Entertainment

The new Star Wars land was packed, but it left Disneyland itself practically empty

Crowds might have been lining up in the wee hours of the morning on Friday to get into the brand-new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land on its opening day, but visitors noticed something a little strange about the rest of Disneyland.

Namely, it was mostly empty.

Denise Preskitt, who runs Disney travel website MouseSteps.com, took to Twitter on Friday morning to show how few people were in the actual Disneyland park after the new “Star Wars”-themed land opened Friday morning.

“If I wasn’t going to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, I would be riding the almost empty train,” Preskitt wrote in a tweet around 10:30 a.m.

Preskitt’s photos showed a sparsely populated park, with only a few people walking around and wait times for the park’s popular rides at a minimum.

Preskitt told The Tribune via Twitter that the majority of the park seemed pretty quiet throughout the first part of the day.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be very busy today, but it is much less crowded than I expected,” she said, noting that she has not seen Disneyland this empty “in a long time.”

Part of that could be because Disneyland’s Southern California annual passes, the park’s cheapest pass options, are blocked out for the day. This, as well as the expected crowds around Galaxy’s Edge, could have prevented people from braving the park.

According to the Disneyland app, which measures wait times for rides, the lines for rides throughout Disneyland did appear shorter than usual.

For example, the line for the park’s Indiana Jones Adventure ride was only 20 minutes long at 11 a.m., according to the app. (Normally, the line averages closer to the 40-minute mark or more by that time of day.)

Lines for rides such as the Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World rides were all listed on the app as five-minute waits around 11 a.m.

Despite predictions to the contrary, the trend continued throughout the day.

A smooth opening

Meanwhile in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the grand opening appeared to be running smoothly.

The first visitors to the new land posted hundreds of photos and videos of their experiences throughout the day on Friday, including pictures of people posing in front of the Millennium Falcon and sipping blue milk.

Wait times for the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride stayed between 20 and 50 minutes for most of the day, according to the Disneyland app.

That’s not bad considering it is the only ride currently up and running the land. A second, Rise of the Resistance, is expected to open later this year.

For now, visits to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are regulated by the number of reservations Disney released early this month. Starting June 24, however, the park will be fully open to the general public.

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Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.
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