This Land is Your Land…Keeping Batuu Hidden…
Building $1 Billion new land at Walt Disney World is a daunting task, not only in construction but in keeping the magic under wrap. That meant, for thousands of construction workers creating the new Star Wars Galaxy Edge, making it personal was the key.
Sitting at a large table resembling a Star Destroyer at the headquarters in California, Disney Imagineers came up with the idea of Star Wars Galaxy Edge before the 2015 announcement. As you are aware, in an age of social media, livestreamers, vloggers and bloggers are looking to get that ‘scoop’ and break the news of everything new and exciting coming to the theme parks.
So, they decided on a “buy in” from the 5,500 construction workers, artisans, and trade workers involved in bringing the new land to life, as described by Scott Mallwitz in a news conference, Thursday in Hollywood. To make a universe on the other side come to life required more than 50 contractors, 84% from the local area. We needed them to help us deliver this, stated Mallwitz.
So that meant that Disney reached out to construction workers early on and explained the project, putting them in a position of ‘claiming’ the project as their own, in a sense, taking ownership of it and connecting with it. ‘We didn’t have problems with leaks-because it became their project too”, stated Mallwitz. “We don’t get there without them.”
Disney offered their thanks with a preview of the land to the construction crews and their families to see the land a few days ago.
As Galaxy Edge’s opening day approaches, some wonder how the opening day will fare. Passholders avoided the new land in California, fearing long lines and wait times. Instead, attendance at Disneyland and Walt Disney World dropped 3% according to the last financial quarter announcement on Tuesday. Only time will tell of what the crowds will be like on August 29th and you will be able to experience it in real time ‘through the lens of this livestreamer.’
But, one thing that we do know, is that the concept of including people in a project and having them claim it as their own, keeps the competition away and the loyalty strong. Secrets are maintained and the integrity of Star Wars Galaxy Edge was a miracle in the making.