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May The Force Be With You: Disneyland’s New Star Wars Land Opens Friday




Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill attend the pre-opening launch of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland on May 29, 2019 in Anaheim, California.
Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill attend the pre-opening launch of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland on May 29, 2019 in Anaheim, California.
Handout/Getty Images

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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will transport visitors to the Black Spire Outpost on the Outer Rim planet of Batuu.

At 14 acres, it’s the largest expansion to the park since it opened in 1955, and it’s designed to be a fully immersive experience. Visitors will be asked whether they want to join the Resistance or the First Order. They’ll be able to drink at Oga’s Cantina, a pricy stop that resembles the cantina where Rodian bounty hunter Greedo fired the first shot at Han Solo in “A New Hope” (or was it Han who shot Greedo first?) There will be no theme park signs to direct guests to their destination. Stormtroopers will stop periodically to question passerby about where they’re going. Visitors will even be able to buy their own custom-made lightsabers – of course, for a hefty price.

Galaxy’s Edge will also add two rides to the park – but only one, “Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run”, will be open Friday. The second ride, “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance”, will open later this year. Disney has not yet set a date.

Until June 24, guests will need reservations (which come in four-hour increments) to visit Galaxy’s Edge. After that, the land will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis – and when it inevitably reaches capacity, Disney will close the entrance and use a virtual queue to notify visitors when there’s space for them to enter.

Larry sits down with a reporter and an industry expert to talk about the groundbreaking opening and what it means for the theme park industry in California and around the world.

Guests:

Hugo Martin, reporter covering airlines, the hospitality industry and theme parks for the Los Angeles Times Business Section; he tweets @hugomartin

Dennis Speigel, president of the Cincinnati-based International Theme Park Services, which is a global consultant to the leisure and theme park industry