Skkawliens! Have you ever wanted to visit a galaxy far far away? Well, look no further because now you can! If you’re not familiar, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is one of the newest attractions from Walt Disney Parks. I was lucky enough to visit the location in Walt Disney World which is closer to the U.S. East Coast. Essentially Galaxy’s Edge in both Disneyland and Disney World are the same, one is a copy of the other, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything. If you’re planning to go and would rather wait to see what the park has in store yourself, you may want to skip this post as we do share a lot of detailed photos and descriptions from the park and its attractions.
**WARNING GALAXY’S EDGE SPOILERS AHEAD**
With that said, onward to a galaxy far far away…
Entering Batuu, the planet which Galaxy’s Edge is located on in the Star Wars universe is just like stepping into a Star Wars fan’s dream. You enter through a carved out tunnel from what looks like a solid piece of rock and when you emerge it feels like you step out into another world.
Now, one of the first things you encounter at this side of Batuu is a couple of docked ships that look like they’re just about ready to take off. The staff, also called Cast Members, in this park are very serious about their roles. If you’re lucky you may get a chance encounter with Chewie and Rey like we did. Since they’re basically visiting Batuu for their own reasons, same as you are, they’re a bit busy doing their own things. For example, we caught Rey and Chewie working on a docked X-Wing which seemed to require some mechanical work. They were kind enough to chat with us, mind you in character, so to get the full effect you need to respond appropriately (e.g., striking a conversation about the First Order Stormtroopers lurking about, etc). Fun stuff!
It was pretty cool to see a full-sized X-Wing! Personally, we think it would have been nice if it had wings that opened up and the cockpit allowed for people to sit inside (e.g. to take photos), but that may be a logistical challenge to setup.
The biggest attraction on this side of the park, as of this writing, is the Rise of the Resistance ride. Unfortunately at the time of writing, the ride was not open yet. But check out the trailer below.
According to Scott Trowbridge (Portfolio Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering) via a recent post from StarWars.com, Rise of the Resistance is looking like one of “the most ambitious attractions we’ve ever done at Disney.” From that article, it’s sounding to be a pretty epic ride. Rise of the Resistance is now open at Disney Parks. If you’ve experienced this ride, do leave us some comments and let us know how it went!
Next, we found ourselves walking by an inter-galactic marketplace. If it could be found within this part of the galaxy, it was probably sold here. Be it huggable Banthas from the Creature Shop, wooden X-wing fighters from Toydarian Toymaker or a nice Jedi robe from Black Spire Outfitters. You name it, they had it! Some notable favorites: Star Wars plushies. See the slideshow below.
I was told by one of the shop managers that most, if not all, of the merchandise, is exclusive only to Galaxy’s Edge and is not available off-world (e.g., in another park or even in the Disney shop online). With the in mind, watch your credits folks. You could find yourself walking away with considerably less in your galactic bank accounts. You know we did!
As I said earlier, Galaxy’s Edge is full of random encounters with the characters/staff. One particularly memorable event was when a young padawan stopped a couple of Stormtroopers, shown below.
The Stormtroopers seemed a little puzzled and we could only guess what sort of Jedi mind trick this youngling performed. Suffice it to say the Stormtroopers “moved along” and went on their way and left the youngling alone. It was a heartwarming experience, and one example of the many reasons why this park is so much fun. Also, the Force was truly strong with this young one!
On the other hand, after the dust settled, we almost became the next planetary visitors to be harassed by these First Order Stormtroopers.. So we stole a quick photo, shown above, and moved along ourselves! This particular Stormtrooper wasn’t too happy about getting his photo as you can see.
Stepping out from the black hole that is Star Wars merchandise alley, from where our credits will never-ever return, we were graciously greeted by one of the most awe-inspiring views a Star Wars fan can ever see.. A full-size replica of the Millennium Falcon!
Seriously, I was half expecting Chewie and Rey to come running into the Falcon being chased after by Kylo Ren and a couple of his First Order Stormtroopers. The photos above don’t do it justice. So here’s a panorama we compiled from a batch of close-up photos we took (side and top view),
and some additional close-up shots:
The sheer size of it is impressive! Seriously, you have to see it with your own eyes to truly get the breadth of it. The childhood Skkawlings in us were certainly justified for this visit and overjoyed by the sight of it.
After taking a million photos, we moved on to the main attraction of Galaxy’s Edge, the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. This ride puts you in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with six other people. It’s a fun ride the whole family can enjoy, provided you don’t get motion sickness (as in any type of simulation ride). Check out the official preview from Disney below:
Since this is currently the park’s main attraction (until Rise of the Resistance opens), the lines to the ride can be loooong. In our experience, the line can take at least 30 minutes, that’s if you line up when the park opens. It can take longer than an hour during peak hours. They do keep you entertained while waiting in line. You basically walk through a hanger full of space junk, jet engines and you eventually get introduced to Hondo Ohnaka, a character first seen in The Clone Wars.. Hondo, an animatronic robot, provides you with your “smugglers mission” or the back story to the ride. The animatronics for Hondo is quite impressive, super smooth and entertaining to watch.
Without giving too much away, if you ever get to visit Galaxy’s Edge, we highly recommend your biggest Star Wars fan from your crew ride on the top right seat or the right pilot seat. This is the most exciting position as you get to manipulate most of the Falcon’s piloting controls and yes, you even get to pull the lever to go to hyperspace!
Suffice it to say, we had a lot of fun during our visit to Galaxy’s Edge! If you’re a casual Star Wars fan you can walk through the park in a single morning. If you’re a more engaged Star Wars fan like us, you could spend the entire day there. For example, we really made the most of our visit to this galaxy far far away and couldn’t contain all our adventures in a single post. See below:
Have you been to Galaxy’s Edge or similar adventures at this Disney Park? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Until next time and, May the Force be with you, always!