details!
Last night saw the dedication ceremony for Galaxy’s Edge in Orlando. And today the park is officially opening to the public. So people on the east coast now have a chance to check out Galaxy’s Edge as well!
It remains to be seen if the Walt Disney World addition will attract more visitors than the counterpart in Anaheim. Also, just like in Anaheim, the Rise of the Resistance ride is not ready for prime time yet. The ride will be opened in early December, until then the only ride will be Smuggler’s Run.
You can watch the dedication from last night on the Disney Parks YouTube channel by clicking on the photo below. You also get to see one scrapped feature of Galaxy’s Egde in action: remote controlled droids. On stage you can see R2-D2, BB-8, Hondo Ohnaka, Vi Moradi (that character on the right, featured in the Black Spire novel) and the Disney Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Products, Bob Chapek.
Will you visit Galaxy’s Edge in Florida?
In yesterday’s article you learned that Galaxy’s Edge was originally meant to feature the Lucas era, but that was changed about a year into the development phase, when Bob Iger said Star Wars land needs to be about the new content. But this is not where the changes stopped. A lot of things were planned for Galaxy’s Edge that were cut as late as 2018, and once you find out what the cut content was about you have to wonder if removing the features was the right decision. So click through to learn what other features and attractions Galaxy’s Edge was supposed to have!
Now this is somewhat of a surprise. Former Disney Imagineer J Daniel Jenkins was interviewed for the Dreamfinders podcast and revealed that Galaxy’s Edge was originally supposed to be about the Original Trilogy, featuring one or two planets from those movies. But then all things changed when Bob Iger saw dailies for The Force Awakens and decided that the new Star Wars land must be about the new trilogy and feature the newly created Disney content. Click through for more info!
Website WDNT, which reports on all things Disney theme parks in the US, revealed pricing for a stay at the upcoming Star Wars hotel in Florida. According to the article a stay at the Star Wars hotel is meant to resemble an immersive trip on a space ship, so think of the Star Wars hotel less as a hotel and more like a cruise ship, complete with a view into space from your own cabin and high-end dining in the evening. For this all windows will be virtual reality displays. A unique bus shuttle that completey shields you from the real world, and which is meant to resemble a space capsule / shuttle, will transfer guests from the “hotel” to Galaxy’s Edge, the bus, too, will not have windows, but displays, similar to the Hogwarts Express at Universal, so you can completely immerse yourself in Star Wars and pretend you are no longer on Earth.
However, since this experience is not a hotel like any other, you have to book at least for 3 days / 2 nights. Single nights will not be available. But this all inclusive trip (you don’t need to pay extra for dining and beverages) doesn’t come cheap. According to WDNT’s sources price for one person starts at $3,300 for the 3 day / 2 night trip. If you max out cabin capacity with 5 passengers it makes the stay more affordable, price per person comes down to $1,440 then. So if you plan on traveling to a galaxy far, far away, it’s best to ask some friends as well to come along. A more expensive first class cabin will also be available, but pricing for it is unknown. Head over to WDNT to read more about the hotel and to check out a lot more concept art and photos. This experience will certainly be very unique. However, you have to be patient, it may still take several months or even a few years until the hotel is finished. It’s still under construction.
We had the chance to check out Galaxy’s Edge for ourselves last week. Click through for our non-biased review and experience of the new Star Wars land. If you’ve been, we’d love to hear your experience too in the comments! All-and-all, it was a fun experience and I’m looking forward to going again in the future.
What exactly is going on at Disneyland Anaheim and Galaxy’s Edge? We talked about an alleged lack of visitors to the theme park before, when several YouTube videos were released that showed a surprising lack of people in the park. Some commenters here on JTA pointed out how the YouTube videos were taken early in the morning, when the park is more empty than later in the day. But on Twitter several people also pointed out how empty both Galaxy’s Edge and Disneyland Anaheim seem to be this summer, and one mother of a theme park employee even posted that Disney is cutting down working hours for some employees, due to a lack of visitors.
But now AZ Central has posted a story on their website using aerial photos of company Nearmap. The photos were taken on July 4th and show Galaxy’s Edge from above, with individual people clearly visible. And the park is more or less empty. These photos were not taken early in the morning, but in the afternoon, as you can tell by the shadows. Click through for more info!
