Since Disney acquired Star Wars back in 2012 for a little over $4 billion, they have done their best to squeeze every possible dollar out of the franchise with different films, television shows, comic books, merchandise and now a section of Disneyland called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which first opened it Anaheim, California earlier this year and will open it’s doors at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida later this month. So what’s the attendance been like? Well turns out that the newly opened area has actually been lighter than they expected. Why?
According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, there are multiple factors that played into those low numbers, according to comicbook.com. The first reason was just people’s perception of the area being overcrowded. “First of all, helped in part by some of our efforts, there was tremendous concern in the marketplace that there was going to be huge crowding when we opened Galaxy’s Edge. So some people stayed away, just because they expected that it would not be a great guest experience”, said Iger. This is actually one of the main reasons I have not even thought about heading down to check it out as I don’t feel like fighting large crowds, but then again in this day and age when isn’t Disneyland packed?
Another reason for the low attendance is the fact that Disneyland and the surrounding hotels raised their prices in anticipation of the large amounts of people excited visit a place right out of a galaxy far, far away. “At the same time that that was going on, all of the local hotels in the region, expecting a huge influx of visitation, raised their prices,” Iger noted. “So it simply got more expensive to come stay in Anaheim. In addition to that, we raised our prices, we brought our daily price up, so if you think about local visitation, we brought the price of a one-day ticket up substantially from a year ago.” Disneyland is not cheap to visit but raising the prices is an effective way to reduce the crowds inside the park.
One other factor that played a large role is that the area was not fully operational when the parked opened. Currently it only features the one attraction which is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. It won’t be until December when Orlando is scheduled to open their second attraction in the area Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, with Anaheim soon following in January 2020. “And then we opened up Galaxy’s Edge with one attraction instead of two, the second attraction is going to open in January,” Iger explained. “And so all of those factors contributed to attendance that was below what we would have hoped it would be. That said, guest satisfaction, interest in the attraction in the land is extremely high, it’s the most popular thing at the park. And so, long term, we build these things for the long term, we have no concerns whatsoever about them. We’re opening Galaxy’s Edge in August in Orlando, the second attraction there will open in December, and, as I said, the second attraction in Anaheim will open in January, so we feel great about the product we’ve created, it just takes some time to, basically for us, to work themselves out in terms of how the marketplace is reacting.”
It’s a very smart move to have an attraction opening that far off into the future as it forces die hard fans to quickly return back to the park and the area to experience the new attraction. Overall, we know that these numbers are nothing for Disney to worry about as people will continue to flood the Disneyland grounds daily, bringing in all kinds of money to the all mighty Mouse.
Have you visited the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area at Disneyland? Let us know in the comment section below!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is open at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and will open at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida on August 23rd.
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