Disney Worried About Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Attendance Figures


Disney launched Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with as much fanfare as possible. They billed it as the dream destination for fans, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the border world of Batuu, meet some of their favorite characters and become part of the conflict between the Resistance and the First Order. And, by all accounts, they delivered on that promise. Despite some grumbling over prices within the park, almost every reaction from visitors has been positive. The problem is that there just haven’t been many people showing up.

In Disney’s Q4 financial report, they revealed that while revenues increased in the Parks, Experiences and Products division by 8%, that was primarily because of higher ticket prices rather than the place being full of attendees.

Here’s the relevant section:

Growth at Disneyland Resort was primarily due to higher guest spending, partially offset by expenses associated with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened on May 31, and, to a lesser extent, lower attendance. Guest spending growth was primarily due to increases in average ticket prices and higher food, beverage and merchandise spending.

Results at Walt Disney World Resort were comparable to the prior-year quarter, despite the adverse impact of Hurricane Dorian in the current quarter. Increases in guest spending and, to a lesser extent, occupied room nights and attendance were offset by higher costs. Higher costs were driven by costs associated with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened on August 29, and cost inflation. Guest spending growth was primarily due to increased food, beverage and merchandise spending and higher average ticket prices.

Part of this may be that the establishment of a new park will necessarily have higher costs in its opening year. For one thing, you have to finish building the place, employ new staff and work out any bugs along the way. But even so, I’m betting Disney was hoping Galaxy’s Edge was going to be a bit more of a hot ticket than it currently is.

The optimistic analysis is that visitors may be staying away until the park is complete. One of the marquee rides will be Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which will plunge fans into a battle between the Resistance and First Order. That’s scheduled to open in Disney World on December 5th and in Disneyland Park on January 17th.

The pessimistic view is that people may be suffering from Star Wars fatigue. We’ve been all but saturated in the franchise since Disney bought it and some are getting tired of Wookies and lightsabers. We’ll get a decent measure of its popularity when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 20th though and we can compare its performance to previous entries in the Sequel Trilogy.

Until then, fingers crossed for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. However, I guess if you did want to visit at least there won’t be long queues.