“Bright Suns!” I am a travel agent and Disneyland Annual Passholder, and I had been eagerly anticipating the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. I scored a reservation at The Grand Californian for May 30th – 31st, so I got guaranteed entry into the world of Batuu! Unfortunately, this option will not be available to us in Florida. I do hope they implement something to help with crowd control here at Hollywood Studio’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
For those who have been on the edge of their seats, we wanted to share it all. Here is the inside scoop on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening day, I am so excited to share the amazing experience of Opening Day with all of you!
WARNING: ahead you will be reading full spoilers, rides, food merchandise and more. So if you want to keep it all a surprise I would skip reading this entire article.
Initially, I thought “how in the actual heck are four hours going to be enough??” There is so much to see and do and I didn’t feel like we would have ample time to experience everything. From riding Smuggler’s Run to sampling the cuisine of Batuu to checking out all the many merchandise opportunities-could we do it all?? Flashbacks to the openings of Pandora, Toy Story Land, and Cars Land flashed through my brain! Lines, crowds and time limits, oh my!
Well, turns out that the 4 hours WAS actually enough to be briefly immersed in the world of Batuu. Our reservation for Galaxy’s Edge was from 2:00pm-6:00pm. We were able to do Smuggler’s Run, eat at Docking Bay 7, go to Oga’s Cantina, sample the blue AND green milk, see the marketplace, and visit the Droid Depot, plus just cruise around taking tons of pictures. All that information can be a little overwhelming, so here is a breakdown:
The reservation process was very smooth. Once I booked my stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, I received an email shortly thereafter. It had details of my guaranteed reservation into SWGE which was 2:00 – 6:00 pm May 31, 2019. You must bring your reservation and photo ID for all those 18 and older. There is a special booth set up in each of Disneyland’s hotels with cast members helping guests to be able to navigate their time in SWGE.
On opening day, we were instructed to go to the second floor of the Launch Bay two hours prior to our reservation time. That was the first queue! There we received our color-coded wristbands. We were also allowed to go shop for the highly coveted opening day merchandise! One of each item per customer was all they allowed. After our purchases, we had some free time to tour the park.
At about 1:30, we headed over to the Hungry Bear area. Folks were already congregating in anticipation of the 2:00 pm opening time. Cast members were not allowing anyone to line up that far in advance, so we went to use the facilities. Upon our exit, they made the announcement that the 2:00 pm reservation time guests could begin lining up and we just happened to be at the right spot at the right time! They herded us toward the front gates of SWGE and the atmosphere was quite jovial and friendly. Everyone was so excited to finally see this world! Once they allowed us inside, the games began!! It was a rush to the amazing world of Batuu.
It’s FANTASTIC!!! The first thing you are greeted with is the sight of the Millennium Falcon herself!! The infamous ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs! It’s awe-inspiring! And for someone like me who was first introduced to the Falcon in 1977 when Star Wars hit the big screen-let me tell you, I got teary! The queue takes you through a repair bay. There is a giant engine that comes to life while you’re winding through, and you can hear a dialogue between Hondo Ohnaka and his workers over all the clinking and whirs of machinery. You eventually make your way to a room where you meet Hondo, who debriefs you for your mission, should you choose to accept it.
He needs six recruits on each mission: two pilots, two gunners, two engineers. Your assignments are handed out at the end of the queue as you are about to board the Falcon. If your party has less than six people, the ride attendant will fill the spots with other guests in line. Both my kids were pilots (I didn’t want that pressure!), my husband and I were gunners and the two other folks in our group were given engineer assignments. My daughter tried to offer her pilot spot to the young man riding with us and he initially took it, but then he gave it back to her and said he didn’t want the responsibility. Hondo made him nervous!
Smuggler’s Run is VERY interactive! Much more than you find at Mission Space in Epcot. The pilots don’t actually have a yoke like in an actual plane. It’s more like a lever. The pilot on the left moves the ship left to right. The pilot on the right moves the ship up and down and also performs the jump to lightspeed! A thrill for any Star Wars enthusiast! Gunners are responsible for blasting things and removing obstacles.
It’s hard to focus because you want to take pictures and videos of the experience (because COME ON! YOU’RE FLYING THE MILLENNIUM FALCON!!) but, you have to do your job or your mission will fail and you’ll get chewed out by Hondo. (And you’ll feel like a loser who let down your whole crew. And no one wants that hanging over his head! Or maybe that’s just my issue?)
