Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

The Imagineers did an amazing job developing Toy Story Land in Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, which opened in 2018. Visitors have the viewpoint of shrinking down to the size of a toy as if they were in Andy’s backyard.

The land debuted Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers while shifting the entrance for the popular Toy Story Mania attraction. Guests see larger-than-life versions of Woody, Jessie, and Buzz, as well as giant 25-foot shoe prints along the ground as if Andy himself had walked through the area.

Toy Story Land
Credit: MagicGuides.com

A year later Disney would introduce their most immersive land yet - and right next door to Toy Story Land - Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The land places guests in the village of Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. The park is set in the sequel trilogy (Episodes 7-9) with both the Resistance and First Order marking their presence with live actors (Rey, Kylo Ren, etc.) and ships.

Guests can ride in the Millennium Falcon, experience one of the top-rated rides across all Disney parks, Rise of the Resistance, drink the famous in-universe green or blue milk, and even make their own lightsaber or droid.

When you are in these lands you feel like you are in the Star Wars Galaxy or are a toy in Andy’s world. Except for one crucial place - the transition between lands. One of the biggest detractors of any land is being able to see into other areas that are not a part of the theme. As you can see in the video before as you are walking through the eastern/right exit of Batuu you can see the Buzz Lightyear statue and the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction.

What’s missing is a dividing structure that blocks the view of the other land while adding to the theme of the land the guest is currently in. Take, for example, Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Orlando. From the outside you see London and only once you pass through a short bricked entryway do guests emerge into the colorful world of Harry Potter.

Diagon Alley, Discover Universal
Image: Discover Universal

Once inside all that guests can see in any direction, at any height, is Diagon Alley. No rollercoasters from another land or the Simpson’s Springfield area. Guests truly feel as if they have stepped into the real Diagon Alley, along with Gringott’s fire-breathing dragon and whimsical shopfronts. 

Imagine a structure that looks like the cliffs of Batuu, similar in design to the spires within the Star Wars output. On the other side the outside, or inside, of Andy’s toy box, sandbox, or playset. The structure would have the same dimensions on each side so regardless of which land you viewed it from guests would only see a structure connected to that land’s theme.

Star Wars Galaxy Edge
Image: By Jedi94 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84848770

Guests would walk through a series of tunnels that allow foot traffic to flow freely but obstructs any views of the next land until exiting. After investing so much creativity and resources into Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land, this small adjustment not only improves guest experience but provides a guide on how to build future lands and additions. If successful, Disney could add a similar structure on the other side of Galaxy’s Edge between it and Grand Avenue.


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