People Have Harsh Criticisms of Disney’s New Star Wars Land: Can Disney Recover or Is This a Failure?

16
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Reader Reviews – Not So Good

I am a huge Disney fan. I am also a Disney expert. My views are influenced by my childhood growing up an hour from Disneyland (my Disney story on DisneyHacks.com) and visiting often. They are influenced by my adulthood where I have made a point of visiting any and all Disney parks worldwide. They are even influenced by my Disney around the world trip earlier this year where my family and I did all 6 Disney resorts in 6 weeks.

Speaking of 2019, this year has been fun. In addition to the around the world Disney trip I have also been to both versions of Disney’s new “Star Wars Land” called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on or before opening day. One version is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World while the other is located in the original Disneyland Park.

Here are my original Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge reviews:

While the lands are mostly the same, there are some differences, including significant differences in the parks they are located in, so both reviews are worth taking a look at. In those reviews, I was somewhat harsh of Disney and their new land, but also hopeful for what it will be like when the new ride Rise of the Resistance opens.

But I have an overexposure to Disney and a love of it, so I suspected that average people would feel even less enthused about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge than I do. And I was right. Both of those reviews have been incredibly popular and the comments tell a story of unhappy visitors or at least underwhelmed ones. Let’s take a look at some of the comments we have received.

Millennium Falcon at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland Park.

Miles to Memories Reader Reviews of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

I loved the detail of the land. Disney always does great in that department, but come on there is nothing to do there. One ride, that’s it?! Even when they open the second ride it really is a bit flat for me. I’m also really disappointed that they have actually made an area in DISNEYLAND that children are not allowed in. Disney, are you kidding me? What would Walt say to this?! Disneyland is no longer a family park. Do you know how sad it made my children to have to tell them , no that line isn’t for you, at DISNEYLAND! – Shauna Baker

 

ONE attraction that was OK at best. I was very lucky the wait was only about 30 minutes because if I waited for more than that and had that ride experience I (as a longtime Disney fan) would have been very disappointed. As for the staging and set dressing, as a movie and photography buff, I could find myself entertained for hours, but I cannot see young children entertained for the day. I understand you can play games on your phone throughout the experience, but I did not take advantage of that experience. I noticed my daughter-in-law was having problems trying to access the program in the Smuggler’s Run queue. Dinner for 3 in a counter service restaurant was around $75 and coke in ‘cute’ bottle was $6, I did appreciate the free water stations and the fans throughout Batuu. I feel if I had to take my young children there it would be endless “Them: Can I have this? Me: No Way! Them: Is there anything else to do? e: Enjoy the environment?” As adults though, they LOVE it! – Mrs. JBS

 

Went for the grand opening. Got up at 4:30am. Got there for 5:30am. Already a 5 hour queue for Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run. Didn’t bother and so glad I didn’t. I went two days later and queued for only an hour. I would have been doing time now for murder if I’d queued for 5 hours for this ride. Compared to Avatar Flight of Passage which I would give 10 out of 10, I would give Smugglers run no more than a six out of 10. The graphics were poor compared to Avatar. I wouldn’t bother doing it again. – Cliff Rust

 

Even if Rise of the Resistance is the best attraction ever made , it’s just one (together with mediocre Smuggler’s Run) of two attractions…. Too little, too late… – Alexander Raemakers

 

I just visited Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland last week. I have to say that I was unimpressed with it. I also felt a little bored there. I felt like I was just surrounded by a bunch of souvenir shops with very few attractions. I’m not even sure if adding one more attraction will make me more likely to visit this part of the park again. It’s worth walking around once to see, but I’d rather spend my time in line for Hyperspace Mountain or the Matterhorn. – Barry

 

We just got back from SWGE in Orlando and I was grossly disappointed. The ride was average at best. Honestly, the buttons were distracting and you have no idea what you’re doing….just look to the side(instead of the actual screen) and press the blinking lights. I actually enjoyed star tours more. I agree on the cast members…interaction with them was annoying. There is no signage anywhere so it’s nice when someone will answer a question instead of looking at you like you’re crazy. The replica planet is strange too. Just pick a planet people know…people want to go in Mos Eisley, not some place they’ve never heard of. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while and just could have not been more disappointed. – Jason Singley

The little details around the land are amazing, but not enough to make SWGE a homerun as an experience.

What Is Going On?

So is Disney in trouble? No, I don’t think so, but the lands on both coasts as of now are both seeing lighter crowds than would be expected. Word of mouth has spread in my opinion and others are holding off until Rise of the Resistance opens and I don’t blame them given the prices.

