Save it for later!

Barring some dubious decisions Disney Executives have made in the past (ahem Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management), I trust that if anyone can bring Star Wars to life, it’s Disney. There’s no doubt in my mind that if you grew up with this beloved franchise, you’ll walk into this land and feel your heart burst open at the sight of the real Millennium Falcon. After countless hours researching Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge one thing is certain, the Imagineers made sure everything is brand new land is authentic. Every building, rock, gift shop, and doorway is placed in this land for a reason. Nothing about it is arbitrary and everything references back to the original concepts constructed by George Lucas. The assembled team put their own childhood nostalgia on the line and created an immersive Star Wars land that everyone can enjoy. I mean, if they didn’t, they’d have an angry mob of Star Wars fans at their door.

This article covers Star Wars dining, merchandise, and attraction information. Now, the real thing that sets this travel guide apart is that it goes into detail regarding the backstory of every gift shop, restaurant, and experience inside the land. It also gives you comprehensive advice on how to make the most out of your visit (i.e. have the biggest bang for your buck). Star Wars will pull in massive crowds and create a lot of headache for Disney guests. I’ve got plenty of tips to help you plan so you can actually enjoy your vacation! Novel idea, right?

Black Spire Outpost at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Real picture of Black Spire Outpost
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

And one more thing, I created a super cool gift that will help you plan your trip! It’s my free and downloadable Easy Snack and Dining Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Let’s face it, besides the rides, Disney’s main attraction is the incredible food! This article is in-depth and I wanted to make something that you could easily print so you don’t have to check back to this website all the time. It’s uploaded inside my FREE Theme Park Resource Library. You can sign up to access the library by clicking here or fill out the form below. Not only do you get the gift, but I have a ton of other resources inside my library that you’re welcome to have and also access to my exclusive weekly theme park newsletter. Trust me, with increased crowds, wait times, and all the necessary prep work that goes into planning a vacation like this one, you’ll need all the help you can get!

Easy Guide to Snacks and Dining at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

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Opening Dates for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in two phases for both Disneyland and Disney World.

The first phase will open on May 31st, 2019 in Disneyland and August 29th, 2019 in Disney World. The opening attractions will include Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run and the rest of the dining and gift shops.

The second phase will include the remaining attraction: Rise of the Resistance. No word on when this attraction will open. The vague answer is “later this year.”

Black Spire Outpost Concept Art
Credit: Disney Parks

Are there differences between Star Wars Land in Disneyland and Disney World?

Nope! The rides, merchandise, and dining are exactly the same. The only small difference is the color schemes on the buildings and a few location differences. Otherwise, you can enjoy the land virtually the same way in both theme parks. The only planning difference is that Disneyland required a reservation into Star Wars if you’re arriving between May 31-June 23. Which, as of now, are completely booked up. You’ll have to wait until after June 23rd to see Galaxy’s Edge if you don’t have a reservation. Disney World will most likely have an easier time navigating the massive influx of crowds. Disneyland is older and more restricted in terms of the amount of land they could acquire so the park has a harder time dealing with big crowds.

Backstory

A Millenium Falcon, The Resistance, and The First Order walk into a cantina…

Imagineers took elements from several different Star Wars media, shook them up in a Yahtzee cup, and dumped them on the table. The characters, stories, and lore co-exist in one land. References to these elements are inside the attractions, entertainment, dining, and overall design. One minute you’re high-fiving Rey at the cantina and the next you’re encountering Hondo Ohnaka inside the Millenium Falcon. Pretty much every snack, souvenir, and attraction have a backstory.

The land takes place on the planet Batuu. This is a new planet created by the Imagineers and was not referenced in any of the Star Wars lore beforehand. They wanted to create an entirely new planet where characters and stories can collide together. Plus, Hoth is cold and Alderaan, well, you know.  Anyway, on the planet Batuu you can find Black Spire Outpost. A small city that was once a bustling marketplace for traders and travelers. It contains one cantina, spaceport, and a market. (Plus, two Disney rides.) The story goes that once hyperspace travel became a popular form of transportation, this small city became frequently bypassed and fairly deserted. It’s no longer a busy crossroad for travelers.

