'Sup! Tad here to bring you the full rundown on the most exciting land to ever hit this galaxy, or at least the galaxy known as Walt Disney World. Since the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, we have become frequent travelers to Batuu, and we've made many visits since Disney's Hollywood Studios reopened after COVID-19. Disney continues to make changes to promote the health and safety of guests, cast members and Batuu's other inhabitants, so you can feel toadally safe while you visit. As you've probably heard, Disney's Hollywood Studios is the most popular park at Disney World, in no small part because of Galaxy's Edge. Park reservations are required, and we highly recommend you purchase tickets so you can make reservations as soon as you plan to go, especially if you are visiting this spring and summer. This post outlines the most important "deets" you need to know before you travel to Black Spire Outpost.
Now I may not be as wise as Yoda or as strong as Luke (that's Skywalker to all of you), but I can tell you Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge toadally rocks. As if that wasn't enough, Walt Disney World is building a high-end, highly immersive Star Wars-themed hotel (set to open in 2022) that will take it to the next level. This awesome guide includes everything about the land, including the rides, the restaurants, the characters and the experience within it that enable guests to create their own story within the Star Wars universe. Be sure to bookmark this post, because we update it as we continue to explore Batuu. So, my fellow Padawans, let's hop to it!
Our Galactic Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World
You Force-sensitive frog fans know Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World officially opened Aug. 29, 2019! The new land is home to two major rides, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance! Note that a Boarding Group is required to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. If you're just looking for information on how to get a boarding pass, hop over to our guide to riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Overview and Location of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World
If the name is any indication, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is literally on the edge of Disney's Hollywood Studios, opposite the park's entrance and adjacent to Toy Story Land. There are two entrances to the land. You can enter either through Toy Story Land or Grand Avenue (by Muppet*Vision 3D).
From either entrance, watch as the landscape (including the ambient sounds) begin to change, welcoming you to someplace far, far away. Guests will find themselves in the Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu. This once-thriving settlement is now home to smugglers, rogue traders, droids and other strange creatures trying to stay out of sight of the First Order. The remote outpost takes its name from the petrified spires that were once ancient, towering trees surrounding the river valleys and plains. As a fellow traveler, you'll be able to visit a street market, shop in the food stalls and enjoy treats such as Blue Milk or head over to Oga's Cantina for a drink.
Getting in to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World
Guests will need valid theme park admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation for Disney's Hollywood Studios for the same day to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. (If your ticket has park hopping permissions, note that you'll only need a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park you'd like to visit at this time.) When Batuu is at capacity, a virtual queue will be in place to access the land. However, we haven't seen Batuu reach capacity since opening weekend. And with Disney World at lower capacity during this initial reopening phase, we don't anticipate this will be something that guests will need to consider for a while.
Reservations for Oga's Cantina are available up to 60 days out on the My Disney Experience app or at DisneyWorld.com. With limited park and restaurant capacity, reservations are required to enter Oga's. Cancellations can be made up to the day before the reservation without penalty, but no-shows will be charged. Droid Depot still accepts walk-ins, and the lightsaber building experience at Savi's Workshop returned Sept. 20, 2020, with reservations available 60 days out. (Psst ... there have been some reservations available after Hollywood Studios officially closes for both Oga's and Savi's, making for some awesome photos as you leave the park!)
Because the FastPass+ service has been suspended to maintain physical distancing in the queues, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run only has a standby line available. Don't froget that a Boarding Group is required to access Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at this time (which you can do using the My Disney Experience app).
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World Attractions
Of course, the star attractions of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World are the rides. Being one of the pilots on the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is basically a life-changing experience. But Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance toadally rocked my world (or should I say, galaxy?) in the best way possible. As with all attractions at Disney World right now, keep an eye out for markers on the floor directing you where to stand in the queue to maintain social distancing protocols. And on that note, don't let seemingly long lines deter you — with everyone spaced out for safety, the queues for rides can look deceptively long! Most recently, we hopped in line for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run when the end of the queue was directly across from the Milk Stand. While it was fairly accurate to its posted wait time of 45 minutes, the line moved steadily, and it included a short cleaning delay.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Ready to ride the fastest ship in the galaxy? Not so fast! Before you board, you'll walk through a full-size replica of the Millennium Falcon. This is one queue you don't want to skip! Can you imagine climbing through the hatch and walking through the hallways before you finally arrive to take a seat inside the cockpit? I'm getting goosebumps (or should I say, frogbumps) just thinking about it! Try not to get too distracted because there is a mission. Space pirate Hondo Ohnaka of "Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels" fame has cut a deal with Chewbacca for use of the Falcon. He will lead you on a secret mission to bring back the loot as you hurl through hyperspace. (Currently, the pre-show is running, but you continue moving through if the line keeps moving, only pausing if the line stops.)
