2. Thrills are thrills—and these attractions will be Disney’s most ambitious ever
One of the biggest highlights of the opening of The World of Pandora ended up being its signature attraction, Avatar: Flight of Passage. It is widely considered one of the best attractions at Walt Disney World. I know I am not alone among Disney park fans in saying that even without being a fan of Avatar, I would still jump on any opportunity to seize a Flight of Passage Fastpass if it popped up. It is a seriously amazing attraction with appeal across all ages and fan-levels.
In similar form, both Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Rise of the Resistance are proving to be the two most ambitious attractions Disney has ever attempted. How many Star Wars fans grew up dreaming of piloting The Millennium Falcon? Even without that fan-connection, how many of us simply used to play pretend? Any attraction that allows you to actively participate in flying a spaceship on a galactic quest will make for a broadly-pleasing thrill ride (whether you know who the great Hondo Ohnaka is or not). This attraction will even include a scoring element, similar to Test Track or Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin—only these scores will affect your visit to Galaxy’s Edge when it comes to character encounters. Pretty cool, even if you don’t care about Star Wars.
As for Rise of the Resistance, visitors will get to participate in an entirely different experience—an adventure of subversion against evil galactic oppressors. It’s the model of every hero’s journey. Adventure is a universal language for storytelling and thrill rides, and even visitors who just aren’t into Star Wars will be able to enjoy this insanely immersive attraction.
Think about it. Do you have to enjoy car design to love Test Track? Do you need to be a Twilight Zone fan to appreciate the Tower of Terror? Splash Mountain was based on a film so widely controversial that it isn’t even available for purchase, yet the ride is still a fan favorite. If you decide to brave the lines to experience Rise of the Resistance or Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, there’s no question that even non-Star Wars fans who enjoy thrills will still have a good time.
3. An opportunity to connect with friends and family who are fans
If you’re planning to visit Disney parks solo or with a partner who also isn’t crazy about Star Wars, it’ll be pretty easy to just skip Galaxy’s Edge. Indeed, other sections of the parks may have delightfully short lines as everyone floods in to visit that galaxy far, far away. However, what are you supposed to do if you don’t care about Star Wars but a friend or family member you are planning to visit with does—especially if that special someone is your kid?
Don’t automatically brush off visiting Galaxy’s Edge if you find yourself in this scenario. Indeed, if you muster the fortitude to give Galaxy’s Edge a try, it may just prove a unique opportunity to connect with your friend, child, or family member in a new way.
One of the most easily-missed joys of visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World is seeing your loved one’s reactions to something that delights them. Fans tend to geek out about things they love, and this can be highly entertaining and endearing. You might not care about Star Wars, but seeing your beloved supernerd’s face light up at seeing a shop full of ancient Sith and Jedi holocrons may just make the whole trip worth it.
I am not necessarily advocating for non-Star Wars fans to endure the kind of bonkers lines that will likely mark Galaxy’s Edge during its first year open— cross that bridge carefully. However, if you either are willing to endure opening year crowds for the sake of a loved one or wait until crowds die down, you really might be able to have some fun just by watching the sheer delight on your special Star Wars fan’s face as they see these stories come to life. These are moments that no simple attraction or contrived thrill can replicate.