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News Star Wars Galaxy's Edge opening day reports - Disney's Hollywood Studios

VaderTron

Well-Known Member
I think the brand damage is overblown. 9 is more about whether or not TLJ did really alienate that many people. If it does around as well as TLJ or better, then the naysayers were wrong and Star Wars isn't in trouble. If it does considerably worse, then heads will roll.

I, for one, enjoyed TLJ. I think a number of people did. However, with the greatest of ease public opinion is swayed quickly today. FWIW, back in 1980 people didn't appreciate Empire Strikes Back that much. That was related in the critical review from the NY Times:

Published on June 15, 1980, Vincent Canby wrote this in The New York Times:

“The Empire Strikes Back is not a truly terrible movie. It’s a nice movie. It’s not, by any means, as nice as Star Wars. It’s not as fresh and funny and surprising and witty, but it is nice and inoffensive and, in a way that no one associated with it need be ashamed of, it’s also silly. Attending to it is a lot like reading the middle of a comic book. It is amusing in fitful patches but you’re likely to find more beauty, suspense, discipline, craft and art when watching a New York harbor pilot bring the Queen Elizabeth 2 into her Hudson River berth, which is what The Empire Strikes Back most reminds me of. It’s a big, expensive, time-consuming, essentially mechanical operation. The Empire Strikes Back is about as personal as a Christmas card from a bank.”

However, one of the most complained about aspects of TLJ was that it didn't explain every detail and dive deeper into characters backstory than R2D2 into a Degobah swamp. Yet, back in 1980 Harrison Ford already knew that there was the need for patience:

'Logical, given the film’s structuring as the second chapter in a three-act play, a point raised by Harrison Ford in the July 24, 1980, edition of Rolling Stone.

"One of George’s real strengths is not giving you all the information you need, yet at the same time not denying you anything essential. You have a feeling that you want to know more at all times.
“I have heard frequently that there is a certain kind of disappointment with the ending of the second film. I’ve heard people say, ‘There’s no end to this film’ or ‘I can’t wait to find out what happens.’ But they will, and that’s exactly the effect intended by the ending.”
What people really have missed is how similar things with the continuation of this saga are to the original trilogy. Even more so, Disney is holding back to allow themselves to fill in more gaps with further movies, TV Series, books, etc. There are some flaws with TLJ, however no more than any in the original series. Most "fans" have simply lower attention spans and 'trained' expectations for how a movie is supposed to play out. It's a difficult thing to produce a trilogy in such an atmosphere. However, I have definitely enjoyed their efforts.

That aside, SW:GE has a whole different set of issues that result from poor park management decisions. These decisions have been ruining many aspects of the parks long before this current set of errors.
 

DCLcruiser

Well-Known Member
All I know is that we planned a week in FL for September just to see family, but decided to drive 2 hours to WDW for an overnight just to see DHS/SW:GE. I was just at WDW in December and wasn't planning to return until Guardians was finished. So, for us, SW was a draw and they got some of our money.
 

bryanfze55

Well-Known Member
Heh. You're entitled to love TFA my friend. ;)

Enjoy what makes you happy.

Unless Jar Jar makes you happy. Then you're crazy.

I will enjoy it even more now that I have your permission 😉

But seriously it just has more re-watchability for me than any other SW film. Not sure why. I never really cared much for Luke or Leia. From the OT, the only characters I really cared about were Han, Chewbacca and Yoda. And at least we get a lot of Han and Chewbacca in TFA. Plus I tend to think Kylo is a pretty well written and well acted character, all things considered. And... I kind of even like Rey 😐
 

mikejs78

Premium Member
If You look at toy sales and mouse clicks or engagement on SW media (trailers, shows, media stuff) it is something to be concerned over.
Source? Engagement for the EP 9 trailers was through the roof. Toy sales are down from 2015 but still up from pre-disney by a pretty big amount.
 

mikejs78

Premium Member
They had an entire extended universe that did just that and it was summarily dismissed.
Not quite accurate. They dismissed it because they had to, but have been drawing from it quite extensively to create the new EU and new shows/films/etc. For example, the use of Thrawn in Rebels.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
The movie won’t flop. It will underperform. Which is just as bad for such an expensive investment.
I was talking about solo.

