We stopped by the Disney Parks booth to check out their latest offerings. Click through for a gallery from our visit to their booth!
The Galactic Starcruiser officially opens its gates for visitors on March 1st. But in the week before that Disney invited various news outlets, YouTubers and other influencers to a stay at the Star Wars hotel, so the
shill access quality media can post their (glowing?) reviews in time. One of those outlets invited was local Floridian news site Click Orlando and they posted videos and images from the Starcruiser ahead of the Disney Embargo which ends this Friday. Of course Disney had the videos / article taken down within a few hours, but you know the saying, once something is out on the internet, it’s here to stay and you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. So you can find one of the videos leaked by Click Orlando on Reddit now. Click through for more!
UPDATE: video tour of the Starcruiser cabin and restroom added!
Website AllEars.net has uploaded the welcome message Disney sends out to people who booked a stay at the Galactic Starcruiser on Twitter. The video is two minutes long and features a female employee of the fictional cruise line telling customers what to expect onboard the space ship. Click here or on the screenshot below to watch the video on Twitter! Then click through for a short discussion!
Entertainment Weekly posted an
ad article about Disney’s upcoming Star Wars Hotel on their website yesterday and for the first time you get to see the captain of the Galactic Starcruiser! Meet Captain Keevan, the one who will command the imaginary space ship in the Star Wars galaxy and keep you safe from the First Order! Click through for more.
One could say the Star Wars ship is not exactly sailing in smooth waters at the moment. While many fans are certainly eagerly anticipating the Book of Boba Fett show by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, other things either seriously annoy fans or get ridiculed. The current Star Wars HasLab is not exactly going as planned, it may or may not limp over the finish line, maybe barely getting funded. This project seriously angered collectors and Hasbro / Lucasfilm were basically forced to make a late addition to the campaign to somehow salvage it. The Star Wars Haslab got some really negative PR. And then there’s the fact that Star Wars lost yet another director – and basically canceled yet another movie – not too long ago. But that is nothing compared to what is concurrently happening elsewhere in the Disney Star Wars galaxy. As you may remember the brand new Star Wars Hotel, the “Galactic Starcruiser” will open in March 2022. For a mere $6,000 (for a family of four) you can spend 2 nights and 2 days (only count to 2, not 1, not 3) at the hotel. Since the world we live in is what it is, it’s already booked out in advance for a few months (there are more than 20 million millionaires in the US after all, Disney’s new target demographic apparently). So what is going wrong here? Well, Disney released a “first look” video for the Star Wars Hotel on YouTube earlier this week and the reaction was less than favorable. Actually, the reaction was savage. Apart from the usual access media (think IGN & co) virtually ALL major and even minor Star Wars YouTube channels roasted Disney for the video which was the textbook definition of “cringe”. So what did Disney do as a reaction? Well, what do you think? Click through for more!
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ShopDisney has the latest Galaxy’s Edge The Black Series set up for pre-order. Click below for each pre-order page. Thanks to JTA reader Matt for the alert! Use SHIPMAGIC for free shipping on orders over $75.
JTA reader Aaron H sends us an image of the latest Disney Droid Factory Halloween Droid: R6-W1CH found at his local Disney Park.
Disney is always working on new tech to improve the experience of theme park visitors. One of these new technologies is an actual retractable, illuminated lightsaber that activates just like you know it from the movies at the push of a button. Guests who will book a stay at the Galactic Starcruiser hotel (scheduled opening is in 2022) will actually get a chance to wield these brand new lightsabers in something like a lightsaber dojo. It is not yet known if an actual toy will be made with that tech that can be bought anywhere or if this is something you’ll only see in parks for the time being. Click through to see a short clip of the new lightsaber in action and find out how it all works!
One of my favorite Disneyland blogs, Endor Express, shared some wonderful photos of the new Galaxy’s Edge trading post in Downtown Disney, Anaheim. Will you be going to the outpost any time soon? What exclusive items would you like to buy the most? Let us know in the comments!
