Early this morning in Lake Buena Vista Florida Disney’s long awaited “Star Wars Land” opened to the general public. The lines started forming at 2AM Friday morning with thousands of diehard Disney & Star Wars fans waiting to experience the $1 Billion Dollar Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. By 7AM the park was at capacity and was closed off to new entrants. Truly a Grand Opening….
I personally experienced a visit to this amazing attraction earlier this month during a pre-opening event. I was awe struck seeing the completed product in its full glory! Just when you think imagination and technology has gone as far as it could go, a new higher bar is set. I’m so proud and very blessed to have been a small contributor to these attractions at Walt Disney World. The entire Space Age family was at the top of their game and fully engaged delivering the high quality solutions this unique park required.
My experience with Disney in Orlando began in 1998 working with the life safety imagineering team at Disney. Over the decades I have formed great friendships and experienced the highest level of professionalism, dedication and attention to safety time and again. Walt Disney World’s standards for life safety is unprecedented and some of the best I have ever seen in my 30+ years in this business. Only projects at NASA and Nuclear Power Plants I worked on were comparable to the safety measures designed into these life safety systems. Safety of Dinsey’s visiting guests are the most important aspects when these monumental attractions are designed. So many others claim this accreditation, at Walt Disney World Orlando they live it each and every day on every project.
With a project of this complexity and accelerated opening date, it was imperative that flawless execution during installation be uncompromised. Space Age Electronics partnered with two fire alarm integrators to design and fabricate the Firefighter Smoke Control Panels and pre-fabricated control cabinets for smoke control. Our solutions were used on both Star Wars attractions; Rise of the Resistance and Smugglers Run.
By using pre-engineered and pre-fabricated components, installation was done at half the time compared to traditional methods and field defects were virtually eliminated. All of the pre-planning and advanced work resulted in reduced commissioning time and faster turn over of the system to the owners. This process is now the model installation by which all subsequent installation will be modeled after.
For over half a century, Space Age Electronics has been educating Life Safety Professionals and Custom Integrators on methods that deliver code compliant installations, reduce liability and improve efficiencies through customized product designs. This tradition of shared insights continues with a renewed focus on helping our partners deliver professional, code compliant solutions that add end user value along with increasing project profitability.
In closing I’d like to thank all those at Disney Imagineering who were advocates for improving the solutions used on WDW attractions. Our partners who worked diligently to understand and think proactively about project execution. The Engineering Firms, Electrical Contractors and Project Managers who were flexible with learning these new concepts and persevering through to completion. All of us here at SAE look forward to working with everyone on the next big or small attraction at the happiest place on earth!