You'll be part of a six-person crew and can take a turn in one of three different flight crew positions — pilot, gunner or flight engineer! I've tried all three, and I gotta say being the pilot is toadally rad. Lily, however, loves pushing all of the buttons as the engineer. Near the end of the queue, a cast member will hand you a color-coded card with your role assignment. It is given randomly, but you can try to switch with another person in your crew before you board. The left-side pilot controls horizontal movement, while the right-side pilot steers the ship up and down. They have to work together to fly the ship. The gunners, who sit in the middle row, hit buttons to fire and shoot the lasers and guns. The flight engineers fix any damage to the ship. Depending on how the team works together, they could sit back and relax ... or be constantly repairing the ship. Every mission that we've gone on has been entirely different!
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run uses real-time video technology that will respond to the way you use the cockpit controls. Here's the TLDR: You'll see the real-time results of your mission, so make it count! We've heard mixed experiences in terms of how crews are currently assigned. On our most recent trip in late January, our mission was limited to one party at a time; however, we heard from others that plexiglass is in place to increase capacity on the ride. If you have a larger group, you'll be split up, as usual. FastPass+ and the Single Rider line are currently unavailable.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
I thought it’d be hard to beat Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, but Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance just became my number one favorite ride at Disney World. Disney has been hyping it up to be the biggest and most immersive Disney Parks attraction ever built, and I can toadally understand why. It truly feels like you’re in a "Star Wars" movie! I promise I won’t spoil everything, but if you want to go in without any knowledge, skip ahead of these spoilers that set up the storyline!
Warning: Video contains storyline spoilers.
The adventure begins when you meet BB-8 and a holographic Rey, who explains that a covert Resistance team led by Finn has infiltrated a First Order Star Destroyer and the post on Batuu is no longer safe. Lieutenant Bek steers the transport ship that you immediately board, but the ship gets attacked by TIE fighters and is overtaken by the First Order Star Destroyer.
Once you disembark from the transport ship, you come face to face with 50 stormtroopers — it's very intimidating! The cast members who play First Order officers order you into a prison cell where Kylo Ren threateningly demands the location of the secret base. But you’re able to escape with the help of the Resistance team onboard.
From there, you board the trackless ride vehicles operated by droids. As you maneuver your way through the Star Destroyer, you’re put right in the middle of an epic battle between the Resistance fleet and the First Order! I'm not sure which moment was cooler — moving through the legs of the AT-AT walkers or abandoning the Star Destroyer in an escape pod.
If you just want the brief lowdown, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a game-changer. We think everyone in the family will love it. It's not too scary (it only has one swift drop), and it did not trigger Mommy Frog's motion sickness.
FastPass+ is not available for this attraction. A Boarding Group is required to access the attraction at this time (here are full details on how to join a Boarding Group). You'll join a Boarding Group by using the My Disney Experience app. You can always check your Boarding Group's status in the app, though there are also boards available throughout Disney's Hollywood Studios with status updates, as well. The My Disney Experience app will also send you a push notification when it's your Boarding Group's turn! When it’s your turn, you have a one-hour time window to return to the ride’s entrance and check in with cast members. Woohoo!
The My Disney Experience app will notify you if the Boarding Groups are at capacity and are no longer available after each distribution period. The virtual queue releases spots for Boarding Groups at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. currently. You can join a Boarding Group from your hotel room at 7 a.m. (as long as you have valid park entry and a Disney Park Pass for Disney's Hollywood Studios for the day) but you do have to be inside the park for the afternoon distribution time. Disney has put new plexiglass dividers on the ride vehicles to increase the number of recruits that can hop on the attraction each day — meaning capacity is increased and your chance of getting a pass should also increase!