A guest who commented in an article on Disney Parks Blog made the connection that Batuu is basically a “space Radiator Springs from Cars.” Radiator Springs was once a thriving and bustling town filled with road-trippers and now forgotten due to the installation of Interstate Highways. I really don’t think that’s what the Imagineers were going for, but I appreciate the odd cross-referencing.

Anyway, now that Black Spire Outpost is off-the-beaten-path, the city is filled with seedy individuals or those who need a place to lie low. This includes smugglers, traders, and space trailblazers. Oh yes, and it’s the perfect hideout for The Resistance to stay out of sight and plan their rise against The First Order. Now we’re talking, right?

Black Spire Outpost Petrified Trees Concept Art
Credit: Disney Parks

By the way, those “spires” mentioned in the cities name? Those also have a backstory.  Huge, black trees are scattered throughout Batuu. The ancient trees are now petrified and referred to as the symbol and essence of Black Spire Outpost. Boom! The spires are justified!

Ok, so, we know The Resistance is there, but how did The First Order find their way to this small and sketchy village? The Battle of Crait, of course! After the Battle of Crait (The Last Jedi), The Resistance hid in the ancient ruins of Batuu. The First Order also established a space-military base once the battle was finished. The idea is that both parties are on Batuu searching for a “treasure.” The concept is fairly vague at this point and perhaps it will be cleared up in due time.

Rides, Dining and Gift Shops

Rides

Galaxy’s Edge will feature two attractions: The Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance.

Like I said, Galaxy’s Edge is opening in two phases. The Millenium Falcon will open with the land and Rises of the Resistance will come later this year. Let’s talk concepts and ride descriptions!

Note: Star Tours, the Star Wars attraction that’s been around since the 80s, is located outside Galaxy’s Edge. I hope guests don’t get confused and think that this only Star Wars attraction! They would completely miss the entire land right around the corner!

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Outside of Millennium Falcon
Credit: Disney Parks

Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run

The concept here is fairly straightforward. Guests are sent on a mission to smuggle some sort of seedy merchandise and other paraphernalia under the order of Hondo Ohnaka. Hondo, the space pirate from Clone Wars, has created a fake company called Ohnaka Transport Solutions as a front for his smuggling operations. By the way, the Hondo animatronic looks really amazing. All the animatronics look amazing and if these things won’t make you believe that you’re in another galaxy, then I don’t know what will!

Hondo Ohnaka animatronic at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Hondo Ohnaka Animatronic for the Millennium Falcon
Credit: Disney Parks

Each guest is given a role to execute the smuggling. There are 3 roles and 6 seats for each cockpit. Which means, 2 people per role. The Pilots navigate the ship, the Engineers repair the ship and make adjustments while in flight, and the Gunners defend the ship with laser blasters. You’ll control the ship by pulling levers and pushing buttons to keep the mission on task. These roles aren’t just for show like on Mission: Space. The actions you take will actually determine the success of your mission. At the end of the ride, you’ll walk down the iconic Millennium Falcon hallway. The appearance of the hallway is determined by whether you were successful or failed the mission. If you succeed, the hallway is pristine and if you failed, expect some damage and flying sparks!

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run Iconic Hallway
Millennium Falcon Iconic Hallway
Credit: Disney Parks

Rise of the Resistance

This ride was rumored to last a whopping 28 minutes long. This would have made the ride the longest attraction at Disney World and Disneyland. Imagineers have since squashed that rumor and no details regarding the length has been revealed.

What we do know is the ride concept. Guests are plopped in the middle of the war between the Resistance and First Order. They are recruited by the Resistance to navigate their way through the First Order’s turf and stand up to Kylo Ren and Stormtroopers with the help of Rey and friends. The ride is trackless and guests will board an eight-seat vehicle nicknamed the First Order Fleet Transport. This transport navigates guests through many buildings and levels as they complete the mission and in the end, celebrated as a Resistance hero!

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Rise of the Resistance Ride
Rise of the Resistance Line Queue
Credit: Disney Parks

In February, Anthony Breznican from Entertainment Weekly got an exclusive look at the ride queue and described it with great detail. If you don’t want the line queue to be spoiled then skip ahead to the Dining section below!

