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'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, opened Dec. 5, 2019 ... and let me tell you, it was toadally worth waiting the extra months for its separate opening! Note that a Boarding Group is required to access the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction at this time (which you can do using the My Disney Experience app or by hopping by a Guest Relations kiosk). You can, however, access the land and enjoy Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run without needing to join a Boarding Group. We've got more "deets" on the rides below, but we've also created a whole post that explains how to get a boarding group to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Since the land's opening, we've made several trips to Batuu and continue to update the guide as we go! We're sharing all of the important about the new land, so you'll have everything you need to know to prepare for your own visit!
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 (set to open in 2021) 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).
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.
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
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. However, we haven't seen Batuu reach capacity since opening weekend.
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 is now available in My Disney Experience for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run! However, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is not offering FastPass+ just yet. Don't froget that a Boarding Group is required to access the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction at this time (which you can do using the My Disney Experience app or by hopping by a Guest Relations kiosk). You can, however, access the land and enjoy Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run without needing to join a Boarding Group.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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! FastPass+ is available for this attraction in My Disney Experience. You can also access the attraction via the standard queue (without joining a Boarding Group).
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance - Now Open
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. I've ridden it twice, and I noticed many more details that I had missed from the first ride. Can't wait to hop on it again!
FastPass+ is not yet 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 can join a Boarding Group using the My Disney Experience app or by hopping by a Guest Experience kiosk. 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 two-hour time window to return to the ride’s entrance and check in with cast members. Once you’re inside the queue, it’s about a 15- to 30-minute wait for the ride. Woohoo!
If “Join a Boarding Group” is grayed out in the My Disney Experience app, that means the Boarding Groups are at capacity and are no longer available for the day. The parking toll attendants, tram operators and multiple signs outside of the entrance will also let you know if the virtual queue is closed for the day. Our best advice is to arrive an hour prior to rope drop so you'll be through the touchpoint and can join a Boarding Group as soon as the park officially opens. While you have to be in the park to join a Boarding Group, once a Boarding Group is assigned, you do not have to wait in the park for your time to ride. That means you can take advantage and rope drop Slinky Dog Dash, or even hop back to the hotel for a nap or a swim if your estimated boarding time is later in the day.
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"
- "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.
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 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. 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).
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!
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.
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.
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 ... 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 a "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. We're keeping a close eye out, but we have not seen Baby Yoda yet!
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. Also, don't froget to strike up a conversation with the residents of Batuu!
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. During our most recent visit, we caught a mini show that we had heard about, but still hadn't seen — Kylo Ren's arrival to Batuu. He descended from the TIE Echelon, used the Force on a First Order lieutenant and proceeded to walk through the crowd to search for Rey. (We've seen him walk around the land, but now we've actually witnessed his grand entrance!) All of the character appearances are 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 now that Extra, Extra Magic Hours have ended. However, now that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has opened, this may fluctuate, and we'll keep you updated on the wait times. Remember, if you are looking to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you'll need to enter the park early to join a Boarding Group. Once you've joined a Boarding Group and have your spot in the virtual queue, you can hop to the land itself a little 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, 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-alikes 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
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 likely 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.
No matter when you plan to visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World, we'll continue to bring you our best tips and advice so you can experience this exciting new destination with the least amount of time in line. May the Force be with you!
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