Characters of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World
One of the things I love about the land is meeting some of the colorful characters and exotic creatures hiding out and making deals in Black Spire Outpost (just keep a lookout for First Order soldiers)! Besides this green frog, you'll see aliens, droids and humanoids. You may also spot some familiar faces, including Chewbacca, Kylo Ren and Rey! I also enjoy running into Vi Moradi. Watch out for her, because she keeps a low profile! The Resistance spy has blue hair and wears an orange jacket. Most of the characters can be spotted at the speeder garage across from Droid Depot, while Kylo Ren and his stormtroopers interrogate guests by their TIE Echelon near the Milk Stand.
But what really brings the land to life are the Batuu residents — the cast members. They are dressed as villagers, Resistance members and First Order soldiers. They've been trained to interact with guests, and each person has a backstory. So, don't be shy to chat with them. You'll learn all about their life on Batuu! While they're in character, they may be confused if you ask questions like, "How do you get to Tower of Terror?" Instead, ask them where they live, why they're in Black Spire Outpost or what they think of the Resistance and the First Order showing up.
Before you go, brush up on the language of Batuu! You'll hear the residents use these common phrases:
- "Bright suns" = "Good morning"
- "Rising moons" = "Good evening"
- "Refresher" = "restroom"
- "Hydrator" = "water fountain"
- "Credits" = "money"
- "Datapad" = "cell phone"
- "Only the ancients know" = "I don't know"
- "Til the Spire" or "May the Spires keep you" = "Goodbye"
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Food and Beverage
There is a galaxy of new food and drinks to discover at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World ... and it's some of our favorite theme park food we've ever eaten! (Yes, really!)
Local Black Spire Outpost watering hole Oga's Cantina is the it-spot for adult drinks, mocktails and other beverages. It doesn't have too many snack options, but the Batuu Bits has a mix of sweet and spicy bites and the Happabore Sampler consists of cured and roasted meats, cheese and pork cracklings. While it is a watering hole, there are tadpole-friendly options available, including the nonalcoholic, cookies-and-milk-like Blue Bantha pictured. I, meanwhile, opted for the Cliff Dweller, a refreshing juice drink that came in a souvenir Porg cup. The cantina offers mostly standing room only, with Captain Rex, formerly of Star Tours — The Adventures Continue fame, playing DJ. If you have tadpoles, read that again: with mostly standing room only, my little sister Lily tends to get pretty antsy (or complain that her frog legs are too tired to stand), so we usually only hang around for a short amount of time. I mention this not to steer you away from the experience (because it is toadally worth it, in my frogpinion), but to set realistic expectations! The cantina itself has a fun vibe with the funky alien music playing in the background. Sometimes the bartenders even sing along! Currently, capacity is limited and cast members may position you in a certain manner to maintain proper social distancing during your visit. Likewise, the cantina's super-cool coasters are no longer in use ... but you may find some unused in your bag to take home with you as a souvenir ;)
You can now make a reservation online! Reservations will be available for dates up to 60 days out. A credit card must be on file to guarantee your reservation at Oga's Cantina. Cancellations can be made up to the day before without penalty; however, any no-shows will be charged $10 per person. Guests should make reservations for the number of people in their party, as they would for any dining experience.
There is a one-drink per person drink minimum and a two-drink per person maximum at Oga's Cantina. Guests will be limited to 45 minutes in the Cantina. Guests must be 21 years of age or over to consume alcohol; valid photo ID is required.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
This will be the place for exotic tastes and flavors procured by one Chef Strono "Cookie" Tuggs, who has traveled the galaxy far and wide after his time at Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana. Menu items include beef pot roast, shrimp noodle salad, smoked pork ribs, fried chicken and vegetarian kefta. It is currently using mobile ordering exclusively. (Again, while the tastes are exotic enough to transport you to another world, they are down-to-earth enough to appeal to tadpoles — Lily loved the mac and cheese!)
Former smelter droid 8D-J8 will be turning the spit on tasty meats at Ronto Roasters. A recycled podracing engine does the roasting for this dining experience. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a morning wrap, a Ronto wrap (roasted pork, grilled pork sausage, peppercorn sauce and tangy slaw wrapped in a pita bread) and jerky (comes either sweet or spicy).