Here’s the gist of Anthony’s interview:

The queue starts with you walking through Batuu ancient ruins inhabited by abandoned Resistance gear and flight vehicles. Imprinted in the ground are footprints from Resistance Soldiers and droid tracks. The droid tracks were made from the R2D2. They managed to track down an old droid from A New Hope and created cement tracks from the droid. Pretty cool, right?

Further down the path, you enter the cave-like living spaces inhabited by the Resistance. Then, you’ll see a droid leftover from the Resistance, an ancient “worship” space, and finally, a Resistance Control Center filled with flight equipment and lasers. In the middle of the control center, BB-8 projects a hologram of Rey telling you that you need to board the Order Fleet Transport lead by Po.

After that, you’re ordered by an animatronic Nien Nunb (Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens) to board the vehicle. Then you’re ushered into the hangar bay with Star Destroyers, Stormtroopers, and the like. This room looks truly magnificent! Then comes the interrogation room that was used to torture Po in The Last Jedi. Once you break out of the cell, the ride continues on the trackless vehicles mentioned before.

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Rise of the Resistance Ride
Rise of the Resistance
Credit: Disney Parks

Dining

Like I mentioned in my intro (which probably seems like years ago), I created a snack and dining list for Galaxy’s Edge that you can download inside my Theme Park Resource Library. I will update the snack list when more details come out and update it inside the library so you can look at it later too. It comes with a ton of pictures so you don’t have to visualize the drinks and food too! Sign up here to access the guide! This is my way of making this article a little shorter and more comprehensible. And if you’re anything like me, you just came for the snacks anyway, right?

For now, let’s go over what places you’ll find inside Galaxy’s Edge and a bit of backstory for each dining establishment.

Oga’s Cantina

The cantina has been the subject of subtle controversy among Disney fans. This will be the first bar in Disneyland and the only walk-up establishment in Magic Kingdom that serves alcohol. Magic Kingdom has beer and wine available at sit-down restaurants and you can drink all the margaritas you want in California Adventure at Disneyland. Many people believe that bringing alcohol into the parks will taint the wholesome atmosphere. Honestly, they water-down and overcharge for those drinks so much that I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.

The amazing thing about Oga’s is that there will be morning cocktails and afternoon cocktails. You never have to feel guilty about drinking at 10:00 AM! All drinks will be mixed in a unique way and completely Instagrammable. Some of the drinks like the Fuzzy Tauntaun and the Carbon Freeze are even referenced in the Star Wars comic book Pirate’s Price! There will also be a few food items like an interesting twist on pub mix made with prawn chips, seaweed crackers, and wasabi peas.

Oga's Cantina Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Oga’s Cantina
Credit: Disney Parks

So, who is Oga and what is she serving? Oga is the “intriguing alien owner” and she serves innovative cocktails to the locals at Black Spire Outpost. Think of this place like your hometown bar that you avoid because you don’t want to run into everyone you knew from high school. I’m assuming we’ll run into some live characters, Stormtroopers, and members of the Resistance while sipping on our galactic nectars. There’s also rumor that if you mess up your mission on Millenium Falcon the locals at the cantina will treat you accordingly. This all adds to the immersive atmosphere, you see!

And guess who’s coming to dinner? Rex from Star Tours! After retiring from Star Tours, Rex joined the Resistance to fight the good fight. Following the Battle of Crait, things settled down a bit and Rex was hired as a DJ for Oga’s Cantina. During the Disney Parks Live panel, the Imagineers previewed some of the new music from the Cantina and it sounds so cool! The new sounds are remixed with old cantina samples and modern electronic music. Very fresh, very fun.

DJ Rex at Oga's Cantina Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
DJ Rex at Oga’s Cantina
Credit: Disney Parks

Ronto’s Roaster

At Ronto’s Roasters, you can order fresh “space meat” (shawarma) carved right off the rotating spit that’s heated by an old podracing engine. A cranky old smelter droid by the name of 8D-J8 is at the helm of the spit. The smells of the freshly fire-roasted meat will waft in the streets while you chase your droid away from a Stormtrooper. Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive of Galaxy’s Edge, said in the Disney Parks Live Panel that they wanted to “heighten all 5 senses in this land.” Movies can only please 3 of your senses and this land will serve all 5. This includes the textures of the intergalactic materials for your sense of touch and the smells of Ronto’s Roaster.

