It’s now been over two months since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and as you may have heard already, the expansion isn’t doing as well as expected. In fact, according to one anonymous Disneyland employee, the region’s underwhelming performance has started taking its toll on the staff.
Speaking to Fox Business, the unidentified worker observed that the park has so far been much quieter than predicted, resulting in employees having their hours cut:
“Wait times this summer for the new Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride were expected to be over 2 hours long all summer, but in reality, the lines have been averaging half that or less. As a result, the company has been forced to cut our hours. The need for us to work simply isn’t there.”
The source went on to say that employees are now finding themselves working less than 40 hours a week:
“Our hours have been cut to as a low as 30-35 hours some weeks, even though we have both worked for the park for years. It makes life challenging when your paychecks get cut unexpectedly.”
With employees earning around $15 per hour, the reduced workload is causing some weekly paychecks to fall from $600 to $450 before taxes. The Fox source attributed the disappointing performance of Galaxy’s Edge to a rushed opening and a lack of attractions:
“I feel the problem is Star Wars took too long to build so they rushed the opening with only one cool feature. The only other big ride isn’t even scheduled to open until the end of the year.”
Indeed, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is currently the only ride open in Galaxy’s Edge, and a second ride, named Rise of the Resistance, isn’t scheduled to open until early next year.
Disney CEO Bob Iger shared his own thoughts recently on the region’s lackluster performance in an earnings call, in which he argued that there was “tremendous concern in the marketplace that there was going to be huge crowding when we opened Galaxy’s Edge,” causing potential visitors to stay away. Sure enough, the anonymous source regarded the early hype for the expansion as a damaging factor:
“Part of the problem too has been all the hype surrounding the new Star Wars land. Tourists fear the anticipated crowds and the Los Angeles locals seem to be waiting out the summer crowds too. Admission to the park is not cheap either, it is $149.00 for one park or $199.00 during peak summer weekends for a park hopper ticket. For many families, that adds up real quick.”
Nonetheless, Iger also insisted that it’s “just going to take some time for things to work themselves out,” and that the upcoming Rise of Resistance should help matters. Maybe he’s right, but in the meantime, the second Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida, on August 29th.