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Complete Guide To Galaxy’s Edge with Insider Tips

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In a galaxy far, far away, … Or maybe just in Anaheim, California…lies the planet of Batuu. For years, young jedis have awaited the addition of a new land, themed after a remote planet. And now, guests are able to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (aka Disneyland’s Star Wars Land) at Disneyland Resort.

There are a lot of questions regarding Star Wars Land, so this is your technical (and complete) guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, based off information released by Disney Parks, my visits and also my careful monitoring of the land when not there myself.

young boy at future entrance to Star Wars Land at Disneyland

What We Know About Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Is Star Wars Land Completely Open?

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open at Disneyland as of May 31, 2019. Well, most of it is. All of the shops, dining options, and the ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run are open (more on this ride in a moment). The second ride for Star Wars Land – Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens January 17, 2019.

Blackspire in Galaxy's Edge
The Black Spire of Blackspire Outpost in Galaxy’s Edge. All photos taken by me unless otherwise noted.

The first several weeks, access to Galaxy’s Edge was by reservation only.

Reservations are NO LONGER REQUIRED! Guests may now visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge without reservations. However, Disneyland may utilize a virtual queue if the land reaches capacity.

Know before you go:

Disneyland has put out a series of “Know Before You Go” videos. Most of these videos pertained to the reservation period, which has since ended. Disney did put out one Know Before You Go video for those visiting after the reservation period. Below you can find the highlights from that video.

  • Reservations are no longer required to enter the land but are required for both Oga’s Cantina and Savi’s Workshop (Build your own lightsaber). Droid Depot also takes reservations but unless Disneyland is very crowded, you most likely will be able to walk up and go straight in.
  • Reservations for these locations open up 60 days in advance.
  • Your reservation guarantees you entry into the land at least one hour before your reservation (even if the virtual queue is used)
  • Galaxy’s Edge has limited capacity. If the land fills up, Disneyland will utilize a virtual queue (more info on that below)

Where is Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Located?

If you haven’t seen where Galaxy’s Edge is in Disneyland, it is tucked back behind Frontierland (sort of). The Disneyland App and Play Disney Parks App have both been updated to include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. You can explore the land on the app now to become familiar with it.

There are three entrances into Star Wars Land. The first two come from the pathway between Frontierland and Fantasyland. The third entrance is from Critter Country, down the new path next to Hungry Bear Restaurant.

Virtual queues & Boarding Passes

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Wristbands are no longer needed to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Now that Galaxy’s Edge is open for the public, no reservation required, you might be wondering how crowded it is. I have been monitoring each day (and will continue to monitor and update this post as needed) to see what seems to be happening.

June 24th started out looking like a true opening. It looked like reservations for Oga’s and Savi’s filled up within 30 minutes (spoiler alert, somehow more slots opened up an hour or so later). Ride times were listed at up to 240 minutes. And a virtual queue was formed within 30-45 minutes of park opening.

And then it stopped. The wait time for Smugglers Run evened out later in the day around 45 minutes. By the evening, the land was once again open to all. It seems there was a big rush in the morning for people to get in, and then it died down…. and stayed down. On day 2 the virtual queue was never even utilized and the longest wait time I found on Smugglers Run was 75 minutes. Not bad at all.

Since then, the crowds have not been bad at all and we have not seen the virtual queue used, even during the busy winter break. That may change when Rise of the Resistance opens.

How Does A Virtual Queue Work?

Once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge reaches capacity for the day, guests will be put in a virtual queue to enter the land. You will be able to do this through the app, or at kiosks in Disneyland park. When you sign up you are placed in a boarding group. Once your boarding group is alerted that they may enter, you will have two hours to enter the land (so no need to jump out of your fastpass line).

Below are some screen shots of joining the queue via the app. While we don’t expect this system to be used again, I do think the virtual boarding system will be used just for the ride Rise of the Resistance, and the screens should look similar to this.

Per Disneyland: “The Disneyland app will have a dedicated module, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Status and Access, available from the main page, on which guests can request to join a boarding group to visit the land, once they have entered the park. Boarding groups will be sent a push notification when it is their turn to enter the land and they can monitor status of boarding groups from the app. There will also be the ability to join a boarding group from select locations inside Disneyland Park, if a guest is not using the app. The boarding group is tied to admission media that will be scanned upon entry into the land. Signage throughout the park will also display boarding group status. Admission into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be subject to capacity, and having an assigned boarding group will not guarantee entrance to the land.” (Disneyland News)

 

The home screen of the Disneyland app has the link to all things Galaxy’s Edge.

How to check  virtual queue status

If you want to check the app to see if a virtual queue is being used, simply click on the “Find Out More” section on the Galaxy’s Edge section of the DIsneyland app. Alternatively, signs around the resort will indicate the status of entering Galaxy’s Edge as well.