9 will make a billion...which going into “the great beyond” isn’t all that great.

Imagine the change in narrative for marvel if infinity war was met with divisiveness and then end game made $1 bil? Way different, huh?
Possibly part of that problem with this IP though is that people expect to see what they’re familiar with for such a massive IP.
And why shouldn’t they? Because the people in WDI/LFL’s “square wheel” division didn’t agree?
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Source? Engagement for the EP 9 trailers was through the roof. Toy sales are down from 2015 but still up from pre-disney by a pretty big amount.
Shipments for 8 were 1/2 what they were for 7...google it.

And I can recall similar reports on web traffic...but that would take more digging.

Just because people don’t want to spend their time linking charts and articles...doesn’t mean the truth is then “untrue”

I think the sky is blue...but I don’t have a link. Sorry
 

The_Jobu

Well-Known Member
Shipments for 8 were 1/2 what they were for 7...google it.

And I can recall similar reports on web traffic...but that would take more digging.

Just because people don’t want to spend their time linking charts and articles...doesn’t mean the truth it then “untrue”

I think the sky is blue...but I don’t have a link. Sorry


I'll see myself to the door...
 

monothingie

I once was a ferret for a day.
Premium Member
Source? Engagement for the EP 9 trailers was through the roof. Toy sales are down from 2015 but still up from pre-disney by a pretty big amount.
I was talking about solo.

9 will make a billion...which going into “the great beyond” isn’t all that great.

Imagine the change in narrative for marvel if infinity war was met with divisiveness and then end game made $1 bil? Way different, huh?

And why shouldn’t they? Because the people in WDI/LFL’s “square wheel” division didn’t agree?


Note it for the record me admitting a mistake.

SW9 viewer engagement was higher than previous movies, however since TLJ and when compared to Marvel Avengers, Lion King, and Aladdin trailer views it was almost or more than half of those.
 

The_Jobu

Well-Known Member
You guys are crazy, they had so many great promos for the new toys, how could kids resist?

ShortStack.JPG
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
Judging a park by wait times is crazy. People shop and eat. BTW, the longest wait time at the Universal parks in Orlando ate 35 minutes. That does not mean they are a failure for such low waiting times on a Saturday. It shows people are smart and following Dorian and making intelligent plans.
 

VaderTron

Well-Known Member
Judging a park by wait times is crazy. People shop and eat. BTW, the longest wait time at the Universal parks in Orlando ate 35 minutes. That does not mean they are a failure for such low waiting times on a Saturday. It shows people are smart and following Dorian and making intelligent plans.

That's why I did a ride vs ride evaluation. When people have shortened their trips to leave ahead of a storm that was projected to head right for Orlando, today is the last day for many who originally intended to stay the whole long weekend. Last day means do what you like the best before you have to leave. In that scenario, people are choosing rides like FoP OVER A BRAND SPANKING NEW RIDE. That was the point.
 

drod1985

Well-Known Member
As a Star Wars fan of nearly 30 years…This will be a day long remembered. What an incredible trip. After closely following bioreconstruct’s aerial photos for what seemed like years I’ve finally visited Galaxy’s Edge - and for the Grand Opening no less. Here’s my (lengthy) review…

The Journey

My buddy Rob and I checked in at Coronado Springs the day before our visit to Batuu. After meeting up with the rest of our party at Disney Springs we tried to get to bed early…with moderate success. 🙂

Woke up the next day at 3am, picked up our two other travelers, and got to DHS by 4am. It seems like just a few minutes later they started letting us through the turn styles to stage on Hollywood Boulevard. We were probably within the first 500-1000 people in line to get into the land. By 4:30am they’d moved our staging area to Grand Avenue…and at about 4:50am they opened the gates and let us into Galaxy’s Edge.

