Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a mastodontic project of the Disney World Resort in Orlando. The absolute largest expansion during Disney’s nearly 50 years in Florida.
Not only does it occupy a big area, much larger than any other “land” in the theme parks, but also the attractions will be spectacular.
On top of this, there will be Star Wars themed hotel. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open August 29th.
It has been known since 2015 that Disney will open a Star Wars Land in Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. With an exact copy at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Both lands will open in 2019. Disney is so sure of a huge success that their engineers already are outlining an expansion of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in both states.
Star Wars is not new to Disney. The connection has been strong since Disney bought Lucasfilm. There are already Star Wars attractions in Hollywood Studios and regular special events are organized. What prompted Disney’s sharpest minds to start sketching something new was the enormous success Universal had with Harry Potter. First at Islands of Adventure, which almost doubled the parks number of visitors, then also as a part of Universal Studios.
Harry Potter made Disney look for new solutions
Disney needed something similar. We can now see parts of Disney’s creative work and the results are outstanding:
• Pandora – The World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom has been open since May 2017, and the demand is so high that even with a Fastpass+ it can be difficult to get to the rides.
• Toy Story Land is also an exciting project and will increase the quality of Hollywood Studios, but can still be seen as a rather small project compared to what will come next year:
• Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – something like this has never been seen before in any theme park. Disney and Lucasfilm are building something brand new. Nothing you have seen in the Star Wars movies. Instead going the opposite way: building environments that will later be made to movies. Nonetheless, some beloved features from the movies, like for example the Millenium Falcon, will of course be included and as a visitor you might even get a chance to command this iconic spacecraft.
Star Wars – a big change for Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios has been quite a mess for a few years. Major renovations, attractions that have disappeared. Without knowing the exact numbers, the Disney movie park hardly competes with Universal Studios a few miles further north towards Orlando.
Considering the millions of Star Wars fans around the world, the new attraction Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will surely make a big difference in future of Hollywood Studios.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will have no direct connection to any particular movie, known environment or character. Instead, we will meet with a new unknown planet at the end of the galaxy (just as the name suggests). On the other hand, we believe that what will be created in the theme park can be the basis for a new Star Wars movie.
Apparently one of the major attractions is for the visitors to control the film’s iconic spacecraft Millennium Falcon, another to join a battlefield between Resistance and First Order.
Guests play leading roles at Disney’s Star Wars Hotel
Disney’s Star Wars hotel will in several ways affect the future of Orlando. A new hotel concept called Disney 360, which might be copied by Universal.
The hotel guests will automatically become part of the space adventure.
Disney World has created a new vacation concept that they call Disney 360.
Here is when the hotel/resort comes in to play – you and the other guests play the lead!
From the minute you and your family check in, you are all part of the space experience. You have become one of the galaxy residents and will not leave those roles until you check out. Of course, you get benefits that other Hollywood Studios guests do not come close to, for sure a really lovely VIP feeling to places and situations to which other visitors do not even have access.
Price for a room: $ 900 per person for two days, according to unconfirmed rumors. Initial hotel reviewers say that the hotel will be booked at least one year in advance before it is even opened.
READ MORE: Best hotels near Disney World
Is Universal now building a Harry Potter hotel?
Disney has for decades always invested in theme hotels in Orlando. With the Disney 360 concept, they take a step further and let hotel guests enter and be actively involved in the fictional world they came to visit.
Universal Orlando Resort is said to be interested in what Disney does and it is already speculated about a Harry Potter hotel – or perhaps a Hogwarts Resort. (Or something else, see below.) There are also those who say that the heads of Universal are shocked by all Disney news coming over the next four years.
But while Disney has nearly 50 years of experience in Orlando hotels, it’s actually Universal that is at the forefront, generally, with hotel efforts. They have already decided to at least triple the number of hotel beds in Orlando, as well as sitting on several lots for this particular purpose.
The Orlando Informer speculates: “Because the only major Universal attraction that can come close to competing with Star Wars will be a Harry Potter hotel or the Hogwart Castle Hotel.”
We would not be surprised if instead, a Jurassic Park Hotel and/or Hotel Nintendo were to be built.
ps. Since 2012 The Walt Disney Company owns the production company Lucasfilm. It was an agreement of over four billion dollars. Lucasfilm was started 1971 by George Lucas, who made his first Star Wars movie in 1977.
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All content on this page and other parts of FloridaUSAguide is based on information from the Scandinavian online publication Florida.nu, established in Clearwater Beach, Florida, 2006.