Since the land's opening, Ronto Roasters has also added a chicken Ronto wrap option and a Galma snack sampler, which includes an assortment of jerky, plantains, blue potato chips, pork rinds and rice crackers. The Ronto wrap is still the Frog Family favorite, though! In fact, the Ronto wrap is my dad, Leap's, most favorite thing to eat at Hollywood Studios.
Ronto Roasters is currently using mobile ordering exclusively.
Get your farm-fresh blue milk (or green!) from this stand direct from Bubo Wamba Family Farms. The frozen concoctions, made famous by Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars IV: A New Hope," are quite refreshing and unlike any milk you’ve ever tasted. Unlike Disneyland, the Milk Stand in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios also has alcoholic versions of blue and green milk. The Milk Stand is using mobile ordering exclusively.
Kat Saka's Kettle
Munch on the Outpost Mix, a blend of sweet, savory and spicy popcorn. Mommy Frog really enjoyed the unusual flavors. She thought it was similar to kettle corn, but not as sweet.
Since we've visited Batuu upon reopening, Kat Saka's Kettle has remained closed.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Merchandise at Walt Disney World
It's been well-reported that Disney Imagineers made trips to Istanbul and Marrakesh for inspiration in creating Black Spire Outpost's marketplace, a collection of shops and merchant stalls. More animatronics serve as shop keepers, like the Toydarian presiding over the toy store. As you're walking through the marketplace, it really feels like you're somewhere else in the galaxy, with a one-eyed Dianoga lurking in the water fountain (sorry, hydrator) and other alien critters in the Creature Stall. Currently, only one party at a time is permitted into each stall to promote social distancing. To enter the marketplace, even to peruse, you'll need to join the queue since capacity is limited — look for a cast member holding a marker.
Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities
Wheeler-dealer Ithorian Dok-Ondar presides over rare and unique items and antiquities from across the galaxy. This is where you can find additional kyber crystals and holocrons. It's worth a stop to take in the creatures within, including Dok himself.
Savi's Workshop - Handbuilt Lightsabers
It doesn't matter whether you're a grown frog or youngling — you will get emotional during this experience. Boy, I sure did. Inside Savi's Workshop, you will be able to customize your own lightsaber under the guidance of one of the Masters, who have extensive knowledge in Jedi lore. But keep this on the down-low! Outside of the workshop, you should refer to lightsabers as "scrap metal" so the First Order does not suspect you.
The lightsaber building experience returned Sept. 20, 2020. The experience has been slightly modified with limited capacity, so a reservation is highly recommended.
Get ready to build your own astromech droid! Some of the most lovable companions in the Star Wars universe are droids. Who wouldn't want to bring home their very R2-D2 or BB-8? Pick pieces and parts off of a conveyor belt to construct either an R-series or BB-series of your very own ... then watch as they interact with elements throughout Galaxy's Edge! (You do have to keep them in the box, though.) Walk-ins are accepted based on availability. Generally, there are 10 building stations, but only four are currently being used to be able to space builders out. There are markings on the ground so that you know where to stand, and plexiglass divides the stations. The droid assembly pieces on the belt are regularly sanitized, as well.
Building a droid costs $99.99, plus tax. Reservations are now available online, or by calling (407) 939-6690. A credit card must be on file to guarantee your Droid Depot reservation. Cancellations can be made up to the day before without penalty; however, any no-shows will be charged $99.99 per person. Custom droids are non-refundable. The number of guests on the reservation should reflect how many people will be building and purchasing a droid. Guests may bring one additional person with them to observe the building experience. The accompanying guest(s) should not be a part of the guest count on the reservation. This experience takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Note that using a remote-control device to operate a droid while at the theme parks is prohibited, and the droid will need to be carried during a visit to the parks. There are also some fun droid backpack and carrier options!
First Order Cargo
The First Order is taking up shop in a spaceport hangar bay on the outskirts of town. Look for gear, uniforms and other supplies ... that is, if you decide to pledge your allegiance to the First Order. You can even purchase the First Order Stormtrooper armor that's pictured above for a hefty price tag. Mommy Frog told me "hard no," but I'd rather be a Resistance rebel anyway.
Stock up or resupply! You'll find Resistance uniforms, pins, jackets, tools, training supplies and more.
Street Market Stalls
Toydarian Toymaker - This "Star Wars: the Phantom Menace" character presides over this stall that sells toys, including adorable plush versions of your favorite characters.
