It’s finally here. After many years of anticipation Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened on May 31st, 2019. We were there from before opening day during a preview and on opening day. It’s strange for us to think that the new land is opening with guests enjoying it everyday just because we’ve been waiting for so long. The land was announced over 3 years ago and was then followed up with official details almost two years ago at the D23 Expo.
We have already spent over 20 hours in the new land and have lots to say about it. We’ll give you the details straight, the pro’s and the con’s. Things you must do and things you can skip. We’ve already done a complete review of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run that we would encourage you to read. It’s currently the only attraction opened at Galaxy’s Edge but Rise of the Resistance will open later this year. We’ll continue to update this article as things change in the land (last updated April 15th, 2021).
Because our first preview was a closed preview and we had to put our phones away we didn’t capture anything from the visit, we simply experienced it. It’s one of the coolest experiences we’ve had at Disneyland. While it’s hard to put your phone away, it made the experience so much better. Instead of looking at everything from behind a screen, we saw it all with your own two eyes (you should try it)!
On opening day we checked in early for our 8 am reservation at 6 am. We were let into Disneyland Park and escorted over to the Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland. Here we waited in line to check-in which required our reservation email and photo ID. Each person in our group was given a wristband and then we existed down to the area between Matterhorn Bobsleds and Finding Nemo Submarines.
We waited about an hour here till about 7:50am and then were taken to the Big Thunder entrance into Galaxy’s Edge. Disneyland Resort President Josh D’Amarro was there to welcome the very first public guests into the land along with a long line of Galaxy’s Edge Cast Members. It was quite the experience as you can see below from our video.
After entering the new land we followed our game plan (something we suggest having) an went straight to Oga’s Cantina. Here we partied with DJ Rex and enjoyed some delicious drinks. After partying ourselves out we headed over to Savi’s Workshop to build a lightsaber. Then we rode Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and ate at Ronto Roasters. The rest of the day was spent meandering around enjoying all the small shops and scenery.
Overall we enjoyed Galaxy’s Edge and hope that you enjoy our detailed guide and videos below!
Galaxy’s Edge sits in the very back corner of Disneyland Park according to the map but in reality it takes up a good portion of the park with 3 separate entrances into the land. Like most lands at Disney parks, there is a transition from one to another and Galaxy’s Edge is no exception. You’ll go from either red rock into space rock in Frontierland or bushes and trees to an endor like setting by Critter Country.
Galaxy’s Edge is on the planet Batuu and the outpost is called Black Spire Outpost, named after a blackrock spire in the middle of the outpost. Sharp and smooth rock outlines the outpost and the city is made of a rock/clay mixture like you’d find in Star Wars: A New Hope. Overall the outpost and land is really well done and no matter where you look, you can’t see anything but the outpost. It’s very immersive.
Take a look around the land with our video walkthrough to see all that the land offers.
You’ll see that the details are incredible and they spared no expense when building it.
An Immersive Experience
If you’ve ever dreamed of living Star Wars for real, Galaxy’s Edge is the place to do it. Not only did Disney go all out to make this new land amazing, they made it extremely immersive. In the opinion of a Disneyland fan and not a huge Star Wars fan, it’s a little too immersive.
Black Spire Outpost is based on events from the Star Wars saga The Last Jedi and forward. What this means is that the original trilogy and even the pre-trilogy don’t have anything to do with Galaxy’s Edge. Only characters like Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn and Chewbacca exist here. You’ll never see characters like Darth Vader, Obi Won or Luke Skywalker here. They are only mentioned briefly or subtlety as influences or historic figures. The “Force” may also make mention of them in certain scenarios but you won’t ever meet them or see them around Galaxy’s Edge.
From the moment you walk into Galaxy’s Edge, you become part of the story. You’re a traveller from another planet visit Batuu. If someone asks where you’re visiting from, make sure you say planet earth, not New York or Colorado. The Cast Members will look confused and probably say they’ve never heard of that place before.
Speaking of Cast Members, they are all part of the story as well. They are not your regular vendors or ride operators. They wear different name tags, call your currency credit, don’t know what Disneyland is and have their own language. Get used to hearing phrases like “bright suns” or “till the spire.” They are just saying good morning/hello and till next time/safe journey. When you’re leaving Galaxy’s Edge they will mention that you’re travelling off planet.
As you walk around you’ll notice Storm Troopers walking around and interacting with guests, asking for their credentials and questioning what their doing. Some will even escort guests elsewhere is they’re not fans of them. Along with Storm Troopers you’ll find members of the Resistance sneaking around the outpost trying to complete secret missions. They’re always on the lookout for Storm Troopers and may need your help. These stories take place throughout the day and reset the next day.
In our personal opinion this can be fun but it really starts to get annoying after an hour of hearing this. Cast Members try so hard to keep your experience immersive that it gets awkward talking to them. We found several of them fumbling for words as they tried to talk with us just because they were trying to stick to the story.
Sometimes you just want them to give you a straight answer when asking for directions or what they think about something. In places like the Cantina, they demand credits from you and say Oga doesn’t trust you to pay later (more on this later).
It’s a little much in our opinion, especially for the average Disneyland visitor. Over-all the immersive experience can be really cool if you want to get into it. If you don’t care either way and you’re there for the rides, shopping and eating, it can get annoying. We’ll be interested to see how long it lasts with Cast Members.
