At Galaxy's Edge

This is the 2500th post at Disney Photoblography, and the subject matter is almost perfect timing.  Nearly seven years ago, I was motivated by the opening of Cars Land in Disney California Adventure to create a Disney park photo blog to combine my love of Disney and my love of photography.  The next level theming and atmosphere and place-making at Cars Land and a huge desire to photographically capture such ambiance played a large part in inspiring the melding of these two loves.  The very first post here was the iconic arched entryway into Ornament Valley from Pacific Wharf--still one of the most impressive and overwhelming entrances to a themed land.

The grand money shot is the Millennium Falcon flanked by the iconic spires of Batuu.

Nearly seven years later, we have another Disney park expansion, this time in Walt Disney's original Magic Kingdom!  Now, many have pointed out that "Star Wars Land" doesn't fit in Walt's original theme park, since it's an intellectual property not originally created by Disney, and thus, it seems untraditional to devote an entire land to it.  While I understand the sentiment, I argue that Disneyland has never been about what is traditional, because Walt always intended it to evolve and change.  "Disneyland will never be completed," he famously declared, and I think he knew that this would entail future transformations that even he, himself, could not imagine.

Archways, overhangs, and a mix of rustic, exotic architecture and landscaping add up to incredible place-making, with compression and expansion of space to create interest from a micro-urban planning perspective.

The important part is that any addition to Disneyland is done from an execution of high craftsmanship, quality, and love.  And on those accounts, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge knocks things out of the park.  I was fortunate enough to score a reservation this past weekend, and while I only was able to spend four hours--and I didn't even actually see everything in the land--what was there was awe-inspiring, immersive, and monumental.  Batuu is truly a land among itself--not part of Disneyland, but rather at its edge, and transportive to a whole different universe.  The theming and detail are incredible--worthy of Tokyo Disney Sea level acclaim--and the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run attraction is a superb E-Ticket that will thrill countless guests in the years to come.  It's destined to become a beloved classic.

Framed views and the trunks of petrified, ancient towering trees harken to Batuu's past.

For the first time in a while, I'm thrilled and motivated to explore Disneyland photographically again.  As much as I have always loved the park, seven years of photographing various nooks and crannies leaves most photographic goals fulfilled.  But with this new land--with its sprawling layout and plethora of details both wide and small--will provide plenty of energy for me to hunt out behind the lens.  And those who've followed along for the past 2500 posts... thank you.  I deeply appreciate it.

The First Order has a stronghold on the developed portion of Black Spire Outpost.  The Resistance occupies the more forested area closer to Critter Country.

Will this blog hit 5000?  I can't guarantee anything, but I certainly hope so (even if it will most certainly take more than seven years to do so).

My visit this weekend did not land nearly enough photos, as I photographically missed much of the souks and the Resistance territory, plus the interior of the Droid Depot, Savi's Lightsaber Workship, and some of the unscheduled shows.  But there will be more visits and definitely a LOT more posts to come on this blog!

Oh, and the "almost" perfect timing?  Well, ideally, my 2500th post would have been my first formal Galaxy's Edge post.  But I couldn't resist posting about it yesterday with my Smuggler's Run photos.  So ah well!


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