I’m a huge Disney fan, and although I’m not that into Star Wars, I’ve watched all of the movies. Since my sister and I are annual passholders (we even post about it at @sisterhoodofdisney), whenever there is something new at the resort, we’re always stoked to check it out.
When the reservations opened for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge my sister and I waited in the digital queue and I was able to get tickets for us to go. Peter doesn’t care for Disneyland because of the crowds so he opted out in anticipation of the heavy crowds. We were so stoked leading up to it, when the day finally arrived we had already watched several videos to prepare our timeline. Now that we’ve visited, we just have to say, it’s a must visit for any Disney lovers and especially for the nerds like us.
For those who don’t know, the happiest place on earth celebrated the grand opening of Star Wars: A Galaxy’s Edge, May 31, their largest park expansion ever and the most anticipated. Star Wars: A Galaxy’s Edge is a 14- acre immersive experience located in the back of the park, adjacent to Frontierland and Critter Country.
Once you walk through the entrance, you’ll enter the Resistance area where you will find members of the Resistance, here you could also find the cute droid Coke bottles (we had to get one of course). Rise of the Resistance will open in this area later this year. As you continue to walk, you’ll find yourself transported to the Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu. What we really enjoyed is that the land is designed for everyone, not just Star Wars fan. We know because we were so excited as we walked through and we could hardly name anything. No one in our group is very well versed in Star Wars and we loved it, even my 4-year old nephew, Matix. While you may see hardcore fans shed a tear when they first set eyes on the Millennium Falcon, you’ll also witness the wide-eyed awe of Star Wars newbies, like us, getting their first real taste of the Force. It’s an incredible experience for all, and I wanted to share why.
The Ride: The only ride that is currently open is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. The second ride — Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance — will be coming to the galaxy later this year. But for now, the Falcon experience is still fun for all, Matix and I rode it twice. When you enter the Millennium Falcon common room after walking through the iconic hallways and receiving a team card with an assigned role on it. There are three positions — pilot, gunner, or an engineer — each plays a part in the assigned mission. The ride is like a combo of Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear Astro-Blasters, it’s an interactive and each person has a task, so pay attention.
Food and Drinks: The food isn’t like anything else in the parks. You won’t find any burgers or fries in Batuu, so plan accordingly. Since it was our first visit, we made sure to try several items – we did our research before our visit to see what we would order. Everyone was talking about the Blue or Green milk available at the Milk Stand. For a snack, we had to try the Kat Saka’s Kettle to gobble down on a mixture of sweet, savory, and spicy popcorn. Ronto Roasters offers up Ronto Wraps, a pita filled with roasted pork, a grilled pork sausage, and topped with tangy slaw. We also tried the jerky. Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We didn’t try it but it’s some things we saw that were popular were the Oi-oi Puff (a raspberry cream puff with passion fruit mousse) and Batuu-bon (chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse and coffee custard).
The Cantina: Oga’s Cantina was a must on our list, as its the only other place, besides the exclusive Club 33, where alcohol is served. This is huge for Disneyland, but makes sense because how could you have a cantina that’s home to bounty hunters and smugglers without booze? They offer up concoctions such as The Jedi Mind Trick (Ketel One grapefruit and rose vodka with Bols Blue Curaco, white grape juice, and grapefruit bitter) and the Fuzzy Tauntaun (Ciroc Peach Vodka, Bols Peach Schnapps, orange juice with a tangerine and sugar foam). I wanted a souvenir so I went non-alcoholic and got the Cliff Dweller for the Porg mug. Since Ashley was with Matix they ordered the Blue Bantha to try the blue milk and the cookie.
The shopping experiences: We won’t lie to you, even though we aren’t Star Wars stans, there were several items we wanted to buy while in Batuu. It’s not just the beautifully curated shop hawking Star Wars this and that, it’s the process in which they manage to separate you from your credits (what they call money). At Droid Depot, you can assemble your very own custom droid using a variety of pieces you’ll find on a conveyer belt running through the store. After you’ve put together your new sidekick, and it has been activated, the droid will interact with it’s surrounding throughout the area. At Savi’s Lightsabers, Jedis have the opportunity to customize and build a one-of-a-kind lightsaber. This experience, whichhas a long line and takes place behind closed doors, is an additional $199+, but you walk away with a new family heirloom. There are also some other crazy purchases we saw happening of actual replica items from $5k up.
The experience: Throughout your visit to Batuu, you will meet a variety of Star Wars folks. We ran into Rey and Chewbacca near the Resistance area, and it’s hard not to run into a Stromtropper patrolling the land, we saw plenty of the Sith. The cast members, do a great job of keeping in character, which is all part of the narrative. The even speak with Batuuian phrases such as “Bright Suns” (hello) and “Rising Moon” (Goodbye). To dig deeper into the world, you can interact with the world via Disney’s Play app. You’ll be able to translate the language on signs and buildings, hack motherboards, and partake in special missions.
The look: The attention to detail and storytelling in Galaxy’s Edge was phenomenal. Once you walk through the tunnels into Batuu you are completely transported to another time, another place, and you completely forget you’re in Disneyland, or even on this planet for that matter. Merely being able to wander through the walkways and soak in the ambiance is enough of a reason to visit Galaxy’s Edge. (Above photo, Source: Disney via Josh O/ DisneylandPanda)
To visit Batuu between now and June 23, you will need a reservation. Since they’ve closed to the public, the best way to do that is by booking a Disneyland Resort which comes with a guaranteed time slot to visit the new land. After June 23rd, the park is open to everyone! Good luck when that happens. Not sure how they will roll it out but hopefully they figure out a way to control crowds. We thought the reservation system was brilliant.