Ep. 68 – An Early Look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland

After years of anticipation, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is open for business at Disneyland park! A nearly identical land is coming to Walt Disney World on August 29, 2019, so Disney World fans have been watching Anaheim closely this week for lessons learned and plenty of tips. With only one of the two rides open, the land isn’t quite complete, but there is plenty for Star Wars geeks and Disney fans to love. Leslie was in attendance on opening day and gives her review, impressions, and lots of tips in this week’s episode.

A first look at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland. Five things that work best about Batuu and Black Spire Outpost, touring tips, and more! #galaxysedge #disneyland #starwars

You’ll have to listen to the episode to get the full feel and all the best tips for the land, but we wanted to whet your appetite with 5 of the highlights from Batuu and Black Spire Outpost. Here are 5 of Leslie’s favorite things about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland park.

5 Highlights of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

1. The Immersive Setting

From the droid tracks on the ground to the blaster holes in the walls, Black Spire Outpost’s level of detail is almost beyond belief. Everyone in attendance kept using the word “immersive,” and that description is apt. The backdrop is stunning and probably Disney’s biggest Imagineering achievement ever.

It’s a little bit of a challenge with 4 hour reservation periods in place from May 31-June 23 to spend the time to walk around and take it all in, but visitors should make a little time to do just that. I’m looking forward on future visits just having time to be in the land. There are few theme park lands that make me feel this way, as I definitely prefer to dash from one ride to the next!

2. Piloting (and Touring) the Millennium Falcon 

Many a kid or kid at heart has dreamed of taking the control of the Millennium Falcon. Now you can in the one attraction open thus far – Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The queue itself is half of the fun, taking guests into the Falcon’s hold where they can see the chess table where the characters played Dejarik in the movies. Even the spot where Han and Leia kissed for the first time is there. 

Piloting the Falcon from one of the two front seats is thrilling. The worse you are, the more you crash and bump around. It’s almost more fun to be a bad pilot. The other two types of cockpit seats aren’t quite as awe-inspiring, so most guests are going to want to ride it a few times to experience the differences.

3. The Merchandise

Star Wars fans want all the things. They can finally find them on Batuu. Even I as a casual fan, I wanted it all. Guests don’t have to do the $200 lightsaber or $100 droid experiences to take home something unique either. I thought the stuffed $19.99 toys in Toydarian Toymaker scratched my merch itch. And my 10 year old was beyond thrilled that I brought home one of the $5 orb-shaped Coke bottles labeled in Aurebesh.

4. Oga’s Cantina

As a Trader Sam’s fan, Disney had me at intergalatic tiki bar. Star Wars fans are going to love this outpost in the style of the cantina of Mos Eisley in A New Hope. Order a Fuzzy Tauntaun and watch as DJ R-3X (made famous in the original Star Tour ride) spins the cantina tunes. It’s a challenge to get in to the cantina given the demand, but once you are in, the payoff is enormous.

5. Disneyland Crowd Management

Every Disney armchair critic has been complaining for months (years even) that this opening would be a crush of crowds and make Disneyland miserable. It was the exact opposite – a paragon of preparation and operational efficiency. Security lines were non-existent, wristband distribution went off without a hitch, and no one had to camp out for three days to see it all. In fact, I’ve never seen the rest of Disneyland so empty, making guests who weren’t doing Galaxy’s Edge very pleasantly surprised!

While Walt Disney World won’t be implementing the same reservation period as Disneyland, I now fully expect Disney will have the ops under control in Orlando on August 29. Extra, Extra Magic Hours starting a 6am after opening day itself will help distribute crowds, and Disney will have a firm sense of the land’s reasonable capacity to prevent lines from swelling to 4+ hour levels even in the earliest opening days.

Episode Description

Leslie got to check out Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge on opening day! We’re releasing our episode with her impressions and overall rating of the land a little bit early since I’m sure a lot of you want to hear how it feels to be on the edge of the galaxy. We talk the surprisingly mild crowds on opening day, merchandise, the height of droids, blue milk, and of course what it feels like to pilot the Millennium Falcon! Have you been to Batuu yet? Or are you excited and planning to visit? We’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts, let us know by e-mailing us at disneydeciphered AT gmail DOT com.

Episode Notes

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge video tour and first look

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Tips and Touring Strategies

2:31 – Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge basics and connections to Disney World’s version

6:12 – The biggest choke point in the land, Oga’s Cantina (Note: After we recorded, Disney implemented a text based virtual waiting system. Nice!)

8:59 – Is the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run line a choke point?

11:02 – Savi’s Workshop, $200 lightsabers, and merchandise

14:46 – Food and Blue Milk

18:31 – Land theming, overall feel, etc

22:37 – Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride impressions (mild spoilers)

29:20 – Disney dos and don’ts

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Connect with Leslie @TripswithTykes on social media and Joe @asthejoeflies.

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