Star Wars Galaxy's Edge is officially open at Disneyland, and we got the first look at the media preview! Here's how to get in, what to see, and alllll the other must-know stuff for your visit.
The Creation of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge takes up over 14 acres in Disneyland, making it the largest single-themed land expansion in Disney Parks history. The Millennium Falcon is said to be the only COMPLETE, to scale version created in history (we rode the partial recreation on the Disney Dream during our Disney Cruise and it was breathtaking, but this new one is…indescribable). This land dates back to 1987, when work on Star Tours opened at Disneyland and solidified the relationship between Disney and Lucasfilm. (Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, in case you've been living under a rock). Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the Star Wars-themed lands at D23 Expo on Aug 15, 2015, and we've all been in eager anticipation ever since!
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge features an up-close and personal look at Batuu, a far-flung desination along the galaxy's Outer Rim, on the frontier of Wild Space – the uncharted region beyond all known star systems. The area is known as a haven for smugglers, making it the ultimate interstellar destination for adventurous folks like ourselves.
Getting Into Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Are you eager to see the spires of Batuu, visit Oga's Cantina and get first dibs on merch? Better plan ahead, or brace yourself to have just a bit of patience. Now through June 23rd, Disneyland is requiring reservations to get into Star Wars Galaxy's Edge. The free reservations went in a heartbeat – according to our friends who desperately hit reload on their web browsers repeatedly. Fortunately, there is another way! Anyone who books a room at the 3 Disneyland Resort hotels now through June 23rd will be granted a designated 4-hour window to view the land for every registered guest.
We had the chance to speak with guests at the Grand Californian who had just booked their rooms and received their 4-hour window immediately, so it appears that this system is going smoothly. Book fast, though – these are obviously very hot tickets! They do also require valid tickets to Disneyland.
Starting June 24th, anyone with a Disneyland ticket will be granted access to Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, subject to capacity. We're guessing it's going to be PACKED and we're told that there will be some sort of digitized line similar to FASTPASS + MAXPASS system in place, so your best bet for now is to make a hotel reservation if you're dying to see the land as soon as possible.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
The only ride currently open in the land is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run. Here, guests get to step aboard the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” and strap into the Falcon cockpit, taking the controls as pilots, gunners or flight engineers on a mission to deliver smuggled goods. Nate and Olin took the reigns as engineers and did a spectacularly terrible job of keeping things on track. No filming was allowed on the ride, so Nate recaps the entire experience below:
Hondo has more cargo than he can handle, and needs some flight crews to make a couple extra runs for him. Guests enter the Falcon via an access hatch on the ship's starboard airlock, approaching the famous Dejarik table and exploring other equipment in the room. There is one goal in mind: groups of six must utilize the buttons in the cockpit to steer the ship, control horizontal and vertical motion while outgunning enemies and repairing systems on-the-fly. It starts with a jump to light-speed and finishes with some input from Chewbacca!Nate Day
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will also be opening later in 2019, offering an immersive experience that transports guests into the midst of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. The journey will take guests aboard a full-size transport shuttle and into a Star Destroyer on a thrilling adventure.
A few reporters during our preview event asked why this was the first land in Disneyland that freely featured alcohol, and we loved the employees' responses. “This was the first land in Disneyland where it was a fit.” Alcohol is present through Disney's California Adventure, in a sort of Cali-frat rebel vibe that makes sense with the feel of the park overall. We've also seen alcohol served in the exclusive Club 33 – adjacent to Pirate's of the Caribbean – and that seemed like an obvious fit. This is the first public space within Disneyland, however, where alcohol is served…and we love it. Don't miss the spicy Bloody Rancor, the foamy Fuzzy Tauntaun or the fruity Carbon Freeze.
Black Spire Outpost Marketplace
This bustling marketplace is full of vendors showcasing wares from across the galaxy. Guests can pick up authentic Batuuan goods and get a peek into the cages at the Creature Stall. Shop for other-worldly artifacts collected by Dok-Ondar, and build your own droid at Droid Depot with stacks of chips and parts (at $200 a pop). Droids come with personality-affiliation chips, color panels and accessories that help them interact with other droids and elements throughout Black Spire Outpost.