As we mentioned before, there is currently only one attraction opened at Galaxy’s Edge and that’s Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. This attraction is right in the middle of the outpost and features a life-size Millennium Falcon that you finally get to pilot! The ride features three lines: Standby, Fastpass and Single Rider. Currently Fastpass is not an option while reservations are required to enter the land. That leaves standby and single rider for your options.
If you want to remain with your group, you’ll want to choose standby. If you don’t care and want to get on the attraction faster choose single rider. The attraction is averaging a 90 minute wait time, getting down to around 20 minutes towards the end of the 2nd hour in the land.
If you’ve read our review of the attraction you’ll know that we’re in love with the queue for Smugglers Run. It’s mostly due to the Hondo animatronic seen just before heading into the holding area. He’s the most fluid and lifelike animatronic we’ve ever seen. See him below in our video.
Later in 2019 Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open and will the the bigger of the two attractions. While there aren’t many details about this attraction yet we believe it will not be a simulator attraction. We would compare it to Indiana Jones in the sense that we know you’ll load a vehicle of some sort and it will move throughout built scenes with Animatronics.
Right now the only thing you can see of this attraction is the entrance and that’s about it. No opening date has been announced but we would expect it to open by the time Galaxy’s Edge opens at Walt Disney World August 29th, possibly sooner.
There are several options for dining in Black Spire Outpost including several quick service, snack stands and a lounge. We don’t know if it’s just because the land is new or Disney is trending this direction but the food is pricey. Higher than we’ve ever seen from any park.
Oddly enough, our favorite of all the places is Ronto Roasters. We say oddly because Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is the main eatery but we didn’t find them as tasty as what Ronto Roasters was cooking up. We suggest you give them a try, we think you’ll love them. You can’t miss this quick service stand because there is a massive spaceship engine roasting some sort of animal…that you end up eating. It’s actually one the coolest quick service stands we’ve seen from Disney.
Docking Bay 7 is the main eatery and offers lots of healthy and interesting dishes. You’ll want to get there early as tables can be hard to come by during the lunch and dinner rush. Be sure to read our complete review on Docking Bay 7.
One of the most popular cart stands is the Milk Stand which serves up blue and green frozen milks. We tried them both and thought that the blue milk was much better than the green. Both are pretty interesting. You can get a non-frozen version of the blue milk at Oga’s Cantina.
Kat Saka’s Kettle is a popcorn stand that serves up some interesting flavors. It’s a colorful blend of sweet and spicy popcorn that tastes…interesting. We weren’t huge fans of it and thought that the amount of popcorn you get vs the cost was awful.
Last but not least is Oga’s Cantina, and let me tell you, this place is bumpin! DJ Rex from the original Star Tours attraction is now laying down some sweet tunes for guests of the cantina. It’s pretty small and intimate with not many places to sit. Most guests will stand either at the bar or small stands. Why they didn’t built this place bigger we’re not sure. There was always a 45 minute wait outside just to get in.
Because they want to turn over guests as quickly as possible you had to pay after ordering your drinks. We understand why they are doing this but we also aren’t fans of this tactic because you never know what kind of service you’ll receive beyond this point but you’re supposed to tip right then. Because it was opening day we tipped very well but ended up not getting our drinks for 20 minutes because our server forgot. At one point while we were waiting our server came over and asked if we were just hanging out and if so we would need to leave. We reminded him we had not received our order yet and and then he felt dumb. Despite our experience this is a must visit lounge.
There’s a lot to shop in Black Spire Outpost so we suggest you bring lots of credits with you. You can find anything you’d want from lightsabers and Kyber Crystals to Jedi clothes and collectibles. Many shops carry the same items including plush toys, shoulder toys and other knick knacks.
One of the biggest shops and really experience is Savi’s Workshop that fronts as a scrap yard but really offers guests the opportunity to build their very own lightsaber. While this $200 experience is pricey, it’s amazing. We highly recommend it to anyone who’s a big fan of Jedi or dreamed of having their own saber. You customize your hilt which is made of metal, choose your initial Kyber Crystal and experience the bond between saber and Jedi.
Afterward head to Dok-Ondar’s to add even more to your new lightsaber including different Kyber Crystals. You can also buy pre-made Legacy Lightsabers such as Luke Skywalker, Obi Won, Yoda and Darth Vader. The shop also features many other collectibles including jewelry, busts of your favorite characters, kids lightsabers and more.
Creature Stall is also a popular shop, especially for kids. You can take home a new friend by choosing out a creature or critter from around the galaxy. If you want something more interactive than the Droid Depot might be the place for you. Here guests can jump into an assembly line and build their very own droid! It’s actually a really fun experience and there are several models and choices to make yours unique. You can also purchase a $50 personality chip to make yours even more fun.
Till the Spire
Overall we think that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be a hit at Disneyland and will remain busy for quite some time as guests experience it for the first time. Remember that reservations are required to enter Galaxy’s Edge till June 23rd. While reservations are all booked up you can still get one by booking at Disneyland Property Hotel.
- Look forward to spending about 4 hours in this new land to get a good experience and try to ride Smugglers Run a few times to get better at piloting it.
- Be sure to download the Disney Play App so you can keep track of your Smugglers Run scores as well as other interactions throughout the land. Look for metal “QR” codes around the land for more interaction and fun. You’ll boost your scores and be able to immerse yourself even more into the story.
- Eat some new and unique food at several quick service places. Mobile ordering is available through the Disneyland app.
- Bring home a creature, build a droid or design your own lightsaber.
- Bring some extra credits as this new land can be pricey. There are annual passholder discounts available.
- Download the Disney Play App and the Official Disneyland App.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.