While roaming the interwebs, Google picture search and subsequently finding some old articles from 2015 and 2016, I stumbled across a map for a proposed Star Wars Land theme park, made years ago, before Galaxy’s Edge was actually announced by Disney. Now, some of you may already know about all this, but maybe there are also some, like me, who see or hear about this for the very first time. So I would like to show you a fanmade map of a Star Wars Land theme park that never was. The question I have for you is: would that have been something you would have loved to go to? And do you think we might still eventually get a much larger Star Wars theme park in the future or has the time for that passed for good? Click through for the full picture and a few words about it!
Website Slashfilm posted a story yesterday about suprisingly few people at Galaxy’s Edge. On top of that there are also reports about Disneyland being unusually empty and having very few guests, resulting in surprisingly low wait times for the various rides and attractions, less than 5 minutes. So what is going on here? Click through for possible explanations!
Reports have hit media outlets all week about the newly-opened Galaxy’s Edge. You can also check out the official report over at StarWars.com. Do you have reservations during the limited opening? Or, are you going when it’s fully open to everyone? Let us know your thoughts! I will be in Anaheim in August and am contemplating a visit…
The LA Times posted their full walkthrough of Savi’s lightsaber workshop on YouTube, in the embedded video you will see what it’s like to build your saber, from beginning to end, including the full experience and performance in the workshop! The only thing the video doesn’t show is that on Batuu nobody refers to Savi’s workshop as a lightsaber workshop, so if you ask for directions and want to know where you can build your own lightsaber you will instead be referred to Savi’s scrap business, which serves as a front so the First Order doesn’t get wind of it. The saber will cost $200 plus tax. After the jump there are some more videos providing a good look at the other highlights from the park, such as the Droid Depot!
Anyone who wants to check out what the Smuggler’s Run ride in Galaxy’s Edge is all about should watch the embedded video. The video will give you an almost complete walkthrough of the ride, the (very long) queue, your meeting with Hondo, how you enter the Falcon and finally the ride in the cockpit. If you plan on going to the park anytime soon and don’t want to be spoiled, then don’t watch this video. If, however, you want a good look at what Smuggler’s Run is all about, then definitely watch this video. It will not show the entire ride, there are some jump cuts, but enough that you get a good idea of how the ride itself works and what it’s all about. Click through for some more details after the jump!
Update: Video of the cockpit view for the full 5 minute run has been added!
There is a new short Disneyland Resort YouTube video, which is not listed yet on the channel, that will give you another good look at Galaxy’s Edge. All you have to do is add a lot more people to the scenes in the video to know what it’s like to walk the alleyways of Batuu or to relax in the local cantina. It does look amazing and the design certainly breathes Star Wars.
Now the only remaining question is how much fun it will be to share this experience with countless other people while the kids are thirsty, hungry or both. Some of the alleyways look rather narrow, I wonder how many people will be admitted to Galaxy’s Edge at the same time. Galaxy’s Edge opens May 31st, but only visitors with a reservation can go to Batuu. So maybe Disney will limit the number of people who can visit the theme park to make the experience less stressful. There is no Fastpass available for the rides and you can’t make any reservations for the Cantina, this will probably only work if not too many people crowd Galaxy’s Edge at once or else some frustration would be guaranteed. To avoid overcrowding Disney will enforce a time limit, visitors have a four hour time limit and have to wear colored wristbands that will keep track of time. Once your time is up Stormtroopers will escort you off Batuu. Disney doesn’t say however, what will happen if guests resist the Stormtroopers. Will actual security drag visitors away or will the Stormtroopers simply open fire? Should any of you go to Galaxy’s Edge please send us your experience reports and photos!
Are you going to Galaxy’s Edge? The official opening ceremony is in the books, joined by George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Wiliams, and more. Our friends over at Jedi News were at the event for full coverage. Head on over to check out their galleries. You can also check out video of the event at the Disney Parks Blog.
Being friends with Bob Iger sure has its perks. For example, your get your own very private tour of Galaxy’s Edge without the distraction of other people crowding the place. Click through for two more photos!
Here’s the official press release featuring the new music composed by John Williams for Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge.
