Star Wars is going to take over Disney World.
At least that’s what many people are afraid of. They are worried that the Disney World they know and love will soon become some sort of comic con like madhouse.
First off, what is this “Star Wars Land”?
Within Disney World, there will be a 14 acre expansion in the Hollywood Studios park. The real name for this new addition will be “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” and it will open sometime in 2019. This project, an ambitious undertaking even by Disney standards, will be a highly detailed and immersive land that makes visitors feel like they are transported to a remote Star Wars planet named Batuu.
The time period for this setting is shortly after Return of The Jedi takes place, with storylines leading up to the events of The Force Awakens. The attractions will include a life-sized Millennium Falcon, a First Order battle, and an authentic cantina. Batuu is described as a planet that is a bit off the grid from normal Star Wars galaxy travel, even though it was once a popular trading port. So it is the perfect place for smugglers, ruffians, and scruffy Han Solo types to hang out without attracting too much attention.
Disney chose to go with an unfamiliar planet so that guests would have many new things to explore. And frankly, it gives them a lot more creative freedom.
This will be huge. Massive. Unprecedented. Not just in terms of size, but in pure people drawing power. The implications of its opening cannot be overestimated.
But will it ruin Disney World as we know it?
Ruin it, no. Change it, yes.
I believe it will be better for everyone. First of all, the biggest problem at Disney World is arguably the crowds. While Galaxy’s Edge will draw in more visitors, they will be going to Hollywood Studios—one of the least crowded parks. The new Star Wars expansion will pull a lot of people away from Magic Kingdom, which is always a good thing. It will spread the crowds out across more real estate, making Disney World a happier place.
What about those who argue Star Wars is not pure Disney? I would say there is plenty of room for everything. Disney World is about being able to visit a variety of imaginative lands, from the fairy tale inspired Fantasy Land, to futuristic Tomorrowland.
If some folks want to spend a good part of their vacation on the planet Batuu, at the Galaxy’s Edge, there’s nothing un-Disney about that.