Galaxy's Edge Performance and Evolution Discussion

GADisneyDad14

TPAS Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
I don’t participate on the SWGE sub-forum much, but before this thread gets to full on Frank Costanza Festivus status, here’s my TLDR opinion in response to OP’s topics/questions.

For some background, we’re a family of four, kids are 9 and 5. We’re not really SW fans, but in fairness we’re not really movie folks either. It’s not that we’re not fans, we just don’t watch enough movies or follow story-lines at any sort of fandom level for anything. Heck, I’m not even that much of a Disney fan – I’d fail miserably at any Disney movie trivia contest. Movies, shows, TV series, etc, just aren’t our thing.

But I am a fan of themed environments, entertainment, family fun, and vacation memories/experiences. My love of WDW as a destination stems from those four things more so than some inherent fandom of any IP. So that is typically the lens I use when it comes to the parks.

As for SW, DW and I of course know the original trilogy from our childhood. Our children have been exposed to various SW references over time – the parks, Disney channel, etc – but I can’t say either has ever watched any SW-related show in any material detail. They know things like Darth Vader, Chewie, Stormtroopers and some of the more commonly seen pop culture SW references, but don’t really know anything more current in any significant detail (nor do I really). I ran the Star Wars Half Marathon earlier this year. That is the extent of my family’s SW cred. 8-)

Overall Thoughts: What is Working, What Isn’t?

So what’s working?
  • Incredible physical environment – it’s stunning, breathtaking really. As a theme park person who appreciates and takes much enjoyment from place-making – this fact alone carries so much for me.
  • The daytime/nighttime experiences offered at both Pandora and now SWGE are really quite impressive – meaning I’d make a point to visit during both times of day during any given trip. If we see routine 8 or 9pm closings at DHS we should all be crying foul. And this land is just begging for a return of DHS PM EMHs – c’mon Disney.
  • I notice more land audio each time I go. Little noises, sounds here and there. The spaceship landing/taking off noise is like a surround sound movie theater and is pretty bad (non-approved DIS word). I would have never thought about music being lacking if not for reading it as a criticism around here.
  • Great (and interesting) food options – the shrimp and noodle salad from the quick service place is among the best quick service options in any park (note, I called it the “shrimp and noodle salad from the quick service place” because I’d have to actually go look up the names of each since I don’t know them off the top of my head… maybe that’s a problem).
  • Obviously I can only speak for myself, but I find MFSR tons of fun. Sure, some of the positions / roles / guest education could be a little more crisp to make the experience better for everyone (especially those with only one opportunity to ride). I enjoyed it and the kiddos begged to go again. That’s surely a sign something is working.
  • We’ve spent more time in SWGE over the first two months of its existence than we ever did in Pandora. Pandora is great – but it was so packed and lines so long at first, we didn’t bother w/out a FP. I’ve loved the ability to make more casual/unplanned visits to Batuu so far. TBD how that continues to play out with shorter hours and both rides open.
  • The mat to play with built droids is great!
  • I will concede that DHS is my least favorite park and the park we as a family have spent the least amount of time visiting. It was commonly the “skip” park on many trips. With TSL last year and now SWGE, DHS finally has some more appeal to us. Having all four parks operating with multiple major headliner level attractions/lands is a good thing for all WDW park visitors – spread people around! (Even if it has only gone from a no day to ½ day park for us!)
  • I love whatever they are doing with the reservation system for Savi, Oga, Droid Depot as they seem to keep adding new supply in big chunks at various points. I thought all was lost for getting spots for a recent trip, but was able to find them a few weeks out after a big dump - thanks to posters around here.
What’s not?
  • I’m fond of places like Trader Sam’s so I get the Disney small themed lounge concept, but Oga’s doesn’t really do it for me. Maybe my opinion is skewed because we have the kids and standing at a high top (in our case) just isn’t going to fly for more than a few minutes. This is the only physical place in the land that I don’t quite understand / seems to fall short in my opinion. It could have easily been 2-3x the size, with maybe an outdoor patio. I’m sure they didn’t want some “giant bar” smack in the middle of the land, but sure seems like it could be more. I might just be the wrong target demo though.
  • Not saying I want to be able to buy a Mickey Bar in SWGE, but as a parent I wouldn’t mind a few lesser-themed (read, basic) food carts in the land. Sure we can walk next door to TSL for the basics, but sometimes you just want something close by. Batuu can’t have a vendor selling some basic ice cream flavors to outpost children? Or a cart to buy the squadron lager other than the restaurant?
  • I get the lack of way finding signage is “just the way things are” with immersion trends these days, but to me it’s a bit hard to find the exact locations of some things at first. Maybe this supports more exploring of the land and is a good thing, not sure.
  • I’ve personally never quite understood building the exact same thing on both coasts. I think one land in DHS would have been plenty, at least to start.