This screen will tell you if the land is open to anybody or if you need to join a boarding group. It will also indicate which entrance you should use.

If you need to join a boarding group, there will be a pop up letting you know that Galaxy’s Edge has gone to a digital boarding system. This will only appear the first time you check it after they activate the boarding system for that day.

One thing I love that Disneyland included on the app is that before you join a boarding group, the app lets you know the expected entry time for those joining the virtual queue for Galaxy’s Edge. Just remember it is an estimate and actually entry time will vary based on when the land empties.

Galaxy’s Edge Tip: You must be scanned into the park to join a boarding group for the virtual queue.

Note that you can see the current groups boarding, which entrance, expected return time of those joining a boarding group now, and more on the app.

After you have joined a boarding group, you will get a push notification when it is your turn to board. You can also check your status on this page. Once your group is called you have 2 hours to enter the land.

Guests were quick to point out that it was easy to miss the push notification for your boarding group, and by the middle of the first day, Disney had added instruction on where to find that information. You can see the message on where to find it above. You would scroll down the screen slightly and find the “important messages” icon.

Once you have entered the land, if you exit, you must either join another boarind group (which you can actually do from within the land) or wait until the boarding status is open again.

Once again…. this entire process is only if Galaxy’s Edge reaches capacity.

We expect this same sort of system to be used on a ride only level for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance when it opens. The process will be almost identical, but boarding groups will only be for the ride, not the land. I will update when we have confirmation of how this will work.

Rides in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will have two new rides by the time the land is fully open. Below are the details we have for both rides at this time.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

In one of the most anticipated attractions, guests will get to actually pilot the Millennium Falcon! Groups of six guests will work together to complete a mission. Each guest will have a role and work together in the mission. During the queue, guests will be able to utilize the Play Disney Parks App to unlock interactive aspects of the queue.

Star Wars Land Millennium Falcon Ride
Inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Disney guests will take the control. (Photo: Disney Parks)

What to know about Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

  • Opened May 31, 2019
  • Height requirement: 38″
  • Will include small drops, loud noises, darkness
  • Disney advises that expectant mothers should not ride
  • At this time, Fastpass or Disney MaxPass will not be available (at least during the initial reservation period)

 

The entrance with posted wait time for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Rise of the Resistance did NOT open on May 31, 2019 and is set to open January 17, 2020.

What we know about Rise of the Resistance

While Rise of the Resistance in Star Wars Land is not yet open, we do know a few things about the ride. Here is what we know:

  • Open January 17, 2020
  • 40″ Height requirement
  • This will be a trackless ride that takes guest through a showdown between the Resistance and the First Order
  • Walt Disney World guests have shown signs marking that pregnant women should not ride (their Rise of the Resistance opened December 5, 2019)
  • The ride vehicle appears to fit approximately 8 guests per vehicle
  • We expect that there will be a virtual queue used, and there will not be a standby line

Food in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland

If you are a foodie, then you will be in for a treat at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The food there is like none other. Fair warning: I am not a foodie, and I tried out Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run without dramamine to test out if you will get motion sickness (possibly) so I did not eat much of the food in the land.

Meals in Galaxy’s Edge average around $15, so plan accordingly.

Several of the food options from Docking Bay 7

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo

This is probably the largest food option in the land, with the largest variety. This is technically a quick service restaraunt, but not a grab and go option. The food here tends to be a little spicy for some visitors.

There is plenty of seating at Docking Bay 7 and can totally be a great hang out area. The seating both inside and outside is designed to let groups sit together while separating from the crowds. Loved it!

Ronto’s Roasters

Ronto’s Roasters is more grab and go quick service. The food served here is much easier to take with you on the go. A very delicious and popular option is the Ronto Wrap which our group tried.

INSIDER TIP: Both Ronto Roasters and Docking Bay 7 can be quite popular during meal time. I suggest utilizing mobile ordering.

Oga’s Cantina

One of the most uniqe, and highly anticapated, experiences in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Oga’s Cantina. Modeled after the Cantina Luke visits, this is the first location at Disneyland to offer alcohol (outside of the elusive Club 33).

Oga’s has become so popular that you must now make a reservation to enjoy the Cantina. Reservations open 60 days in advance on the Disneyland Website. The easiest way to access them is by searching “Oga’s”

Oga’s has a 2 drink limit, and a 45 minute time limit. Guests must finish their drinks in the Cantina. There are both alcholic and non-alcoholic drinks. You can also get some snack items.

Cheers to making it into the Cantina with friends

Milk Stand

Yes, I drank the blue milk and the green milk! These milks are actually plant based and vegan. The milks are frozen with a slushie type texture. If you prefer actual milk texture, you can also get Blue Milk in Oga’s Cantina that is just chilled, not frozen.

