Author Topic: Disney Galaxy's Edge Review  (Read 229 times)

Offline number six

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Disney Galaxy's Edge Review
« on: November 27, 2019, 01:44:45 AM »
No i didn't have a stroke.. I realize going to a theme park on Thanksgiving week is insane. Also why would I pick This theme park? Well I had family in town that really, really wanted to go.. so here it is.. my review of Galaxy's Edge.


Star Wars Land


When we first entered the park we immediately headed for Star Wars Land. Upon turning the corner and entering the area the first thing that will strike you is how absolutely unremarkable everything looks. For example when you walk into one of the Harry Potter areas at Universal it's pretty jarring. Suddenly you are standing in a completely different world having been transported straight into the Movies and Books. Instead in Star Wars land you are transported into.. a generic North African market? Honestly the best way to describe it is Morocco with only random signs and a few Star Wars displays to remind you No, this is SPACE Morocco.

This brings up the first big question.. why would Disney sink a billion dollars into developing a Star Wars land that isn't actually based on anything in Star Wars? If you are going to spend the money why not make it spectacular? How about Corresant, Cloud City or Hoth? If you are dead set on an African theme then why not just use Tattooine? That would have made the entire project so much easier as you can draw from things like Jabba's Palace, the Cantina, The Sarlaac Pitt, Luke's Dessert Igloo house, a Jawa Sandcrawler, etc. They could have even setup the Falcon ride at the Hanger from Star Wars. It's such a no-brainer! Instead the land just looks generic and only vaguely of Star Wars. It almost feels like a rip-off created by a rival theme park that lacked the actual movie license.

It also doesn't help that a few theme parks already have areas that look almost identical .. including Disney's own Epcot (minus the Star Wars signs of course) so it's not even anything new really.

Quick! Is this Star Wars land or Busch Gardens?

There are a few Star Wars ships and scenes scattered throughout but they are placed with so little dazzle that it's more like seeing an expensive car roped off in the middle of the Mall. Maybe it's neat but it's not exactly exciting without any build-up or pageantry.


The other big problem is beyond the single ride there's so little to do in this area. There's a Build-a-droid shop ($100+), There's a Build-a-Light Sabre shop ($200+), there's a generic overpriced Space Restaurant that's not the Cantina.. and a number of gift shops and snack stands.. so basically it's just a huge cash grab. Yes, I absolutely understand that's how Theme Parks work but good ones manage to get you so excited that you actually want to spend your money to enhance the experience. Look at Harry Potter land for example, the shops are spectacles in their own right. In Star Wars land there's about as much excitement generated by most of the shops as a Cardboard DVD display at Target.

You'd better also really love Disney Star Wars and not the original Trilogy because virtually everything in here references those movies versus the classics. I can only imagine this was all in the planning stages when things were riding high after the release of The Force Awakens and before things took a dive after The Last Jedi. For example they have actors dressed like First Order bad guys that walk around and pretend to usher you around.. but all I could think of was how I'd much rather be oppressed by a real Imperial or Storm Trooper and how completely uninteresting and unimposing even a fake Kylo Renn is.

This could have been so much better.

The Solo Ride


The main attraction here is of course, the Solo ride. Obviously that was the plan here but after Solo tanked they walked any references to the movie back but clearly that was the intent. The first thing you are greeted by is a full sized mock-up of the Millennium Falcon. It would of course be dishonest to say that this wasn't impressive on some level, but once again it's just kinda there so it's nowhere near the level of cool of say the fire-breathing dragon at Diagon alley. There's also 0 interaction with the model for the ride. When pictures were first revealed I assumed perhaps you walked up the gantry into the ride or something similar.. but no, it's just there.

Beyond this is the queue line which given how amazing theme park ride queue lines have become in recent years was another spot to shine. Sadly this does nothing of the sort. While the very end of the line takes you through mock-ups of the interior of the Falcon which are pretty cool (which undoubtedly you've seen in promotional shots) the vast majority of the queue is just awful.