Who is the Audience for this Land?

I personally don’t think it’s that complicated – it’s for the 52 million visitors that go to WDW every year. Simple as that. The fandom is too niche for that to be the sole audience, so it has to appeal to the middle ground of theme park goers and fans alike. The really deep stuff is great for the fans, but mostly lost on folks like me - and that's OK.


Immersion: Is it something guests want? Is there too much/too little? Thoughts on the removal of the Star Wars names for the food?

While I don’t mean this to in any way take away from those who enjoy immersion, role-playing, etc, I find it a bit much and is not something that particularly appeals to us. But it doesn’t materially interfere with our enjoyment either, so I’m sort of indifferent, for the most part.

The first time we went DS9 was wearing a t-shirt with Stormtroopers on the front. I think DW may have bought it on the sale rack at Target just to have something SW themed. Well, little did I know the shirt would incite so much ‘immersion.’ Multiple CMs over our few hours in the land made “do you know bucket heads?” and “you’re friends with bucket heads!” type of comments/accusations… most were playful, some a bit ‘too’ into character, if you ask me. Not going to lie, it was sort of hard for my 9 year old to process the fuss and after a while he wanted nothing more than for me to buy him another shirt somewhere. I mean, we ultimately laughed about it afterwards – but it certainly was a new layer of theme park entertainment we had not experienced before.

On another visit we had made lightsabers, which I was carrying in their cases. Stormtroopers and some commander type character (sorry, don’t know name) came up to us and wanted to inspect the lightsabers. I half-froze (ok, fully froze) not really knowing what to do… DS9 legit ran off and hid behind a trash can (and proceeded to do that the rest of the day whenever we saw them)…. DD5 sat there laughing at both of us.

So I don’t know… it was kind of fun, and also kind of unwanted.

I still have this instinct to say “no I’m not on the dining plan” when a CM tells me my order is “15 credits.” Seems like that could be confusing for some?

Full immersion is sort of broken anyway when you buy something and they give you a bright blue WDW bag.

I just used 335 words talking about immersion, good grief! I guess ultimately my take is it’s not something I really want / care for, but it’s great for those that enjoy that kind of thing, so all good.

-----------

Anyways, that was way too long – sorry! – but lots of ground to cover! Ultimately, as a non-SW person, this land fits my definition of quality theme park entertainment – a visually interesting place, two rides, places to eat and shop. I can just pass through (like one does at most lands anyway) or I can stop for a while.

DS9 has taken to repeating Hondo's "and I take all the profits" line in a way elementary school kids like to beat jokes to death... DD5 talks about "the ride where you push the buttons" frequently. We love Disney for those precious little moments here and there, and this place seems ripe to continue to add to the fun.

I come here and read all these references to planets, timelines, characters, books, canon, etc, and it’s all sort of mind-numbing to a person like me. I love that people are seeing something they care passionately about come to life in physical form, but I’ll be honest, I have no want or desire to really understand that level of backstory behind any of it. Same with Pandora – I’ve never seen that movie but I enjoy the product of the land immensely. Both seem to coexist just fine. To me, both stand on their own without any additional “work” on my part, but I can go learn more if I so choose by books/movies.... probably just about the way it should be.

