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Disney Bet Big on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. It Might Have Been a Billion Dollar Blunder

Though Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge has been open since May on the West Coast, no theme park land debut has been as hotly anticipated as that of the East Coast version of this land at Disney's Hollywood Studios. And while the hype train has been rolling on for the past few years (Bob Iger famously implied that Disney didn't even need to advertise the new land, sarcastically saying he "might" send a tweet about it), many are looking at the upcoming launch of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge with additional scrutiny. And here's why:

1. This land is the most expensive ever built at Walt Disney World

Image: Disney

Though Disney doesn't often release official figures about how much their construction projects cost (even if we've gotten pretty good at estimating), earlier this month Disney officially confirmed that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge cost $1 Billion to bring to Disney's Hollywood Studios, the company's single biggest themed land investment in history. Which, while impressive, is now becoming a concern, because...

2. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge hasn't done well thus far at Disneyland

Image: Disney

Though Disney has blamed everything from its own annual passholder blockout dates to the delayed opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction, the fact is that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge hasn't exactly been the traffic boon for Disneyland many thought it would be. And though speculation was that annual passholders would flood this land in August when the majority of blackouts were lifted, thus far that hasn't been the case, with the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run attraction averaging a 30 minute wait most days, according to Laughing Place's wait time tracker. And while conventional wisdom might state that since Walt Disney World typically draws a larger crowd than Disneyland Resort, more guests will visit this version of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, that could be an issue, as 

3. Walt Disney World attendance is down

Earlier this month Disney confirmed attendance at Walt Disney World was down this past summer. And though Disney blamed the attendance crash on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, saying that guest surveys suggested that many were deferring their visits to the Walt Disney World Resort until after this new land opens in just a few days on August 29th, if this land wasn't a draw on the West Coast, it might not be one on the East Coast either, which would be a massive problem for the resort. 

4. Reviews from Star Wars fans have been mixed

Though we enjoyed visiting Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and found Millennium Falcon to be a fun, if not totally game-changing attraction, some guests, particularly self-described Star Wars fans on social media, have had some mixed feelings about this new land, especially the setting of Batuu, which is an all-new planet not seen or mentioned in any of the Star Wars films. And though there are plenty of familiar characters and ships to be found around this new land, some have said that without iconic locations like Endor, Tatooine or the Death Star represented inside this land (the way locations like Diagon Alley and Pandora have been recreated inside other "immersive" lands), Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge won't have the same initial pull or longevity that these other lands have enjoyed. 

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