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Disney World implements 'Force'-ful moves to get guests to 'Star Wars' land

Mike Cherico

Disney World is mustering up the power of The Force to ensure a victory for the universe -- the "Star Wars" universe.

After struggling with lagging park attendance in California for its new "Star Wars" theme park at Disneyland, its Florida counterpart is using the lessons learned in Anaheim's "Galaxy’s Edge."  The Walt Disney Co. is lifting reservations requirements for "Orlando's Galaxy's Edge" -- which opens Aug. 29th -- after the restrictions may have slowed attendance in Anaheim according to Bloomberg.

The two "Star Wars" theme-park expansions reportedly cost $1 billion each.

The reversal comes after "Star Wars" and Disneyland fans were forced to either make reservations online to visit the new intergalactic land or fork over cash to stay at one of the company hotels in order to be one of the first to enter the highly-anticipated new land.

The restrictions may have hurt park attendance this summer which also saw Disneyland workers, or cast members as they are called, have their hours cut after attendance did not meet expectations.

One possibility for the disappointing gate is that at both parks, "Galaxy's Edge" is opening with only one of the two main "Star Wars" rides finished.

Still, on a recent conference call with investors, Disney CEO Bob Iger believed the "Galaxy's Edge" launch was a success. “We build these things for the long term,” Iger said on the call. “We have no concerns whatsoever about them.”

Local hotels in Orlando have created several promotions to boost/take advantage of the interest in "Galaxy's Edge." The Four Seasons, for example, is giving a $500 Disney gift card to guests staying more than two days in a suite.

Also, the early bird will capture the lightsaber in Orlando. Guests will be able to come inside the park starting at 6 a.m., three hours before the normal opening time, under a promotion announced in May. Also, Disney has announced discounted ticket prices for guests who wait until noon to enter.

FoxBusiness.com reached out to Disney for comment and is awaiting a reply.

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