While we’re less than 40 days until guests can explore Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Imagineers won’t be hanging up their hardhats just yet. Just a few hundred feet away from Batuu sits the construction site for the upcoming Star Wars hotel. While it won’t be open in time for the grand opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney promises it’ll be worth the wait. Your stay at the hotel is said to be a completely immersive storytelling experience, from check-in to departure.
We made it by the site earlier today to get a latest look at the construction of the hotel. Before we take a look at the latest progress, let’s take a look at what we can expect from the finished product. Up until now, Disney hasn’t released very much info about the exterior of this hotel…just a single piece of concept art of the entrance.
We don’t know very much about what the arrival experience will be like, but suffice it to say that you might see more “backstage” than you bargained for. Because of its location next to the wrong side of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, guests visiting the hotel might see the back of both attractions within the land, and maybe even some floating spires similar to what every guest visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom sees of Pandora – The World of Avatar. More on that in a bit.
Thanks to thecoasterkings.com, we have a good look at a permit that shows the layout of the hotel. It aligns with what we’ll see below, with the major experiential elements housed in the “front” of a warehouse style building and the guest rooms (or cabins) extending down a singular hallway behind it.
Ok, so what does it look like today? We’ll start with a look at the front of the building as seen from nearby Osceola Parkway. From the road, we can see a rather standard looking warehouse-type structure.
While the above photos teased a view of the spires of Black Spire Outpost, simply driving forward a few feet reveals the extent of the less magical side of the spires. At this point, it’s so early in the construction that Disney could end up adding a small forest in the space between the hotel and the beginning of the theme park to hide the view from guests, but recent history would suggest that they might not do that.
Traveling back in time to just two summers ago, we saw the completion of Pandora – The World of Avatar. While the views from inside the park are stunning, the views from the Animal Kingdom parking lot leave quite a bit to be desired. Here’s a look at the construction from the Animal Kingdom parking lot. While the cranes are long gone, the view of the massive attraction show building remains.
Chances are that you might forget about seeing the steel structure that creates the facade of Pandora, or that you might not even notice it in the first place. However, there is something to be said about maintaining the illusion of it all. Of course, if you’ve ever seen our construction updates, it might require you to suspend your disbelief a bit more than the average guest, but the end product from Disney can’t be compared to what our construction updates provide.
Back to the Star Wars hotel. We hope that Disney spends a lot of time perfecting the views from the parking lot to ensure that the arrival experience, which should be considered a part of the experience, is about as good as it can be. Here’s a look past the Star Wars hotel at the unfinished back of the spires.
Ok, on to the rest of the hotel. As we make our way 270-degrees around the hotel, we get a better look at the guest cabins that extend out the back of the warehouse-style structure that will act at the main “play area” of the hotel. Here’s a very wide view of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to the left, guest cabins in the middle, and main hotel area to the right.
Here’s a closer look at where the guest cabin section of the hotel connects to the main structure.
The original permit only called for a two-story hotel, but it looks like we’ll be getting at least three stories. With the roof installed on the main structure (and sightline concerns from within the park), it seems unlikely that we’ll see it rise much further. Another contributing factor to our speculation that this will be as high as the structure goes is the fact that the elevator(s) appeared to be built in the main structure. It would stand to reason that Disney would want to build elevators to all floors given that guests will very likely be paying top dollar to stay here.
We continue to circle the hotel to see the guest cabins in the foreground and the main structure in the background in the photo below.
Finally, to better aid in the visualization of the location and layout of the hotel, here are some photos from @bioreconstruct of the construction site from the air earlier this month.
Disney has yet to announce an opening date or even opening year for the Star Wars hotel, but we anticipate hearing more about the project at the 2019 D23 Expo in August.
For more on the Star Wars hotel and many more projects from around the Disney Parks, keep checking back with BlogMickey.com!