Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: Is this Disney’s first role playing attraction?


Recently, several media outlets previewed Disney’s Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Based on those experiences, could this area be Disney’s first role playing attraction?

Disney’s first-role playing attraction? While younger guests to Disney theme parks often dress as their favorite princess, animated superhero or other Disney character, adults usually have to leave those experiences to the annual Halloween party. But, as more and more details emerge from the highly anticipated Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, could this theme park attraction be even more real that fans had anticipated?

With several media outlets getting previews of the attractions at Disneyland, the various reports are quite exciting, intriguing and slightly unnerving. While Disney always delivers on the magical moments, this particular attraction area will be unlike anything else that it has attempted.

Building two similar (yet not exactly alike) attractions on either end of the country is daunting. Although staggered opening dates allow a construction learning curve, the task is formidable. Even more difficult, the Star Wars fan scrutiny will be brutal. Everything has to be perfection.

Although much has been revealed about the Millennium Falcon ride and the landscape of Batuu, this project isn’t just about the thrill ride. It has been designed to transport fans (and guests) into a faraway land, which they had only imagined. With some of the recently released details, that idea of becoming part of Batuu seems inherent. In a way, guests will assume a role in the Batuu landscape.

It appears that each decision that a guest makes once she crosses into the Black Spire Outpost will affect her journey. Whether it is masterly piloting the Millennium Falcon or sharing her knowledge with the cast members along the way, this area is more than just a simple walk through.

One interesting note to the experience is the role of the Disney cast. While cast members always give guests a magical experience, this area will be quite different. Each cast member can create their own character/persona. From the outfits to their backgrounds, the cast will play with the guests.

Banter will be encouraged. After all, guests are visitors in this outpost. There will be improvisation (on topic of course) but that adds to the role playing aspect. For example, if a guest thinks that she will be the ultimate pilot yet causes damage to the Millennium Falcon, that fact will stay with her throughout her visit. From trying to buy a blue milk to visiting the market, her poor performance will affect her persona. The cast members will interact with her as that visitor, not as Barb from Wisconsin.

The interesting idea beyond the enhanced role play is the uniqueness to each visitor. Sure, you might have to wait another six hours to experience the Millennium Falcon again, but you can improve your role with a better score. Each visit will be different, which brings guests back time and again. This area will never get stagnant.

Even though the play”aspect is essential to the success of Galaxy’s Edge, the attractions will be the highlight. The second ride, Rise of the Resistance, could knock off the Millennium Falcon ride as the top attraction.

Based on recent details, the ride, which is longer than most attractions, will feature trackless vehicles. This concept expands the experience tremendously. Additionally, it is believed that riders even leave the vehicle at one point during the experience.

More importantly, this attraction brings fans in front of their favorite characters. From a confrontation with Kylo Ren to encountering Rey, this experience brings the characters off the screen and into the attraction. It is a truly ambitious endeavor and one that could be a Disney highlight for years to come.

Looking at all these attractions it is interesting to see how Disney builds on previous attractions to create new ones. Pandora at Animal Kingdom was a massive undertaking and offers a thrilling experience. After reading many of these new details, some items seem to have grown from those attractions.

For example, the shaman from Pandora could have been a type of test run for the Hondo Ohnaka character. The shaman, with its lifelike movements, made a huge impact when it opened. Hondo, and other Audio-Animatronics figures, are one of the many examples of impressive technological achievements in the area. More importantly, these characters add to the role playing feel of Galaxy’s Edge.

While all this new information is quite exciting, fans will have to wait to see all the impressive attractions. Although no exact opening date has been announced, Disneyland’s experience is anticipated this summer and Disney World’s experience is expected later this fall.

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Are you ready to walk into Disney’s first role playing attraction, or is Galaxy’s Edge something else entirely?