If you didn’t know, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in Disney World on August 29, and a member of the Adventures by Lori team, Brianna, happened to be there! After experiencing it first hand, here is her take on the new attraction. Click here to jump to descriptions of the attractions in Galaxy’s Edge.
When my husband and I planned a trip to Disney about a year ago, Disney had not announced the opening date for their Star Wars land yet. Naturally, when they announced it would open the week we got there, we were excited but nervous. We didn’t know what the lines would be like and how it would affect our trip.
This turned out to not be the only issue we faced, as tied with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge was the looming Hurricane Dorian, that slowly was becoming more of a threat as we headed towards Florida. Fortunately, we (and Orlando) got very lucky, and we were only affected by some heavy but brief storms during our trip.
As for the crowds and lines we feared, it seems the combination of inclement weather and Galaxy’s Edge opening drove guests away from the other parks (or at least drove them mainly to Hollywood Studios, as the line for the new ride, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, was said to have gotten as long a five hours at one point).
All in all, we had great weather despite the hurricane warnings and surprisingly short wait-times for most rides, averaging about 10-15 minutes, with our longest being 60 minutes for Millennium Falcon. From our experience, it’s clear to see Disney was successful with the launch of the new land. Taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours, which are available to anyone who stays on Disney property, we arrived at Hollywood Studios at 5:30am and were able to see and do everything in Galaxy’s Edge before the park had officially opened at 9am.
If you plan on arriving to the parks this early on your trip, you will have to arrange other transportation, as Disney’s monorail and bus system does not start running until 6am. Disney’s Minnie Van service is a great option, and you can request it on your phone using the Lyft app.
As soon as we stepped through the stone tunnel that marks the entrance to this new Star Wars destination, we were transported onto another planet — Batuu. Everything from the roving Storm Troopers that interact with guests (my husband was told they have their eyes on him!) to the futuristic skyline pulls you into the story and makes you feel like you’ve really just taken a light-speed journey to another planet.
There were so many little things that made Galaxy’s Edge a truly galactic adventure, but I’ve broken it down into our Top 6 Big Hitters. If you’re planning on visiting Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge, give us a call, and we can help you plan your perfect expedition to Batuu!
The Big Hitters
This bar is one of the must-sees that really helps you to get lost in the world of Galaxy’s Edge. Our server had an intricate backstory that included her pet chicken-fish and why she was working here (she has to pay off her debt to Oga to buy a new pod racer, of course!).
Even though we were unable to get a reservation in advance, when we arrived during Extra Magic Hours, we were able put our name down and get a spot at the bar in less than five minutes. There were not any open seating areas, but, like many other customers, we were given a position at the bar to stand and the bartender greeted us immediately.
Oga’s is known for their creative alcoholic concoctions, including a drink that numbs your mouth and one that is served bubbling and steaming like some sort of potion. It’s also a great place to get blue milk (the main location is the Milk Stand near the Toy Story entrance). Unfortunately, Oga’s does not offer blue milk frozen or as a snack credit as the Milk Stand does, but it is served with a sugar cookie here!
The Market Merchants
Further into Batuu is a market area where you can spend your “credits” (they don’t take “dollars” here!) on space creatures, toys, clothing, and other Star Wars-themed goods. There is also a dining area inside called Ronto Roasters that offers quick service meals and snacks.
Clad with a huge futuristic power generator, space junk, and hanging lanterns, this is a great place to explore and enjoy the atmosphere. I had a great time talking to the cast member in the stall selling furry friends, and he explained to us what each of the creatures ate and even why this guy (below) was so sleepy.
Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities
Dok-Ondar’s shop is a great place to find some more unique items. This was probably the busiest store in Galaxy’s Edge simply because it’s not very big but has lots of fun stuff to look at.
From interesting souvenirs to moving creatures in tanks, this is a great place to stop in and find that odd trinket that you can’t get anywhere else.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Of course, I have to talk about the new ride! As I mentioned before, this ride was the longest lines we had, but because of Disney’s new in-line game on the Play Disney Parks App, the time went by very quickly. Throughout the line, there are QR codes that you can scan into the app and allow you to complete different quests. Besides the game, the interior is just fun to look at and explore!
Once you reach the front of the line, you will be given a card assigning your group a color and each individual a role – Engineer, Gunner, or Pilot. On each flight, there are two of each, making it the perfect ride for parties of 6 or fewer. If there are less than 6 in your party, you will be joined by the members of another party.
The pilots are responsible for steering the ship, the gunners for taking out anything that might be in your way, and the engineers for repairing any damage that might be done to the ship during your flight.
Something new and different about this ride is that your team can fail. In our experience, we succeeded, but barely! We were able to complete the mission, but due to some poor piloting, there was significant damage done to our ship. After the ride, your success or failure is logged in your magic bands, and when you use your bands around the park, cast members will be able to see (and comment on) whether or not you succeeded in your mission!
If you’re interested in taking home your own droid, you can visit the Droid Depot. Here, you’ll find a workshop filled with all the parts, chips, and decals you’ll need to build the perfect companion!
After you check-in, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to create a BB-Series or R-Series droid and select the parts you’ll need from a conveyor belt. At the build station, there are graphic monitors that display the instructions on how to assemble your droid with the parts you’ve collected.
Your new droid comes with a remote control that helps you navigate and control it. For an additional charge, you can purchase accessories to allow you to continue to customize your droid at home. Don’t forget to pick up a personality chip that determines if your droid is part of the Resistance, First Order, or something else completely! The personality chips will allow them to interact with different elements within the park and other custom droids, all in fitting with their association.
If your Star Wars dream has always been to build your own custom lightsaber, then Savi’s Workshop is the first place you want to go. Hidden in Galaxy’s Edge, Savi’s Workshop is the place where you can gather materials and create your own lightsaber, kyber crystal and all.
When you arrive, one of the “Gatherers,” as the cast members are called here, will explain the four different hilt options you can choose from, and you will select the one you want, receiving a collectible pin for your selection. The Gatherers will also help you to select a kyber crystal – blue, green, violet, or red. There are more color options available to purchase at Dok-Onder’s Den of Antiquities.
Once you’ve made your selections, you’ll be directed into the workshop and provided with a tray of parts, which you’ll use to put together your lightsaber! The Gatherers will be available to assist you if needed.
Then comes the awesome part, the Gatherers will ask everyone to step back so they can forge each hilt to its blade. Once the blades have been forged, everyone must take up their newly created lightsabers and raise them together as a group while the iconic “Force Theme” begins to play and Master Yoda congratulates everyone on a job well done. Spectacular!