Removal of animatronics from Galaxy's Edge (SPOILERS)

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.

Danny

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Well that’s very sad to hear. My understanding is the turbo laser cannon sequence is one of the major failure points that was hurting ride uptime considerably. Given that it wouldn’t shock me if that one is sadly permanent.

Hopefully the animatronics come back as a video is just not the same…

This would not be the first time animatronics went missing mysteriously from galaxys edge. Hondo specifically he went missing in the summer too. Kylo ren has had his issues in the past as well. The better the animatronics get the more can go wrong with them. I am sure they will return. Hopefully the cannons were just temporarily down. I love that part of the ride

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Agreed - when riding for the first time the part with the cannon was where I thought I might really be in the middle of a massive space battle. It is a great sequence…

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This happened on our second day at DHS. The first day he was available and working just fine. The second day there was a green tarp over him. This must be some semi-annual maintenance they need to perform on the animatronic.

When they have an issue with an animatronic, the imagineers designed a B-mode to the part of the attraction that is usually a video scene.

During our visit last week only one of the 3 cannons was doing the proper recoil and sound effects. I agree this is the most thrilling part of the ride when they are working. Hopefully they can get them running again soon.

Our first day at DHS did have Kylo working. I have been told that this animatronic is problematic as well. During our second visit they switched to B-mode with the video sequence. This video is not new, it has been part of the fail-safe design from the imagineers. It has always been available for situations like you and I did encounter.

If you looked closely to the metal wall that decends infront of Kylo, you may have seen his feet just below it. I believe he is still there.

Just know they have been there all along to keep putting people through the attractions when parts needs service.

The one sequence you did not mention happend to us on the first day. During the briefing room, the BB-8 was not functional. Therefore they switched to the B-mode where Rey does not reference or mention anything to do with BB-8.

Fortunately BB-8 returned during our second visit.

I also noticed that some of the laser fire “lights” on the room were not working as well.

This all seems to point to a larger problem. Disney is having staffing issues and it is impacting the rides. Disney is also experiencing the same supply chain issues every other business is encountering right now. I suspect they are struggling to find replacement parts as they are just not as readily available right now.

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A year ago, we rode ROTR 3 times total. The cannons were recoiling only 2 of those times. Also I know that, just like how they sometimes put a screen to fill in for the Shaman on Navi, they do the same for the animatronics on Rise when they require maintenance. It is generally temporary.

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Thanks. Your post is reassuring. Rise is incredibly complex and I have only a small sample size with rides from the last couple of years. In my previous rides, everything worked without a hitch so I had never seen the fail-safe modes. I keep having flashbacks to Expedition Everest and fear that operations folks will ditch the animatronics for the far simpler videos in the name of greater times.

Oh wow. I’ve never seen the the Shaman replaced by a screen and I hope never to see that. But I get it, maintenance needs to happen.

Yeah, I know the imagineers design without the financial barriers in-mind and come out with some incredible attractions. Let’s hope the accountants do not try and overpower their creative design and turn every ride into a Universal screen show.

Almost everything you experienced is detailed in this article…

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The first time I rode Navi it was a screen amd I thought, “well that’s a bust” because I knew there was supposed to be an amazing anamorphic. But family didn’t notice anything!

I rode ROTR twice, and MFSR once, for the first time, 2 weeks ago. Luckily Kylo was working both times. Only the 1st cannon was working and I kept thinking “it would be really cool if we had to dodge between all three”.

I absolutely loved standing at the front of the rebel ship next to the Lieutenant Bek. He is awesome!

Luckily Hondo was working. I want all the anamatronics!

So after reading the B mode articel I watched a ROTR POV (never did before to avoid spoilers).

On my trip 2 weeks ago we got Tie fighter Kylo (which I kind of liked) and no blasters in the room after the cannons. That corridor looked like the aftermath of a fight, not that you were still in a fight (which was the look I thought they were going for, and thought it was a weird choice for that part of the ride). Overall there were very few blaster effects beyond blaster noise.

So apparently as much as we enjoyed it, there is still more to enjoy. What I really missed at SWGE was the presence of any character actors. None at all. That would have really added.

We saw that animatronic for the first time on our 4th or 5th time through. We, as a family, audibly gasped and declared on the spot how he was our favorite “route” to take.

Sadly that was the only time we saw him, but I have seen his feet under the wall every time since.

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Yes! That scene is incredible and makes the ride so much more fun when it is active.

Having Kylo Ren control your vehicle’s movement with the force was amazing!

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