If you’re not a Star Wars fan, is Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge worth it? – Daily News

on Jun3
by | Comments Off on If you’re not a Star Wars fan, is Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge worth it? – Daily News |

Let’s be honest. If you’re a Star Wars fanatic, anything Disneyland could do with the iconic brand would be an attraction.

But will the new billion-dollar Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land work for somebody who isn’t deeply emotionally enamored with the tales of a galaxy far, far away? This is important for Disney’s bottom line as well as for those Star Wars lovers dragging non-believers to the attraction.

Well, let’s talk to me. I’m a long-time Disneyland attendee struggling to dredge up my vague memories of the first Star Wars movie. I got a pre-opening sneak peek during the Galaxy’s Edge media day festivities.

Q. So how little do you know about Star Wars?

A. Well, it’s the movie series with Harrison Ford and Princess Leia. Not Spock and William Shatner, yes?

Q. Wow. Not funny. That’s little knowledge …

A. To be honest, my most vivid Star Wars memory comes from Disneyland’s Star Tours ride that I rode it too many times when my kids were wee ones.

I fondly remember “Rex” — technically robot R-3X I’ve been told — as a fun, mistake-prone rookie pilot who played the ride’s starring role. I guess he lost that gig at Star Tours after the ride was redone. But thankfully he’s in the limelight again — now as the DJ at Oga’s Cantina, the bar at Galaxy’s Edge!

Q. Great! So you did notice some of the many Star Wars subtleties at Galaxy’s Edge …

A. Not so fast. I noticed … just one! But that memory jolt did make me think Disneyland’s first public bar could be the place the non-Star Wars fan could pass time as more fanatical types wander the new land.

Q. Ah, a skeptic! You didn’t appreciate the level of detail Imagineers put in?

A. Actually, I think that’s a key draw for any visitor. Forget the movie motif and the splashy ride. It’s simply fascinating to see the creativity involved. It’s much like what Disney pulled off at Cars Land across the street at California Adventure. You feel like you’ve been transported to another place.

This place called Batuu is a rather un-Disney-like dirty and dangerous battle zone. Just walking the 14 acres for the first time is a treat in itself. The Imagineer’s ability to make new things look old, worn and scarred is pretty remarkable.

Even the “broken” walkways are magnificent. Hey, my home’s driveway has cracks. They look like cracks. They’re depressing. Somehow, Imagineers make the cracks in the Galaxy’s Edge sidewalks look enticing!

Q. What about the Millennium Falcon ship? And the Smugglers Run ride?

A. Yes, the vehicle is huge. And I guess it looks just like the iconic “hunk of junk” … though it was curious that it’s set like a museum piece in front of the ride entrance rather than any part of the actual ride experience. As for the “flying” opportunity offered? Very entertaining.

Now the ride’s required teamwork among six “passengers” is intriguing. I’m sure “secrets” and “cheats’ will emerge to make the game part more understandable. Yes, there’s a score kept!

But I did find an odd disconnect between the pilot/gunner/engineer controls and the noteworthy visuals. This rider personally felt torn between keeping an eye on the control buttons to do my “job” … and watching the scenes flying by on the screen! Please don’t shoot me but … the rider’s game experience on either Disneyland’s Buzz Lightyear or California Adventure’s Toy Story — both are shooting galleries, too — felt a bit better.

Q. We can keep that secret between us! Ok, did you like the food?

A. Disneyland got two things correct at its otherwise disastrous opening of California Adventure next door in 2001. First was the Soarin’ Over California ride. Best thing in Anaheim.

Second was upgrading theme-park food. Look, not everybody wants corn dogs, churros or Mickey Bars. That’s especially true for the resort’s many season passholders who’ll habitually visit — and eat at — Disneyland.

At Galaxy’s Edge, I liked the adult-ification of the menu. Like a “meatball” sandwich. It’s on pita with hummus with meat-free protein. Oh, and the multi-colored/flavored popcorn. A surprising treat! But be careful: kids may not like the red ones. It’s chili-lime-spiced!

My opinion doesn’t matter, though! Let’s see what survives on the menu board.

Q. Did you shop for souvenirs?

A. I’m a coffee mug person and there was a cute one shaped like a can of oil for droid maintenance. It’s was $20. Ouch! From my informal survey of price tags, that seemed like a rather affordable item. Star Wars fans must have fat wallets.Who’s got $25,000 for a motorized R2-D2 replica?

Q. So is Galaxy’s Edge good for people who barely know Star Wars?

A. The artistry of the construction alone is worth a trip. The sense of total immersion into somewhere else works. Now if you’re the type who’ll try almost any ride once — I am, much to my dismay at times — there’s Smugglers Run, too. Plus, a second ride — supposedly mind-blowing, I’m told — comes online this summer. Who couldn’t like that package?

Well, there is a huge caveat. Big crowds. Can Disney, using some new technologies, keep Galaxy Edge not feeling stuffed with visitors?

Crazed Star Wars fans will endure almost anything to experience this multiple times. But what of normal humans, like myself? Is it worth a hundred-buck admission ticket if you feel like a canned sardine? That’s the billion-dollar question.



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