Disneyland visitors shocked to find the park is a ‘ghost town’ – despite the opening of $1BN Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – with new crowd control measures blocking annual passes all summer and widening walkways working a little TOO well
Disneyland has been described as a ‘ghost town’ despite the opening of the new $1 billion Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge land in May.
The resort in California put crowd control measures in place, including special reservations, removing food carts and banning annual pass holders, as park-goers braced themselves for gigantic queues.
But it appears the measures have worked a little too well, with one visitor tweeting on July 9: ‘It’s kinda scary how empty Disneyland is.’
One visitor, @crimsonrambler, tweeted on June 27: ‘By Disneyland standards, this place is a ghost town.’
Planners at the theme park are said to have spent more than a year preparing for the opening and the crowds they may face.
One of the queue-busting measures Disney implemented was to only allow guests with a reservation to enter Galaxy’s Edge, though this rule ceased to be after June 23.
Visitors were limited to four hours inside the immersive new land, the largest single-themed land inside a Disney park.
A special wristband identified a visitor’s time window, and once it expired, it shut off access to key attractions and merchandise locations.
There were also plans for park employees dressed as Star Wars characters to ultimately ask visitors to make their way toward one of the three exits so a new group can enter.
Kris Theiler, vice president of Disneyland park, said: ‘There might be some First Order officers out there helping us or maybe some Stormtroopers asking people to move along.
‘We’ll employ the First Order maybe later in the reservation period if we need to.’
Aerial images of Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge taken July 4 appear to show few crowds enjoying the space.
It comes as annual passes for the park have been blocked out across dates in June, July and August. There are one million annual pass holders.
And lastly, Disney has been working on coping with increased capacity at the park by examining its infrastructure and trying to improve traffic flow and access.
Measures have included widening paths and removing objects such as planters and food carts.
Ahead of the opening Theiler said walkways were widened from three to about six feet in different areas, and stroller parking is available.
Around 7,500 new parking spaces along with new parking lot entrances and toll booths were added. A new pedestrian bridge was also built to help avoid jams.
But a new a virtual queuing system which would use a ‘boarding pass’ during busy times has been used infrequently.
In addition, reports The OC Register, most guests are heading to the new Galaxy’s Edge land rather than touring other areas of the park.
The eagerly awaited 14-acre attraction has rides, shops selling personal droids and lightsabers and ‘Star Wars-appropriate food and drink’.
But Trevor Okazaki tweeted on July 8: ‘At Disneyland, piloted the Millennium Falcon. Walked around a lot, park is pretty empty.’
While on July 7, Matthew Arevalo added: ‘Another day at (a pretty empty and with no wait to enter Galaxy’s Edge) Disneyland.’
Disney told DailyMail.com: ‘We are incredibly focused on delivering a great guest experience for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
‘This land has added 14 more acres to Disneyland Park, and together with all of our new offerings, advanced planning and innovative technology, has resulted in incredible feedback and satisfaction from our guests.’
Disney has made Galaxy’s Edge look and feel like part of the Star Wars universe. It’s designed as a grungy outpost on a distant planet.
The marquee attraction is a massive replica of the Millennium Falcon, where guests can roam the ship’s halls and engage in a dogfight with Tie Fighters. Another ride called Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is set to open later in the year.
The same Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land will open for visitors to Florida’s Disney World Resort on August 29.
And it seems ‘word got out that #Disneyland was empty’ according to one visitor online who posted a picture of huge lines at the park Tuesday.