For years, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge felt like one of Disney’s most anticipated land openings ever. It marked a new beginning for the Star Wars fandom, and a continuation of Disney’s incredible theming in its new lands. Exactly how much it offered and how deep its lore would go was left to speculation, but after its opening in both California and Florida and a trip to each, it has become apparent at just how spectacular the new 14-acre Star Wars land is. It is detailed, packed with content and unbelievably gorgeous, and below is your guide to navigating it all.
Differences Between Versions
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge exists in both Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort, and is almost identical in each, save primarily for its entrances. This is due to the different layout of Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, but it does not affect most of the parks’ content. Some of the smaller details have changed, such as the status of a few props, stands and droids, but the content remains the same between each.
In its multi-phase opening, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge first began with a single attraction in Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. While it is important not to spoil to finer details (now is the time to skip to the next section if you want to ride with complete surprise), guests in the queue find themselves within the film-accurate interior of Han Solo’s famed ship, where they are presented with one of three roles: pilot, gunner and engineer. The attraction holds six guests at a time, and thus two of each role are assigned to the riding party. The roles are randomly assigned by a cast member late in the queue, though it always seems to be both pilots first, then both gunners, then both engineers. That timing might be important to make note of if you are intent on landing a certain role when the crowd of guests in the queue are split into lines after the pre-show, though you are always free to offer other rides to switch roles.
If the role is not important to you, as the surprise of what you’re offered is part of the fun, you will be given a few moments to scramble around an interact-able portion of the ship before being loaded into its cockpit, a magic moment all its own for Star Wars fans. The pilot who sits in the lefthand seat, if you’re facing the way you walk in, will be in charge of the ship’s horizontal controls, while the right pilot will be tasked with the vertical controls. There are some surprises given to each pilot throughout the attraction that should not be spoiled, but it is worth noting to watch your buttons and to let the bigger Star Wars fan be the right pilot. Piloting can be difficult and is best when both pilots can communicate, so it may not be as suited for younger guests. Gunners get the fun of striking down iconic Star Wars enemy ships, and the role is an absolute blast (pun intended). There is both an automatic shooting function for guests who are new to the attraction (or are just young in age) and a manual one for guests who have participated numerous times. Even if you are a mastermind at Call of Duty, it is recommended to set it to automatic on your first go-round, as things get hectic quick, and automatic makes for the best first-time experience. Lastly are the engineers, who are tasked with pressing a series of blinking buttons to fix everyone else’s mistakes (of which there might be a hilariously high amount), and to secure the mission’s objectives. The ride is a simulator, and the engineers look at the screen the least, so this could be a good option for those susceptible to motion sickness, or those who are not as keen on the challenge of being a pilot or gunner.
There are scores to be earned and personal records to beat, so with all of that and the number of roles, it is an attraction worth repeating.
Disney scheduled the land’s second attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, for a Dec. 5, 2019 opening in Florida and a Jan. 17, 2020 opening in California. Set to be at least 15 minutes long, the combination of four separate rides into this singular E-Ticket attraction will make it one of Disney’s most exhilarating yet. A chase from Kylo Ren and his forces blanket the entire ride’s story, so fans of the sequel trilogy should be in for a treat on premise alone.
A number of characters from the films will appear on the ride, including what looks to be an army of stormtroopers, life-sized AT-ATs, Rey, Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron and Finn. Drop tracks and vehicle changes are all on the table of possibilities for what the attraction could offer, making it one of theme park history’s most unique attractions.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has some of the most diverse dining options of any theme park land to date.
The Milk Stand is among the most discussed, as unique theme park drinks are some of the biggest must-have items of any location. The blue milk, enjoyed by Luke Skywalker on his home planet in the very first Star Wars film, is the fruitier and sweeter of the two, bearing some semblance of bubblegum and sour, sugar-heavy candies. The green milk, which viewers saw Luke obtain in the eighth film of the primary Star Wars saga, is more floral and earthy than its blue counterpart. Being that the drinks are made of coconut and rice milk, neither is dairy-based. They are both priced identically at $8 each, or $14 for blue milk with rum and green milk with tequila. Non-alcoholic versions can also be bought in a light-up souvenir mug for $24.
Oga’s Cantinia is a bar you would find straight out of the movies, with the former pilot of Star Tours®–The Adventures Continue, DJ Rex, providing music. This has become one of my favorite places on property, with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic made available as regular drinks and souvenir cups. It is worth noting that the price of the souvenir drinks is more than justified, as the mugs and containers you’ll find yourself bringing home are of some of the highest contraction quality and materials of any others in the Disney parks. It is an elegant, memorable souvenir that I find myself more than happy to own. You’ll be provided with a new, packaged version of the souvenir mug you purchased, so there is no need to worry about finding a way to clean and store the one you already used. Snacks are served here, and the menu does change between breakfast and the day’s other two meal times, but these foods are not intended to be much in the way of full meals. Reservations can be made two weeks in advance for Disneyland Resort, and 180 days in advance for Walt Disney World Resort. It is possible to get in as a walkup, but it is exceptionally rare, so making a reservation is wise. Most with reservations will have to wait in line before going into the cantina, so arrive to the desk a few minutes early. Guests are limited to two drinks each and 45 minutes inside the cantina.
