8:36am PT by Etan Vlessing, Ryan Parker
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Sets Opening Dates
Disney’s new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge attraction is set to open May 31 at Disneyland in Anaheim and Aug. 29 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger used his annual shareholders meeting on Thursday to announce the opening dates for the 14-acre, themed destination set to take Star Wars fans into the world of the popular movie franchise.
Guests planning to visit Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland Park between May 31 and June 23 will need valid theme-park admission and will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, for access, according to Disney. Demand will likely be record-breaking.
Galaxy's Edge will open in two phases with its state-of-the-art rides: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will debut first on May 31, and then Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will bow later this year.
When the land opens this summer, the goal for Disney is that fans will believe they have been transported into the world of Star Wars — at the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, to be exact.
Disney earlier talked about Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opening in summer 2019 at Anaheim's Disneyland Resort and in fall 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Iger touted the upcoming Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride, which will open at a later date, calling it "the most technologically advanced and immersive attraction" the park has ever seen.
The Hollywood Reporter was invited to a top-secret media preview of the land a couple weeks back. Here is some of what was seen.
The 14-acre, themed destination at Disneyland Park in Anaheim will be unlike any attraction experienced before. With two state-of-the-art rides (Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run), a plethora of shops and restaurants (all in the theme of Star Wars so as not to feel like they are part of a Disney stop), jaw-dropping spectacles and full-scale droids milling about, the land delivers on the ambitious project Iger foretold when he announced the park at the D23 Expo in August 2015.
The outpost looks lived-in and the intentional imperfections make the area feel like it's been around for hundreds of years. There will be three entrances into Galaxy's Edge, which is located north of Frontierland, where Big Thunder Ranch used to be, that also required the reconfiguration of the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America. Scents and music will be piped into the land, including original customized themes created by Star Wars composer John Williams.
There are a number of spots to get merchandise in Galaxy's Edge, including Savi's Workshop, the Droid Depot, Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities and Toydarian Toymaker. The most striking aspect was how they didn't stand out as Disney toys but felt more like those that would be found on a Star Wars planet, which is exactly what the park is going for.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be the first area within the Disney park designed to fully integrate with the Play Disney Parks mobile app, which was introduced last year. Basically, the app will allow guests to find secrets and Easter eggs strewn throughout the land, such as translating a galactic language, participating in smaller side missions and learning about hidden treasures inside crates and containers. The app will also allow guests to interact with the droids roaming around, as well as ships, display screens and even drinking fountains.
Disney castmembers (park staff) will also be a large part of the land. They will all have newly designed costumes, which we previewed, and they will have character backstories to better interact in the world with guests. One of the more interesting parts of the costume aspect is that the staff will get to choose their ensembles from a large array of options. They will be allowed to mix and match some looks to give their own unique style.