Galaxy's Edge Performance and Evolution Discussion

TheMaxRebo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Hi everyone,

There has been a lot of interesting discussion in various areas of the DIS Boards around the performance of Galaxy's Edge - which only intensified this week when it was announced that the food in the land would have the Star Wars Universe names removed from them. The goal of this thread is to keep as much of this discussion in one place.

I will attempt to keep this first post updated with what the developments are and where heavy discussion on different topics takes place so people can just look through sections of the thread if they want to see what people are saying on a given aspect.

Let me know of any other topics you think make sense to include here. Also, if you see discussion that would fit here taking place in other threads (especially outside of this sub-forum), feel free to post a link to this thread .... the goal is definitely not to lessen the discussion, just to keep it a bit more organized and allow other threads to "stay on target"

Discussion topics as of 20th October: Post 2 - current:
- Overall thoughts on performance of the land: What is working, what isn't?
- Who is the audience for this land? How might reality differ from what Disney was expecting?
- Immersion: Is it something guests want? Is there too much/too little? Thoughts on the removal of the Star Wars names for the food?


Thanks! And may the Force be with us all

-Phil
 

tlmadden73

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Like I've said in other threads:
When it comes to immersion, it feels like Disney built this land to be a Star Wars "Ren Faire" with a level of immersion even more than the Wizarding World or Pandora. In other words, when you step into the land, the look of the land not only makes you feel like you stepped into a fantasy world, but the workers/characters/food do too. And for me, it did that. And it was awesome (even without Rise of the Resistance).

To me, that level of immersion is only for the hard core Star Wars fan (I would count myself as one of those) and the land seemed built that way with references to characters only from books (like Vi) or TV shows (like Hondo). The little details as well are geared towards the Star Wars 'geek' -- drinks with Star Wars references that only those steeped in the lore would know, the Arabesh words everywhere, Dok Ondar's shop selling "real" lightsabers and Holocrons and a $200 "experience" to buy a non-toy lightsaber to use for display or cos-playing.

These aren't things people who just have seen or heard of the movies care about. But those details geek out the geeks! I just don't know if there is enough geeks to be drawn to the parks to spend money on a regular basis to support this endeavor. *shrug*. Who knows. Maybe Episode IX and the Mandalorian will excite another set of fans.

I bet they will slowly pair back the "immersion" factors due to cost and casual guest disinterest and save the immersion for the Star Wars hotel. I would not be surprised if next we'll see normal merchandise for sale in the Star Wars shops within SWGE (T-shirts, toys, plastic lightsabers).
 

MommaBerd

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
So I am waaaay behind on responding to some of you. It teaches me not to “open my mouth” if I don’t have time to stick around to discuss! 😁 But, since @TheMaxRebo opened this thread, I will pick up the discussion.

ETA: I thought I should include my original post here, too.

I blame the die-hard SW fans for this. They didn’t show up; they pitched a temper-tantrum about how the land wasn’t based on a place in the movies; they constantly criticize it for what it isn’t and some root for its failure, etc.

Then, you hear from people like Kevin on The DIS Unplugged, who, while extremely hilarious in his retelling of events, got very annoyed when CMs *were* staying in character. My guess is that there are a large number of “Kevins” out there who just don’t want to engage in the immersion.

On a more personal level, we *loved* GE! My brother could not have been more excited by it! We saw characters roaming and interacting with guests every time we were there. (I even got sassy with a Stormtrooper.😆) We thought the criticisms of MF:SR were way overblown.

The one place where we thought the immersion was fantastic, but could also go even further, is Oga’s Cantina. Our bartender was fun and engaging! We really enjoyed our two-drink, 45 minute time in there. 😁 But how awesome would it be if there were some characters in THERE?!? That is the perfect place for your reputation to come into play and to bring the immersion to the next level. People going there would be given a heads-up that the expectation is you play along with the story. I imagine the cost to WDW would be minimal - just the cost for talent.

It makes me sad/disappointed that Disney is softening/removing the playful elements, but again, what is a company to do when the people for whom this immersion was created don’t show up?