Your entire goal on this mission is to collect canisters of axiom. The better you fly, the more you collect, and the more praise and pay you get from Hondo. We did a decent job and collected one canister, but the Falcon got a little banged up so Hondo docked our pay. Boo! Word to the wise, if you have motion issues at all, wear your Sea Bands, take your Bonine, whatever it takes because this baby MOVES.
All that hard work of piloting the Falcon requires a recharge and what better way to do that than to sample the local food and drink?
The Food on Batuu
Here you will find the infamous blue and green milk! It’s a really neat outdoor stand with globes of the colorful beverages hanging from above. The queue moves quickly. My son was disappointed to find out that blue milk is not actually made from cow’s milk. Both are non-dairy beverages made with a blend of coconut and rice milk. The drink has a frozen slush-like consistency.
It’s a great option for vegans and those with a dairy intolerance. The blue has a tropical fruit taste to it. My son described it as ‘like someone put skittles in a blender”. The green has a distinctly floral taste to it, almost like a perfume. It will be an acquired taste for sure! My kids give them both a thumbs down. I may try mixing them next time to see if they are more palatable. They are $8 each.
Docking Bay 7
We had lunch at DOCKING BAY 7. There is a small variety of tasty offerings here. I had the Yobshrimp Noodle Salad and it was excellent. It is a chilled salad and is very fresh and reminiscent of ceviche with a lime and cilantro marinade.
Everyone else in my family got the Fried Endorian Tip-Yip, crispy chicken with roasted vegetable potato mash (this was mashed potatoes with peas and carrots in it).
They had in total, about 6-7 entrees to choose from plus a few kids meals, two desserts and a few non-alcoholic beverages options plus soft drinks. We also got to eat with the heavily discussed pewter sporks!
I enjoyed a tasty beverage here called Meiloorun Juice. Sweet, fresh and delicious! There are other beverage options as well. They have limited food options for lunch-the Ronto wrap, Nuna turkey jerky (sweet and spicy versions) and they still had some Rising Moons Overnight Oats-oats, yogurt, and fruit. There is a giant (faux) spit roasting the meat. Very cool theming and this is one entrance to the marketplace.
Kat Saka’s Kettle
Kat Saka’s is in the marketplace. Someone in line in front of us for Oga’s got the red and purple kettle corn. They offered their bag of popcorn to us because they thought it was gross. So I was not exactly enthusiastic, but in the name of research, I tried it.
It was not disgusting, but I wouldn’t buy it. It’s a mix of spicy and sweet. The purple was very sweet tasting and the red was supposed to be spicy. I didn’t find it to be very spicy at all. It did come in a cute little mouse droid bucket though! Not gonna lie, it might possibly be worth the cost for that popcorn bucket!
Online media previews suggested that Oga’s Cantina would likely be the biggest queue of the day, as it is very small inside and you essentially have to wait until someone inside is done with his drink before the next person is allowed inside. So I was worried we wouldn’t get to experience it at all. Well, as expected it definitely WAS the longest queue. And during our experience, they capped it several times. A resident of Batuu stood at the end of the line so no one could sneak into it. We probably waited about 45 minutes once we were allowed to make the queue. And by that, I mean to crash the line with the rest of the folks wanting to go in once they opened it up again. It was chaotic!!
**Since our visit, they have instituted a new procedure. Guests are escorted to the Cantina by a cast member upon entering Batuu, to check in with the host. Parties leave a name and phone number. Then they are notified when it is their turn to enter the queue outside Oga’s. From there, guests wait to enter.
As I reached the door, I was expecting the cantina from the beloved original Star Wars, with the alien band and all. This was NOT that Cantina. There are booths that look like they could be where Greedo met his doom, but remember you are on Batuu now, not Tatooine. The bartenders inside have a pretty good idea of the order of arrival of new guests. There are quite a few drinks on the menu-some alcoholic and some non-alcoholic.
I wanted a Porg souvenir cup but it was $32, so I settled for a Fuzzy Tauntaun. Huge mistake. Whatever they use to make the foam on the drink numbs your lips and tongue. I thought I was having an allergic reaction! I tried to take a sip of my daughter’s non-alcoholic Jabba Juice to counteract the feeling to no avail. The bartender offered to make me one without the foam but the damage was done at that point. It took about 10-15 minutes before my mouth was back to normal.
