I just got back from Hollywood Studios and noticed some pretty big changes to the attractions in Galaxy’s Edge. This post is full of spoilers so if you have not visited Galaxy’s Edge, please do not read any further.
Hondo (animatronic) was removed from the greeting area of Smuggler’s Run (just when you’re about to board the Falcon) and replaced by a video. Had not heard about this change.
Next in Rise of the Resistance. The turbo laser cannons no longer recoil back and forth. So your ride vehicle is no longer bobbing and weaving in between the cannon fire. Also, the green flare of the canons has gone silent. Finally, Kylo Ren (animatronic) at the end of the ride is missing and replaced by a new video sequence.
I understand the changes, given that operations need greater uptime to meet the ever-rising demands of long queues and irritate guests. I am just disappointed at the changes. I know how hard the Imagineers worked at having these in place and when they worked it was sight to behold. I admire their daring but sad to see them go. I wonder if they (Hondo and Kylo) are being reworked by Imagineering so they will be more reliable or if the days of new animatronics are numbered in favor of video/projections. I hope not and hope they figure this out.