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There’s always something magical in the air at Disneyland, but the brand’s latest updates are particularly awe-inspiring.
Claire Bilby, senior vice president of sales, services and events for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, recently shared with TravelAge West the new attractions at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Between the upcoming opening of the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride and the launch of “Extra, Extra Magic Hours,” Bilby says there’s never been a better time to visit.
“Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is truly immersive,” she said. “Seasoned fans and even non-fans are talking about what an incredible experience it is.”
Bilby adds that both versions of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction (in Disneyland and Walt Disney World) are identical, each encompassing 14 acres of a galaxy far, far away for fans to relive the franchise. However, she says that Walt Disney World Resort will soon feature a Star Wars-themed hotel.
The new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride will open Dec. 5, 2019, at Walt Disney World, and Jan. 17, 2020, at Disneyland. The ride will immerse guests by placing them in the midst of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance, which is expected to drive further traffic to the park.
Bilby is confident that overcrowding at the parks is not an issue.
“Our team has done an amazing job managing demand seamlessly,” she said.
Part of the company’s strategy to combat crowds is the launch of “Extra, Extra Magic Hours,” which allows guests of Walt Disney Resort and other hotels to beat the daytime rush with earlier admission — beginning as early as 6 a.m. to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World from Sept. 1 to Nov. 2. From Aug. 29 to Nov. 2, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom Park — also at Walt Disney World — will open to guests starting at 7 a.m. Disney Resort guests should note that this is an additional benefit on top of the regular “Extra Magic Hours” amenity.
Also coming back to Disneyland this Aug. 2 to Sept. 30 is the Main Street Electrical Parade, a 20-minute evening musical procession of fan-favorite Disney characters swathed in more than half a million shimmering lights. The historic parade first debuted in 1972.
Another Walt Disney World update is the recent completion of renovations at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Featuring 545 rooms in the Gran Destino Tower alone (1,915 rooms in total), Coronado Springs is Disney’s largest convention resort. Some of the resort’s highlights include three new bridges; Three Bridges Bar & Grill lakeside restaurant; and Toledo: Tapas, Steak and Seafood rooftop restaurant.
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