Those with a sharp eye will recognize Rex, from Star Tours, where he stars as the DJ. Lots of metal and glass and bright colors make you feel as if you are really on Batuu. There are tanks of creatures above the taps of the bar. It was dark, loud and crowded! The atmosphere was definitely otherworldly and electric! My daughter remarked that it felt like you could blast someone and no one would be the wiser! You do NOT want to miss this experience!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Souvenirs
What trip to another world would be complete without souvenirs?!? You’re in luck! There are ample opportunities for you to empty your wallet on Batuu!
First Order Cargo
This shop is located over by Kylo Ren’s shuttle. All kinds of First Order merch. I’m Rebel Scum so no FO stuff for me!
Dok Ondar’s Antiquities
Some seriously cool stuff in here!! Prefabricated lightsaber hilts from such iconic Star Wars greats like Rey/Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan, among others, begin at $110. Cloaks and costumes, lots of action figures, playsets and collectibles are available for purchase. As part of the theming, one can spot tanks of other world creatures… like a baby sarlacc!!
Lots of hidden gems to see here! Trophy heads of various creatures, weapons, parts of uniforms worn by other Star Wars persona like a helmet from an Imperial Guard, a Mandalorian skull and what we think may be Jango Fett’s helmet!
Here you will find a collection of vendors which includes CREATURE STALL, CREATURE CORNER, and TOYDARIAN TOYMAKER. These offer a menagerie of galactic creatures such as the darling Porgs shown below. I wanted one but resisted. Creature Corner features the Kowakian Monkey Lizards, like Salacious Crumb from Jabba’s palace. They are much like the Banshee shoulder sitters in Pandora.
This store is where you go to construct your own lightsabers. Reservations are required and a lightsaber costs $200 – which was more credits than I had in my wallet at the end of my time in Batuu!
Of course, this depot was super cute! LOTS of merchandise besides droids available for purchase here. For $100, I didn’t feel the need to own one on my first visit but now I think I may need to go back and make a little purple droid. The assembly line was full of delighted guests-young and old-constructing their own droids to take home. The process seemed to run pretty smoothly and it seemed to be a highlight for many.
This is where you go to find all you need to support the Resistance! Clothing, action figures, helmets, mini droids and that glorious orange pilot jumpsuit that everyone will remember! And if you feel the need for a truly epic souvenir, they do sell a lifesize, custom Astromech Unit that looks amazingly like the beloved R2-D2 for a cool $25,000. No discounts apply to this guy!
They are limiting everyone to ONE of each item per person! And they are taking that REALLY seriously! You can get more than one style of a shirt if it is in a different size. But that is all. And the merch that features Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (clothing, hats, pins etc.) can only be purchased OUTSIDE Batuu!!! They do NOT sell the merch about SWGE inside Batuu because that would totally ruin the theming!!! So if you want a souvenir about your experience at Galaxy’s Edge, make sure you hit one of three locations that sell this merchandise: Second floor of The Launch Bay; The Emporium on Main St; and Pooh Corner (yes, Pooh Corner!). There are also some locations in DCA too: Elias & Co and across the street.
Thoughts on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
So was it worth the price of the hotel room for the reservation and the nerves about how it would go on Opening Day? HECK YES!!! It was EPIC. Super excited to have been part of that historic day! In all honesty, it was VERY smooth! They had literally SQUADRONS of cast members around there. Seemed like every tenth person was a cast member making sure the day went smoothly.
The Photopass photographers are dressed like Batuuans of course. The only thing that was truly crowded was Oga’s. We entered Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge from the Hungry Bear entrance at exactly 2:00 for our 2 – 6 pm reservation and went straight to Smuggler’s Run (that is what my kids wanted to do.) I read to go to Oga’s first because it is so hotly anticipated that the line was sure to be long, and I was worried we’d get aced out, but it was fine.
When we went on Smuggler’s Run, they marked our wristbands indicating that we had already been on the ride. This is in case the queue gets too long and they need to limit guests. When we tried to ride it again later during our time slot, they wouldn’t allow us because the line was too long at that time. Once it opens to the general public I can only imagine what the queue will be like?!?
I consider it a privilege to be part of this historic day in Disneyland history and look forward to going back again next week! “ ‘Til the Spire!”
Heather Holst with Magical Travel an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. PLUS a Disneyland Annual Passholder. Want to book your next Disney adventure with Heather? Call 800-883-1535 EXT 23 or email her heather.magicaltravel at gmail.com
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