Ronto's Roaster Concept Art at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Ronto’s Roaster
Credit: Disney parks

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo

To put it roughly, Docking Bay 7 is like a large space food truck. A little less casual than Ronto’s Roaster and not a bar like Oga’s Cantina.The food is quick-service and served out of a “shuttle” (small diner, I’m assuming). The story goes that Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs is very popular among Batuuians (Batuus? The Bati?). He even worked for Maz Kanata, the bug-eyed wise alien from the latest trilogy. Since his cooking is in such high-demand, he shuttles from place to place serving the galaxy’s finest in his mobile kitchen. The food shuttle is now stationed on the hangar roof indefinitely to serve the people/aliens/specimen of Batuu.

Raspberry Creme Puff and Chocolate Cake Orbs from Docking Bay 7 Food and cargo at star wars: galaxy's Edge
Raspberry Crème Puff and Chocolate Cake Orbs from Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Kat Saka’s Kettle

This is a popcorn stand run by a grain merchant named Kat Saka. This popcorn stand will blend in with the busy and rustic market place. It looks like Disney will roast the popcorn inside a real kettle, or at least, keep the popcorn inside a kettle. The kettle corn will come in a few different flavors like sweet, savory, and spicy.

Kat Saka's Kettle in star Wars: galaxy's edge concept art

Milk Stand

This stand was put in place by Imagineers to exclusively sell blue and green milk. Can’t have Star Wars without blue milk! Due to the sweltering Florida/California summers, the Imagineers and Chefs thought it would be best to slightly freeze the milk and give it the texture of a milkshake. It’s also non-dairy rice milk so anyone can enjoy it! The rice milk is infused with melon and berry flavors like a smoothie. This sounds way more appetizing than sipping a cup of 2% made with Blue Dye #40 in 90-degree humidity.

Blue Milk Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney World in Hollywood Studios preview
Blue Milk at Concept Rendering in Hollywood Studios
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Gift Shops

Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities

Dok Ondar is a brand new character created specifically for Galaxy’s Edge. (He’s also mentioned in the movie Solo!) This gift shop houses mysterious antiques found by Dok and his visitors throughout the galaxy. It’s the black market for trafficking seedy accouterment. You can admire legacy lightsabers owned by famous Star Wars characters and other ancient space-alien artifacts like old holocrons. Creepy skeletons and caged aliens in their former state hang from the ceiling. Guests can also “communicate” with Dok in person. His animatronic is highly advanced with pre-recorded responses that are randomized so no two conversations are quite the same. This gives the opportunity to communicate with a real alien! The Imagineers mentioned that they lost track of how many Star Wars Easter eggs are placed around this shop. Keep your eyes peeled for references to the films and other media!

Dok Ondar Animatronic from Den of Antiquities: Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Dok Ondar Animatronic
Credit: Disney Parks

Savi’s Workshop (Lightsabers)

The First Order is keeping a close watch on Batuu on every corner. Savi created a salvage yard as a front for his real business – assembling custom black market lightsabers. There have been versions of a build-your-own lightsaber shops outside of Galaxy’s Edge, but nothing to this degree. The process allows you to choose each part of the lightsaber and even the color of your kyber crystal (the laser). The materials are made of the most high-end equipment associated with a souvenir lightsaber. You’ll then take home a truly one-of-a-kind lightsaber made entirely by you. And Savi will be there at the door to greet guests as they enter the shop!

Savi's Lightsaber Workshop Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Savi’s Workshop
Credit: Disney Parks

Toydarian Toyshop

This stall will sell seemingly handmade toys, dolls, and games created by the toymaker, Zabaka. There’s even authentic alien musical instruments like the ones played by Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes. Choose between an Ewok drum or a Fanfar clarinet! This toyshop is based on a real shop that was found in a Moroccan marketplace that Imagineers found on their research trip. To give the appearance that Zabaka is hard at work, you can see her silhouette shuffling around in the background of her workshop. The coolest thing about Galaxy’s Edge is that every store owner, cook, and townie is present at the Outpost. Whether it’s a silhouette of the merchant or a full-out animatronic, the character is somewhere nearby!