The first stop is a warehouse type environment with a variety of common house hold items spray painted silver to somehow simulate being from 'star wars'. Remember that part in Star Wars where they used silver water barrels or just had common garden hoses piled up? No? Well you'll see them here in abundance.


There's a few random R2 units lying around but nothing spectacular. A real missed opportunity as how hard would it have been to throw some projection screens up showing space ships taking off? If they used the Hanger from Star Wars they could have a Bobba Fett marching around or Storm Troopers checking hanger doors. Instead it's silver rain barrels.

Things go rapidly down here from there as you are ushered through a number of corridors which mainly consist of pieces of plywood (painted silver) attached to the wall. Some of these weren't even finished very well and looked rough. We're talking High School haunted house levels of detail. The re-used items also get lamer as in many cases it's just pipe fittings (painted silver) or plastic tool boxes (not even bothered to be painted). There's also this weird tendency for half the surfaces to be splashed with varnish. I'm thinking perhaps they were going for rust? But it really just looks like somebody opened a varnish can and threw it at the wall and called it a day.










Eventually you are ushered into the actual ride which is a nice representation of the Falcon's cockpit (although expanded to 6 seats). I'm not sure if cockpit is on tracks or has hydraulics but the range of motion is very limited. There's a good feeling of left and right movement but only limited up/down. Overall it moves significantly less than Star Tours does. A solid amount of the experience revolves around the 2D video which plays through the cockpit window. It does a good enough job to simulate motion but once again it's not really any better than Star Tours, in fact it might not quite be as good.

The ride story is in line with the rest of the park.. in that it's only vaguely Star Wars and mostly generic space fare. You are apparently chasing a space-train trying to steal power rods (once again, straight out of the Solo movie). If it wasn't for the surroundings this could easily be any other space simulator ride. It's not terrible but it's nothing you haven't seen before.

Wait a minute, you forgot the interactivity!

So the main gimmick here is each person is assigned one of 3 roles and supposedly your actions affect the ride.. like a giant video game. I was assigned the role of 'Gunner' which meant I had to press a big blue button awkwardly placed to my left periodically through the ride. The gun only seemed to fire when the video needed it to and I never felt any real connection to the events going on in front of me. In fact I found fiddling with the button to be more annoying than anything else.

Behind me were the "Engineers" which apparently do the same thing but also need to hit buttons as they light up.. fun?

It would appear the front seated "Pilots" have the best job as they get to fiddle with more controls and apparently control the ship (within the constraints of the rails the "game" runs on). Here's the fly in that ointment, this requires the front seated passengers to respond to audio ques delivered by an unseen guide. Our pilots were Japanese and spoke no English so we just rammed right into every damn thing we could. I don't think it effected the ride that much, we still "won" but it just shows how ultimately pointless this gimmick was. I guess a few points for trying?

At the end of the day the ride is simply.. OK. It's not any better than any other simulator ride you've been on in the last 20 years and in fact I've been on better. How much you enjoy it will depend on how much stock you put into flying inside the Falcon cockpit otherwise it's not really any better than Star Tours and in some ways worse.

Conclusion

Star Wars Land is perfect representation of the Disney Star Wars movies in that it's a "C" effort. It ticks all the boxes but does so without even a hint of vision or imagination. This was most likely designed by suits that doesn't really "get" the appeal of Star Wars and probably never will. What did surprise me was how rough around the edges many parts of the experience was. Gluing HVAC parts to the wall doesn't make for a good Star Wars set, nor does a can of Silver Spray paint and a trip to Home Depot. The park also lacks any real way of making you feel like part of the experience other than spending hundreds of dollars for cheap plastic chotchkeys.

Will your kids enjoy it? Maybe, if they really, really love Disney Star Wars movies specifically. Will you enjoy it? Eh? Don't go expecting to get a case of the Star Wars Nostalgia Feels here because you simply won't. The only time I felt anything Star Wars related was when Star Tours picked the Pod Racing sequence which I hadn't experienced yet (it was cool). Otherwise this just feels like generic Theme Park with some familiar bits casually strewn about and the opportunity to spend $12 on Milk with green food coloring added.