Creature Stalls - You'll find unique "critters" to take home, including the adorable porgs. Santhas, tauntauns and loth cats are also available. Be sure to say hi to the loth cat inside the cage!
Black Spire Outfitters - Clothing fit for space travelers to commemorate their adventures.
The Jewels of Bith - Accessories, trinkets and other treasures.
Tips for Visiting Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World
Now that we've got a few visits inside the new land under our belt, we'll share some hopful tips on how to make the most out of your experience on the planet of Batuu.
Look out for details
The land is super immersive, and there are tiny details everywhere you look. When you're checking out the shops in Black Spire Outpost, look at everything from the ground and up to the ceiling. There could be something in those nooks and crannies! One of Mommy Frog's favorite details were the tracks found on the sidewalks. You could see where droids and alien creatures have trudged through Batuu. Meanwhile, my favorite view is through the window of the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run queue, where you can look down and see the incredibly detailed top of the ship.
Listen to the sounds
No matter where you are in the land, you'll hear ambient noise. Whether it's droids beeping or the Millennium Falcon sputtering, there's always something to listen to. Take the time to use all of your senses as you travel through the land. If the crowds are high and the lines are long, you can spend a good amount of time between looking at the details and listening to sounds.
Interact with the characters
I know I've already mentioned it before, but I'll say it again. Possibly the most immersive aspect of the land are the characters, which includes the cast members! Stormtroopers may confront you, and ask what you are doing on your data pad, or Vi Moradi could try to recruit you to join the Resistance. We've even seen Chewbacca pick out unsuspecting travelers from the crowd to compete in a Wookiee roar contest.
At this time, the characters are not roaming freely around the land. However, they still make appearances at the speeder garage across from Droid Depot and the TIE Echelon across from the Milk Stand.
Expect the unexpected
We've been traveling to Batuu for a while now, and it's safe to say that we're still experiencing new interactions each time we go. All of the character appearances are still unscheduled, so we never truly know who we'll run into. Even if you're only at Disney's Hollywood Studios for a day, we highly suggest that you visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at least twice before you leave.
Go at night for a different experience
Just like Pandora over at Disney's Animal Kingdom, the land completely transforms when the sun goes down. Blue lights behind the Millennium Falcon make the land glow in the night sky. The barbecue pit at Ronto Roasters turns a fiery red. And of course, you HAVE to bring out your lightsaber to see it all lit up ... a perfect photo-op!
Visit in the evening
For the first few months of opening, there were Extra, Extra Magic Hours that brought folks in early to experience the land. The lowest waits for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run have been in the evenings. Even with the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Hollywood Studios reopening after the COVID-19 closure, wait times have remained lower in the late afternoon and evening. The crowds inside the land are a bit chaotic in the morning before things settle down later in the day. Mornings have become a bit more manageable since guests no longer have to be in the park at 10 a.m. to try for a Boarding Group. Remember, if you are looking to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you'll need be inside the park at 1 p.m. to join a Boarding Group if you weren't able to snag one at 7 a.m. Once you've joined a Boarding Group and have your spot in the virtual queue, you can hop to the land itself later in the day for the lowest crowds.
Save memories with PhotoPass opportunities
You'll probably never froget seeing the Millennium Falcon for the first time. Capture that memory with a photo! There are PhotoPass locations throughout the land. Two are near the Millennium Falcon — one is up the stairs by the doors of Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, while the other is across from Oga's Cantina. For a pretty rad Super Zoom Magic Shot video, visit the photographer near First Order Cargo to snap some photos of yourself from a unique angle above the planet.
Get creative and dress up
Younglings 13 and under are welcome to wear costumes as long as they provide unobstructed vision with openings that allow the eyes to be fully seen at all times. Frogs who are 14 and older cannot wear full costumes, but they can come in style! Wear outfits that are inspired by the First Order, the Resistance, smugglers or droids. If you want to fit in with the Batuu residents, stick to earthy colors and focus on natural materials with a rugged, handmade look. Armor, stormtrooper uniforms and Chewbacca look-alikes aren't allowed so you aren't confused with the roaming characters.
Have you visited Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney World? Planning a trip to Batuu? Drop us a line in comments and let us know what you're most excited about!
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