Toydarian Toyshop toys at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Toys that will be sold at the Toydarian Toyshop
Credit: Disney parks

Mubo’s Droid Depot

Outside the Droid Depot, you’ll be greeted by a couple of live droids which makes for a great photo op. Once inside, you’ll see way more droids. You can visit medical droids, Imperial droids, BB units, and astromechs! A few of them are out back in the courtyard taking a well-needed oil bath too. After you explore the droids, you can build your very own astromech like R2D2 or a “ball” unit like BB-8!

How you build your droid is a fairly organized system:

  • Step 1: Pick your parts. The parts are displayed on a conveyor belt that you’ll see running overhead.
  • Step 2: The builders assemble the parts right in front of you!
  • Step 3: The builders insert a chip which houses the droid’s personality. The personality chip also contains information regarding Black Spire Outpost. When exploring Galaxy’s Edge, the droid will communicate with objects and react to the same experiences you’re having!
  • Step 4: Once a diagnostic check is finished the droid is powered up and it’s yours for the taking!
Droids from Mubo's Droid Depot in Star Wars Galaxys Edge
Concept Droids for Mubo’s Droid Depot
Credit: Disney Park

Bina’s Creature Stall

Bina has a soft spot for exotic alien species. She’s like the Hagrid of Star Wars Land. She sets up shop at her Creature Stall, where she sells her beloved animals as take-home alien pets. You can adopt a porg, Kowakian monkey-lizard, or puffer pig. For ambiance, some animatronic creatures are kept in cages around the shop. I guess the Imagineers wanted an excuse to mass-produce porgs!

Bina's Creature Stall at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Bina’s Creature Stall
Credit: Disney Parks

Resistance Supply

This is your one-stop shop for branded Resistance merchandise. It’s the headquarters where members of the Resistance can pick up uniforms and other cargo for their operations. This is where you can join their makeshift army and pick up merchandise that is branded with the Resistance emblems and theming too. There are badges, pins, X-Wing towels, helmets, orange Pilot coats, and sturdy thermos’ to use on your adventures exploring the ancient ruins of Batuu.

Resistance Supply Merchandise at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Resistance Supply Merchandise from the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago
Credit: Slashfilm

First Order Cargo

We have a Resistance Supply for the good guys, so it’s only fair we have a shop that’s useful for the bad guys. At First Order Cargo, you can pick up merchandise that is specifically themed for the First Order and only the First Order. You’ll find First Order propaganda posters, water bottles, action-figures, and uniform pieces. You can even purchase detailed replicas of the life-size TIE Echelon that’s right outside the store.

First Order Cargo Merchandise from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
First Cargo Supply Merchandise from the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago
Credit: Slashfilm

Black Spire Outfitters

Ok, so, we have supplies for members of the First Order and the Resistance. What if you don’t want to choose sides? Maybe you want to be the grumpy alien that sits at Oga’s Cantina and complains about the space weather. Then you can head to Black Spire Outfitters for all your Black Spire clothing needs. This clothing shop is for those of us who want to fit in with the rest of the locals. The Outfitters will sell a number of unique clothing items designed specifically with the Black Spire aesthetic in mind. The outfits look like they are made of high-quality materials and a step above your standard Star Wars costume.

Black Spire Outfitters from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Clothing from Black Spire Outfitter
Credit: Disney Parks

The Jewels of Bith

This is another stall that will be found in the Merchant Row near the Toydarian Toyshop. Jewels of Bith will feature rare galactic jewels that you can take home. Very few details have been released regarding this shop. I’m wondering if the jewelry will be sponsored by Alex and Ani, Pandora, or another jewelry company that Disney has partnered with in the past. More details to come, I’m sure!

Atmosphere & Entertainment

Character Meet ‘n’ Greets

As far as I know, there aren’t any Jar Jar Binks meet ‘n’ greets planned. They probably don’t have the money to replace the costume every time someone throws a turkey leg at him. What I’ve noticed in the concept art is that there a lot of Stormtroopers around. Of course, you’ll meet droids and see a lot of characters in the form of animatronics like Nien Nunb, Dok Ondar, Hondo Ohnaka, Rex, and BB-8. No plans have been announced for scheduled meet ‘n’ greets with characters like Rey, Kylo, and Captain Phasma. I can only imagine they will make an appearance because these characters already make appearances in Disney World and Disneyland. As always, I’ll keep this page updated with new information and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter by clicking this link or use the sign-up box at the bottom of this post! This will allow you to receive updated Star Wars info right to your inbox.

