star wars galaxy's edge concept art-1

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has a confirmed opening date, but there’s a catch.
  • Disney has filed for demolition of Innoventions in Epcot.
  • Cook like you’re in the Mos Eisley Cantina with a theme-park-flavored cookbook.
  • And more!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Opening Dates

Has it really only been one week since we were talking about the behind-the-scenes peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that journalists got? Oh, how time flies. Now, we’ve got some very intriguing details, including the most important one of all: when this new land is going to open in both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In Anaheim, the new land will open on May 31; in Orlando, it’s opening on August 29. That’s good! Rise of the Resistance, the purportedly technologically advanced ride, won’t be opening until “later this year”. That’s bad. No doubt, the new land will bring in droves of fans, but until it’s fully ready, Galaxy’s Edge will be (literally) an incomplete experience.

Something else to note, for all you Disneyland fans: if you’d like to access Galaxy’s Edge during its first three weeks, through June 23, you’ll need a reservation. Now, the good news is that it’s free (and if you stay at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels during that time, you’ll get one reservation automatically). But again…you need a reservation to access an incomplete part of a theme park. Galaxy’s Edge is going to be massively popular, well beyond June 23 (and, to note, Disney World’s version will not require reservations). It’s still a bit frustrating to see this much extra planning required to experience the area when it’s not fully ready.

SWL restaurant

How about some exciting, or shall we say delicious, news related to a galaxy far, far away? Though we’re still months away from the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, one of the elements that’s been teased for a while is the food. What would the food of the world of Star Wars taste like? Though you’ll have to wait for a while, you can now pre-order a Galaxy’s Edge cookbook, available on November 5. While that date feels like a long time from now, it’s arguably a smart idea – if you’re one of the brave souls who visits the new land when it opens, better to try the food before you decide if you want to make it on your own.

Things are getting heated up at Epcot, by the way. It’s not all just Star Wars news today! Over at the park with two halves, Epcot is gearing up for Project Gamma, in which there are going to be major refurbishments in advance of Disney World’s 50th anniversary. One major update is the planned demolition of Innoventions West, which once housed the Epcot Character Spot and Club Cool, among others. Club Cool was both cheesy and kind of charming, offering guests a free sample of sodas from around the world. I’m sad to see it go, even if some of the Epcot updates are badly needed. Where else can you find a refreshingly cold take on soda from countries like Israel, Brazil, and more?

Moving over to World Showcase, a pretty exciting-sounding new show has just been unveiled in the Mexico Pavilion. The Story of Coco is a 25-minute show with music, puppetry and more, as it offers a compressed version of the wonderfully charming 2017 Pixar film. The show engages the use of Mariachi Cobre, the Mexican group that performs every day in World Showcase, and sounds generally quite charming. Though the continued use of Disney/Pixar characters in World Showcase feels a bit unlike the park’s original conception, this is a rare case where it feels quite apt and can expand guests’ cultural horizons.

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