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If you're a fan of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and/or Star Wars, there's probably nothing on the horizon more exciting that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the new lands coming to both theme parks next year. While we'll have to wait until then to actually fly the Millennium Falcon, there's a lot of new information that recently arrived via the Destination D event for Disney's D23 fan club members.
From the names of rides to our first real looks at some of those rides, here's everything new you need to know about the land, the attractions, and the way they'll all work together like never before.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
We've known for quite some time that one of the big E-ticket attractions coming to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge was one in which guests will be able to pilot the Millennium Falcon. Now, the ride has an official name in Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run. In the trailer above you'll get a look at the "real" version of the iconic spacecraft, which takes some cues from the Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer in the way we see various switches being flipped and buttons being pressed. We also see the ship jump into hyperspace, which looks just about as awesome as you'd expect.
From what we do know, all that flipping of switches will be necessary, as the attraction will see up to four people piloting the Millennium Falcon, each taking over a different system. One of the things that makes this attraction unique is that outcomes can actually be different depending on how well you and your crew pilot the ship.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
While we've been given some details about the Millennium Falcon ride before, much less has been known about the other big E-ticket attraction. It had been said the experience would see guests in the middle of a battle between the Resistance and the First Order, but now we have a better idea what that means. A new trailer released shows that it will literally let guests watch the battle unfold from within the battle itself, as the attraction itself appears to be a First Order installation that will get attacked by the Resistance.
The trailer shows what appears to be an actual construction, rather than displays on a screen. Based on the description from the Disney Parks Blog that these images come from inside the actual attraction that would seem to be confirmed. We do also see actual people rather than animatronics here, which adds to the realism; however, it seems unlikely that the attraction would use real actors, but who knows?
We've already touched on this one, but it bears repeating. One of the things that makes Star Wars feel like Star Wars is the music, and nearly all of it has come from the great John Williams. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will, just like any feature film, have its own Star Wars music, and Williams is engaged in creating it. We already expected to hear a lot of our favorite Star Wars music while wandering through the land, but now we know there will be all-new music that you can only experience by going to Disneyland or Walt Disney World.
An Integrated World
One of the things that has been teased about Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is the fact that the new land will be immersive in a way that even the Disney Parks have never been before. While we still don't have a lot of detail about how that will work, we do know the land will use some sort of optional integration with the Play Disney Parks app to accomplish this feat. Currently, the app is mainly used to let guests play games while standing in line, but it seems that it will be taken to another level as part of Galaxy's Edge. It was previously revealed that that the experience that guests have on attractions like the Millennium Falcon ride could impact the way they interact with other characters, such as inside Oga's Cantina. It seems that the use of the app might be the way that this integration will work.
Perhaps you can use the app to record your progress on a ride, then get it scanned inside the cantina to get the appropriate result. The idea that each guest will be part of the adventure, almost like we're each playing a character in the galaxy, far, far away, is almost too exciting to contemplate. this is unlike anything we've ever even considered in a theme park. It's like being a step closer to Westworld, only less terrifying.
One of the most exciting parts of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is going to come after the land actually opens and it will only be at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. The hotel that will be adjacent to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is one of the most exciting new additions, and now it seems that the immersive experience will extend beyond the hotel itself, as guests won't simply walk in the front door. The experience will begin before you even arrive, as you'll arrive at the starship that is the hotel via a shuttle pod. Exactly how that works has yet to be explained, but it wouldn't be nearly as much fun if we had all the answers.
The hotel isn't simply a place to sleep and keep your gear. It will actually be a set length experience that will tell a Star Wars story of its very own. Guests are welcome to become part of that story to whatever degree they wish. With the set multiday experience on board a "starship," it seems like the hotel will be an intergalactic cruise ship, with one port of call being Batuu, the home of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
Now we just need the place to open. While the hotel has no estimated opening date, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is set for a summer 2019 opening at Disneyland, followed by a fall opening at Walt Disney World. Very long lines are expected after that.