I tried the Blue and Green Milk

INSIDER TIPS: You can use mobile ordering at the milk stand as well. I also suggest buying one for your entire group if you don’t mind sharing as some people have found this is really not for them.

Unique Experiences in Disneyland’s Star Wars Land

There are a lots of unique experiences at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that you might want to try out. Start saving your credits (the Batuu phrase for money) because if you are a Star Wars fan you will want to do both of these experiences. This is just the best of the best, but there are at many things to do in Galaxy’s Edge you won’t want to miss.

Droid Depot – Build Your Own Droid

I was super excited to do this one! On our 3rd and final visit to Galaxy’s Edge, I knew I had to build a droid to bring home to my kids. I was excited when Disney announced this experience would cost only $99. I say only because I totally expected to spend double that, and you probably could with accessories, but even just the basic custom built droid is pretty cool.

You can build a remote control droid (B series or R Series) for the base price. The droids will interact with the land, even without the added personality chips. Add a personality chip to align your droid with the Resistance or First Order, or personalize it with stickers. You can purchase other accessorries ond they also have ready built droid to enjoy.

I built BB8 to bring home to my kids.

Savi’s Workshop

Savi’s Workshop has scrap metal and allows guests to build their own light saber in a one-of-a-kind experience that has guests calling it a “religious experience.” With music, lights, and more, guests can awaken the force within them and build their own custome light saber. Be aware, this experince does cost $200.

This experience is so popular it has gone to a reservation system, similar to Oga’s Cantina. This tells you that while expensive, guests have found the product and experience well worth the money.

Play Disney Parks App

Okay, it may seem strange that I have the Play Disney Parks app under unique experiences, but the app’s usage in the land is completely different from in the rest of park. The Play Disney Parks app turns your phone into a datapad that helps unlock the entire land. You can use the app to translate signs, hack into droids and more.

We saw several older kids going around the land, utilizing the app and they seemed to enjoy it.

For even more fun, guests have been kitbashing their phones for Galaxy’s Edge to play into the datapad theme.

Photo credit: Daniel Florez, The Dan-O Channel

Watching Fireworks from Galaxy’s Edge

This was truly a unique experience. We were able to watch the Disneyland Fireworks from Galaxy’s Edge. The view was amazing and pretty much made me want to cry…

But it was also different, because there is no music or projections in the land. This leaves you to have long periods of time with no fireworks or music.

INSIDER TIP: The best viewing is definitely outside Docking Bay 7 or just outside the entrance to Smugglers Run so you can watch the fireworks over the Millennium Falcon. We checked out several viewing spots and this one took the cake.

What characters will you see in Galaxy’s Edge?

One important thing to note about the land, it is set in the era of the First Order and Resistance, so during the time frame of “The Last Jedi” which means we will not see Luke, Darth Vader, or Han Solo walking around the land.

You may however see the following characters:

  • Chewbaca
  • Rey
  • Vi Moradi
  • Kylo Ren
  • Storm Troopers
  • DJ R3X (From the Original Star Tours)

More Guest Questions About Visiting Star Wars Land in Disneyland

A lot of guests might have questions about visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I am going to do my best to answer these questions, and will continue to add to this list FAQ as we learn more and the land opens.

Do I need to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy Galaxy’s Edge?

I think one of the biggest talking points regarding Star Wars Land is “I am not a Star Wars fanatic, so will I enjoy it?” or any other similar narrative.

I am a very casual fan of the series. As in, I have seen all of the movies at least once (except Rogue One) and the original trilogy a bunch of times. I have not seen the animated series and I am not a huge fan following the fact that the name changes for the Alliance, Resistance, Rebels, First Order, etc

I do think Disney purists may have trouble appreciating the land. This land is immersive, it is built after the likeness of the series. Very bland, earth tone colors, no themed background music, and is definitely like being on another planet. If you are going in expecting to feel the “Disney Magic” you might be disappointed. Instead, plan on feeling the force, and knowing it will feel like you just stepped into the movies.

Innovative and creative drinks from around the galaxy will be available at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif. Blue Milk and Green Milk can be found in the Black Spire Outpost market inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. (David Roark/Disney Parks)

While a general understanding of the characters is a plus, and maybe understanding why blue milk is significant will help, I believe most guests will be able to appreciate Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and enjoy the attractions, restaurants and merchandise offered in the land.

 

How bad will crowds be with Star Wars land open?

Artist rendering of Star Wars Land
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California (Photo: Disney Parks)

Probably the other most popular conversation topic regarding Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the effect it will have on crowds.

Disneyland took this concern seriously, and did some serious preparation for crowds. Maybe too much preparation. Opening weekend saw extremely low crowds. You can check out my Facebook live from opening morning to get a feel for how crowds were that entire weekend.

But a huge KUDOS to Disneyland, because it was also the most organized thing I have ever seen

Disney also banned items from the park, including large stroller, smoking and more.