Prefer a custom lightsaber? You're looking at $100 to piece your own together from the various pieces available in this mystical land. But they are super-special, and they each have their own Kyber Crystal! Guests can select from designated lightsaber themes, including Peace and Justice using scraps of fallen Jedi temples and crashed starships, Power and Control utilizing remnants from the Sith home world, Elemental Nature crafted from special components born from the Force such as Brylark trees, Cartusion whale bones or Rancor teeth, and Protesion and Defense, incorporating hilt materials bearing mysterious motifs and inscriptions reconnecting a lightsaber's wielder with the ancient wellspring of the Force.
Get your Grub On
Docking Bay 7 features the culinary genius of Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs, who journeys the galaxy in search of the most exotic food and drink. Don't miss Ronto Roasters' barbecue pit, which showcases a former smelter droid, 8D-J8, carefully turning the spit of meats. Fried Endorian Tip-Yip is the delicacy here, and the wraps served are lovingly referred to by visitors as “space meat.”
Over at the Milk Stand, you'll finally learn what blue milk and green milk taste like. Nate described blue milk as a fruity banana concoction while the green milk had a hint of bamboo…maybe? Not sure, really, he was pretty vague on the description and just described it as “otherworldly.”
Merchandise from the Edge of the Galaxy
Aside from the aforementioned custom lightsabers and droids, this region is chock full of cuddly creatures and sweet, snuggly souls. Be on the lookout for the Kowakian Monkey-Lizard, Porgs, Loth-cats as well as a variety of clothing including robes, tunics and belts. And if you're anything like our family, you won't want to miss the Resistance MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).
Decor in Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
“Your focus determines your reality.” Keep an extra eye out at all the knick-knacks around Star Wars Galaxy's Edge. The experience is all about immersing yourself in this land, and it would be a shame if you didn't take some time to sit back, relax, and just see what catches your eye.
We love that the land pulls in details from every era of Star Wars, hearkening back to A New Hope with a tank above a drinking fountain, Empire Strikes Back with the taxidermis wampa from the ice planet Hoth in Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities, and The Phantom Menace with a podracing engine in Ronto Roasters. There are even quite a few shoutouts to the animated series. You should even keep an eye out for real droid tracks in the dried concrete pathways!
Engage in this Galaxy's Reality
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge is all about engagement, with characters who are dedicated to their respective side (dark side, light side, you know the drill). It's best to decide before you enter the land whether you side with the First Order or the Resistance. Be on the lookout for signs of loyalty in all you encounter – just don't overstay your welcome! It's rumored that stormtroopers will escort you out if you stay longer than your allotted 4-hour window.
You'll definitely want to download the Play Disney Parks mobile app to deepen your engagement with the land. You can opt to aid a smuggler, join the Resistance or control the various droids you'll encounter along the way.
Finally, one of the best ways to engage in this land is by actually taking the experience beyond the parks. Black Spire Outpost and Dok-Ondar have both been referenced in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Young adult novel Star Wars: Pirates Price details a trip to Batuu and a five-issue Marvel comics series delves into antiquities found in Dok-Ondar's shop on Batuu. Finally. we're all eagerly awaiting the novel, “Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire,” a novel by Delilah S. Dawson set for release in August along with another young adult novel that same month titled, “Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge – a Crash of Fate.”
What about WDW?
Walt Disney World isn't our family's area of expertise, but we're told that Star Wars Galaxy's Edge on that side of the country will be nearly identical to California's version. Here in California, we'll have three entrances to our Star Wars land, whereas Florida's version will have two. Florida's version will NOT be participating in any sort of reservation system, offering first-come first-serve access when the land opens in August.
A few more things not to miss in Star Wars Galaxy's Edges: the X-wing on display, Chewbacca, and Kylo Ren.