Construction for the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience (aka the Star Wars hotel) is underway in Orlando, Florida. The Disney Food Blog released an article about the construction a short while ago and they feature photos taken on location by Jeff Vahle, the President of Walt Disney World Resort. Check out this one photo of the bunk beds posted on Vahle’s Instagram. Click through for one more photo of the room!
While Hong Kong is far away it may be of interest that Disney will have to close their Disneyland in Hong Kong once again. It had only re-opened about a month ago, but a surge of new Covid-19 cases in the city, 52 on Sunday, to be precise, resulted in renewed social distancing measures ordered by the local government. Disney will have to close the theme park on July 15th. Meanwhile, re-opening plans for Disneyland in Anaheim, which was meant to re-open in July (just like Disney World in Florida) were postponed indefinitely, actually, California announced a new lockdown on Monday. That leaves Disney World in Orlando for those mouse enthusiasts who like to live dangerously.
Disney depends a lot on revenue from their theme park division, it was 26 billion USD in 2019, which is almost 44% of total revenue. And without any meaningful revenue from movies or cruises, Disney doesn’t have too many sources of revenue left, licensing, merchandise, TV networks, and Disney+, although the streaming service won’t generate any profits for years to come.
It may actually be a long time before theme parks open again across the world or can operate at full capacity, which makes revenue based on merchandising and licensing all the more important, even though it’s only a modest source of revenue usually for Disney. Disney will release their numbers for the quarter in early August. Analysts believe net loss for the quarter may be about $1.4 billion USD. That’s a lot of Star Wars figures Hasbro would need to sell extra to make up for the missing theme park profits…
The Disney theme parks in the US will re-open in July, with several caveats however. Click through for more details!
We talked about the original plans for Galaxy’s Edge a few months ago. Back then it was reported that the Star Wars theme park was to be about the Original Trilogy, and that Bob Iger changed his mind when The Force Awakens was released, when he saw first footage. Now it turns out that this is not the whole story. Former Walt Disney World Vice President Dan Cockerell was a guest on the WDW Radio podcast and there he talked about how events unfolded. And it turns out that the reports from a few months back left out one important detail: a meeting Bob Iger had with Kathleen Kennedy. Click through for more!
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has now reached the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Today it was announced that the park will close its gates on March 14th and that it will not reopen for the remainder of the month. The hotels will be open until March 16th (Monday) to allow guests to plan for their departure. It is unknown if Disneyland Anaheim will actually reopen in April or not. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida remains open for the time being. Nevertheless the coronavirus will certainly hit Disney’s theme parks division very hard and 2020 may turn out to be a horrible year for the company. Because not only theme parks are affected, but movies as well. Pixar’s latest movie “Onward” had the worst opening of a Pixar movie ever. Other studios postpone the release of their movies. Perhaps Marvel Studios will be affected too. Black Widow will be released in late April / early May, but if things have not improved by then its release may be postponed as well. Bob Chapek certainly has his hands full now managing the crisis. Let’s hope Disneyland will actually reopen in April and that things will improve. However, in all likelihood, the epidemic will get worse, we have not reached its peak yet according to several experts. Stay safe!
UPDATE: Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland Paris in France will also shut down now!
It’s official (and not unexpected), there will be a special Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite during this year’s Star Wars Celebration. It’s not clear if this will be reserved for Star Wars Celebration attendees, or open to the public. From what I can tell, this will be open to the public, but might possibly have a limited number of tickets reserved to purchase by Celebration attendees. Read all about it right here. Are you attending SW Celebration this year? And if so, do you plan on also buying a separate ticket to this event? Let us know in the comments!
Disney invited a few people to check out the brand new “Rise of the Resistance” ride at Galaxy’s Edge (Walt Disney World). YouTube Channel Ordinary Adventures captured their tour on video. And while not the whole ride could be filmed, the 20 minute video will show you most of the ride, including highlights from the part that is set on the First Order Star Destroyer. Click through for the video and a few more details!
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.
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