We walked through the Resistance outpost where Chewie and Rey greeted us all from the X-Wing landing platform. There were lightly-themed fans positioned on all the walkways to help keep us cool. They established a line that swerved through Black Spire Outpost and led us straight to the Falcon. The wait took about an hour and 45 minutes, but it seemed to go by extremely quickly. Between the excitement, checking out the sites (the land is beautiful at “night”), Stormtroopers interacting with us, and the data pad app we were well entertained. There were multiple free water stands set up throughout the line and one soda/water kiosk for the themed bottles.

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Smuggler’s Run

Weaving through the line and finally making it to the view of the Falcon was breathtaking. The way the land is structured with angled pathways makes for some incredible reveals. The Smuggler’s Run queue was great as well. Lots of fun Easter eggs and theming to keep you occupied. The Hondo animatronic really is fantastic, but it’s still very much an animatronic - there was no mistaking it for a performer. We always boarded on the right side of Hondo’s room, and it was a bummer that his droid didn’t really ever turn his face towards us.

Boarding the Falcon was done incredibly well. The faux-jetway that leads to the Falcon’s docking ring had a great bounce to it. Boarding via that docking ring was also totally fine - the film’s (non ADA compliant) ramp was not missed at all. Walking around the Falcon and sitting at the chess table was also surreal. This applies to the entire land, but the attention to detail within the Falcon is top notch. The console Han sits at in ANH, the maintenance hallway from ESB, the drawers Rey stores the Jedi texts in during TLJ…it all seems perfect. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the flooring. It’s got a faux-grate look and feel to it, but it’s very obviously solid flooring. At least the maintenance panel from ESB/TFA should’ve been a real grate with some internal theming under it. But that’s really just nitpicking, the attention to detail and passion put into the entire attraction and interior is really off the charts. Kudos to the team in charge of that Falcon interior.

We got to ride Smuggler’s Run three times throughout the day. Twice we entered from the non-canonical hallway via the maintenance bay. Once we entered the proper way. The illusion works either way, the maintenance hallway leads to another hallway that curves around and effectively makes you think you’re in the correct position.

I got to experience right pilot (horizontal), left pilot (vertical) and gunner (accidentally on automatic). Right pilot was fantastic, especially since you get to pull the hyperspace lever. Left pilot seemed more difficult, but was still fun. Both pilot positions are so close to the screen that it’s a bit hard to see everything clearly. Gunner position offered a much better view of the overall experience. Since my gunner position was on auto that meant I didn’t have to aim, so I just kept my finger on one button and watched the screens the entire time. But each time the ride was a blast. Between the queue and the interactive elements I’d say a singular ride is better than Star Tours, but where Star Tours beats Smuggler’s Run is the randomized scenes. If Smuggler’s Run had three random missions as first reported it’d be incredible, and push this attraction not the next level. While the Millennium Falcon itself is the visual centerpiece of the land you can tell that Smuggler’s Run is not meant to be the land’s premier attraction.

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Black Spire Outpost

A major priority for our group was lightsabers, so the very next thing we did was line up for Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. However, since the line for Dok’s was projected to be 90 minutes we took shifts in the line to explore Black Spire Outpost during this time.

First - the cast members. We made it a point to ask a bunch of cast members for their backstories, and they delivered. They had villages picked out, how they ended up at BSO, and justifications for why they were doing their current job today. It was fun. The lingo was great (instead of Apple Pay it’s “communicator pay,” instead of Magic Band it’s “data band.” But, at the end of the day they’re no replacement for the roaming droids or clients we were promised. While opening day’s crowds would not have been conducive to these, they really need to add them at some point.

The sounds. It seemed like a big deal was made about a lack of orchestral score throughout the land. But (IIRC) it’s present during Smuggler’s Run and it’s very present during Savi’s (which I’ll get to later). But the sound throughout BSO is…pretty awesome. No, there’s no orchestral score. But there’s awesome sound effects throughout the land that I noticed quite often. Random music that sounds very in-world, transmissions and chatter from inhabitants of the land, the sounds of AT-AT’s stomping in the distance or ships flying overhead…it was all very effective and made me feel very much like I was somewhere surrounded by activity. Another bonus is how hacking via the data pad causes communication towers and droids to react via sound - super cool.