While there are times I find the various arguments that have popped up from both sides on threads like this (and others) exhausting and frankly a bit of a turn off to stopping by / contributing, I do love seeing various opinions and totally admire the passion! Crazy how the land inspires such different feelings among all of us.

Thanks for reading, even if you just skimmed. 8-)
 

mickeyluv'r

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
I don’t participate on the SWGE sub-forum much, but before this thread gets to full on Frank Costanza Festivus status, here’s my TLDR opinion in response to OP’s topics/questions.

I come here and read all these references to planets, timelines, characters, books, canon, etc, and it’s all sort of mind-numbing to a person like me. I love that people are seeing something they care passionately about come to life in physical form, but I’ll be honest, I have no want or desire to really understand that level of backstory behind any of it. Same with Pandora – I’ve never seen that movie but I enjoy the product of the land immensely. Both seem to coexist just fine. To me, both stand on their own without any additional “work” on my part, but I can go learn more if I so choose by books/movies.... probably just about the way it should be.

While there are times I find the various arguments that have popped up on threads like this (and others) exhausting and frankly a bit of a turn off to stopping by / contributing, I do love seeing various opinions and totally admire the passion! Crazy how the land inspires such different feelings among all of us.
While I enjoyed your post, to be fair, you ARE a DISboards moderator, who visits WDW multiple times a year. Even if you aren't a big reader of the SW books, I should think your WDW knowledge-level is well above average. In my years on these boards, I have seen very few threads that draw in 4 moderators! It is nice to see so many of joining this discussion.

For my own part, I'd say my level of WDW and SW knowledge has parallels to yours. I'm reading his thread to see what's working and what kinds of visitors feel it is working.

In my opinion, it appears the most favorable reviews are coming from DISboards members who are big fans of WDW, and those who generally see WDW is a very positive light.

Perhaps our perception of WDW as a whole factors into our perception of the new SW land.
 
  • dlavender

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2015
    You would be surprised the amount of people that think Disney reads these boards. Furthermore these boards are easy to come to and chat/complain/rave/compliment. But not everyone that has strong feelings about something reaches out to Disney for actual action
    Well, I'm glad you are here letting people know that they can contact Disney........

    IMO, it's dismissive to read an opposing opinion or a critical opinion and respond in that fashion, that's my main point.

    Back to SWGE.................
     

    yulilin3

    Disney Freak
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2007
    While I enjoyed your post, to be fair, you ARE a DISboards moderator, who visits WDW multiple times a year. Even if you aren't a big reader of the SW books, I should think your WDW knowledge-level is well above average. In my years on these boards, I have seen very few threads that draw in 4 moderators! It is nice to see so many of joining this discussion.

    For my own part, I'd say my level of WDW and SW knowledge has parallels to yours. I'm reading his thread to see what's working and what kinds of visitors feel it is working.

    In my opinion, it appears the most favorable reviews are coming from DISboards members who are big fans of WDW, and those who generally see WDW is a very positive light.

    Perhaps our perception of WDW as a whole factors into our perception of the new SW land.
    To the bold: it should factor. SWGE is inside WDW inside DHS as a part of that park. It is first and foremost a Disney experience which is why I think a lot of people are having issues with the land. It is a brand new Disney experience.
    @GADisneyDad14 I think his post is very insightful, coming from a non SW fan, only knowing the most general pieces of it, being a WDW visitor and fan of the parks, he and his family still got to enjoy the land with the immersion element being a bit too much. Not knowing any backstory on the land or why the Falcon is there he and his family enjoyed the attraction just fine.
    This is what SWGE does well, it can appeal to the non SW fan all the way to the avid SW fan
     

    GADisneyDad14

    TPAS Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2014
    While I enjoyed your post, to be fair, you ARE a DISboards moderator, who visits WDW multiple times a year. Even if you aren't a big reader of the SW books, I should think your WDW knowledge-level is well above average. In my years on these boards, I have seen very few threads that draw in 4 moderators! It is nice to see so many of joining this discussion.

    For my own part, I'd say my level of WDW and SW knowledge has parallels to yours. I'm reading his thread to see what's working and what kinds of visitors feel it is working.

    In my opinion, it appears the most favorable reviews are coming from DISboards members who are big fans of WDW, and those who generally see WDW is a very positive light.

    Perhaps our perception of WDW as a whole factors into our perception of the new SW land.
    To be fair (and at the risk of arguing, which isn’t my intent), I don’t think me being a DISBoards moderator has anything to do with anything. Visiting a few times per year with an above-average level of WDW knowledge makes me ineligible to participate in a discussion thread or makes my opinions/experiences any more or less valid? I hope not.
     

    DetroitDisney

    DISfanatic
    Joined
    Dec 23, 2013
    This thread is really interesting to me. I’ve always enjoyed the DISboards because they were a good place to DISCUSS things and get information.

    The tone of this thread, even if it’s 100% unintentional, is that SWGE is great and no other opinions are valid. If you disagree, you will be swarmed by mods trying to refute any point you make. If the only valid opinion of SWGE is “everything is great” just put that in the banner somewhere. I thought the point of discussion boards were, you know, discussion.
     
  • mickeyluv'r

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 14, 2005
    ,I don’t think me being a DISBoards moderator has anything to do with anything. Visiting a few times per year with an above-average level of WDW knowledge makes me ineligible to participate in a discussion thread or makes my opinions/experiences any more or less valid? I hope not.
    I'm mostly impressed this thread has drawn 4 moderators! It is pretty rare on the DISboards.


    I'd like to keep this thread on topic, perhaps another thread would be fun for exploring the above topic? (How does level of WDW experience impact our perception of WDW's innovations?)
     

    yulilin3

    Disney Freak
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2007
    This thread is really interesting to me. I’ve always enjoyed the DISboards because they were a good place to DISCUSS things and get information.

    The tone of this thread, even if it’s 100% unintentional, is that SWGE is great and no other opinions are valid. If you disagree, you will be swarmed by mods trying to refute any point you make. If the only valid opinion of SWGE is “everything is great” just put that in the banner somewhere. I thought the point of discussion boards were, you know, discussion.
    The point of this thread is to discuss how changes done to the land since opening are affecting positively or negatively the experience and how it is performing as a whole.
    I don't think anyone has said anything about the land being perfect and needing no change.
    People that have been to the land are discussing their experiences and others are chiming in with their own thoughts.
    Some have a better understanding on what Disney and Lucasfilm were trying to achieve with SWGE and providing some background to what that is and if they achieved it or not.
    Being a brand new experience for the regular Disney world/ land guest it is understandable that it might not be well received by some
    Personally, I enjoy reading all points of view, what I can't tolerate is when that is generalized, like "i didn't line it therefore it's not a good experience for everyone" and vice versa
     

    dlavender

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2015
    So you like reading everyone’s opinions, except the “wrong opinions”. Got it.
    It seems that as long as you put in “I contacted Disney already” and “other people may feel differently” before your opinion you should be clear to dissent on here....
     
  • GADisneyDad14

    TPAS Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2014
    My prior post was as a participant in the discussion - this one is as a mod. :wave2:

    Let’s all please remember DISBoard rules when posting, especially the parts about fighting/sarcasm and this statement below, which I think sums up things well:

    We do not believe in censorship, and open discussions about various issues is encouraged. When participating in a thread, we ask that everyone be treated with respect and that our guidelines be followed.

    We all had trouble getting along in the prior “juice” thread. Let’s try to not to go there with this thread and rather, stick to OP’s goal and to respectful discussion.

