You may have heard a bizarre rumor stating that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be rethemed to an Aladdin land if crowds don’t meet Disney’s expectations beyond 2020. It should go without saying that this rumor has absolutely no merit, but the fact it went a bit viral forced us to discuss this silly topic.
The rumor’s source was an extremely unreliable website that cited an “employee relative” that said Disney would retheme all of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge if things aren’t going well by next year. It’s far from a credible website and far from being a rumor that’s even remotely true. The alleged rumor noted how attendance hasn’t been thriving out in Disneyland’s version of the land, but that can be easily explained without the fabricated rumor.
Let’s discuss the core of this rumor, lowered attendance, instead of the obvious facts that immediately kill the Aladdin concept (one-year timeline, Star Wars is one of the largest entities there is, do you really think they’d give up so quickly, etc, etc). Nothing will be rethemed to Aladdin. But, Disney does have some wiggle room to change up Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as they see fit.
Yes, the crowds for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland have been fairly surprising. Disneyland’s annual passholder blackout combined with guests fearing enormous crowds have produced smaller than expected crowds. The decisions that helped create smallish crowds for a brand new land won’t be repeated in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney will have learned from what we’ve seen out in California.
Disney took a gamble and decided to open Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in phases. The first phase is what we have seen so far with Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, the markets and shops taking center stage. The second phase, which is the opening of the Rise of the Resistance attraction, will be seen as the “completion” of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as it was billed. However, where Disney saw opening in phases as a way to handle crowds and start earning revenue before the land was fully finished, it might be suffering without its marquee attraction – Rise of the Resistance.
Early reviews for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge have ranged from excellent to just OK. Those reviews vary wildly depending on what you’re expecting the land to be and how deep your Star Wars fandom runs. Some hoped for something more immersive. Others hoped for recognizable Star Wars music and characters to be seen at every turn. It’s difficult to really review Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge until Rise of the Resistance opens. Could you review Pandora over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom if Flight of Passage wasn’t open? Probably not. Smugglers Run shouldn’t be compared to Navi River Journey, but you get the idea.
Disney has previously announced that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will evolve over time. There are flexible spaces within the land that can be changed or updated to reflect a new Star Wars story. The rumored table-service restaurant may come to fruition in the future too. There is some wiggle room to alter and adapt the land where it might be falling short, assuming Disney believes it’s actually falling short and wants to invest further.
Summarized, it’s too early to write an accurate or full review of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The best that can be done is to review what’s open right now – a land without what might be the most impressive ride Disney has ever created. Things might feel a bit incomplete because they are incomplete.
Unfortunately, Disney suffering a bump in the road represents an opportunity for the rumor mill to heat up with some truly off-the-wall garbage.