Tips for your trip to Galaxy’s Edge
Well folks, the time has come! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been officially unveiled at the Disneyland Resort. We were there bright and early on Friday, May 31st, for the grand opening of Batuu — the remote outpost planet that makes up the setting of Star War’s Land. Walking through the land was truly like walking through a galaxy far, far away. We’re talking immaculate attention to detail, and an immersiveness on the level of Tokyo DisneySea — which is definitely saying something!
We had an absolute BLAST at Galaxy’s Edge, but we were also incredibly overwhelmed by all the new sights, sounds, eats, drinks, and (you guessed it) merch. Now that I’ve had a chance to experience it myself, I wanted to share as many tips and tricks as I can — so you can be as prepared as possible for your light speed trip to Batuu.
Want to know how early to arrive for your reservation? What the blue milk tastes like? When to hop in line for Smuggler’s Run? How many “credits” to have handy for the Black Spire Marketplace? Read on!
Don’t forget your reservation
As a reminder: ALL guests visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge now through June 23rd need a reservation to get in. These reservation slots guarantee you and your party a pre-determined window of 4 hours to experience Batuu. As of now, no more SWGE reservations are available for the general public. But you can still get a reservation by booking a room at one of the three official Disneyland Resort hotels: the Grand Californian, the Disneyland Hotel, or Paradise Pier Hotel.
After June 23rd, guests will need to use Disney’s virtual queue system to access Galaxy’s Edge. You’ll need to enter this queue once you arrive at Disneyland, and you’ll be given a set time during which you can enter Galaxy’s Edge that day.
When to arrive
You can check-in for SWGE at the Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland up to two hours before your reservation time. For those with an 8am reservation, the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure will open at 5:30am, and guests can begin checking in at 6am. Keep in mind that this is before Disneyland actually opens, so you’ll be shepherded to Tomorrowland to check in and wait as a group until about 7:45am, when you will be walked over to Galaxy’s Edge.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions on how early to arrive, and the bottom line is that it depends on what your priorities are. If you want to get into the Cantina or build your own lightsaber, I suggest getting there as early as possible, since those are both extremely popular. If you’re up for a more leisurely go-with-the-flow type visit, checking in and getting your wristband about an hour before your reservation time is sufficient.
What to do first
If you want to make the most of your time in Batuu, I’d highly recommend prioritizing the most popular experiences first: either Oga’s Cantina or Savi’s Workshop (custom lightsaber building). On opening day, the line for the Cantina was closed for almost our entire reservation slot, because there was just too much demand and not enough space inside. They have since implemented a text messaging reservation system, where you can check in and they’ll text you when to return. However, keep in mind that wait times are still in the range of 60-80 minutes.
In my opinion, the best way to maximize your 4-hour visit to SWGE is to do things in the following order:
- Head straight for Oga’s Cantina and put your name down for a table.
- Decide whether you want to make a droid at the Droid Depot or a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop and head there next (these are both lengthy immersive experiences, and you may likely only have time for one of them).
- Hop onto Smuggler’s Run just before the final hour of your reservation. Do NOT do this first! The wait time at the beginning of our reservation maxed out at 90 minutes, but by 10:30am it was down to 5 minutes. Just make sure you get in line before the final hour of your reservation, since that is when the next reservation group is let in and that hour of overlap makes the land very, very busy.
- Grab food from Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, Ronto Roasters, or the Milk Stand at any time by mobile ordering through the Disneyland app. Just keep in mind that wait times vary, so make sure you leave enough time before the end of your reservation to actually pick up the food.
- Hit up the marketplace to pick up some plushies and wood figurines from Toydarian Toymaker, or your very own Porg and Kowakian Monkey-Lizards from the Creature Stall. There are also some great items (including standard – e.g., non customizable – lightsabers) at the Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.
- Walk around, chat with Stormtroopers, get a hug from Chewie, snap some pics in front of the Millennium Falcon, and enjoy the land!
Smuggler’s Run is a virtual reality type ride where you get to hop into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and make a “smuggling run” for Hondo Ohnaka. It reminds me of a mix between Star Tours and Epcot’s Mission Space, cause everyone is assigned one of three roles: pilot, gunner, or engineer. After you’re given your role designation, you wait in a holding area on the Millennium Falcon for your group to be called (each cockpit holds six). While you wait, you can snap a pic at the famous holochess table, or in one of the iconic hallways.
The ride itself is insane — it actually feels like you’re flying the Millennium Falcon, and your actions as pilot, gunner, or engineer have a direct impact on your journey. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how intense it is, and honestly I didn’t think it was that bad. There are no 3D glasses, so it wasn’t quite as disorienting as Star Tours. You definitely get jostled around (especially if your pilots aren’t the greatest), but I didn’t feel any sort of motion sickness while I was on it. It reminded me a bit of Flight of Passage in Pandora — screen-based, but in a pleasant sort of way.