    Thank you.
     

    yulilin3

    Disney Freak
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2007
    So you like reading everyone’s opinions, except the “wrong opinions”. Got it.
    It seems that as long as you put in “I contacted Disney already” and “other people may feel differently” before your opinion you should be clear to dissent on here....
    If you are taking it that way so be it, but that's not my intent.
    If you have been to SWGE and didn't enjoy it, go ahead and share your opinions, just don't generalize
     

    dlavender

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2015
    If you are taking it that way so be it, but that's not my intent.
    If you have been to SWGE and didn't enjoy it, go ahead and share your opinions, just don't generalize
    I didn't see the "don't generalize rule" in the above rules shared, perhaps there is a greater list somewhere. All I'm pointing out is there seems to be a lack of encouragement of discussion that was just shared in the rules.
     

    SaharanTea

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 21, 2016
    However, The Last Jedi killed any excitement for me. I really thoroughly enjoyed TFA as well as the “original” trilogy. I was excited about TLJ as were my wife and kid. Fully expected we would watch that movie multiple times like we did TFA. We saw it at the theater opening night. And we only hung around for the entirety because we held out hope (no pun intended) it would get better. We haven’t seen it since. And have had zero desire to. *For me* it was an abysmal movie. And with that, I lost interest in the franchise. I’m not a SW fanboy who is bashing Disney here (that would be my bro-in-law). It was just such a disinteresting/bad movie for me that it made me lose interest in what comes next. Which is incredibly ironic because, as we all know, the purpose of the movies and the land is to go as a one-two punch; the movies get you excited about the other stuff and the other stuff gets you excited about the movies. But it had the opposite effect on me.

    Now, I’m NOT looking to veer this to the topic of movie discussion, per se. I realize others prefer X/Y/Z movie more than another. If you loved TLJ, that's great. I'm not looking to debate the movies. My point is simply that, as a passionate Disney fan who very much looked forward to seeing what Disney would do with future films and ultimately SWGE, The Last Jedi soured me on SW. While I won’t be seeing it immediately, I’m hoping Rise will change things for me and if/when it does, maybe my enthusiasm for SWGE will change. But for now I’m kind of “meh” on SW as a whole and I have to think I’m not the only one who has had this same reaction by the recent movie(s). I know some die-hards who are still upset about TFA and it has had the same effect on them that TLJ had on me.
    I think I could have written this post. Thank you. I know it's not everyone's opinion (and that's OK), but I do think TLJ's divisiveness is having at least a little effect on all things Star Wars, at least among the people I know. But I do have opening weekend tickets for Rise of Skywalker. I'm hoping for better things.

    As for the land itself (to stay more on topic), I haven't been, but I imagine I'd enjoy it once Resistance opens. I think that will get a lot more of the nay-leaning opinions into the yay column.

    I would have preferred an OT-era land myself, but I understand there are pros and cons to whatever time period they selected.
     

    Turksmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    This is why we can't have nice things. I've been following along to see what people like or dislike and why and what they suggest for improvement. I don't think the suggestion to contact Disney is to shut down an opposing view as much as it was to keep the comments from being overly repetitive and argumentative.

    I am not a SW mega fan, but I live with some. I'm not a Disney apologist- had a terrible trip in June and was ready to cancel our November trip and never go back (and I've been a frequent visitor since the opening of EPCOT). We received an invitation for the AP preview and I knew the fans in the family would be upset if we missed it, so we went.

    I really enjoyed GE. The land is very impressive to see (I also love just wandering around Pandora and taking pictures). I had a bit of motion sickness on MFSR, so I'm not sure if I'll try it again. I had fun with the cast member interaction. An imager tried very hard to bring me back from the dark side, but we have cookies and I won't budge. (and they aren't stale no matter what she says!) I liked the food at DB7, but didn't love it for the price. Oga's I loved, despite the price and the crowd- again really fun interaction. I would like more music in the land, not a soundtrack as much as maybe street musicians or music spilling out from the markets. I also think it needs more aliens, droids or Battuins (?) throughout the land and I wouldn't object to seeing the First Order and the Resistance having direct interaction, rather than just skirting around one another.
     

    dlavender

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2015
    - 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?
    To stay on topic...............

