Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Unveiled
A long, long time ago, one man dreamed up a galaxy where good battles evil, princesses fall in love with scoundrels, and mythical knights in robes baring sabers protect the innocent. The premiere of "Star Wars” (now referred to as "Episode IV: A New Hope”) in 1977 would go on to launch a juggernaut, replete with three prequels, five sequels and countless books, cartoons and merchandise.
For decades, some of us have been waiting to enter the galaxy of Skywalker, Solo and Yoda ourselves.
The wait is nearly over.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open as a new feature of Anaheim, California’s Disneyland on May 31, and Orlando's Walt Disney World on August 29.
Since this new land was announced, Star Wars fans the world over have been clamoring for an inside look. Now Disney is offering just that.
From speed-racing rides to markets filled with droids to music-filled cantinas and your chance to find your very own lightsaber, Galaxy’s Edge is promising to be worth the wait.
What’s behind the pod doors? Read on!
Black Spire Outpost
In true Disney fashion, Galaxy's Edge comes with a storyline and looks straight out of a movie set.
The 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will create a galactic village known as Black Spire Outpost, the largest settlement on the fictional planet of Batuu. Not at all the harsh desert of Tatooine and less forested than Endor, Batuu is where Anakin went searching for the missing Amidala, setting off a critical string of events.
“Widely known for the petrified remains of its once towering ancient trees, the spires now stand guard across the river valleys and plains and have long captured the imagination of travelers to this planet. To the first settlers, these petrified spires became more than just landmarks; they became the heart of the outpost itself,” begins the tale in which you, dear fan, get to enter.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Perhaps the most anticipated aspect of the park is a chance to ride Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon (don’t call it Lando’s ship!).
Known for a hyperdrive system that fails at all the wrong moments, as well as its ability to escape through some pretty narrow places during a chase (remember that asteroid field?), the ship is a crucial part of Star Wars lore.
As you first encounter the Falcon, you’ll be wowed by its size, even though it’s a little worse for the wear. Han is no longer with us, but Chewie will join you as you make your way through the Black Spire mountain’s tunnels. Then it’s your turn to enter the cockpit on a smuggling mission for Harko.
If you don’t bring the ship back in good condition, you could have a run-in with Harko’s men at the cantina – so be careful, and maybe fly more like a Skywalker than a Solo.
You’ll get to choose your own adventure, which means you can ride Smugglers Run again and again with new missions and outcomes. For a completely interactive experience, download the Disney Play app before you visit the park, and find all of the neat tricks and games you can play while you wait in what will undoubtedly be a very long line when the ride finally opens.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
For this ride, you will join other Resistance fighters in a transport ship that takes off from Batuu to go deep into space. But oh no! The First Order Star Destroyer captures you and brings you into its hangar, where a rogue droid must hack the system to set you free.
The twisting and turning mission will encounter stormtroopers and Kylo Ren – will you make it out alive?
Created with J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson, Star Wars’ directors and producers, this ride promises a “cinematic immersive experience.” J.J.’s personal touch on a new ride? Yes, please!
Note: The Orlando ride will not be open at the grand opening; Disney is slating a later-in-the-year debut.
Grab a bite to eat at Oga’s Cantina, boasting all the color and ambiance of Mos Eisley Spaceport. Make sure to sample Luke Skywalker’s signature drink, blue milk, or – if you want something more refreshing – a Bespin Fizz.
The first restaurant to serve alcoholic drinks at Disneyland (Disney World already serves booze at its Beauty & the Beast restaurant) will be open for lunch and dinner. And there are plenty of non-alcoholic options, too, if you’re bringing the kids.
The menu includes Fried Endorian Tip-Yip (chicken), Othorian Garden loaf (a plant-based meat loaf), Braised Shaak Roast (pot roast), Yobshrimp Noodle Salad and other exotic dishes for a sit-down meal that you’ll want to savor, if not just for the cantina’s ambiance and characters.
Be sure to steer clear of anyone by the name of Fett.
Of course, there are a number of eateries where you can get a quick meal so you don’t have to miss the rides and fun.
Eat exotic meats cooked over a recycled pod-racer engine by a smelter droid at Ronto Roasters.
