Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open at Disneyland Park in California. On May 29 and 30 I was part of an invited media group that was allowed to see all that the new land has to offer. I extended my trip by one day so that I could experience it as a regular guest, one that was not hosted by Disney. It was a great decision.
If you are visiting Disneyland before June 24, you will not be allowed to visit Galaxy’s Edge without a reservation. The reservations do not cost anything extra, and you do need to have a park ticket. Reservations are gone unless you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel. They were open to the general public for a little while, but those were snatched up pretty quickly.
Somehow I was lucky enough to be able to get a reservation for my daughter and myself for the very first time slot on May 31. That meant that we were part of the first ever public group to experience Batuu! For a lifelong Star Wars fan like me, it was pretty exciting.
Wristbands are distributed for your four hour reservation time slot. They are handed out at Star Wars Launch Bay. You can get your wristband two hours early. Everyone in your group needs to be on the reservation, and a photo ID is required for anyone 18 or older. We arrived right at 6:00am, and there was already quite a line. It moved quickly, though. Disney is usually good at crowd control, and this was no exception. We moved through the line, got our wristbands, and were directed to another spot. That’s where the group as a whole waited.
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At about ten minutes before 8:00, we were led as a group to the new land. There were plenty of smiling Cast Members along the way. I think that some of the Cast Members were just as excited about Galaxy’s Edge as we were. Once we got to the entrance, we all needed to show our wristbands. We then were allowed in. On both sides of the entrance were more Cast Members, and also some members of the team who had worked so hard to bring Star Wars to life inside Disneyland.
The first thing that we did was head to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. For the two of us, that was the top priority. The line wasn’t bad, we were on the ride within 20 minutes. This ride gets better each time I ride it! They were marking wristbands and giving people a two ride maximum. I’ve been engineer and gunner, but still not pilot. The first time I rode during the media previews I made the mistake of concentrating a bit too much on my job. On May 31, I paid a little more attention to what was going on in front of me (what a view!) and just watched for flashing lights out of the corner of my eye. It’s a really cool ride.
There were two lines that formed fairly quickly during our reservation time. The first was for Oga’s Cantina. From what I was told, they were allowing people to stay for 45 minutes maximum, and they could order only two drinks. I overheard someone say that the line was three hours long. I don’t know if that was true or not, but we weren’t going to spend three hours of our time waiting in line. I was able to see Oga’s during the media preview, and I livestreamed some of it on Facebook. The details are amazing, but it’s small! Hopefully once the Florida version opens I’ll be able to better experience it.
The other place where a line formed was Savi’s Workshop. This is where you can build your own custom made lightsaber. I never made it into Savi’s my entire trip, even during the media previews. It was either closed for interviews or the line was just too long. The finished lightsabers are amazing. It’s a far step up from the design your own lightsabers that they have at Walt Disney World.
Although we didn’t build a droid, we spent a fair amount of time in Droid Depot. This is where you can build a remote control droid of your own. The basket that you pick up will tell you what parts you need. You choose the ones you want, then head to the center and assemble the droid yourself. During the previews I was able to livestream on Facebook a demonstration of how it works, so if you’d like to know more you might want to watch that video.
I need to say something about blue milk. My initial reaction was disappointment because both the blue and green milks are frozen. That obviously is not how they were in the movies. I’ve moved past that, and now I’m a huge fan of the frozen blue milk. It’s got a bit of a tropical flavor, while the green is more citrus flavored. Both are plant based. At $7.99 a glass it’s a bit pricey, but the serving size is not shabby. I’m already thinking about how refreshing it’s going to be at the end of August in the Florida heat.
We did a lot of walking around during our preview. It was fun to interact with the Villagers (Cast Members). They would tell us of rumors of the Resistance in the area, or warn us about Stormtroopers. There’s an area that is the Resistance Camp, which is where the ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is going to be later this year. While the ride may not yet be open, there is still activity in the area. Chewie was working on one of the ships, and Rey was out and about. There are no character greetings, per say, but if you’re lucky you might be able to snap a picture with one of them.
The Marketplace is one of my favorite areas. There are several small shops that sell pets, toys, costumes (that you can’t wear in the parks, including in Galaxy’s Edge), and the like. There’s a really fun vibe to it. The drinking fountain is awesome, I never thought that I’d stand and watch as so many people got drinks. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, just do it when you’re at either version of the land.
At 11:00 the next group came in, and suddenly Black Spire Outpost felt so much more crowded. I’m glad we had the first slot of the day, because we were able to walk around see most everything. We left a little before our time was up, because we had a plane to catch. I don’t know what is going to happen on June 24 when reservations are no longer required, but I’m sure that Disney has some plan for crowd control in mind.
I’ve been asked several times if I think that reservations are going to be required when Galaxy’s Edge opens at Walt Disney World on August 29. Disney has said that they do not plan on using reservations. They could change their minds; for my group at least the system worked really well. Then again, Walt Disney World has announced Extra, Extra Magic Hours for resort guests. At the moment it seems like that is their plan instead.
Check out the photos below courtesy of Disney: