News & Opinion | May 30, 2019 10:25 am

Inside Galaxy’s Edge, Disney’s New “Star Wars” Park

“I almost don’t even care if there are rides.”

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
The Millennium Falcon at the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge media preview. (Amy Sussman/ Getty)
Getty Images

Galaxy’s Edge, the newest additions to both Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, are matching 14-acre sprawls of fantasyland dedicated to one of the biggest movie franchises in film history: Star Wars.

The near-identical theme parks, opening Friday, May 31, on the West Coast and August 28 in Orlando, will draw crowds, Disney believes, who love both Wookiees and princesses. Brooks Barnes, a reporter for The New York Times, was part of a press group that got a preview at the Anaheim destination, where he saw Stormtroopers, the Millennium Falcon, Chewie himself and so much more in “an earthy yet otherworldly place that seemed to bridge everything in the “Star Wars” universe.”

While other Disney attractions have allowed visitors a “passive experience,” like sitting in a boat in the Small World ride and taking it all in, the Star Wars parks are immersive and make patrons part of the action itself. “One ride really does let you fly the Falcon,” Barnes recalled.

“The sense of place they have created is unbelievable,” said a Times colleague who took the trip with him. “I almost don’t even care if there are rides.”

That’s probably a good thing for those who plan on lining up for the California park in its early days as the Falcon ride, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, will be the only one ready to go as Disney will be unveiling Galaxy’s Edge in sections.

“The ambitious Rise of the Resistance ride will not even open until sometime later this year,” according to Barnes, “because it isn’t quite finished.”

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