The Marketplace - The various shops are a lot of fun, but the stalls really are so small. I think I get it though - each one is so specialized and only has a handful of items. I picked up a few Stormtrooper toys for my friend who’s a big Stormtrooper fan. Other than that we just “window” shopped a bit. The market felt active and fun. We did not try Kat Saka’s Kettle. The rest of my party did grab Ronto Wraps, of which I had a bite of the standard wrap. Man…that one bite was exceptional. I couldn’t eat one of my own due to some dietary restrictions, which also impacted my time in the cantina.

Characters - The troopers on roof tops were great, as were the interactive troopers throughout the land. Vi Moradi was all over the place, and I had a fun quick convo with her. Rey was strolling around the Resistance Outpost with Chewie, and they interacted with a bunch of kids. It was great to see unattended characters walking around again like WDW in the 90’s.

Overall - The details and photo-ops throughout BSO are great. The speeder garage is fun, but could’ve used some bounce to the speeders or additional sound effects. The Coke kiosks are a nice touch. Batuu may not be seen in the films, but the overall design language and detail is so indicative of the Star Wars universe that it absolutely feels like you’re in the films. A prime example would be Oga’s apartment near her Cantina - it’s so evocative of the Mos Espa apartments in The Phantom Menace. Another example would be how the lighting fixtures are appropriately other worldly. The moisture evaporators, the communication towers, the architecture…it all screams Star Wars.

Blue and Green Milk

Two of us waited in line for the Milk Stand while the other two held our place in Dok’s line. Everybody got Blue Milk and I got an extra green milk for us all to try.

My buddy Rob and I each bought vintage Tupperware containers that were used as the glasses for Blue Milk in A New Hope. We poured our Blue Milk servings in those for a more authentic experience. 🙂

The Blue Milk was extremely pleasant, with berry and coconut flavors being most prominent to me. There’s only a hint of the pineapple. The Green Milk was good as well, but it was more like a dessert than a smoothie to me. The Green Milk tasted very much like a Fruity Pebbles milkshake. The Rice/Coconut milk base was not a detriment at all - in fact it was quite welcome.

The verdict: I’d enjoy Blue Milk on the regular, Green Milk every once in a while for a dessert-style treat. I don’t drink sodas, so I’m not a fan of drinks that are overly sweet. To me, blue milk hit the perfect amount of sweetness while green milk was at the upper end of my sweetness limit.

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Dok Ondar’s

Once we finally got into Dok Ondar’s we were surprised by how small it was - it looks bigger in pictures. The props and theming throughout the shop are a love letter to all of Star Wars. There’s representation from the Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy, Sequel Trilogy, Rogue One, Solo, The Clone Wars, Rebels, The Mandalorian, and probably even more that I didn’t recognize.

Only two cashiers were checking people out in the saber line, which meant the line took a while. And only one of the cashiers was able to ship your merchandise “off world” - so our line was even longer. There was an attendant in the line who could show you the various sabers and collect the items you were purchasing though. Two of us each got a legacy saber, two hilt stands (one for Savi’s later), and two Kyber crystals.

Oga’s Cantina

Next stop - Oga’s. We were lucky enough to get a booth, and we had some great company seated with us. Once again, due to dietary restrictions my options were limited. I got the Yub Nub and the Cliff Dweller (both without the mugs). I enjoy all the core elements of those drinks, but their proportions seemed entirely off. They were both overwhelmingly citrus flavored, to the point where I tasted nothing else but the citrus juices. Half way through the Yub Nub my lips were stinging from the citrus acids. Everybody else got Fuzzy Tauntauns and T-16 Skyhoppers, which they reported were good. Our waiter was fast, attentive, and “in character” as much as he could be. The overall vibe of the Cantina was awesome, with DJ-R3X’s tunes and commentary providing entertainment. The bar staff and waiters also had a few moments where they encouraged patron participation - those moments were well executed and a lot of fun.

