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Old 7 Aug 19, 09:37 AM  
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Stu
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Disney Addresses The Reason For Lower than Expected Crowds at Disneyland

With the opening of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge the crowd levels at Disneyland were expected to be huge, however it turns out that the attendance level was and still is lower than most expected.

Over the last few years we have become accustomed to seeing extremely long lines and packed theme parks whenever a major new attraction opens.

With Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge arguably being one of the most highly anticipated expansions to come to a Disney theme park in a long time. The expectation of extremely long lines and a packed to capacity theme park just didn't materialise, so why is that?

We have had many discussions on the DIBB theorising about the crowd levels, everything from the reservation system used during the first few weeks, keeping people away, to comments about the Annual Pass blackouts, price increases and even the issue that die hard Star Wars fans may not connect with Galaxy's Edge being that it doesn't revolve around the original Star Wars trilogy. Now Disney CEO Bob Iger has spoken out about the low attendance levels.

Bob Iger shared his thoughts on the subject during Disney’s Q3 FY19 Earnings Results Webcast.

"First of all, helped in part by some of our efforts, there was tremendous concern in the marketplace that there was going to be huge crowding when we opened Galaxy's Edge. So some people stayed away, just because they expected that it would not be a great guest experience."

"At the same time that that was going on, all of the local hotels in the region, expecting a huge influx of visitation, raised their prices,"

"So it simply got more expensive to come stay in Anaheim. In addition to that, we raised our prices, we brought our daily price up, so if you think about local visitation, we brought the price of a one-day ticket up substantially from a year ago."

"And then we opened up Galaxy's Edge with one attraction instead of two, the second attraction is going to open in January and so all of those factors contributed to attendance that was below what we would have hoped it would be. That said, guest satisfaction, interest in the attraction in the land is extremely high, it's the most popular thing at the park. And so, long term, we build these things for the long term, we have no concerns whatsoever about them. We're opening Galaxy's Edge in August in Orlando, the second attraction there will open in December, and, as I said, the second attraction in Anaheim will open in January, so we feel great about the product we've created, it just takes some time to, basically for us, to work themselves out in terms of how the marketplace is reacting."

It remains to be seen how the crowds will react to the Walt Disney World (WDW) opening of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge at the end of this month and beyond.

There are many things happening at WDW around the same time that Star Wars Galaxy's Edge will be in it's opening weeks that will have a bearing one way or another on the crowd levels such as.
  • Early entry to Disney Hollywood Studios starting at 6am
  • Extra magic hours at the other Disney theme parks
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom
  • The Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT
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Edited at 11:10 AM.
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