    What is working is the look of the land. The Falcon looks great. It doesn't feel like they skimped on design anywhere. Also, no FP+ is working well. The line moves.

    What is not working is the lack of entertainment options that are included in the daily admission price.

    The audience seems to be just Disney fans. I know there are Star Wars fans that enjoy it, but anecdotally most of my hard core SW friends aren't excited to go see it. I think many of us were picturing overnight campsites set up to see it on opening day, and that did not materialize. Perhaps with RoTR that will change, but so far the biggest draw is for Disney fans.

    To the immersion point, and this goes back to entertainment options for me, is there needs to be more going on. The Stormtrooper march with Phasma should still happen throughout the day. Training academy should happen in the land. I don't know if they'd ever be able to get the immersion level to where everyone is happy, but I think if they incorporated more into the land entertainment wise I personally would be happier with it.

    I don't think the food names being taken away moves the needle on way or the other for me, personally. It was cool, but it doesn't take me out of it.
     

    yulilin3

    Disney Freak
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2007
    I didn't see the "don't generalize rule" in the above rules shared, perhaps there is a greater list somewhere. All I'm pointing out is there seems to be a lack of encouragement of discussion that was just shared in the rules.
    generalizing just means if I don'y like something that doesn't mean everyone thinks the same way and viceversa.
    You just shared your thoughts on what you liked and didn't, that's fine, but again coming from the old thread we had to move, some decided that it was their thoughts and that was it, which is obviously not the case
    From your PP staying on topic I agree with all minus having Phasma and JT in the land. Phasma is dead in the timeline (unless she didn't die which we will find out in December) so she can't be in the land, a large first order march will be great though. JT can't be in the land because BSO is not interested in getting into the conflict, they are bystanders to the Resistance and First Order arriving only weeks ago, so creating a stage and a JT show several times a day would not go with the story
     

    dlavender

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2015
    generalizing just means if I don'y like something that doesn't mean everyone thinks the same way and viceversa.
    You just shared your thoughts on what you liked and didn't, that's fine, but again coming from the old thread we had to move, some decided that it was their thoughts and that was it, which is obviously not the case
    From your PP staying on topic I agree with all minus having Phasma and JT in the land. Phasma is dead in the timeline (unless she didn't die which we will find out in December) so she can't be in the land, a large first order march will be great though. JT can't be in the land because BSO is not interested in getting into the conflict, they are bystanders to the Resistance and First Order arriving only weeks ago, so creating a stage and a JT show several times a day would not go with the story
    I think Disney needs to relax a bit, then in this regard.

    The beast appears with Belle, even though we all saw him change back. Aerial meets with her tail on, even though we saw her change into a human. Vader meets at DHS, and he is dead.

    IMO, they should revisit what I feel is a rigid timeline and allow for more Star Wars. There's a reason they stopped letting the kids pick between Vader and Kylo at JTA..........
     

    yulilin3

    Disney Freak
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2007
    I think Disney needs to relax a bit, then in this regard.

    The beast appears with Belle, even though we all saw him change back. Aerial meets with her tail on, even though we saw her change into a human. Vader meets at DHS, and he is dead.

    IMO, they should revisit what I feel is a rigid timeline and allow for more Star Wars. There's a reason they stopped letting the kids pick between Vader and Kylo at JTA..........
    you, along with many others feel that the rigid timeline is one of the biggest problems with the land. Remember it's not only Disney, LucasFilm is also deeply involved in the land, when Kathleen Kennedy took reigns of the company one of her first changes was that there would be no more character crossover. If you remember during the amazing times of Star Wars Weekends we had super cute meet and greets with Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald and Ewoks Chip and Dale, she cancelled all that along with all crossover merchandise.
    Having no inside information I believe the timeline is set by LucasFilm and not Disney.
    Obviously we could see changes to this
     

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