Disneyland’s “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” from Dirt to Black Spires

Back in August 2015 when Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that a Star Wars themed land would be coming to Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in California and Florida respectively, we all knew we were in for a long-haul wait. Well, almost 4 years later, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is getting ready to open in May at Disneyland and August at Hollywood Studios.

As a Southern California native, I’ve been following the construction of Galaxy’s Edge from the Mickey & Friends parking structure at Disneyland since 2016, and I wanted to share the progress I’ve seen, with you!

July 12, 2016

Back in July of 2016, the entire site of Galaxy’s Edge was dirt. This former backstage space was bulldozed and all the preliminary construction steps (plumbing, footers, grading) are ready to begin.

July 27, 2016

A couple weeks later, steel starts to arrive on site and some forms begin to go vertical in the background. These will eventually form the land’s berm and the rerouted railroad tracks.

September 6, 2016

Some more of the berm has gone vertical just below Big Thunder Mountain, and a “pool” has begun to be dug right in the center of the site.

December 19, 2016

Jumping forward a few months, construction has ramped up, and more concrete has been poured and more steel has been placed. The berm continues to grow in the background.

March 13, 2017

Now the attraction buildings have gone vertical. In the background is the beginning of the Rise of the Resistance building beginning to form. In the middle of the picture is a circular area bounded by wooden frames. This is now apart of the Resistance shuttle effect that will transport guests from Batuu to a First Order star destroyer in Rise of the Resistance.

March 18, 2017

In March of 2018, guests could catch a glimpse of some familiar forms going up inside the Rise of the Resistance building. These AT-AT walkers were the first image Disney released from inside the land, and have since been featured in promotional videos for Rise of the Resistance.

April 16, 2017

The Rise of the Resistance building continues to grow, meanwhile the building for Smuggler’s Run has begun to take shape in the background on the left-hand side.

May 27, 2017

A closer look here. The circular shuttle area is being closed in, and the Rise of the Resistance building is growing to cover it.

June 10, 2017

The shuttle area is now covered with concrete, and wooden framing is going up to form the cavernous extended queue for Rise of the Resistance that will also act as the land’s rear berm, blocking views of the Mickey & Friends parking structure.

October 26, 2017

The extended queue is now entirely concrete, and gray siding is going up on the enormous Rise of the Resistance building.

January 3, 2018

The Rise of the Resistance building is now entirely enclosed, except for a small opening to move items and machinery in and out of the showbuilding. Work is beginning on top of the extended queue to prepare for scenery and foliage.

March 25, 2018

Steel to form rockwork has gone vertical on top of the Rise of the Resistance extended queue. This connects to the rockwork framing that has already been added to the front of the main showbuilding and Smuggler’s Run.

May 6, 2018

Foliage has been added to the top of the Rise of the Resistance extended queue. In the year since this was added, the plants have grown denser, providing a backdrop for the western edge of the land.

December 3, 2018

Jumping to the end of 2018, the rockwork has progressed exponentially. Most of the showbuildings are now entirely made to look like a mountainous landscape. The black spires of Black Spire Outpost are peaking over the Rise of the Resistance building.

January 2, 2019

Now less than 6 months from opening, most work is being done inside of the buildings or away from guests’ eyes, in the heart of the land. Some extra spires can be seen on the left of the image. These will utilize forced perspective to add a depth to the mountains when viewed from inside the park.

We are now less than 7 weeks away from the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, and the hype for it has never been higher. For full details, from food and drink, to attractions, to opening dates and procedures, check out the ThrillGeek Galaxy’s Edge Quick Start Guide!


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Ryan Grover

Ryan Grover

Someone that likes to talk about theme parks, movies, and occasionally sports. - SCAD Class of 2022 - Production Design - West Coast Contributor for ThrillGeek

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