by Disney Magic Diva
In case you missed it, this is the second in a series of articles about our experience on the inaugural voyage of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. I’ve previously written about our arrival and adventures on our unforgettable first day aboard the Halcyon. Here’s how the second day went:
You know that feeling you get the night before your Walt Disney World trip? That’s kinda what we were feeling about traveling to Batuu. As a result of our choices the first day, we had several missions to complete. We knew we wanted to get to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. We had received instructions on our datapad that visiting these attractions would be helpful toward completing our missions. We also had instructions for one mission to visit Oga’s Cantina. And we wanted to get back to the ship by 12:30 for a mixology class. We had a busy day ahead of us!
For breakfast we had the choice of either a buffet at Crown of Corellia Dining Room or a grab-and-go breakfast box from the Sublight Lounge. We chose the buffet since we had plenty of time before our scheduled transport to Batuu. Watch for more details about the food in a future article.
After breakfast we made our way to the transport docking station for our trip to Batuu. As we waited for our shuttle, we were given a special Halcyon pin to identify us as passengers while we were visiting Batuu.
If you followed the construction progress of the Starcruiser on social media, you may have heard the criticisms of how the transport would occur. (If you want a truly spoiler-free experience, you may want to skip the next paragraph.)
The transport is, essentially, a box truck with the interior outfitted to look like a shuttle vessel worthy of space travel. It’s important to know in real life the Starcruiser is literally across a parking lot from Galaxy’s Edge. To keep the immersive experience intact, Disney uses this truck to transport passengers from the Halcyon to Batuu. And they do a respectable job of keeping the immersion alive.
You enter the transport vessel through airlock doors and are seated inside. There are 12 seats, and handrails allowing for maybe 5-6 more passengers to stand. It’s about a 5-minute ride to the docking station at Batuu, where once again you exit through airlock doors, proceed down a jetway like tunnel, then enter Batuu across from the Milk Stand. You never have even a glimpse of the exterior of the actual mode of transportation.
Diva Tip: The arrival area on Batuu is staffed by crew from the Starcruiser, and they will act as your personal concierge during your stay on Batuu. If you have any questions, problems with your datapad, want to store packages (or even have them shipped back to the Starcruiser), need a bottle of water, anything at all – just ask! They can supply you with whatever you need!
Our plan had been to head to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run first, but due to technical issue with one of our missions, it made more sense to stop at Oga’s Cantina. The instructions for our mission said we should meet someone there, who would give us some vital information. We stopped at the entrance and said some key phrases to a Cast Member there. He was very quick to recognize the “code” words (and our Halcyon identification pin probably helped, too) and gave us the item we needed.
Diva Tip: The cast member at Oga’s asked if we would be stopping inside. We had made reservations but needed to cancel them due to a conflict with other activities on the ship we wanted to do. When we explained that, he mentioned Oga takes care of Halcyon passengers, and we should come by later for a visit. We did stop by later in the afternoon and were able to get inside for a very quick drink. It may not always be possible, but it’s certainly worth asking even if you don’t have a reservation.
Next, we were off to fly that hunk of junk! Lightning Lane entry for both Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is included with your Starcruiser stay. Typically, a Lightning Lane reservation is for a specific block of time, but our reservations were open-ended. They were simply linked to our My Disney Experience account and were valid for anytime for our day on Batuu. We scanned our M-band (otherwise known as a Magic Band on Earth) and entered the Lightning Lane queue.
I’m not sure if it was because we were identified at Halcyon passengers or not, but my husband and son were assigned pilot positions. We completed our flight, stole two containers of coaxium, got our credits from Hondo, and headed over to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Unfortunately, it was temporarily closed. It’s not a surprising problem – this attraction has a history of frequent breakdowns. So, we did a little shopping, got some photos, and enjoyed the scenery on Batuu. Luckily, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was soon open, and we once again used our Lightning Lane pass to enter.
Since our voyage, I’ve heard when Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is closed for an extended period, passengers are given alternate missions to complete. Just another example of the extent of technology dedicated to Starcruiser missions.
After completing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance we had just a couple of more missions to finish. Both required using tools on our datapad to scan codes and send transmissions from specific areas on Batuu. I’m not a gamer – I have no skills whatsoever on using a game console or playing games with an app on my phone. But I found using the datapad to scan and complete these missions fairly easy. Granted, my son helped, but for the most part it was intuitive. And if it didn’t work, I knew I could always ask the Starcruiser cast members for assistance.
By now it was time for lunch. Our voyage included a quick-service lunch (entrée and drink, including an alcoholic drink if we chose) on Batuu. The meal credit was automatically loaded on our M-band and was good for any quick-service restaurant in Hollywood Studios for that day only. If we had wanted to, we could have left Galaxy’s Edge and wandered to other parts of the park, but frankly we didn’t want to take the time. We also could have had lunch back on the Starcruiser, or, if we were especially hungry, have lunch both on Batuu and the Starcruiser.
We chose to eat at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. We placed a mobile order, and found the process worked seamlessly. The app automatically used our pre-loaded meal credit without problems. While waiting for our order to be prepared, we had the chance to get some photos with a PhotoPass photographer. By the time we finished that, our food was ready.
