Bright suns! It’s a nice sunny day in Orlando or Anaheim and you’re able to head over to a Disney park. You could visit the Magic Kingdom and sail on speeding rollercoasters and eat sweet churros OR you could be transported to Galaxy’s Edge, the location of the new Star Wars land at Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.
Though this area is canonical to the Star Wars universe, an entirely new planet, Batuu, was created for the theme parks. As Batuu was the site for Tomorrowland attraction Star Tours, the trading town of Black Spire Outpost was created for Galaxy’s Edge. Those unfamiliar or disinterested in the films or fandom will still be able to enjoy various amenities despite the connection to the sci-fi franchise.
There are two major E-ticket attractions: Millennium Falcon – Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance. Smuggler’s Run is a motion simulator that takes riders on a interspace mission on the infamous Millenium Falcon while allowing them to interact with the ship and control their fate throughout the journey. The only references to the Star Wars series is through minor character appearances, but prior knowledge of the movies isn’t required to understand the concept.
Meanwhile, Rise of the Resistance is a combined trackless dark ride, walk-through, motion simulator, and drop ride system that thrusts the riders into an intense conflict between the brave rebellion and the evil First Order. This attraction is the first of its kind, and has amazed park-goers since opening several weeks ago in California. Though most of the story of this ride revolves around the motion picture adventures, non-Star Wars fans can still be involved in the stakes and thrill of the experience.
The food in Galaxy’s Edge is very different compared to the rest of the park. In Oga’s Cantina, you can purchase alcohol for starters- the first location in Disneyland to do so- and sip on cosmic concoctions, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Oga’s Cantina always has a massive line, so if you want to be seated at this bar overseen by an exuberant droid DJ, reserve a time to visit.
At Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, you can munch on obscure themed versions of popular dishes. At Ronto Roasters, you can get the Ronto Wrap, tangy roast pork and sausage wrapped in pita, Kat Saka’s Kettle has popcorn with a kick, and The Milk Stand sells blue and green milk- a dyed frosty coconut milk drink that is referenced in the movies.
Black Spire Outpost expands fourteen acres, with one hundred and thirty five foot tall spires that block out sightlines with forced perspective. Landscaping with boulders shapes the rocky aesthetic. As guests walk in from various entrances, the transitions from frontier or country or fantasy seamlessly evolve into the incredible galactic infrastructure. A life size Millennium Falcon is the land’s centerpiece, along with other crafts that are just cool to look at while roaming the expansive space.
As soon as you step into Galaxy’s Edge, you are involved in extraterrestrial immersion. While gazing at the incredible architecture, you can spy characters like Rey, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren and clone troopers nonchalantly traversing the area and interacting with guests. If you’re into photo opportunities, you can get a “scan” to impress your fanatical friends.
Cast members are fully engaged in the setting with vocabulary that aligns with their location: “credits” instead of “dollars,” “bright suns” or “rising moons” instead of “good morning” or “good evening,” “data pad” instead of “smart phone,” etc. In addition, they alter communications with guests depending on the outcome of their Smuggler’s Run ride experience.
Amongst other shops, two in particular allow guests to create their own personal souvenirs. Savi’s Workshop helps park-goers build realistic lightsabers of their liking through an immersive magical ceremony, and Mubo’s Droid Depot assists guests in assembling functioning droids.
These are just a few of the elements of this impressive new themed land that Walt Disney Imagineering has pulled together. If you get the chance to visit the theme parks, travel to Galaxy’s Edge. Til the Spires!