I agree with a lot of this - but I also think there is an element of "did Disney build the land the die hards want, or build the land they wanted and assumed the die hards would show up no matter what"? I keep going back to that comment from Iger when he said (something to the effect of) "we don't need to market Galaxy's Edge, we just announce it is open and people will come" - I think that was a mistake on their part and maybe a bit arrogant.

I do wish more people who were like Kevin (not to pick on him, but just as putting a face/name to the type of guest) were a bit more open to immersion and welcoming of the fact other people do want this and you have to start from a position of immersion and then move off of it, you can't go the other way. But also think the CMs could be better about reading the guest and moving off of immersion quicker when it is clear the guest is not into it

But comes back to trying to build a land for everyone and in the end making a lot of people unhappy - it's too immersive for some, and not immersive enough for others. Plus, we are going to see more of the negative things posted / discussed as it is just the nature of the internet - people who go and enjoy it but dont' feel super strongly either way aren't going to go out of the way to write passionate blogs about that
I COMPLETELY agree with your statement I bolded. I have often thought back to that quote as well and the arrogance of it.

I also agree with your statement and @MissGina5 when you discuss “reading the room.” But, my guess is that some people just get frustrated from the get-go. They just


I don't think I understand your argument. You're blaming the hard-core fans for not liking what Disney built? Isn't the onus on Disney to build something that draws guests, whoever those guests may be?
This is just my opinion, but I am not sure that Disney could have built *anything* that would have pleased the hard-core fans. There are so many places and planets in the movies, how do you choose just one? So, I think they went with a neutral option that gives them maximum flexibility and room to evolve and the ability to add and remove various characters over time. It provides a way for everyone to discover something new vs. potentially having some avid SW fans who come into a place with a critical eye. Plus, I feel like they worked really hard to include major elements that *are* familiar and important to SW fans, e.g., The Millenium Falcon.

So I know this isn't the thread to talk about it, but I still think the isn't too much immersion or not enough immersion, it's giving the audience a land they are unfamiliar with. By setting it somewhere in the Star Wars galaxy we've never been - you go and it's neat and Star-Wars-y, but you don't get that kick of really being in a place right out of the movies. I'm not a huge Cars fan, but having been out to DLR this summer, from my view Carsland is more successful of land (design wise) than Star Wars land. And it's because of all the little touches right out of the movie. From Stanley's statue to the flashing yellow light to the white-wall tires in Luigi's shop, it feels like the movie come to life. Outside of Millenium Falcon and the ride with it, in GE, I felt like I was in the world of Star Wars, but I didn't feel that it had really made the movie come to life. This is where they really NEEDED the actors and droids that were supposed to make the land more familiar with us. Having 2 stormtroopers wandering around didn't cut it. They really need to have those characters to draw you into the Star Wars world and without it, I'm just like hey this is pretty neat but it's not something I'm familiar with. It's honestly IMO a fairly minor problem, as the land is pretty great, and I would say a solid triple, but not the home run that everyone was expecting.

It's like if instead of building Diagon Alley - Universal had said "Oh let's build Durmstrang! Nobody has ever been there!"
I don’t think we disagree. However, I guess we got lucky in that we did see characters interacting every time we were there. The droids would take it next level, for sure. And, as I suggested in the other thread, throw in a couple of characters/interactive drama at Oga’s...it would be really awesome.

Like I said above, the thing that makes CarsLand andHarry Potter easy is that there is only one major setting for those movies. Star Wars literally has a galaxy of planets. And the major settings/planets which have been in the movies have spanned generations. What is a company to do?

BUT given their decision to come up with a new place, Iger was definitely arrogant in his statement about not needing to market the land.

Moving on(?) having had some time to think more about renaming the food items, I also wonder how much having such a large population of international guests contributed to this, too? Though in typing this, maybe they could have added little icons (like a chicken, cow, plant, etc.) right next to the name to help out?
 
