For years, May 4th has been known as Star Wars Day. The phonetic similarity between “May the fourth” and ‘May the Force” has made the day an unofficial day to celebrate all things Star Wars, but the day is now anything but unofficial, as the State of California has officially declared May 4th 2019, Star Wars Day.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 72 was officially introduced on April 22 but was voted on yesterday by the California legislature and it officially declared the fourth day of May as Star Wars Day. A large Yoda shaped balloon was on display on the Capitol lawn and members of the 501st, the charity organization whose members dress as Stormtroopers, were on hand for the event.
The resolution wasn’t entirely done simply for fun. It was introduced by California Assemblyman Tom Daly whose district includes a very important place for the Walt Disney Company, the city of Anaheim. The resolution’s text specifically calls out that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set to open at Disneyland later this month, and that the creation of the new land brought numerous temporary construction jobs as well as additional permanent Disneyland cast member jobs to the city of Anaheim. Disneyland is the largest employer in all of Orange County.
Galaxy’s Edge alone is estimated to bring in an additional $14 million in tax revenue to the city of Anaheim according to the resolution.
Certainly, it’s understandable with that information at hand why California would bother to take the time to create an official Star Wars Day. Disney and Star Wars are massively important to the state in real, tangible, ways.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening is certainly going to be a massive event for Disneyland, and by extension, the state. Disneyland is already one of the top tourist destinations in the state, which means millions of people coming from outside the city and the country, nevermind the state, to spend money. It’s no understatement that the entire state’s economy would be measurably smaller if Disneyland did not exist.
Yesterday we saw every reservation available for Galaxy’s Edge in the land’s first three weeks vanish in under two hours. Now, the only way to get into the land when it opens is to book a Disneyland Resort hotel. One assumes that a lot of people who got reservations are now booking trips to Disneyland that will bring money into the state, county, and city. Many of those that did not are probably looking at booking Disney hotels in order to be sure they don’t miss anything.
Of course, while May 4 may now be an official Star Wars holiday in California, that unfortunately doesn’t mean that business will be closing in observation of the day. This year May 4 happens to fall on a Saturday anyway, so a lot of businesses will already be closed.