ORLANDO, Fla. — As Disneyland Park in California officially dedicates its new Star Wars land on Wednesday night, Walt Disney World in Central Florida is preparing for its own land dedicated to the film franchise, set to open at the end of August.
- Disney's Star Wars land set to open at end of August
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Wade Michael, general manager at Royale Parc Suites in Kissimmee tells us the timing couldn’t be better.
“(It will be) an increase in business during a fairly slow time of year,” said Michael. “Usually the end of August to the first of September, except for Labor Day Weekend, is not an exceptionally busy time of the year, so we’re hoping the Star Wars attraction brings a lot of new visitors.”
Sean Snaith, director at UCF’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, says the opening could be bigger than the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure.
“When the Harry Potter attractions opened at Universal, there was a substantial jump in the number of passengers that were coming through the Orlando airport,” said Snaith.
Passenger traffic was up 2.1 percent year-over-year in June 2010 when Wizarding World opened.
“With something like Star Wars, multiple generations deep in terms of its fan base, I would expect to see something even larger once these attractions open,” said Snaith. “I think what it means for locals, longer lines at the airport, more traffic on I-4, around the attractions area.”
But for those that depend on visitors, the opening of Galaxy’s Edge is good news, especially at a time when most families usually stay home to get ready for the start of the school year.
“I think some might be playing hooky for this occasion,” said Michael.
Michael says he hasn't seen an uptick in reservations just yet for the end of August, but he is anticipating that changing.
We asked Disney about jobs and economic impact, but they said they'd have more to share as we get closer to opening the new land.
Galaxy’s Edge is set to open on August 29 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.