Disney aficionados know that Galaxy’s Edge is the Star Wars Land area in both Disneyland and Disney World’s Hollywood Studios which was released to muted applause. The area was expected by Disney to launch to intense success; in the Studios particularly, the area was designed in such a way to allow for significant expansion. Beyond just the additional restaurant the expansion on both coasts was designed to allow for, the Hollywood Studios Galaxy’s Edge had major real estate available south and southwest of its current footprint.
Now, however, signs point to what was internally referred to as Phase 2 being phased out. The previously planned gateway was reportedly the massive “door to nowhere” near the Kylo Ren cameo area. In the image below, that gateway is located in the very upper right portion of the aerial photo:
The reason we believe that Disney is likely moving away from an expansion anytime soon is due to the expansion gateway now reportedly being used as the terminal for Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser guest arrivals and departures to the park. You can see where work has occurred on the the previous expansion gateway, now turning it into the terminal for hotel guests:
#SWGEFL – #GalacticStarcruiser – this is the area (orange circle) that looks like it will be "landing" area for the shuttle transport between the Galactic Starcruiser and #GalaxysEdge. We'll have to keep a bird's eye view and see what progresses. – photo:@bioreconstruct #Disney pic.twitter.com/pbGH4aIrsx
— SWGalaxysEdge (@sw_edge) April 6, 2021
This is not where the terminal had to be. Another location that would have been slightly more work for Disney, but also better for the guests and future expansions, is near the Millenium Falcon. That location would have had guests enter the land with the spectacle of the ship directly in front of them. However, it appears to have been discarded along with the expansion, due to convenience and lower capital expenditure.
Even before the pandemic, Galaxy’s Edge was the first Disney expansion we can recall that either did not increase attendance, or even lowered attendance (in the case of Disneyland). With that lack of demand at the forefront of some headlines, it’s not hard to imagine why Disney might steer away from investing more into the land. Now with the added Gina Carano controversies with The Mandalorian, and the sudden risk of inserting Mandalorian characters into Galaxy’s Edge becoming an internet lose-lose situation, Disney may just need to sit on the land as it is in the hopes for brighter suns down the road. Maybe, when Kathleen Kennedy’s Lucasfilm calms down, that will happen.
In the meantime, the upscale restaurant for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is still a possibility, albeit one that is unlikely to start construction in 2021. If that changes, or if we get any idea of when a restaurant could appear, we’ll let you know. For now, we’ll just imagine those X-Wings we could have been piloting in a Phase 2 that may never come to be…
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