A galaxy far, far away has been brought to a state less than 1,000 miles away. For more than a year, everyone has been buzzing about Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars-themed land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. The popular attraction has already welcomed several space travelers, but many have yet to experience it in all of its galactic glory.
Here are some highlights to remember for your future interplanetary adventure.
The food and beverages are out of this world.
Besides the atmosphere being stellar, there are several options on the planet Batuu to fill your belly and quench your thirst.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is a quick-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some Dining Plans are accepted here and there also is the option for mobile order.
Then, of course, there is Oga’s Cantina, which already has received the reputation of being the coolest place in the galaxy to hang out and grab a drink. This watering hole has a backstory of smugglers, rogue traders and bounty hunters. Unique alcoholic concoctions include The Outer Rim, the T-16 Skyhopper and the Fuzzy Tauntaun. Of course, for all of those Jediin-training and non-drinkers, there are some delicious non-alcoholic menu items as well.
Other exciting places to grab a bite or beverage are Kat Saka’s Kettle, Ronto Roasters and Milk Stand, where you can try the blue or green milk that was famously featured in the movies.
The rides are crazy, thrilling and in high demand.
Park guests have been enjoying the Star Tours ride for years. It opened in 1989 and reopened in 2011 with several renovations, new storylines and experiences.
Now fans of the Star Wars Saga have two more exciting attractions – Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
On Smugglers Run, guests can see what it’s like to fly the Millennium Falcon and blast into hyperspace. The newest to open, Rise of the Resistance has gotten much acclaim as it is fully immersive with hundreds of special effects, holograms and animatronics. This ride is so popular; currently, the only way to guarantee getting on is by booking a boarding pass (different than a Fast Pass). You don’t have to pay for them, but you do have to be in the park to reserve them and they go fast.
You can customize your own lightsabers and bots.
Within Black Spire Outpost lies Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers. This is different than the customizable plastic lightsabers previously available in select merchandise locations – this is a full-on experience. Building a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop costs about $200 per lightsaber and requires reservations as far out as 180 days in advance.
Once there, options for the build include four different themes and a carrying case is included for each. This activity is suitable for anyone 5 and up. Close by is Droid Depot,where guests can assemble a custom Astromech Unit. Builders have the choice between the R-Series and the BB-Series. Each droid costs about $100 and, like at Savi’s, requires a reservation. This activity is appropriate for anyone 3 and up.
At both locations, young ones must be accompanied by someone 14 or older.
Star Wars characters and merchandise are plentiful.
Where once upon a time, guests were only lucky enough to meet movie characters on Star Wars Weekends, they can now see fan favorites every single day. You can expect to see Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren, Ray, Chewbacca and select others roaming around at any given time.
There also are several places throughout Galaxy’s Edge to buy souvenirs and gear, including Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, where you’ll find an eclectic assortment of trinkets and treasures.
There are several experiences beyond Galaxy’s Edge.
At Hollywood Studios, Star Wars entertainment, attractions, characters and merchandise can be found outside of the Planet Batuu.
If you have little ones who are looking to join the force, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple can be found in Echo Lake. Only young Jedi between 4 and 12 years of age can participate in this activity, but the good news is, this isn’t something you have to book before you go. Jedi Training registration happens when the park opens for the day at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost.
Star Wars Launch Bay, found in Animation Courtyard, offers opportunities for guests to see exhibits of costumes, concept art and actual props from the films. Plus, you can even meet Darth Vader, Chewbacca and BB-8.
Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away is a stage show that happens several times throughout the day at the end of Hollywood Boulevard with appearances from classics like R2-D2 and C-3PO.
Of course, Disney doesn’t ever end your day at the park without some fantastical nighttime extravaganza. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is a light show which features lasers, pyrotechnics, and state of the art projections.
Tip: Look at the schedule ahead of time if you can, A Galactic Spectacular is only on select nights. Showtimes for this and other exclusive shows are available at disneyworld.disney.go.com, on the My Disney Experience App and in your Times Guides (available at several locations at parks and resorts).
Know before you explore: Galaxy’s Edge is going to be crowded no matter when you go. Entry does NOT include a separate park ticket, but certain aspects do require planning and reservations, so get ahead of the curve. If you’re planning to hit up this new land while at Walt Disney World®, know your timeline for reservations and make them as soon as you can. Keep in mind – While Galaxy’s Edge is open during Extra Magic Hours, Rise of the Resistance does open and close with regular park hours. Star Wars fan or not, you’ll at least want to check it out.
Written by: Emily Gnacik, editor at AAA Hudson Valley and a Disney Parks enthusiast.
Photos: ©Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd