5 Easy Galaxy Edge Fixes
And 5 Slightly More Expensive Improvements
If you’ve listened to my podcasts, seen my videos or read my posts, you know that I am a solid fan of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for some improvement. Below are some low/no cost ideas, followed by a few higher ticket options:
1. Add Music
I join other critics in saying that there needs to be more music in this land. Imagineers took great pride to make sure that every where you looked, it looked like Star Wars. But it doesn’t sound like Star Wars. If you want a land that proclaims Star Wars, you have to add Star Wars music. That is a hallmark of one of the greatest film. One of my greatest memories of Star Tours is walking off of that attraction and hearing the music triumphantly ringing in the air. It’s not a big thing to test this approach to using a more orchestral score at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I think you would get a better reception from guests.
There is music during the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride. I assume it will show up in the new Rise of the Resistance attraction. So if it can be in the attractions themselves, why not elsewhere?
The following video shows an amazing score put together by John Williams specifically for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Here’s the video of some of that music:
2. Add More Kid Friendly Experiences
This is a family-friendly experience, no doubt about that. But I think that it could be a bit more kid-friendly. The experience of Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, could be fantastic here. It would add another entertainment element to this land. And it would open up the space at its current location, one that is next to their main path in and out of the park for parade floats and other show barges. Yes, it would need to be re-written, as Darth Vader isn’t necessarily part of this new land. But it could be added, and would be a great part of the experience.
3. Add More Star Wars Interactions
I am reminded of Star Wars Weekends and of the assembly of individuals from across the Star Wars galaxy that mingled among the guests. Currently Rey, Chewie, Kylo Ren, a Resistance spy and some stormtroopers occupy the land. It seems there could be many more.
4. More Moisture Vaporators
Throughout the land are Moisture Vaporators like the following:
These aren’t really moisture vaporators. Rather, they serve a couple of purposes. Besides the obvious speakers, it’s my understanding that Disney has several wireless hot spots scattered among these. I’m glad they added additional hot spots. I didn’t have the chance to use the Play Disney app in the short time I was there. But from what I’ve heard from others, the signal is weak, either because there are not close enough to a hot spot, or because too many are putting demands on the system. Either way, probably more moisture vaporators are in order.
5. Oga on the Go
There is a lot to like about Oga’s Cantina. It’s a space very reminiscent of the cantina in the first film. It has a great dynamic, and I love that DJ “Rex” is the entertainment. But it’s a small space, especially given the number of people who are wanting to enter.
I’m not a drinker, but it seems to me that there is probably a subset of people who would simply like to get a drink. I think a patio lounge area outside of Oga’s would be appropriate, similar to the patio lounge area you find at The Brown Derby. Yes, you would miss the menagerie going on inside, but you could get a drink (and could we add a few more small bites), if placed to the left of the entrance. Here these guests would have the opportunity to sit and enjoy a view of the Millennium Falcon. I think many visitors would enjoy that option, which would be an inexpensive addition.
Five Bigger Ticket Items Needed for Galaxy’s Edge
We’ve covered 5 low cost changes for Galaxy’s Edge. Now for 5 ideas that require more capital and resources. These are needed changes to the land, but they come at a more expensive price. Consider the following options.
1. Utilize Black Spire Station
Not sure what Black Spire Station is all about. It’s assortment of land speeders is very cool. And it has a soda kiosk in front.
But what is the building for? What’s behind the door to this space? I think it could easily be used for retail or for food & beverage. It’s a good size building and easily could be added to the total experience.
2. Build Out Savi’s Workshop/Handbuilt Sabers
I love the premise that Savi’s is disguised as a scrap collection business. But there isn’t enough space to accommodate very many people. Is it possible to (1) add a different location, in another part of the park, perhaps attached to caves, where you could create the same light saber, but have a slightly different experience doing it? Or, could you (2) build out on the back side of the building?
Or could you (3) close out the patio where guests queue, cover it and make it a second indoor experience, moving the queue and sign up area to some where else? In short, I think there are options.
I understand how difficult it is to gauge interest in a $200 plus light saber. But even if you built something out on the back side, and the interest fades, you can always use that space for something else. And there will always be a something else to put in there. Why not build it out now?
3. Address Ceiling Problems
Look at the photo below:
This is Merchant Row, and it looks cool with its open atrium. But therein lies the problem, especially in rain heavy Orlando. I can’t believe that with the intensity of a Florida lightning storm this guest area is going to be the least bit useful. This is a great ceiling for California. This doesn’t work in Florida.
Maybe with high ceilings it is cooler than one might imagine without air conditioning. But I don’t see this standing the test of time in the lightning capitol of the world. I think guests are going to be shocked by sudden downpours and end up huddling tight in each kiosk, only rendering those locations useless. You may need a false glass ceiling, which may require air conditioning as well. It will really be needed when it starts pouring.
4. Add Tuggs
Of all of the physical locations in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo is the most un-Star Wars like. Other than a reference to Empire Strikes Back in the ceiling, there is little evidence of a “other worldly” setting. The initial thought was to have Tuggs appear. The back story of this restaurant is Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs, who has traveled throughout the galaxy following his longtime gig as the chef at Max Kanata’s castle on Takodana. He brings exotic flavors and unusual dishes to his traveling diner made of a modified Sienar-Chall Utilipede-Transport. The image below is a suggestion of how he might lend his presence to the restaurant.
Instead we got this:
And we got this:
Talk about your budget cut. This is a really disappointing show. It needs something more if it’s about Star Wars.
5. Add a Formal Dining Experience
Both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have some outstanding table service restaurants. But there’s a shortage of food & beverage options in Galaxy’s Edge, and sooner than later is the answer for building this out. The exterior front is already in place in the park. It just needs to be built out on the inside. I don’t know that a “dinner show” option is the best with moving crowds through, but it does need to be a unique dining experience for those who attend.
There is so much to love about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. But there could be much more to love. Taking action on some of these low/no cost items, and then ideally, with the bigger ticket items, could make these spaces really great for years and even generations to come.