First Look: Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
I was not expecting to get to visit Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge for quite some time, but a generous friend and Disney cast member invited me to be her guest during the cast previews.
I’ve seen every Star Wars movie and enjoy them but I wouldn’t label myself a die-hard fan that knows all of the intricate jargon or could even pass a moderate trivia night, but I was still very excited to see how Disney brought the franchise to life. Due to the excitement over the park, I wanted to put together a list of helpful and informative tips for anyone that likes to be prepared before their journey.
Fastest way to get to Batuu:
No doubt when you enter Hollywood Studios on August 29th or thereafter you will be high-tailing it to see the planet Batuu first. The quickest way to enter the land is to veer left at the Chinese Theater and head back thru commissary lane. You’ll take a right and head straight back and the entrance is to the right of Muppet Vision 3-D. The land has an exit that takes you into Toy Story Land.
What to do first on Batuu:
Right now, there is only one ride inside Galaxy’s Edge. The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride (which is located toward the back of the land of Batuu) is going to be the main attraction until the Ride of the Resistance opens in December. For this reason along with the fact that no Fast Passes will be available for this ride when the park opens, I assume it will have extremely long wait times. It would be my recommendation when you enter the park to head there first to make sure you get on the ride during your trip. If you enter thru Toy Story Land that will get you closer to where the Millenium Falcon is located. Once you get through most of the line, you will be assigned your position. You’ll either be one of the pilots, gunners, or engineers. The good news is that once you receive your position you get a break from the line and get to take photos inside the Falcon including sitting around the iconic holochess table. The ride is great, very immersive, and definitely a bit bumpy.
Savi's Workshop and Droid Depot are sure to excite serious fans who want to leave with a souvenir they can enjoy long after they’ve left Batuu. Savi’s Workshop is wherewith guidance, you can construct your very own lightsaber and bring it to life through the power of kyber crystals. The workshop is just a little bit hidden but located next to the Droid Depot. Reservations are required and the cost is $199 + tax and comes with a lightsaber carrying case.
The Droid Depot allows you to create your own BB-series unit or R-series droid that you assemble yourself. The cost is $99 + tax and while reservations are taken but a cast member told me that they try to have some flexibility to accommodate those without one, it’s all subject to availability.
If you can’t afford to drop this amount of coin on a larger souvenir I would suggest visiting Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities. It’s a hauntingly beautiful shop filled with standard merchandise, but here you can purchase kyber crystals, holocrons, and lots of other unique items that are more budget-friendly and equally cool.
My favorite place on Batuu:
If you aren’t interested in building a droid or putting together a lightsaber, your best bet for spending time in Batuu (after riding the Millenium Falcon) is hanging out in Oga’s Cantina. DJ R-3X (who first appeared in Star Tours) keeps the vibe going playing different types of music while bopping along, even talking between songs.
The drink menu consists of cocktails, some wine, beer, and non-alcoholic concoctions. I tried the Fuzzy Tauntaun Mind Trick which is a yellow cocktail consisting of Cîroc peach vodka, Bols peach schnapps, Simply Orange with Tangerine, pure cane sugar, “buzz button tingling” foam blue. ($15) The drink is obviously on the sweeter side but is topped with a foam that will make your lips tingle.
My second drink, Jabba Juice, was off the non-alcoholic beverage and was made up of Simply Orange with pineapple kiwi, cantaloupe, and blueberry popping pearls. ($6.50)Altogether there are seven non-alcoholic drinks including the Blue Bantha and eight cocktails with alcohol. Something for everyone!
From what we were told reservations are needed, but there is space around the bar for those who get put on the wait list. We were limited to two drinks and a 45-minute stay inside Oga’s, which I believe will still be time limit when it’s open to the public, so make the most of your time when inside.
Eating on Batuu:
As you walk through the marketplace you will come to Ronto’s Roster, a quick-serve area to grab some Batuu delicacies. They serve two breakfast dishes for morning Batuu travelers (and coffee) as well as two meat entrees of pork or turkey. Here you can also grab a quick specialty beverage of which they have three. I tried the Sour Sarlaac. ($5.49) It’s a tart lemonade based drink with a kick.
If you are looking for the famous Blue Milk, you’ll find the stand in the First Order Cargo area just past the Droid Depot. These drinks are frozen the Blue Milk has a more tropical taste where the Green Milk is more citrusy. It’s important to note these drinks are dairy-free so lactose intolerant travelers can enjoy.
For more variety, just past Ronto’s you will find the sit down quick serve at Docking Bay 7. If you have more limited dietary restrictions hopefully you’ll find something here (there is a plant-based option). I chose the Roasted Endorian Tip-Yip salad. Marinate tip-tip (chicken), mixed greens, roasted seasonal vegetables, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and green curry ranch. ($13.99)
The attention to detail is truly beautiful, and as you walk around Batuu you’ll notice even small components of decor staying on theme and looking realistically distressed and other-worldly. Perhaps most impressive to me is the trick of the eye the mountainous rocks play on you, being painted different hues to appear much further away then they are. It makes you feel like you are truly on a planet in a far off galaxy all to its own.
If you aren’t going to pay for the additional experiences, really you are just going to hopefully get on the Millenium Falcon ride and indulge in Batuu delicacies. The park is set up to be the attraction itself, so most travelers will be taking a lot of photos and maybe getting questioned by roaming Storm Troopers. For that reason, be patient with your photo ops in the crowded park. You’ll have plenty of time to get your ideal shot.
I did appreciate the lengths the cast members take to keep you immersed in the experience. Any time a cast member greeted us we were referred to as a traveler, and any purchase that was made was totaled in credits not dollars. Even when questions were asked, they often didn’t break character and acted as though they were residents of Batuu. It’s that level of commitment that will surely make this an enjoyable trip for Star Wars enthusiasts.
Disclaimer: While I was able to attend the cast preview at no cost, all merchandise and food and beverage was paid for personally.