The Cantina is small, but I’m hoping the future restaurant addition will remedy that. If they don’t move forward with the restaurant then they should use that flex space in the back for an additional Cantina.

I’m bummed that my dietary restrictions limited my drink choices. I’d like to give the Cantina another shot on a day where I can be braver in terms of what drinks I consume. But it totally nails the vibe I was looking for - a slightly updated and more modern take on the classic ANH cantina.

Docking Bay 7

I loved the theming in this restaurant. The Carbon Freeze chamber, the X-Wing S-foil table, the “fresh frozen” fish hanging, the alien fruits and veggies…it was all pretty great. Once again, my dietary restrictions held me back here, but my end results were much better than the Cantina. I was eyeing the Braised Shaak Roast or Smoked Kaduu Ribs - which my buddies ended up getting - but ended up with the Fried Endorian Tip-Yip. The Tip-Yip…exceeded expectations. The chicken itself was very good and the breading had some spice to it. The gravy that surrounded the mashed potatoes also had a fantastic kick. The mixture of the chicken, mash and gravy made for a great meal that I’d absolutely have again. And for the record: no sporks were stolen by our party. 🙂

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Savi’s Workshop

I’ll keep this fairly spoiler free. This was what I was most looking forward to. I’d heard good reviews of the experience, but I also heard that we had actual performers leading the experience here as opposed to front line cast members at Disneyland. Boy, is that apparent during the build. Our lead Gatherer did a phenomenal job engaging us and really selling the emotion of the experience. He was completely in sync with the queues for the various production elements of the show, and it added so much to the experience.

The biggest detractor to the experience were the additional gatherers that oversaw the saber builds. They popped up out of nowhere with this extremely in-your-face Disney-to-the-max vibe that so clashed with the mood that the pre-show worked so hard to establish. I didn’t want to spoil the show, so I hadn’t watched any videos of it, but I had watched plenty of videos on how the sabers are constructed. As such, I knew what I was doing and wanted to try a few different component configurations. Once I started trying different components Hannah Montana asked that I stop - she wanted me to stick to her lead and not jump ahead. That would’ve been fine…had she not also insisted that she take my part tray as soon as my first hilt configuration was done. I understand that they’re trying to move groups in and out quickly, but the fact that she held me back from testing out component configurations and then prevented me from trying once I had my first iteration assembled really rubbed me the wrong way - especially when I was paying $200 for this. This bummed me out throughout the rest of the experience, which was extremely unfortunate.

After the show we checked out our sabers and I noticed mine was activating with a major delay. So I had a cast member check it out and he must’ve swapped my saber core out for me. So do be sure to do a quick QA check on your sabers before leaving.

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Overall Thoughts

Galaxy’s Edge is going to be a home run - assuming Rise of the Resistance meets expectations once it opens. As we left my friends and I all remarked how incredible it was that we didn’t feel like we were in Hollywood Studios at all for the 11+ hours we were in GE. The food is in the upper echelon of theme park quick service, right there with Satu’li Canteen (if not above it). The theming is beyond next level - it’s incredible. The attention to detail throughout the land is remarkable. Smuggler’s Run is tons of fun, and adding additional missions in the future could potentially elevate its status as the “second” ride of Galaxy’s Edge. But as it stands today the only attraction available on day one is great, but you can tell it’s not meant to be the marquee attraction.

Now are there areas for improvement? Absolutely. Bring on the roaming droids and aliens. The First Order corner is kinda sparse. There is nothing for a child under 38” to do but beg their parents to buy them things. We need the Table Service Restaurant or Cantina expansion. The Resistance Outpost could use some more activity akin to the Green Army Men in Toy Story Land. And I think they’ve got some kinks to work out with those assistant-Gatherers and the quality control at Savi’s. And as mentioned - the land needs Rise of the Resistance to open and meet or exceed expectations to be whole.

Huge thanks to Scott Trowbridge and the team involved in Galaxy's Edge. You guys have made this nerd's dreams of traveling to a Galaxy Far, Far Away come true.

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