It was May 31st, 2019. This was the day we have been waiting for since the announcement at D23 all those years ago. We watched social media closely for renderings, sneak peaks and attraction previews. Then finally the day arrived and I made my way to Disneyland to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for the first time.
When opening day was announced, by complete luck I already had a trip planned to visit the Disneyland Resort that included opening day. Since we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel, we were automatically given a reservation time slot of 11 am to 3 pm, which was ideal for us. It would allow us to attend the Extra Magic Hour at Disney’s California Adventure park and then head over to Disneyland for our reservation. I was also able to select a second reservation when the system opened to the public, and I picked that reservation for June 1st from 5 pm to 8 pm. Once the names were selected for the reservation, they could not be changed, removed or replaced. Any adult on the reservation would need to show a government issued photo ID that matched the name on the reservation.
On the day of the reservation, we needed to pick up our wristbands at Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland. We headed there at about 9:15 for our 11 am reservation. There was a line, but it was smooth and went quickly. We showed our reservation email to the Cast Member at one of many kiosks, who scanned it, checked adult IDs, and put the wristbands on us. Our wristbands needed to be scanned while leaving Launch Bay as well to be activated and scanned again to enter the land.
There are three entrances into Galaxy’s Edge via Critter County, Frontierland, and Fantasyland. We were directed to the Critter County entrance and arrived there about 10 minutes before the reservation time. Plenty of guests were in line ahead of us, but once it was 11 am, the line began to move, and we arrived into Batuu (the Star Wars planet on which this land is based) within minutes.
We walked past quite a bit of scenery that slowly transitioned from Critter Country to Batuu before arriving to a more open area. It took a bit to get our bearings and the lay of this new land. It stretches far from one end to the other but is not very deep. For now, most of the activity is at the east end, but I imagine that will change later this year when the second attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opens. For now, the sole attraction is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. I will be writing my review of this attraction in a separate blog.
The majority of the guests headed to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and the line quickly reached a 75 minute wait. We chose to eat and shop first until the line wait time dropped. The two Quick Service dining options with food are Ronto’s Roasters and Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. I had spoken with Cast Member friends that attend previews who raved about the Ronto Wrap at Ronto’s Roasters. This is a pita that wraps roasted pork, a grilled pork sausage, pepperoni sauce and tangy slaw. It did not disappoint. We loved it! Others in my group went to Docking Bay 7. At both establishments, you order at a register and pick up your food at a counter. There are tables inside Docking Bay 7, but at Ronto Roasters, there are only some bar height counters or outside tables close to the exit for Docking Bay 7. We found a table outside in partial shade and ate there. The food at Docking Bay 7 came with a ‘spork’ type utensil, which did make it difficult to eat the Yobshrimp Noodle Salad, but everyone enjoyed their food. Each item was flavorful and filling. Mobile ordering is also available at both of these dining establishments.
Oga’s Cantina is the third dining option in this land; however, it is truly a bar and not an eating restaurant. It is certainly unique in that it is the only option for alcoholic beverages available to the general public inside Disneyland. We didn’t enter the Cantina as the line to enter the building was an hour long every time we checked during both days we were there. We found two carts in the land with the round bottles of Coke products, and these are also available at Kat Saka’s Kettle, which is next to Ronto’s Roasters in the market area. The Kettle also serves an Outpost Popcorn Mix, which is a ‘blend of sweet and spicy flavors’. We ordered a bag, which is also available with a robot bucket, and it was popcorn coated with flavors in the colors purple and red. Unfortunately, not one of the 5 of us in our group liked it. It was compared to everything from Kool-Aid flavor to cough syrup.
In addition to the Kettle, the market includes several shopping stalls where you can buy robes, toys, and ‘critters’, such as a Porg puppet or Salacious Crumb that can sit on your shoulder, just like he did with Jabba the Hut. The two big shopping attractions are Savi’s Workshop, where you can hand-build your custom light saber and Droid Depot, where you can build your own droid. Prices for light saber are about $200 and $100 for a droid. There were lines to build each of these items, but we could watch people build droids without waiting in the line.
Near the Milk Stand (a quick service option with mobile ordering for green or blue ‘milk’) is the area for the First Order, along with a First Order gift shop. We witnessed a quick entertainment show with storm troopers, a general, and finally Kylo Ren appeared. He walked with the Storm Troopers past the Cantina and interacted with guests along the way. We also witnessed Storm Troopers ‘harassing’ citizens looking for members of the rebellion. One woman holding her phone up to take a picture was asked why she was so interested in her data pad and wanted to know what she was doing with it. We also walked with Chewbacca, along with a large group of other guests, to hide him from the Troopers, and Rey was interacting with guests as well. The Cast Members throughout the land do an amazing job of staying in character. I recommend chatting with them as it can be fun!
We spent 3.5 of our 4-hour reservation in the land, including the time waiting for and riding Smuggler’s Run. We are fans of the Star Wars franchise, but not super fans, and our overall impressions were still very positive. The land, similar to Pandora at Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, is immersive. The Cast Members play well in their roles, telling us how many ‘credits’ we owe them when we buy food and products. We are greeted with the term ‘bright suns’, which is good morning on Batuu. Disney does an excellent job telling stories, and they hit the mark on this one. I asked one of my friends that has never seen a Star Wars movie with she thought, and she still found it impressive. She said that she had no idea what it all meant, but it was cool. That is exactly how I felt when I visited Pandora, so I know what she means. We had similar feelings after our 2nd reservation time, and enjoyed seeing more details since we didn’t have to spend time orienting ourselves.
You will be able to visit Galaxy’s Edge starting June 24th without a reservation but will need to still reserve yourself a slot using Disney’s virtual queuing system. If that system is anything like the reservation system, they will manage crowds well. I know so many people have told me that they are waiting until the draw from this land dies down before they go, but I have a feeling it will truly be years until that happens and I don’t think you should wait! The crowds will be pulled again into this land when the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens in fall 2019, and interest will be renewed. Any Star Wars fan will want to find a way to make it happen long before the crowds die down.
If you want help planning your trip to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, be sure to contact Patricia at All For Dreams Travel for a free vacation quote.
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