All of these steps, and rumors among Disneyland experts, most likely have you worried that crowds will be unbearable. So far it seems that during the reservation period, crowds will be low to average for this time of year. If possible, I definitley suggest booking a last minute trip to Disneyland to take advantage of this reservation required time frame (even if you don’t visit Galaxy’s Edge).

We don’t know how crowds will be after the reservation system, but hopefully the virtaul queue will help, as should the Disneyland park blackout on Deluxe Disneyland Annual Passes mid-June through August (Deluxe Passholders may still access California Adventure Park) which also should help with crowds.

We also do not know how the delayed opening of Rise of the Resistance will change travel plans for those hoping to experience the entirety of the land.

Tips for beating the possible crowds from Star Wars Land:

While crowds so far have been minimal, we all know this could change. Especially if Rise of the Resistance opens.  But there are lots of ways to manage the crowds at Disneyland. Here are some tips to help you still get the most out of your park time, even with the crowds from Star Wars land.

  • Take advantage of early morning hours. Be at the park gate at least one hour before park opening.
  • Utilize Disneyland’s MaxPass to book fastpasses for rides through out the resort via the Disneyland App
  • Utilize the mobile ordering option when available via the Disneyland App
  • Follow @DisneylandToday on Twitter to keep up to date on park news for the day, including capacity issues
  • Purchase multi-day tickets so that you have more time to enjoy the parks.

Will Galaxy’s Edge have Fastpass or MaxPass?

At this time, Disney has stated that Galaxy’s Edge will not utilize Fastpass or MaxPass. This may change in the future, but do not plan on utilizing this system for your time in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at this time.

What about Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour?

While I personally feel it would have been genius for Disneyland to make Galaxy’s Edge an onsite-only perk during Extra Magic Hour, they have stated that Galaxy’s Edge will not be included in Disneyland’s Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour.

Even the Coke bottles are themed for Galaxy’s Edge

Will I be able to use DAS for the rides in Galaxy’s Edge?

Absolutely! If you utilize the Disney Disability Access Service for you or another member of your party, you will be able to utilize it in Galaxy’s Edge. Just remember that how this system works is different for every individual based on their specific needs.

If you are planning to use DAS for Rise of the Resistance, and they are utilizing a virtual queue, you will need to obtain a boarding pass before getting your DAS.

Are there gift shops in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?

Disney is really committed to the theming in Galaxy’s Edge and wants their guests to feel like they are on the planet of Batuu at the Black Spire Outpost. Media outlets that have toured the land, have reported that Disney will bring this theming into the gift shops as well. While you can build a droid, or a light saber, you won’t readily find anything that screams “Disneyland” in the area.

They are calling the shops “established merchants” and they will have names like Toydarian Toymaker, Creature Stall, Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, and Black Spire Outfitters.

At Black Spire Outpost in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, guests wanting to showcase their loyalty to the Resistance will find gear, badges and more at Resistance Supply. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Resort in California (Photo: David Roark/Disney Parks)

You will be able to find items with familiar characters on them, such as this Yoda Doll, because they have heard the stories of these great battles and jedi, but you will not find anything that says “Star Wars” or “Disneyland” on it outside of maybe the bags.

Will young kids enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?

A lot of parents are wondering if young children will enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland. While I am sure many kids would be happy to go and people watch, or play around with Chewie, the truth is there is not much for toddlers or preschoolers in Galaxy’s Edge.  The kids meals are not that kid friendly, the Play Disney Parks apps requires the ability to use a cell phone and read, and Smugglers Run is a bit jerky and may scare some kids, even though the height requirement is only 38″

I was quite happy I had not brought my twin four-year-olds this trip as they would not have had fun in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I feel like Disney got a lot right in Galaxy’s Edge, but a few things wrong, and one of them was the lack of activities for small children. Perhaps they could add a play area somwhere for kids to burn off energy while parents utilize rider switch pass.

Are there any good tips for Galaxy’s Edge?

There are so many amazing tips for Galaxy’s Edge that I will have to share a huge list at another time, but I have put several in this post and my other Star Wars at Disneyland posts. One of the best tips I can give you though is to go, knowing that this land is going to be different than the rest of Disneyland park, heck then the entire Disneyland Resort. Do not expect it to feel like Disney, because it doesn’t. It feels like the planet of Batuu.

Book your Disneyland Vacation!

If you want to book a last minute trip to Disneyland, I suggest booking through my friends at Get Away Today. They still have plenty of great deals available. plus use code CrazyAdventure to save an extra $10 on packages with 2 or more hotel nights and 2 or more tickets.

Discount Southern California Vacations

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Complete Guide To Galaxy’s Edge with Insider Tips”

  1. Enjoyed your article! I was able to see Galaxy’s Edge for myself 6/10 and had a blast, even building my own R2 droid!

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