Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open to the public on May 31 at Disneyland in California and Aug. 29 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida. The opening dates for the twin additions were announced earlier this month at the annual meeting of shareholders of Walt Disney Co.
That’s “earlier than planned,” Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, told shareholders in St. Louis. Previously, the company had said the Anaheim, California, site would open in the summer, with Orlando, Florida, following in the fall. Both Star Wars expansions will open in two phases, with a major ride debuting in each round.
Those rides on the 14-acre sites include Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. In both parks, Disney will present a planet called Batuu, populated by bounty hunters, smugglers and other shady characters.
These are the biggest single-themed expansions in Disney history, Iger said. “No one has ever attempted anything of this magnitude."
Iger recently described the Disneyland site as 80 percent complete. Hollywood Studios visitors can see the skyline of Galaxy’s Edge attractions rising above a construction wall. That’s especially visible from the park’s Toy Story Land, which opened last year.
Experts expect big crowds and long lines for the early days, weeks and months.
In Florida, a Star Wars-themed hotel also will open, though probably not at the same time as the Hollywood Studios expansion.
“If Disney executes and delivers what they’ve designed … this is going to be a mega, mega hit,” said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services. “It’s going to have a major impact.”