A couple of months ago, the Disneyland version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge officially opened to the public, and fans have been losing their mind over the theme park’s new area ever since. For many, the handful of attractions, restaurants and rides is the culmination of over 40 years of fandom, and now, longtime franchise enthusiasts can live out their Jedi dreams in a real-world location that’s devoted to all things Star Wars.
Aside from Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – a simulator ride that sees guests pilot the eponymous ship – there are plenty of other restaurants and shops to explore. Savi’s Workshop allows patrons to build a pricy ($200+) custom lightsaber, and for eight bucks, you can also try out blue milk…I guess.
Still, it doesn’t look like the opening of this new themed area has been an immediate success. As The Orange County Register reports, attendance fell three percent across the company’s domestic parks, but oddly enough, revenue increased by 7 percent to $6.6 billion during the last quarter.
Disney CEO Bob Iger explained to investors recently that some parkgoers (presumably, those who hold an annual pass or were planning a vacation) held off on attending, as they grew concerned about huge crowds attributed to Galaxy’s Edge.
“I think a number of things happened,” Iger shared during Disney’s Q3 FY19 Earnings Results Webcast. “First of all, helped in part by some of our efforts, there was tremendous concern in the marketplace that there was going to be huge crowding when we opened Galaxy’s Edge. So some people stayed away, just because they expected that it would not be a great guest experience.”
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Continuing on, he explained:
“At the same time that that was going on, all of the local hotels in the region, expecting a huge influx of visitation, raised their prices. So it simply got more expensive to come stay in Anaheim. In addition to that, we raised our prices, we brought our daily price up, so if you think about local visitation, we brought the price of a one-day ticket up substantially from a year ago.”
As he mentions above, the price hike of local hotels and the increased park ticket prices also impacted attendance numbers. As some of you will no doubt know, the ticket prices for Disney parks have been slowly increasing over time, and they recently jumped up quite a bit ahead of the launch of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Still, Bob Iger said that Disney doesn’t feel as if they “have a pricing issue” at their domestic parks. While that remains debatable, hopefully the launch of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will help to convince potential attendees that the new area is worth the price of admission.