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

5. Disney's Hollywood Studios has been banking on this new land as part of its reinvention.


Image: Disney

Though Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge might not have had a huge impact at Disneyland, the fact is that Disney's West Coast park will be fine no matter how this land does. Disneyland has been the runner-up most-visited theme park in the world for several years now (second only to the Magic Kingdom) and its popularity doesn't really hinge on the performance Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. However, the same can not be said of Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

When the reinvention of Disney's Hollywood Studios was announced, the centerpiece was Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Though Toy Story Land is nice and Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway looks cute enough, Disney is most certainly counting on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to be the big draw to get guests back to this park. If this new land fails to move the attendance needle in a meaningful way for Disney's Hollywood Studios, all the money spent on not just this land, but also the new infrastructure to support larger crowds in this park (including the Disney Skyliner system) will be a big red mark for Disney investors. 

And though some of the concerns facing executives and investors around this new land have to do with internal issues, there are some external factors that could affect this new land opening as well.. 

6. The US economy could be headed for another downturn


Though we like to stay in the attractions and entertainment lane for the most part at Theme Park Tourist, we can't ignore reports the US may be heading towards an economic downturn, which could have disastrous effects, not only at Walt Disney World, but for the tourism industry as a whole. Though the jury is still out on this one, you can bet Disney executives are paying very close attention to economic indicators, and may begin offering deep discounts again, the way they did in 2008-2010, during the last recession, to help get guests to the park. 

We still have just over a week to go until the opening of Disney's Hollywood Studios, and it will be interesting to see how crowd levels are, not only on opening day, but in the weeks following this new land opening, and even after the December 5th opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Do you think this new land will be the hit Disney needs it to be? Or will Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge end up being a billion-dollar blunder? 

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