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  • TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    To me, that level of immersion is only for the hard core Star Wars fan (I would count myself as one of those) and the land seemed built that way with references to characters only from books (like Vi) or TV shows (like Hondo).
    I definitely have seen a lot of comments form people that are like "whoever the heck Hondo is" ... I wonder if using obscure character backfired a bit. Or at least they perhaps were thinking "well, it won't really matter to people not into STar Wars as it will just be a random character but not detract from things" but I wonder instead of making it more approachable (e.g., you don't have to be super in to Star Wars to enjoy it) it became more of a turn off as people felt "well, I guess this isn't for me since I don't read the books, or whatever. just the main movies"

    So maybe they should have done either non-descript characters that help out or just use more well known ones. They could have just used Chewie or Poe or Jabba or something instead of Hondo for example


    This is just my opinion, but I am not sure that Disney could have built *anything* that would have pleased the hard-core fans. There are so many places and planets in the movies, how do you choose just one
    I fully agree with this - for every fan that would want it to be Tatooine, there would be others that would want it to be Hoth, or the Death Star, or whatever. So maybe if this was an entire separate park with multiple lands that could have worked, but it isn't so I "get" the idea of making something new that feels like Star Wars but isn't one specific location ... just maybe didn't work for as broad a group as they thought

    And, as I suggested in the other thread, throw in a couple of characters/interactive drama at Oga’s...it would be really awesome.
    I wonder if instead of the idea of every CM having a back story and playing a role as a citizen of Batuu, etc. they just split it and had a number of them doing that (so the shop owners, some people on the streets, etc.) but then also plenty of "normal" CMs who are there to help guide travelers and stuff and don't have to fit into the immersion as to be able to do the immersion and read the crowd, etc. is not easy so maybe don't require every single person that is just on standard CM payscale to be able to do that
     

    sponica

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    I haven't been yet, so my reactions to whatever is going on are as a passive outside observer.

    I've read comments saying to the effect people want to be in the story with han, leia and luke, or meet them. I don't. Sure I would have loved to meet Carrie Fisher, but some actor playing the role of Princess Leia. Nope. Not me. The comments about music not being blasted everywhere. It's a space port, there WOULDN'T be music in every corner of the market. I mean most ports of call are like that, music bouncing off in different parts of the marketplaces but not uniform.

    I consider myself a movie fan only, I don't have time for the "expanded universe" and you know what, I still can't wait to be there. Are the experiences a little "higher end" than I can afford right now? Yeah, I won't lie they are. But I really looked forward to the entire theming including having proper names for food. I don't want to eat fried chicken on Batuu.

    To compare and contrast with the other "immersive" lands. I absolutely hated the movie Avatar, but I love the experience of being in Pandora. As far as our wizard friend, I liked it as a bucket list "I've been here" but the couple times I've gone it was soooooo crowded/hot I didn't actually get to enjoy anything.
     

    mountain man

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2008
    I think it was a major mistake to not base the land off of stuff people have seen in the movies, especially epsisode 4-6. Batuu comes from the Trawn book which most people are not familiar with. I have read the book but I still didn't feel much connection to the book and when I went to the land. When you read something it may not look the same as you visualize it in real life. The land is Star Wars looking but nothing I have ever seen on screen. It was cool and the Falcon view is awesome but I feel it would make more of a connection if it looked like something I had seen in a movie. It is almost like a generic Star Wars land.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    I think it was a major mistake to not base the land off of stuff people have seen in the movies, especially epsisode 4-6. Batuu comes from the Trawn book which most people are not familiar with. I have read the book but I still didn't feel much connection to the book and when I went to the land. When you read something it may not look the same as you visualize it in real life. The land is Star Wars looking but nothing I have ever seen on screen. It was cool and the Falcon view is awesome but I feel it would make more of a connection if it looked like something I had seen in a movie. It is almost like a generic Star Wars land.
    This type of thing is so hard with the Star Wars universe because it’s so vast and grand. You choose Tatooine and people will be upset they didn’t choose Endor or insert whichever place you want. This certainly wasn’t an easy task by any sort of stretch.
     
