For months my seven-year-old son has begged to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for one reason . . . to build a “blue” droid. Thanks to some great marketing by Disney, a commercial airing about every 10 minutes on the Disney networks shows a child building their own custom droid, and all of the fun she had doing it. So, that was top on his list when we got to visit Batuu during the Passholder Previews in August. And I have to say, the experience at the Droid Depot did not disappoint. He had a blast, and watching his reactions was well worth the price of the Droid. Here are a few things you should know before you go:
8. What is the Droid Depot?
The Droid Depot is an experience similar to Build-A-Bear, or Ride Makerz. I don’t even know if Ride Makerz exists anymore, but there used to be one in Disney Springs (when it was Downtown Disney). The Droid Depot lets you select the style of Droid you want to make (either the R2D2 body type or the BB8 body type), and then you completely customize it. From a conveyor belt you pick all of the body pieces in the colors and shapes you prefer before going to a station to put your Droid together. With the help of a Cast Member you power up your Droid and link him to a remote control. It is a fun and interactive experience.
Currently the Droid Depot is accepting reservations. Just like making a dining reservation, you can go online and book your time to visit the Droid Depot to build your Droid. While there may be some walk-up/standby guests accommodated, making a reservation guarantees you will get in to make your Droid, and will help avoid waiting longer periods.
6. Number of Guests
Because of the small quarters inside the Droid Depot they are currently limiting the number of people inside, hence the reservations. At this time one guest is allowed in with one builder—so a total of two. Double check the fine print when you make your reservation for the Droid Depot as things in Galaxy’s Edge are fluid, and the rules can change. The 2 person rule is important to note if you are traveling with multiple people, but only want to build 1 Droid. In August my 16 year old had to wait outside while my 7 year old and I built his Droid (don’t feel bad for him—he rode Millennium Falcon single rider).
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5. Droid Rules
When you build your Droid you will be informed of the rules for them while you are in the theme park. Basically, you must leave your Droid in its box or bag while you are in the theme parks. While it would be super fun to have all of the Droids rolling around in Black Spire Outpost, it would also be chaotic and dangerous. Just pay attention while they are going over rules and restrictions with you in the Droid Depot. Once you get back to your resort you can play with the remote control to your heart’s content.
Aside from the basic Droid body that you will build you have some options for accessories to add. There are personality cards that you can insert into the Droid—these are helpful if you have more than one Droid in your family so they can interact. Different cards give a different personality to the Droid. There are also some add on pieces. One accessory that I like is the backpack for carrying the Droid. You are given a cardboard box (similar to Build A Bear) to carry your Droid out in, and it has holes for the Droid to look out, but it does get cumbersome dragging it all over Batuu. You can purchase a backpack to put your Droid in to carry around which looked a lot more comfortable.
Be familiar with the price before you commit. Currently the Droid by itself is $100 (plus tax), so not a small investment. You will have to pay for and purchase your Droid as soon as you enter the Droid Depot, so window shopping in the construction section of the shop really isn’t an option. Accessories, of course are extra, so your total can add up fairly quickly. After experiencing the Droid Depot and seeing the quality of the Droid I do feel it is worth the $100 (especially when you’re talking about Disney Dollars).
If you have an indecisive Droid builder in your party you may want to check out some YouTube videos or blog posts about the Droid Depot before you visit because there are several choices to make once you are there. When you buy your Droid you choose the body type (R2D2 vs BB8). Then you go to the conveyor belt of Droid parts to choose the pieces you need based on the instructions they give you. You’ll find various shapes of certain body parts, and all different color combinations . . . so it can be overwhelming. Knowing ahead of time the accessory options from #4 and pricing is also helpful so that you can set expectations about what you will be walking away with.
1. Build Your Droid First, or Very Early
When you visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge you’ll want to make the Droid Depot your first stop, or one of the first if you are planning to build. One of the coolest things about the Droids is that it interacts with various things all throughout Batuu with motions and sounds. There are some spaces like the First Order area where it makes fearful sounds, and other areas around other Droids where it gets all excited with motions and beeps and boops. Even if you keep it in the box you’ll be able to hear it interacting, but I think the investment in the backpack is great for this.
Have you visited the Droid Depot in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Do you have any tips?