by Disney Magic Diva
Did you know visitors to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge can build a custom droid at Droid Depot in Disney’s Hollywood Studios? (There is also a Droid Depot located at Disneyland Park) It’s a fun experience whether you’re a Jedi Master or a young padawan. And who doesn’t love a droid?
When you enter Droid Depot, you will check in for your reservation (which are highly recommended) and have an opportunity to think about which type of droid you’d like to build. Currently, you can choose between the BB-series, R-series or, recently added, C-series. Sample components are displayed on a wall so you can think about what features you’d like your droid to have.
Once you decide which type of droid is perfect for you, you will pay for it ($99, not eligible for passholder discounts) and be given a basket with an instruction sheet showing sketches of the components you’ll need to collect. A cast member will then call you over to a conveyor belt, where you’ll see the available components pass by. When you see a part you like for your droid, put it in your basket.
Diva Tip: Take your time! Be sure to look over all the combinations, and don’t be afraid to change your mind if you see a different color or shape pass by. Once you build your droid it will be your companion forever, so choose wisely!
When you’re satisfied with your component selections, it’s time to assemble your droid. A cast member directs you to a building station. Here you have the opportunity to add several accessories. You may need tubes, arms, or antennae depending on which series droid you are building.
We found the cast members to be extremely helpful. If you want to just work independently on your droid assembly, that’s fine. If you have questions, they are available to help. A cast member only assists two guests at a time, so help is never far away.
During assembly, you’ll need to use a power screwdriver. These hang from the ceiling and are safe for even the youngest builders. Naturally, if they need assistance, help is readily available.
Once your droid is assembled, it needs to be activated. The cast member places the droid in a special activation pod, and you press an activation button. It’s quite the show. The cast member shouts, “Activating!” and lights blink in sequence leading up to your droid. Soon it begins to make sounds!
If you like, you can purchase personality chips for your droid. This will allow your droid to display happy, sassy, aggressive, etc. characteristics. Different chips are associated with Resistance, First Order, or Scoundrels. The choice of your personality chip will impact how your droid sounds. It also changes how it interacts with the environment and other droids. If you choose to purchase a personality chip, the cast member will help with this installation too. Chips are around $15 and are eligible for an annual passholder discount.
After your droid is activated, the cast member will give you a quick tutorial on how to work the remote so you can control your droid. It was a quick lesson, and frankly the best way to learn how to use your droid is to just play with it.
Time to Play!
When you are ready to leave Droid Depot, the cast member will place your droid in a complimentary cardboard carrying box. While this will help keep your droid safe, it didn’t seem very convenient to carry around the park for the entire day. Since our appointment was early in the morning, we chose to purchase a droid backpack (about $60, annual passholder discount applies) instead.
Diva Tip: A droid backpack made carrying the droids so much easier! We could wear them on our back or hang them from the stroller. It also made it easier to bring on the plane home! The backpacks were easy to store in the overhead compartment.
Naturally when you carry your new friend out of the shop, you want to play with it! Head across the entryway from Droid Depot to a designated area (covered with red mats) to test out your droid. It’s important to note this is the ONLY place within the parks you are allowed to set your droid on the ground. You could imagine the injuries and damage that might be caused if hundreds of droids were roaming around a crowded park.
As you walk around Galaxy’s Edge, your droid will interact with other droids they encounter. Listening to the beeps and bloops is great fun! It will make different sounds depending on the droid with which in engages. If you have a backpack rather than the cardboard carry case, it’s easier to see the reactions. Another bonus of purchasing the backpack!
Although we couldn’t play with the droids in the parks, we did have lots of fun playing with them at the resort. Droid races in our room was a great pastime! And we spent some time having the droids run on the mats surrounding the playground area. Navigating through the tunnels and alcoves one afternoon when the playground wasn’t busy was especially fun.
If you’re looking to add a little pixie-dust to your vacation, I’d highly recommend building a droid. Our grandkids (ages 6, 9 and 14) all enjoyed it a great deal, and said it was a highlight of our trip. Adults who are Star Wars fans will also enjoy it. We saw several building their droids on the day of our visit.
If you’d like some expert help planning your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation, contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel. She can answer all your questions and will be happy to provide you with a free quote!
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