  • sponica

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    This type of thing is so hard with the Star Wars universe because it’s so vast and grand. You choose Tatooine and people will be upset they didn’t choose Endor or insert whichever place you want. This certainly wasn’t an easy task by any sort of stretch.
    It's also hard with a universe that's still growing. Even picking a time point to set the land in was going to ruffle feathers.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    It's also hard with a universe that's still growing. Even picking a time point to set the land in was going to ruffle feathers.
    Oh exactly. Disney of course wants to have new trilogy influence and you can’t do that and have original trilogy in the same place because the two trilogies aren’t the same people or setting. I do get why people want the original trilogy as it’s where it’s started and where most are attached but I also get why disney did what they did.
     

    hertamaniac

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2017
    I do wonder if there is a continued revenue expectation decline, will the merchandise start to get discounted. Are the days of a $99 light saber experience and a $59 build your own droid coming?
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
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    Feb 20, 2013
    I do wonder if there is a continued revenue expectation decline, will the merchandise start to get discounted. Are the days of a $99 light saber experience and a $59 build your own droid coming?
    Not yet. These experiences are doing well for the most part.
     
  • LandoBlanco

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 22, 2018
    On the question of who is the audience for this land, it's hard to categorize. There is so much divisiveness within the general Star Wars fandom, that even lumping the "die-hard" fans in the same group doesn't really work. I'm a die-hard, born in the 70s, grew up with the original trilogy type of fan and I'm fine with a new location. There are other fans that are just as die-hard that have little interest in anything outside of the original trilogy. There are also people that dislike the new movies to the point that they are rooting for the land to fail. Casual fans seem to enjoy the land and the detail, but they aren't going to spend their money on the higher end experiences. For me, the primary job of Disney and Lucasfilm is storytelling, and the story of those familiar locations are already told. A big part of that storytelling of Galaxy's Edge is Rise of the Resistance, but we're going to have to wait for that a bit longer. Batuu gives them a blank slate to create new stories and the ability to evolve the land in the future, where a lot of the original and prequel adventures are available when you ride Star Tours.

    As far as the immersion, I think the cast members need to figure out when it's appropriate to break character. If somebody asks where the restroom is, they can point them in the right direction without acting like they've never heard of a bathroom before. It's as easy as saying, "the refreshers are over there". They are still in character, and don't have to dance around the idea that they don't know what guests are asking about.

    As far as performance, I'd love to see the number of guests that have been through Smuggler's Run. There have been a ton of posts about wait times vs. Flight of Passage, fast pass vs. no fast pass, etc. I logged on at 6am this morning to make ADR for an April trip and Smuggler's Run had a 60 minute wait. Adding those extra morning hours seems to do a good job of spreading out the crowds. Not really sure how much of it is Disney actually handling the crowds well vs. the land under performing. I guess things will become clearer wants RoR is open and the EEMH end.
     

    Kpitts17

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 12, 2018
    I feel it's performing way better than people are giving it credit for. As the post above said, the EEMH are spreading crowds across a longer timeframe and with no fast pass, the wait that can get to 120 min could easily be 150 minutes. They've built a ride that is fun to ride again and sees large crowds through fast. Bravo! If you try and look for a time to build a lightsaber right now or get into oga's cantina, you'd be hard pressed to find one. People are coming out and in a park (HS) that needs somewhere else to go, this is a huge, much needed expansion.

    I am excited to see if they allow the land to evolve. It'd be cool to do after hours events like come to meet the OG heroes and have it themed and storied to feature han solo and luke visiting Baatu for the first time. I'm curious what 5 years down the line will look like after ROS and the new movies have been released. I would love to see more performances or skirmishes added other than storm troopers walking around like how Hogsmeade added the Death Eaters and the show that lights up the castle or the frog choir. It'd be really cool to have some creatures walk about or one day the resistance takes control and beats the first order or such. They have a lot of potential and I think that's what is best about GE.
     

    wnwardii

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2016
    Are there posted wait times for each experience? I think that will be a leading indicator as to when a price adjustment might be done.
    I know on the website, you can still make some advanced (or day of) reservations for Savi's Workshop. This is the case at least until December 2nd when all availability is pretty much gone. Right now in December, there may be some availability on the 1st, the 28th and the 31st. January has more availability, but there are sold out days.

    This doesn't answer your specific question. But it does show the popularity and shows the importance of making a reservation for Savi's.

    The Droid Depot does not appear to have very many "not available" dates. So that may have more walk ups available.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    I know on the website, you can still make some advanced (or day of) reservations for Savi's Workshop. This is the case at least until December 2nd when all availability is pretty much gone. Right now in December, there may be some availability on the 1st, the 28th and the 31st. January has more availability, but there are sold out days.

