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How to Strategize Your Visit to the New Star Wars Land at Disneyland

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California; Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

For those who’ve always imagined wielding a lightsaber and walking in Luke Skywalker’s footsteps, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a dream come true. After visiting the newly opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you and your family safely land in Black Spire Outpost and maximize your time on the Planet Batuu (the setting for Galaxy’s Edge).

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Falcon Opening Day; Couresty of Dave Parfitt

1. Stay at an Official Disneyland Resort Hotel

From now until June 23, 2019, a reservation is required to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. Families with a reservation at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels—Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, the Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel—automatically receive a pre-determined four-hour time block inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (valid theme park admission required). After June 23, reservations will not be required for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but capacity will be limited. Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel will not guarantee access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge after June 23.

For Walt Disney World Resort, there’s currently no reservation system in place to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 29. However, staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will provide Extra Magic Hours benefits for all onsite hotel guests. Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will occur from 6 to 9 a.m. September 1 to November 2, allowing families to get into the park, head to Galaxy’s Edge, and knock off Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run before the lines get too long.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge First Order Base; Courtesy of Dave Parfitt

The First Order has a presence at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge including appearances by Kylo Ren.

2. Head Straight for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is the ONLY ride inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The second attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, is set to open later this year. Enter the land as soon as it opens and make a bee-line to the Millennium Falcon. You may not see it right away, as it’s hidden in the back with an impressive cinematic reveal. The wait for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will get longer and longer over the course of the day, so ride it first thing in the morning. As with many new Disney attractions, there is no FastPass option available when it first opens—so everyone will need to wait in the standby line.

When your crew is called, six people strap into the Millennium Falcon cockpit assigned to one of three roles: pilot, gunner, or engineer. Each role is crucial to the success of the mission, and the crew must work together in order to succeed. While all roles are important, the pilots who sit in front and steer the ship will have the most fun. Note: those prone to motion sickness should sit further back in the cockpit (gunner or engineer role).

The 38-inch height requirement ensures the ride is suitable for young children. The ride is dark and loud, but not too scary at all.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Disney Park App; Courtesy of Disney

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the first land within a Disney park designed to integrate with the Play Disney Parks mobile app, which debuted last year.

3. Download the Play Disney Parks App

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is more than just a ride or two—the entire land is an attraction itself. Disney Imagineers and Lucasfilm worked together to create Black Spire Outpost on the Planet Batuu and weave this place into the Star Wars saga. This world is rich, old and has been lived in for centuries—you will find Stormtroopers, Resistance Fighters, and plenty of walk-around characters including Chewbacca, Rey, and Kylo Ren. Meet the characters—some are fun, some are intimidating—but they will all react as if YOU are in the Star Wars universe with them.

For Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to truly come alive, download the free Play Disney Parks mobile app. Once you enter the land, the Play Disney Parks app and transforms your mobile device into a Star Wars: Datapad. Use the app/datapad to trigger effects in the land, complete a job for Hondo Ohnaka while waiting to board Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, and play the “Outpost Control” multiplayer game to support either the First Order or Resistance.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Savi's Workshop; Courtesy of Dave Parfitt

Guests can customize their own legendary lightsabers as they choose their paths in Savi’s Workshop.

4. Build Your Own Lightsabers at Savi’s Workshop

There are two premium, interactive “build-your-own” experiences in Galaxy’s Edge. First is the build-your-own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop for $200. During the 20-minute experience, a Master Craftsman guides you through the entire process with lots of lore and Star Wars surprises. Only 28 people at a time can enter the small chamber—14 builders can each bring one guest along with them. Prepare your family ahead of time to decide who wants to accompany the lightsaber builder. There are four different types of lightsabers with heavy, substantial hilts. These are not the plastic, extendable sabers, although those are relabeled and sold as “Padawan” (young training) lightsabers in the gift shops. At $200, this is a pricey souvenir that may be best for the “super” Star Wars fan.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge X-Wing Fighter; Courtesy of Dave Parfitt

Build an Astromech Droid like BB-8 or R2-D2 to help guide your X-Wing fighter.

5. Make Your Own Droid at the Droid Depot

The second experience is found at the Droid Depot. This factory is filled with pieces and parts for families to create their own Astromech Droid (like R2-D2 or BB-8) for $100. While pricey, this is a souvenir better suited for younger children compared to the lightsaber. The radio-controlled Droid created at the depot is well worth the investment and has lots of “play”-ability for families and their kids. The Droid is also equipped with Bluetooth technology to interact with other equipment inside Galaxy’s Edge. Also, if your child is a fan of the Droids from the films, you can purchase pre-made “stock” droids including: BB-8, R2-D2, and C-3PO.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Cantina; Courtesy of Dave Parfitt

Oga’s Cantina is an intimate watering hole where DJ-R3X (Rex from Star Tours) spins the latest intergalactic tunes

6. Don’t Miss the Themed Drinks

Who hasn’t wanted to venture inside a Star Wars Cantina since they first saw it on the big screen? Oga’s Cantina is a must when visiting the new Star Wars Land. Just know that seating is limited inside, and you’re not guaranteed to get in during your four-hour time window. In the morning, Oga serves a Star Wars version of a Bloody Mary called a “Bloody Rancor” and a “Spiran Caf” alcoholic coffee, both of which are absolutely delicious! Afternoon and evening cocktails have clever names such as Jedi Mind Trick, Fuzzy Tauntaun, and a Yub Nub served in a Tiki-style souvenir mug. Oga’s Cantina does not offer much food, but has a sweet roll and oats for breakfast and a bowl of Batuu Bits crispy snacks for the afternoon and evening.

Travelers looking for a heartier meal should head to Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo—the counter-service dining location in the land. Docking Bay 7 offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as kids’ options for each. To keep the immersion going, traditional dishes are given Star Wars names—you’ll find Kaadu (pork) ribs, Fried Endorian Tip-yip (chicken), and Batuu-bon (chocolate cake with coffee custard) for dessert. Looking for a sandwich on the go? Ronto Roasters offers a signature Ronto Wrap (an absolutely delicious roasted pork and grilled sausage topped with slaw).

One beverage we saw Luke Skywalker drink on screen is milk—a Blue variety in the original Star Wars film and Green Milk in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. You will find both versions served at the Milk Stand, but don’t expect a thick dairy drink (that wouldn’t hold up in a theme park). Both the Blue and Green “Milk” drinks are non-dairy frozen drinks made from rice and coconut milk—very refreshing. Blue Milk is a berry flavored tropical drink, and Green Milk has citrus and mint overtones.

Our recommendations for food inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are the Ronto Wrap and Batuu-Bon washed down with a Blue Milk.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Marketplace; Courtesy of Dave Parfitt

Arrive in the Marketplace of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to taste Blue and Green Milk.

 

7. The Future Of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

There are two signature rides/attractions inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Only the Millennium Falcon attraction is currently open at Disneyland (and will open on August 29 at Walt Disney World); no opening date has yet been announced for Rise of the Resistance (except “later this year”). We will update with more details (including height requirement) as they become available.

 

Dave Parfitt lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife and two daughters. A runner with a PhD in neuroscience, he lived in numerous Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. cities before taking a college job in the Finger Lakes. He’s traveled worldwide, but a Walt Disney World trip with two budding princesses is the trip that elicited the family travel wanderlust. He shares his vacation tips and tricks on AdventuresbyDaddy.com.

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