I feel like the West Coast version is in a much better position for two reasons. It sits in the most stacked Disney park attractions wise (the original Disneyland). Once they add it Rise of the Resistance it will just make Disneyland even more of a go-to. On the other coast even with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney’s Hollywood Studios feels like less than a full park. That is fine until you consider it is 30 years old!

Bottom Line

As I wander around and talk to people they ask me about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and unfortunately I have to share both my thoughts and the thoughts of many Miles to Memories readers. Disney dropped the ball here, but unlike some I think they still have a chance to recover the fumble and run it in for a touchdown.

What do you think about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Have you visited one or both? Share you story in the comments!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

16 COMMENTS

  1. […] There are more opinions about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge than people who have visited the lands. I had my Star Wars geek driven review and Sharon wrote her thoughts as someone who is not really a fan. Shawn from Miles to Memories has an interesting post with several readers providing differing opinions of the new land and what he thinks the future may hold for this vast, and costly,…. […]

  2. Disney needs to worry about Universal Epic Universe. Cutting edge rides with true immersion lands. Best of all a hotel actually in the park. Disney is yesterday’s theme parks. As a devoted X Gen Star Wars fan I have no desire to make a trip to see it. Avatar was a big disappointment. One good ride can not make an entire land worth it.

    • I hope Universal really brings it with the new park. We still don’t know a lot about it, but Disney certainly needs more competition to stay motivated. In the end we all win!

  3. I hate Disneyland and this does nothing to change my opinion. Why would anyone spend hundreds per day to wait in lines and eat crappy food? What a waste!

  4. They were fools not to put in a bunch of locations from the iconic first 3 movies. Absolutely boneheaded decision. Should have a hotel like Luke’s aunt/uncle’s house, Mos Eisley with cantina and musicians, etc.

    Black Spire Outpost? Gimme a break.

    • Absolutely agree that if they wanted to make the park more appealing, they should have gone back to the original trilogy. Disney’s strategy seems to be “destroy everything we once loved and add a poor substitute” when it comes to Star Wars. Bring back Hoth, Endor, Cloud City, Tatooine, or even Coruscant. Star Wars is about the adventure that comes with exploring different worlds. Creating just a single world (with that world not even being a classic location) is a giant letdown. I was a huge Star Wars fan growing up but Star Wars died the day Disney bought them and ran it into the ground. I do not intend to visit SWGE.

  5. Doesn’t Avatar area of Animal Kingdom only have two rides? I don’t remember anyone complaining about this. In fact I remember almost all positive reviews when Avatar opened. Then again, the opening of AK Avatar didn’t have a tenth of the hype from fan blogs that the opening of the Star Wars area did. Appears the fandom hype impacted the perception of success by setting expectations that could never be met.

    • The Avatar area is much smaller, but you are correct it only has two rides. With that said Flight of Passage impresses on a level Smugglers Run does not, but I think Rise of the Resistance will change people’s minds.

      • Avatar land is not much smaller at 12 acres compared to 14 acres for both Star Wars lands. And on flip side, Navi River is no where in comparison to Smugglers Run in regards to ride enjoyment. Hype for SW land was way overdone & is the only reason for any disappointment.

  6. Um – what area of Disneyland is that person talking about that kids can’t be in? People who want to complain notoriously write more than those giving praise. It is WAY too early to conclude anything about either park due to AP blackouts, grand openings, storms, etc. The land’s design in impeccable and the first ride is exactly what it was meant to be – the 2nd tier ride in the land. I don’t take many of the complaints above seriously – people complain when the controls are fake like in Mission Space and then complain when you can actual control something in SR. People are staying away but the lines are too long. The cost complaints are valid but no more than everywhere else on property. If you’re looking for pure ride experience without any theming – lots of parks that have better “rides”. But in my view – they’re missing the point of the land and you’re going to have a lot of people falling in love with it. I’m not worried for Disney at all . . .

    • I agree with pretty much everything you have said as is evidenced by my reviews, but the land is not impeccable. They promised a living breathing place and it is not that. Not even close. Is it Disney theming at its best? Close maybe but we were told it was going to be beyond anything they have done and that isn’t the case.

  7. I think they did what they could given the space constraints. Obviously more rides would have been ideal, but they were working with a limited footprint at DL. At WDW, they may have had more space to work with to include another ride or two, but then it would have over shadowed Galaxy’s Edge at DL and I believe they wanted the lands to be as equal as possible.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here