Ronto Roasters is a personal favorite of mine, serving two different wraps for breakfast and the rest of the day. The breakfast version sees a heavy pita loaded with grilled pork, sausage, eggs and sauce, while the standard wrap sees the eggs replaced with slaw. Turkey jerky is also served, along with an assortment of beverages. This is the perfect food item for grabbing while walking elsewhere, and is among my favorite quick service items across all of Disney property.
Docking Bay 7 is the crown jewel of quick service dining in Galaxy’s Edge, with beautiful theming and incredible food. The dishes are more complex and varied here, with plenty for both meat fans and vegetarians. There’s everything from ribs to salad, so there is plenty to satisfy everyone in the family. The food is fresh and perfectly cooked, its quality matching that of another favorite, Satu’li Canteen in Pandora—The World of Avatar.
Kat Saka’s Kettle, located in the marketplace, offers a specialty popcorn that is both sweet and spicy, and a souvenir droid to carry it in if you so wish. If buying the droid, the popcorn is placed in a paper bag so as not to fill your new container with residue.
Water, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite are all served in restaurants and at stands around the land in unique bottles that are impossible not to bring home. The good news is that all of the bottles have recently been TSA-approved, overruling a previous verdict that said they were not all allowed on airplanes.
Unique merchandise is abundant in the land, though due to its perfect theming, no items that make mention of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge can be bought inside the land. Those items can be obtained in external gift shops in each park.
The marketplace offers various stalls with different items, like adoptable creatures, outfits perfect for cosplay and bounding and standard souvenir items like mugs. The Toydarian Toymaker stall is my personal favorite, with plushes that appear to be handmade as well as, if you get fortunate, Sabacc, the card game where Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in the films, and Dejarik, the holographic chess played inside the Millennium Falcon. Both games come with full rulesets, and Dejarik also comes with a standard checkerboard and pieces.
Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities is worth entering just to explore alone. There are loads of goodies for Star Wars fans to get excited about, including legacy lightsabers from some of the most iconic characters in the series. Guests can also buy holocrons, legendary objects filled with the wisdom of the Jedi and Sith.
Both the rebels and First Order have their own merchandise locations too, so guests can support whichever side of the fight they prefer.
The Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop both offer customizable souvenirs that cannot be replicated anywhere else.
The first of the two has guests enter a factor of conveyer belts, where piece-by-piece they select and assemble their own droids from scratch. The droids are remote control, and have personality chips that change the way they act and interact with land. A purchasable backpack lets the droid peak out into the park, all its beeps and motions communicating with everything around it. Each unit is $99.99 plus tax.
Savi’s workshop is one of Galaxy’s Edge most predominant experiences, where guests piece together scrap metal to create a lightsaber of their own creation. These heavy, metal sabers are of the highest quality, and the experience that comes with it a must-experience for both casual and hardcore Star Wars fans. Prior to entering, guests choose one of four different saber classes, affecting the available parts and the story of your saber. It is a one-of-a-kind experience that so many Star Wars fans have dreamed of for years, an opportunity that should not be avoided, if it arrives. The experience costs $199.99 plus tax. Due to the size of the lightsaber, it will not safely fit in most luggages. If you’re flying home, TSA does allow the lightsabers to be held as carryons/personal items.
The Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop do not accept discounts. Droid Depot does not require a reservation, while Savi’s Workshop follows the same reservation rules as Oga’s Cantina. If you miss out on a reservation, some same-day appointments are released the morning of the show, at which point guests should head to the experience location in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge immediately upon park opening to secure a spot.
Even aside from the attraction based around the Millennium Falcon, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge provides the most interactivity of any of Disney’s lands. Characters from the films and those original to the land roam about and interact with guests, involving them in the storyline of the land. Every cast member becomes as character as well, with their own backstories that are but a question away from being discovered. Characters share their own lingo with each other and guests, too.
And those who want to directly play with the land can use the Play Disney Parks app on smartphones to scan and hack the world around them, collecting items on their phone from the Star Wars universe in what might be the app’s best use ever.
Star Wars fans needs not worry about feeling left out of the fun, for the land is filled with so much to do and so much incredible detail that you will not have had to see a single Star Wars films to receive enjoyment from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Hardcore and casual fans will find further enjoyment in the storylines and merchandise, but there is plenty to love for everyone, regardless of background.
Crowds have been heavier and wait times longer in Walt Disney World than Disneyland, but that is likely due to overall attendance differences. With that said, lines are managed so efficiently and sidewalks are so wide that the crowd never impacts the guest experience, and navigation is generally safe and easy. There is plenty of room to move around and see the land, and the number of spreading guests tends to boost the land’s friendly atmosphere. Millennium Falcon has a 38 inch minimum height requirement, and guests must be seated at all times to participate.
It is one of Disney’s friendliest areas to anyone who needs the extra space, and will hopefully be a blueprint for the future.