Today, I’m excited to share with you the latest news from Disney in Celebration of May the 4th! We have a great collection of new offerings that are sure to excite Star Wars fans everywhere. Attached is the newest record label image from John Williams’ Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge music now available on Apple Music, and below are additional pieces of how to celebrate Star Wars at the Parks and around the world.
The beautiful music composed by John Williams for Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge has been released in a buyable format. Purchase it through Amazon, iTunes, or Google Play. Or if you’re like me and don’t buy individual songs anymore, listen to it on Spotify here.
Galaxy’s Edge will open on May 31st in Disneyland, California. If you want to visit Galaxy’s Edge between May 31st and June 23rd you will need a reservation. This reservation is free, but reservations are subject to availability. Specific details on how to get a reservation will be made available on Disney Park Blogs and Disneyland.com, May 2nd, at 8 a.m. PT. However, you will need a Disney Account in order to make a reservation, so make sure you have an account before you try to get your reservation.
If you want to secure a guaranteed reservation right now, you can also book a stay at the Disneyland Resort Hotel here. Guests who stay between May 31st and June 23rd will get a reservation, one for each guest. This reservation will be cancelled if you cancel your hotel reservation, though. I would assume that Galaxy’s Edge will be quite overcrowded in the beginning. So whoever wants to go there right after opening better has a high tolerance for stress. Anyway, if you want to go there in June, good luck with getting a reservation! And maybe you can send us a report and a few photos should you actually be able to get a ticket!
Head to our Facebook gallery for an exciting look at some great 3.75″ Droid Depot color changing droids coming to Galaxy’s Edge INCLUDING a blue Lars’ Power Droid! See our Instagram and Facebook pages for more!
UPDATE: Full Facebook Gallery HERE
The Galaxy’s Edge panel is currently taking place at Star Wars celebration, and only a few minutes ago CNN Business posted an exclusive article about bringing Coke products to a galaxy far, far away. More…
It was announced a while ago that visitors of Disney’s all new Galaxy’s Edge Star Wars attraction would be able to buy “in-universe” merchandise. Now an article on attractionsmagazine.com gives us a first look at this merchandise. You’ll be able to buy clothing (Jedi robes, as well as First Order and Resistance outfits), custom made lightsabers, Holocrons, Jedi and Sith artifacts, plush creatures or “artisan style” plush toys of various famous Star Wars characters plus a few other things such as musical instruments. Of special interest to JTA readers will probably be that you can also buy your own custom made BB or R-unit droid (which sounds like Disney’s build-a-droid). What seems to be missing, at least it was not mentioned or shown in the article, are Imperial outfits or more old-fashioned Rebels outfits. While the various toys and artifacts seem to span all movies and eras, most of the clothing you can buy (other than the Jedi robes) appears to be focused on the new entertainment. Check out more photos of the merchandise over on attractionsmagazine.com!
UPDATE: Please check out the new Galaxy’s Edge article on io9 for all the details you will ever need to know! Basically all the questions you still have will be answered! Including what the droids you can build will be: they will be fully radio controlled, so probably at least the size of a Sphero. And the droid, when you control it through Batuu, will even interact with various things you will encounter along the way. A Disney spokesperson also explains why Batuu (and not some established planet) was chosen and how Galaxy’s Edge can change with any new movies and shows.
JTA reader Mark G. alerts us to an important detail featured in an article by Baron’s featuring information on what everyone needs to know about the Galaxy’s Edge theme park coming to Disney. In it, it strongly hints at the possibility we could see exclusive action figures. Check the article out for yourself!
“Star Wars merchandise in shops will come in unique packaging that downplays the logos. Another is that merchandise based on familiar characters will take on new looks. The imagineers visited the archives at Lucasfilm for early concept art. As a hypothetical example, an artisan figure of a familiar character might look slightly off, with the back story being that residents of Batuu have never seen that character, so they don’t know exactly what the figure should look like.”
For starters, this article by the New York Times has some stunning shots of Galaxy’s Edge, but nearly just as incredible is the amount of money Disney is investing in their theme parks. Around the world, expansions to Disney Parks are being built, and Galaxy’s Edge (the coolest of them all) is only one of them. Click through for more… Full Story
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