Bright suns, travelers! It's here, frog friends — Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is officially open at Walt Disney World Resort! We hopped over to Disney's Hollywood Studios to see what entrance procedures are like (especially during Extra, Extra Magic Hours). On days when the land is at capacity, Galaxy's Edge will only be accessible by Boarding Group (a virtual queue).
You'll find signs throughout the park that tell you the land's status, boarding status and estimated land wait. If you already have a reservation to "get some scrap metal" (or a lightsaber) at Savi's, build a droid at Droid Depot or enjoy a beverage at Oga's Cantina, you may access the land one hour before your reservation without joining a Boarding Group.
So, how do you join a Boarding Group to experience Batuu? Once you're in Disney's Hollywood Studios, you can join a Boarding Group via the My Disney Experience app (we actually did this on the parking tram). There are also several Guest Experience kiosks throughout the park where you can join a Boarding Group.
You can then check your group's status on the app (be sure to turn on your push notifications) or the signs around the park. You may leave the park without forfeiting your place in a Boarding Group, but we don't recommend going far in case you aren't able to re-enter Disney's Hollywood Studios due to crowd levels. When your Boarding Group is called, you have two hours to enter the land. Once inside Black Spire Outpost, you're free to explore until park closing! However, you cannot leave the land and re-enter without joining another Boarding Group.
We'll continue to update this post as more details are released. Til the Spire!
'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 Resort.
As you Force-sensitive frog fans know, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World officially opened Aug. 29, 2019! The new land inside Disney's Hollywood Studios opened with one of its two rides, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, in operation. The other headlining attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, is set to open Dec. 5, 2019.
We'll be sharing all of the important "deets" and our tips about the new land. That way, you'll have everything you need to know in order to prepare for your own visit! There was so much to do and see in that short period of time. We already can't wait to go back to Batuu and explore some more!
The land officially opened at Disneyland® Resort on May 31, and we've made repeat visits there since then so that frog fans are covered for their West Coast trips. The 14-acre land at Disney's Hollywood Studios offers the same experiences, so you might want to get a (frog) leg up on other vacationers by checking out our Disneyland guide, too.
Our Galactic Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World
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 (opening date to be announced) that will take it to the next level. For now, I've put together this awesome guide that includes everything about the land, the rides, the restaurants ... plus, the most important subject — the best time to visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World! Be sure to bookmark this post, because I'll be updating it as we continue to explore Batuu. So, my fellow Padawans, let's hop to it!
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). However, if the land is at capacity, you'll make your way to the Grand Avenue entrance and exit through the Toy Story Land entrance.
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 like Blue Milk or head over to Oga's Cantina for a drink.
If you’ve ridden Star Tours® — The Adventures Continue recently, you’ve gotten a peek of Batuu during the safe landing in the end scene. Want another look at Black Spire Outpost before you visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge? Check out the comic book series of the same name that debuted in April. Toadally cool!
Getting in to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be open during Extra, Extra Magic Hours for guests staying at Disney Resort hotels and other select hotels. From Sept. 1 to Nov. 2, the Extra, Extra Magic Hours benefit is being offered every morning at Disney's Hollywood Studios from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Guests will need valid theme park admission to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. When Batuu is at capacity, a virtual queue will be in place to access the land. You can join a Boarding Group using the My Disney Experience app once you've entered Disney's Hollywood Studios or by visiting a Guest Experience kiosk. There are signs at various locations throughout the park to check in on your group's status and estimated entry to the land.
If you have a reservation to one of the land's experiences, you can enter Galaxy's Edge one hour before your reservation begins without joining a Boarding Group. Oga's Cantina, Savi's Workshop and Droid Depot reservations are available up to 180 days out on the My Disney Experience app or at DisneyWorld.com (you'll also find the experience-specific reservation links throughout this article if you click on the experience's name!)
While reservations aren't required, they are highly recommended, as there is limited walk-up availability. Cancellations can be made up to the day before the reservation without penalty, but no-shows will be charged.
Disney’s FastPass+ service will not initially be offered for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Characters of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World
One of the things I loved 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 enjoyed 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.
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 The 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"
- "Data pad" = "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 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. I can hardly wait until Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens later Dec. 5, 2019!
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 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.
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. 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. We went on three times, and each mission was entirely different!
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run uses real-time video technology that will respond to the way you use the cockpit controls. Disney creative executive Scott Trowbridge told the New York Times, "It's a personalized intergalactic ride — live your own 'Star Wars' story. If you crash into a wall, that's what you'll see out the cockpit window."
Here's the TLDR: You'll see the real-time results of your mission, so make it count! FastPasses will not be immediately available.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance - Opening Dec. 5, 2019
It's hard to top that, but Disney is billing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance as the biggest and most immersive Disney Parks attraction ever built! This trackless dark ride puts guests in the middle of an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Less is confirmed about this ride than Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, but we do know you'll board an Imperial Star Destroyer with 50 animatronic stormtroopers waiting in formation. Think you have what it takes to face off against Kylo Ren? You'll soon find out! FastPasses will not be available upon the ride's opening. We gotta say though, the exterior of the ride looks very promising!
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Food & Beverage
There is a galaxy of new food and drinks to discover at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World.