Certainly this isn't worth a trip specifically for this. Pass holders can give it a go out of curiosity but to be perfectly honest I'm not even sure if this new expansion didn't actually hurt the park as the attractions removed to make room were sorely missed on this visit.

All I can say is I hope to hell the 2nd Star Wars ride (opening soon) is really freaking amazing.



Offline ibis

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Re: Disney Galaxy's Edge Review
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2019, 09:15:15 AM »
Someone, somewhere, is plotting your demise......you have soiled all that they find sacred....Disney!

Offline deadlander

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Re: Disney Galaxy's Edge Review
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2019, 06:06:17 PM »
Tegrity is all you need!


You don’t want to piss off the mouse. 
Danny,  there's a lot of.... Well badness in the world today. I see it in the court everyday. I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber.... didn't want to do it.... felt I owed it to them.

Offline k7

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Re: Disney Galaxy's Edge Review
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2019, 06:23:17 PM »
that was a good review. but it's sad to see that you'll end up "missing" in 2 months.

#disney-politics
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Offline tufnel1530

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Re: Disney Galaxy's Edge Review
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 11:40:14 PM »
oh shit... I started to read this then I stopped.

I so wanted this to be at least decent but I know it will blow which is why I have avoided going. 

Thanks for taking the hit for me.  :P


Offline number six

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Re: Disney Galaxy's Edge Review
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2019, 08:37:56 AM »
Lol, first off i think Disney already knows Star Wars Land isn't all they hoped it would be so I don't think I'm in too much trouble by confirming it.

I did some reading up to see what happened. Apparently the concept for Star Wars land was to make a unique "living" world with it's own story that could evolve over time. That's probably why they didn't set it in any particular Star Wars location, to give themselves the freedom to evolve the story however they wanted. I guess they were trying to make it the ultimate Live Action Role Playing experience.. like a space Renaissance Festival or something. Every actor there would be able to create their own characters and backstories, etc.

Of course this is a terrible idea for a theme park. You don't have time to 'evolve' a story when most people will only visit once and for only a few hours.. in 98 degree heat with 10,000 other people per acre. Theme parks need to be instantly recognizable since your time is so limited. This 'living' location idea might have worked at a themed hotel or restaurant.. some place you'd either spent more time at or visit frequently but totally inappropriate for a Disney park.

The other kick in the nuts to the concept is apparently they planned to have all these actors roaming around creating scenes and characters to give the location the illusion of being alive. Apparently almost all of that was cut right before opening to reduce costs giving us a mostly empty Space Morocco populated by about 4 storm troopers and a bunch of cheesy shops.

Even worse for Disney is while they are bungling a high-concept idea for Star Wars land Universal is absolutely nailing it 3 miles away with an almost perfectly executed Harry Potter land. No wonder attendance is down.

Once again their only hope at this point is if this 2nd Star Wars ride is the most amazing thing ever.. but even if it is, it's not making the rest of Star Wars land look less lame.

Offline Sid

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Re: Disney Galaxy's Edge Review
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2019, 11:45:21 AM »
I don't go to theme parks because I hate people... but thanks for the pics and review.
C.B.B.B.M. @!#?@!

Phil.

Offline Niloc

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Re: Disney Galaxy's Edge Review
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 10:07:12 PM »
I don't go to theme parks because I hate people... but thanks for the pics and review.

Same. Fuck big crowds.

I do look back fondly on Epcot in the 80s, but I'm pretty sure "Horizons" is long gone along with that dinosaur attraction that always smelled weird and had 300% humidity on top of the summer weather.

Disney Star Wars Land sounds pretty close to hell though, and for $200+ that had better be a functional god damn light saber. If it can't take someone's arm off, what's the point?