And as far as new rides go, I’d give it a 10/10. Once you step inside, you’re not at a theme park anymore… you’re actually ON the Millennium Falcon.
Oga’s Cantina is Batuu’s local watering hole, located between the First Order Cargo and the Smuggler’s Run ride. It is the ONLY place inside Disneyland (apart from Club 33) that serves alcohol drinks, though it serves kiddo-friendly beverages as well.
If you want to make it into the Cantina, head STRAIGHT there once you get inside SWGE, and get your name onto the list. You’ll get a text when space is available, and you’ll have 15 minutes to head back to the Cantina with your full party.
Once inside, you’ll have a max of 45 minutes to enjoy the wide array of refreshments. Note that there is a limit of 2 drinks max per person. The Cantina is pretty tiny, and I’ve been told that most tables are standing room only — with only a small amount of seated booths. You aren’t allowed to bring strollers inside, so if you have small kiddos, you may need to hold them so that they can reach the standing tables.
Mark and I weren’t able to get inside the Cantina on our visit, cause the line was mostly closed during our 4-hour window. That said, we’re hoping to make it in when we head back in a couple weeks!
What to eat & drink
Outside of the Cantina, there are a few quick service places to grab some grub. Ronto Roasters is an “exotic meat stall” with pork wraps and grilled sausage, while Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo has larger plated meals perfect for lunch and dinner. Kat Saka’s Kettle has sweet and spicy popcorn, and the Milk Stand serves that iconic Blue and Green milk. Drink carts around the land offer Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite in unique circular bottles.
We were too hyped on adrenaline to have much of an appetite, so we only tried the Blue and Green milk. Mark liked them both, but I thought they were WEIRD. Blue tasted like a mix between bubblegum and a Skittle, and the green had a less sweet…coconut-y rice taste? It’s hard to pinpoint the exact flavor. They’re both a must-try though, just don’t go in with high expectations!
Also: you can mobile order at Ronto Roasters, Docking Bay 7, and the Milk Stand. I’m not sure how long the lines for Ronto or Docking Bay typically run, but the Milk Stand was empty when we got ours, so I wouldn’t worry too much about wait times.
Shopping at Black Spire Outpost
The Black Spire Outpost is home to Batuu’s Marketplace of shops, creature stalls, and collectible oddities. Toydarian Toymaker is home to the cutest handmade-looking plushies and wooden figurines. At the Creature Stall, you can “adopt” your own Porg or Kowakian Monkey-Lizard. You can even grab your very own Jedi cloak and Sith Lord robes.
Come prepared to put down a whole lotta “credits” — items aren’t cheap! Also be aware that all shops have an item limit per person (you can buy as much as you want, but you can’t buy more than one of each item).
Build a droid at the Droid Depot
Of all the things we did in Galaxy’s Edge, building a custom droid at the Droid Depot was my favorite. You have the choice between making an R2 or BB unit, in an array of colors and styles. Here’s how it works:
Pay first: it’s $99 per droid (limit two per person) and no AP or CM discounts apply. You can also buy personality chips (which align your droid as a “Scoundrel,” First Order or Resistance) for an extra $12. After you pay, the experience begins! CMs give you a basket, and you move to a conveyer belt area where you can pick out your droid pieces. Then it’s time to put your droid together at a row of assembly tables. After a quick activation sequence, it’s good to go.
The whole process took about 45 minutes (10 minutes standing in line to pay, and then another 35 to build the droid), but it can go much quicker if you know exactly what you want to make. We were very indecisive, so did a lot of standing around pondering color / design choices.
Your droid comes in a carry box, but you can also purchase a special droid backpack for $39.99 (discounts DO apply). As you move about Batuu, your droid will beep and react to the land. It’ll also interact with other droids, Stormtroopers, etc. Every droid comes with a remote control, so it’s fully functional outside of Batuu, too.
Handbuilt lightsabers at Savi’s Workshop
We didn’t have time to do the lightsaber building experience on our visit, but from what I hear — it’s pretty amazing. The experience takes about 30 minutes, not including the wait time to begin. Like with the droids, you purchase the lightsaber first ($199, no discounts apply, comes with a carry case). After you pay, you’re given a card with your group number, as they only allow a set number of people into the experience at once.
The lightsaber itself is highly customizable: you choose the lightsaber color, hilt, and theme. Once you choose your parts, you get set up at the Builder’s Table, and go through an elaborate assembly, test and activation process.
We can’t wait to give this a try on a future visit. Just bear in mind that wait times have been LONG, so you’ll want to head here first to book a spot if this is a top priority for you.
I’ll be writing more in-depth blog posts about the experiences available for travelers to Galaxy’s Edge, but until then I hope these quick tips are helpful as you prepare for your trip to the Outer Rim.
Til the spire!