Sample Tugg’s Grub at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo for unusual dishes and a "traveling diner."
Grab blue or green milk direct from Bubo Wamba Family Farms at the Milk Stand.
Or get a popcorn snack at Kat Saka’s Kettle in the market, bustling with people, shops, characters and energy.
Shopping for Droids
More in the mood for shopping? Find gifts from outer space at Galaxy’s Edge.
Rare antiquities (and film merchandise) can be found at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.
Choose your side and select uniforms, helmets, tools and more at First Order Cargo or Resistance Supply.
Always wanted to build your own droid like Anakin Skywalker? Head to Droid Depot and choose your parts to create your own take-home droid. Just like R2-D2, your droid will be able to interact and respond to you. Not in the mood to build a droid? The Droid Depot has pre-built options for purchase, including a (talkative) C-3PO.
Young children may want to visit the Creature Stall to take home a friendly creature or two, as well as Toydarian Toymaker’s stall for, what else? Toys!
And, of course, visit Savi’s Workshop for hand-built lightsabers. Here, the Gatherers aim to restore balance to the galaxy and outfit you with your very own lightsaber so you can continue the ways of the Jedi. Choose from four Kyber crystals: Peace Justice, Power Control, Elemental Nature and Defense.
Already Playing a Starring Role
Knowing “Galaxy’s Edge” would be an instant hit before it opened, Disneyland and Disney World already made Stars Wars-related tweaks across its other lands.
Tomorrowland’s Star Tours became Star Tours – The Adventure Continues when it added elements from “The Force Awakens."
“The Force Awakens” was also incorporated into a new interactive experience, Star Wars Launch Bay, at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland and Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s Animation Courtyard in Orlando. The experience features character meet-and-greets, behind-the-scenes special exhibits and, yes, special merchandise you can purchase.
If the Force is in your child, take them to Jedi Training Academies at Disneyland or Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Young Padawans, ages 4 to 12, can learn how to fight the Dark Side with lightsaber skills at these special events that require advanced registration (at no additional cost).
Eat, Sleep, Breathe Star Wars
Want to be fully immersed in the Star Wars experience? By next year, you will have your chance.
Not only can you visit the parks to train with Jedis, fight the Dark Side and fly the Millennium Falcon, you’ll have a chance to stay in “cabins on a starliner” with outer space views at the new Star Wars-themed hotel.
Opening at Hollywood Studios in Orlando, the hotel will be filled with cantinas and entertaining characters, continuing the Star Wars immersive experience as part of what Disney is calling its Disney 360 vacations.
Epcot’s Space Odyssey
The opening of Galaxy’s Edge is not the end of Disney’s space additions. Epcot will open a new space-themed restaurant in Future World. With “picture windows” looking into space and the earth glowing in the background as you orbit, the restaurant promises “great meals and an even greater view.” (No official date has been set for the restaurant's debut, but it's expected before 2021.)
Epcot will also take on another space-themed franchise when it opens Guardians of the Galaxy. Originally unveiled at Disney’s California Adventure in 2017, the second location will give Orlando visitors a chance to follow Star Lord and other Marvel characters on missions to, well, guard the galaxy. The ride is expected to open in 2021.
And, although Disney has been mum on its plans, Epcot’s Future World is slated for a complete overhaul by 2021, as well.
Space Isn’t Cheap
Excited about the future of Disney? Don’t they know it!
A 1-Day park ticket, which includes admission into Galaxy's Edge, starts at $109 in Orlando and $97 in California.
Not only did Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort up prices across the board for 2019, they changed their pricing structure as well, offering a sliding scale for purchases. This means ticket prices are lowest during non-peak travel periods (think January and September) and go up during school breaks and holidays.
At Disneyland, for example, value-day tickets are $97, regular-day tickets are $110 and peak days are as high as $124.
Galaxy’s Edge capacity is already at a peak and Disney warns that “access to the park, land and experiences may be restricted or unavailable.” Although you may be able to get into the Disney park, you may not be able to visit Galaxy's Edge due to overcrowding.
You may want to wait a few months and let all the hubbub die down before attempting to join the Resistance.