    This doesn't answer your specific question. But it does show the popularity and shows the importance of making a reservation for Savi's.

    The Droid Depot does not appear to have very many "not available" dates. So that may have more walk ups available.
    The Droid Depot also has a higher capacity.
     

    hertamaniac

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2017
    I know on the website, you can still make some advanced (or day of) reservations for Savi's Workshop. This is the case at least until December 2nd when all availability is pretty much gone. Right now in December, there may be some availability on the 1st, the 28th and the 31st. January has more availability, but there are sold out days.

    This doesn't answer your specific question. But it does show the popularity and shows the importance of making a reservation for Savi's.

    The Droid Depot does not appear to have very many "not available" dates. So that may have more walk ups available.
    For sure, it does show the popularity for Savi's. But, once the "newness" wears off (whenever that is), I think Disney will attack the pricing of the experience(s) to continue to drive guests into them.
     

    yulilin3

    Disney Freak
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2007
    On the question of who is the audience for this land, it's hard to categorize. There is so much divisiveness within the general Star Wars fandom, that even lumping the "die-hard" fans in the same group doesn't really work. I'm a die-hard, born in the 70s, grew up with the original trilogy type of fan and I'm fine with a new location. There are other fans that are just as die-hard that have little interest in anything outside of the original trilogy. There are also people that dislike the new movies to the point that they are rooting for the land to fail. Casual fans seem to enjoy the land and the detail, but they aren't going to spend their money on the higher end experiences. For me, the primary job of Disney and Lucasfilm is storytelling, and the story of those familiar locations are already told. A big part of that storytelling of Galaxy's Edge is Rise of the Resistance, but we're going to have to wait for that a bit longer. Batuu gives them a blank slate to create new stories and the ability to evolve the land in the future, where a lot of the original and prequel adventures are available when you ride Star Tours.

    As far as the immersion, I think the cast members need to figure out when it's appropriate to break character. If somebody asks where the restroom is, they can point them in the right direction without acting like they've never heard of a bathroom before. It's as easy as saying, "the refreshers are over there". They are still in character, and don't have to dance around the idea that they don't know what guests are asking about.

    As far as performance, I'd love to see the number of guests that have been through Smuggler's Run. There have been a ton of posts about wait times vs. Flight of Passage, fast pass vs. no fast pass, etc. I logged on at 6am this morning to make ADR for an April trip and Smuggler's Run had a 60 minute wait. Adding those extra morning hours seems to do a good job of spreading out the crowds. Not really sure how much of it is Disney actually handling the crowds well vs. the land under performing. I guess things will become clearer wants RoR is open and the EEMH end.
    To your first point on the divisiveness of the SW fan: 10000% agree. Ever since Lucas changed the originals and brought is Episode I-III fans have been up in arms, nothing that anyone does will be enough. Also fans that hated that Disney bought LucasFilm, again nothing done will be good enough. Fans that are dead set on the OG, nothing will be good enough.
    I think one of the biggest issues with SWGE is that it's a brand new way of doing Disney, the Disney fan does NOT know how to interact and get in the sstory, and obviously to get the most out of the land you have to open yourself to some role playing.
    To your second point: CM are supposed to know how to answer without getting out of character but at the same time giving the right information, right away. Like your example, Guest: where's the restroom CM: the refreshers are that way....My DD works at MFSR and has told me that CM are asking for transfers because they hate the need to "act" this would've been prevented by proper Disney casting from the get go. Many people out there want to work at SWGE and yet they hired from bulk without really asking if they were interested in role playing. My DD is into drama, improv, theater and LOVES SW, so she's in heaven when she can interact with guests while still giving the right answers in a fast way...it's all about those 4 keys.
    To your third point MFSR is actually outperforming MFSR West, wait times are what they are because the attraction has performed remarkably well on their hourly goals. Wait times are what they are because of lack of fp, none of the cm want fp to come to the attraction because they love being able to get people in and out in about an hour on busy days, that will balloon to 2 hours if/when fp is implemented
     


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