With lunch and our missions complete, we headed to our docking area to board our transport back to the ship. When we arrived at the entrance, we found the Starcruiser cast members surrounded by park guests, asking questions. It seemed like most of the questions were typical questions a guest may have while in the park – “Where’s the restroom?” “How do I get to (fill in the blank) from here?”. As soon as the cast members saw our Halcyon identification pin, they politely asked the guests to wait, and ushered us in to the docking area so we could board our transport. The Force is clearly strong with that pin!
We had to wait just a few minutes for our shuttle. While waiting, we were offered cold bottled water. The holding area was out of sight of park guests. There was no seating and only limited shade, but the high rock-like walls gave it a “cave-like” feeling. There was plenty of open sky though, so no feelings of claustrophobia.
Once back on the ship, it was time for a “cruise” activity I wanted to try – Cantina Chronicles. Most activities were offered multiple times, but this particular one was only offered once. Given its popularity, I hope Disney decides to offer it more.
Cantina Chronicles takes place in Sublight Lounge. It’s a 30-minute event where passengers get an opportunity to taste 3 different non-alcoholic versions of drinks served in Sublight Lounge and hear the history of the drink.
We arrived about 20 minutes before the event was scheduled to begin. A private photo session was just finishing up, so we waited outside until the photographer had finished, then re-entered the Lounge. Sublight Lounge is rather small, with about 6 seats at the bar, maybe 10 tables, and the hologram Sabacc table. No cast members were present yet, so I took a seat at a table while some other guests played Sabacc.
I was checking my phone for a minute or two, and when I looked up, I saw all the seats at the bar were taken, with many others standing at the bar. A cast member was prepping for the event by placing flight trays in front of each person seated at the bar. I asked if I was going to be able to participate seated at a table, and she said they would work something out.
As it ended up, they did the event twice. Those at the bar had a session while those of us seated at tables waited, then we moved up to the bar and they repeated the event. It worked out fine, but clearly wasted some of my time when I could’ve been doing other things on the ship. Hopefully, this event will be offered more frequently in the future, thus eliminating the over-crowded problem.
Diva Tip: Sit at the bar and arrive early for Cantina Chronicles!
After Cantina Chronicles I decided to try Sector Set, a Starcruiser version of Bingo. It was low key, easy enough for all ages, and a relaxing time. There didn’t appear to be any prizes for the winners other than bragging rights, but a nice way to spend a half hour and feel like you’re still engaged in the voyage.
The Sabacc tournament was next on our itinerary. There had been several opportunities for interested passengers to learn to play Sabacc, either by formal instruction classes or just by asking an available crew member. (There were always crew members available for questions of any kind in the Atrium area.) The tournament began in Crown of Corellia Dining Room, with several games occurring simultaneously and winners advancing at each stage. Unfortunately, we needed to leave before the tournament concluded to attend our lightsaber training.
And as much as we would’ve liked to see the end of the tournament, we did NOT want to miss lightsaber training. Approximately 12-15 people reported for training at a time. We were instructed in the use of the lightsaber, and each given several opportunities to use it as well as a shield. When it’s your turn to use the lightsaber or shield, you are very active. But when it isn’t your turn, there’s a lot of standing and waiting. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, but not as compelling or emotional as we had hoped it would be. In fairness, it may be our perspective was clouded with having training scheduled so close to the end of our voyage, and we were in sensory overload with so many other amazing experiences.
Diva Tip: We didn’t travel with any younglings, although there were several onboard. If you have children in your party, you should be aware lightsaber training is limited to guests 7 and older. There are activities specifically for younger children, though. Just consult your datapad.
After lightsaber training, we needed to change for dinner. The theme for the night was “Taste Around the Galaxy” and before each course a chef would appear and speak to the passengers about the history of the dish. It was a delightful and delicious experience, even if we had stormtroopers patrolling around the room from time to time.
After dinner we enjoyed some quiet time in the Atrium. I wanted to relax with a drink and just watch all the activity occurring around us. Other passengers, of course, were busy engaged in their missions. It was fascinating to listen to conversations all around us. We kept hearing rumors of Rey being onboard, and then we heard Kylo Ren may be on his way to intercept our ship. I’m sure if we had gone below deck, or if we had looked at our datapad, we may have been more certain as to what may transpire. But it was fun to just sit back and watch the story unfold.
And that it did! The final scene of the story was unforgettable! Passengers had been directed, either through their missions or datapads, to gather in the Atrium. And it was here the captivating final scene played out, literally around us all. Passengers found themselves not just emotionally, but physically in the middle of the story. It was as if instead of watching a play unfold on a stage, you were sitting in the middle of the stage while the actors performed all around you. It was truly epic.
Of course, at the end of any intensely captivating story you need a chance to decompress and unwind. What better way to do that than with a sweet treat? We ended the evening with a dessert buffet, and a final good-bye concert by Sandro. Truly, a voyage to be remembered forever. May the stars light your path.
Ready to book your next voyage? Be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel for all your galactic needs.
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