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Photo Update: Florida’s Galaxy’s Edge is almost ready to open and the Star Wars hotel has gone vertical

by Tharin White

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has already opened in Disneyland California, but soon guests will be exploring its duplicate counterpart in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. With official cast member previews beginning Thursday, let’s take a look at what’s left to finish. This photo report is made possible by shots provided by our contributor, @bioreconstruct on Twitter.

Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be getting almost the exact same layout for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The Florida version will be slightly larger since Disneyland had to accommodate for the Rivers of America. This can mostly be seen in the placement of structures in the forested Resistance area shown on the left side of the image. In Disneyland, the A-Wing and X-Wing fighters are right next to each other instead of across the path.

This image gives a great closeup of the forested area that will hide the Resistance base from the rest of Black Spire Outpost. Strategically placed trees and paths will create the illusion of a lush forest from the main area of town without wasting valuable park real estate. The arrow points to a backstage gate.

Elsewhere in the Resistance Base we can see the beginning and end of the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction. It won’t open with the land and will instead be part of a phase two that opens Dec. 5, 2019. Whereas Disneyland’s version will open Jan. 17, 2020. The ride will begin with a pre-show style attraction in the blue Resistance transport on the left and end near the red First Order Escape Pod seen under cover.

This view, of the entrance from the Grand Avenue section of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, top left, gives a glimpse at the queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Poe Dameron’s orange and black X-Wing can seen on the far right. This ship will only be accessible to guests who line up for the attraction and is not an open part of the land.

An easily noticeable change in the land is seen here at one end of the marketplace. The top image is an aerial of construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the bottom image was taken at Disneyland. Both of these cylinder structures are vastly different colors and the main building itself is a much darker orange. It is currently unknown why the two versions have different color choices. One speculation is the vastly different weather that Florida and California receive and how that could affect the visual of the land. The sun also rises and sets in very different areas of both lands, which could have influenced this color decision.

As seen here, the land is practically finished and the majority of the work is cleanup and details. Some Walt Disney World cast members were test pilots on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run this week and the hundreds of cast members in training for this new land were also given access to learn the land’s extensive layout. The ride is a carbon-copy of the one at Disneyland. Click here to see a video of the ride.

Zooming in we can see a strange piping structure that cleverly disguises a somewhat shaded seating area. With the storyline of Star Wars at stake, even simple items like benches need extensive theming to sell the immersion of another planet.

Looking at the Toy Story Land entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, it’s easy to see the drastic theming change between lands. Guests will go from vibrant colors and oversized props to a war-torn town on the edge of space in matter of a few hundred feet. The berm is also very noticeable here. This large area of raised dirt surrounding the land will be an essential part of selling the realism of the story.

Near this entrance we have a currently unused patch of dirt. This section is the third entrance to the land in Disneyland. This could perhaps be a staging area for future expansion or eventually a large storage area to be used only by cast members.

The TIE Echelon is also nearly complete. In Disneyland this stage is used by Kylo Ren, First Order Officers and Stormtroopers as a starting place. These characters come out of and interact with the ship before descending the stage and heading out into the land. The building to the left is the First Order Cargo store.

This blocked off portion behind Oga’s Cantina is rumored to be an expansion pad for a sit-down restaurant. The Cantina opened to wild success with its outlandish drinks and atmosphere. Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s version share this empty space and we hope to see expansions here in the near future.

Looking in the center of the Black Spire Outpost we can see that the land is so close to completion. Numerous crews are placed all over using their cranes to perfect every little detail before the first guests arrive.

An aerial photo update would not be complete without a look at the Millennium Falcon. This fan favorite has been re-created to full-scale with an impressive amount of detail. This image also brings up another coloring difference between the lands. Take a look at the dark gray and black spires on the right side of the image.

Disneyland photo by @TharinWhitePhotography on Instagram

While not severely different, it does appear that Florida’s mountainous range is darker than its Disneyland counterpart.

A major difference between the Florida and California versions will be access to the Star Wars hotel! This hotel, which will be unique only to Walt Disney World, will take guests to a luxury starship in space. This hotel offering will be a multi-day experience with full immersion into the Star Wars universe, complete with a pod ride to the ship and picturesque views of planets from the windows. You can see the rooms starting to take shape in the photo above behind Galaxy’s Edge. From the looks of it, there may only be 60 guest rooms or less.

The hotel is located directly next to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is expected to offer its guests some form of special entrance into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The hotel opening date has yet to be announced, but we expect to hear more at this year’s D23 Expo in a few weeks.

For now, guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios are greeted with this view into the land as Disney prepares to tear down the walls and invite everyone in. This entrance, from the Grand Avenue section of the park, will at first, be the only way into the land with Toy Story Land being the official exit.

It is not much, but from this view guests can technically sneak a look into the forested Resistance Base area of the land. Eager fans need only to wait until Aug. 29 for the official opening. Unless of course they can get in as a Platinum, Platinum Plus or Premier Passholder or they know a cast member who can bring them in as a guest (You’re welcome, mom).

Want to learn more? Check out this Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge playlist containing over 30 videos about the land with POV’s, land tours, lightsaber building and more.

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3 comments

Matt Smithies July 28, 2019 - 4:38 pm

We went past on a Minnie Van yesterday and the driver suggested it would be a small hotel – 70/80 rooms with a max stay of 4 nights

Reply
Jim July 28, 2019 - 7:20 pm

So, from Toy Story Land you will have to cross a service road to enter/exit? Are there any places in the parks where you have to do this? Maybe I just notice them.

Reply
tony July 29, 2019 - 6:23 pm

How would a mini van driver know that?

Reply

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