Local Black Spire Outpost watering hole Oga's Cantina will be the it-spot for adult drinks, mocktails and other beverages. It doesn't have too many snack options, but the Batuu Bits had a mix of sweet and spicy bites. The cantina offers mostly standing room only, with Captain Rex, formerly of Star Tours — The Adventures Continue fame, playing DJ. It has a fun vibe with the funky alien music playing in the background. Sometimes the bartenders even sing along!
You can now make a reservation online! Reservations will be available for dates up to 180 days out. A credit card deposit of $10 per person is required for each reservation at Oga's Cantina. Cancellations can be made up to the day before without penalty; however, any no-shows will be charged. Guests should make reservations for the number of people in their party, as they would for any dining experience. There is a two-drink per person maximum at Oga's Cantina and 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. Seating is not guaranteed upon entry and separate parties may be seated together.
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.
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).
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® Resort, the Milk Stand in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World has alcoholic versions of blue and green milk.
Kat Saka's Kettle
Munch on the Outpost Mix, a blend of sweet, savory and spicy popcorn. Momma Frog really enjoyed the unusual flavors. She thought it was similar to kettle corn, but not as sweet.
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.
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.
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.
Building a lightsaber in Savi's Workshop costs $199.99 per person, plus tax. Reservations are now available online. Reservations will be available for dates up to 180 days out. A credit card deposit of $199.99 will be required for each reservation. Custom lightsabers are non-refundable. Cancellations can be made up to the day before without penalty; however, any no-shows will be charged. The number of guests on the reservation should reflect how many people will be building and purchasing a lightsaber. Guests may bring one additional person with them to observe the building experience and the accompanying guest(s) should not be part of the guest count on the reservation. This experience takes approximately 20 minutes.
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.)
Building a droid costs $99.99, plus tax. Reservations are now available online. Reservations will be available for dates up to 180 days out. A credit card deposit of $99.99 is required for each reservation to custom-build a droid. Custom droids are non-refundable. Cancellations can be made up to the day before without penalty; however, any no-shows will be charged. 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 15-20 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.
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.
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.
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 hopeful 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: 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. Also, don't froget to strike up a conversation with the residents of Batuu!
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!
Get the lay of the land first
We realize this advice may change once Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge officially opens, but during our preview, it seemed like everyone headed straight to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The wait time reached up to 60 minutes. Instead, we made a loop around the land and checked it all out first. Especially since the signs are in Aurebesh, you need to figure out where you're headed. By the time we figured out which shop was what, the line for the ride cut down to 45 minutes.
When we visited on Opening Day, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run was still the most popular experience within the land. Everyone hopped to it first, but we saw the wait time decrease as the day went on. So we'd recommend saving it as the last thing you do within the land.
Visit in the early morning or evening
It's still hard to say given that the land's only been officially open for a short time, but so far, we think it's best to visit right when the park opens (get ready for rope drop, frogs!) or late in the evening. Starting on Sept. 1, take advantage of those Extra, Extra Magic Hours! If you don't have that option, check out Batuu at night an hour or two before park closing. On Opening Day, we were surprised to hear that Savi's Workshop had been allowing frogs to wait in standby. But by the time we asked (around 11 a.m.), they already stopped and told us to check back at 8 p.m.
We already left by then, but during our next visit, we entered the land at 6:30 p.m. on a weekday, which proved to be an ideal time. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run was only a 40-minute wait, and Savi's Workshop and Droid Depot were accommodating people on standby.
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 a some photos of yourself from a unique angle above the planet.
Get creative, and dress up!
Younglings aged 13 and under are welcome to wear costumes, which includes masks 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 or masks, 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-a-likes aren't allowed, so you aren't confused with the roaming characters.
When to Plan Your Visit to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World
Fall and Winter 2019
With Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge set to debut at the end of summer, it's likely that this will be a busier Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season at Walt Disney World. Many vacationers who are set on experiencing the land soon after it opens will likely set their sights on the holiday season, especially with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opening Dec. 5. We cannot blame them. If you're among these folks and you haven't yet booked your trip, we recommend you get a hop on it! And we do recommend you plan to stay on-site at an official Walt Disney World hotel (lucky for you, we offer discounts on Walt Disney World hotel rooms).
Disney’s FastPass+ service will not initially be offered for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Early 2020 and Spring 2020
We anticipate that this late fall opening will mean a busier 2020 in general, especially during the early part of the year through spring break. While this is generally one of the best times to visit Walt Disney World, it will be busier than usual. This doesn't mean it's a bad time to go; it just means higher-than-normal crowds. This will be true for late spring as well, although we think mid-April to May — especially weekdays —will be a pretty good bet.
Most Star Wars families will schedule their visits to Walt Disney World during summer 2020. It may be busier than normal, but it should be manageable. Again, if you're already getting the itch for a vacation during this time, we recommend you hop on hotel reservations and stay on-site. Booking for Walt Disney World hotels generally opens a year in advance, so start checking this May and June to book online.
No matter when you plan to visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World, we will be bringing you our best tips and advice so you can experience this exciting new destination with the least amount of time in line.
So don't stress and stay cool (remember what Yoda says, "there is no try") while you wait for what I think is the biggest opening in the history of Walt Disney World.
Disclaimer: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction opens Dec. 5, 2019.
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!
Related: Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World