BB-8 meet and greet from star wars: galaxy's edge in hollywood studios
BB-8

Play Disney Parks App

Besides wandering Stormtroopers and the easy listening brought to you by DJ Rex in Oga’s Cantina, Disney has created an interactive platform so guests can participate in the action themselves. The Play Disney Parks App is a way to interact with line queues and attractions around Disneyland and Disney World. Inside the app, you can read fun trivia and play mini-games based on your location inside the park. Now, when you enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the app will transform to a completely different space-themed interface. You’ll be asked to choose from 4 options and each option allows you to interact with Black Spire Outpost in a different way.

The app’s four key functions are: Hack, Scan, Tune, and Translate.

  • Hack – This tool allows you to “hack” the droids, light panels, and ships scattered through the land. You can ask the droids and panels to perform certain tasks for you.
  • Scan – There are unique QR codes placed on various props like cargo crates around Black Spire Outpost. Scan the codes and you can peek at the items placed inside the objects.
  • Tune – Tune allows you to tap into satellite dishes and antenna arrays signaled on the planet. You can eavesdrop on transmissions and conversations being had by the citizens of Batuu, the Resistance, and First Order.
  • Translate – Over doorways, props, and buildings are messages and scripture written in foreign, alien languages. This feature will allow you to hold your phone up to the text and translate the message.
Play Disney Parks App Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge iPhone functions and game

The main feature of the app is that it is a collaborative effort between you and other guests interacting with the Play Disney Parks app. Next to the doorways are panels installed by the First Order as surveillance systems. From my understanding, you can choose whether you want to help the First Order keep the surveillance tight or dismantle it for the Resistance. Once one side wins, the game restarts for the next set of guests. The coolest thing about this game is that it isn’t a solo game because you’ll be competing with other guests!

Plan Your Visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

The opening dates for Star Wars were originally planned for later in 2019. Executives decided to push the grand openings to earlier dates. This has upset a lot of vacationers because they actually wanted to avoid the massive crowds that Star Wars will pull in. If you’re one of those upset vacationers, let me make you feel better. You’ll get to witness the opening of a historical piece of Disney property. I know that doesn’t make the crowds go away, but it’s an amazing opportunity. You get to experience the most immersive and detailed land Disney has ever created! I’m going to lay out the information you need to know to prepare for your vacation. Hopefully, this section will ease your pain a bit. If you have any further questions, feel free to comment below and I will respond to the best of my ability!

Star Tours AT-AT at Hollywood Studios in Disney World
Star Tours (Hollywood Studios)

What should I do when I first arrive at Galaxy’s Edge?

The things that will take the most time is configuring your lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop and having a drink at the cantina. Both places have limited space for people so the lines will take a while to get through. My hope is that the ride designers have learned from popular rides like Pandora so the Star Wars rides will load more efficiently. Assuming you don’t have a reserved time to visit the land at Disneyland, I would head to the rides first then hit up the cantina and Savi’s Workshop immediately after that.

Crowd Projections for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

There will be very long lines everywhere you go. I’m not being over-dramatic about this. Expect long lines for transportation, security checkpoints, the park entrance, the tram, and long lines to access Galaxy’s Edge! I go into specifics for each coast below. There’s no way to accurately predict when Disney will see fewer crowds, but we can take a guess. There are a few times of the year that will most likely be less busy than others.

Try to avoid these months in 2019:

  • June-August. Star Wars is open on both coasts and summer is in full swing.
  • The end of October due to Halloween
  • The last week of November due to Thanksgiving
  • The second week of December through the first week of January 2020 due to Christmas and New Years.

Most likely, the best time of year to visit Galaxy’s Edge in 2019 is between September and the first week of October. This is when kids are back in school and the Halloween parties are less crowded. It’s still going to be crowded than September 2018, but it will be less hectic than visiting during the summer or Christmastime.

My honest opinion:

The farther into the future you plan your vacation, the better. Consider booking the second week of January 2020 or February 2020. That is, unless you’re a die-hard fan and want to be one of the first people to experience Star Wars. Then I say go for it, kid!

Disneyland

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle with pink filter and flowers in spring

Reservations to Access Galaxy’s Edge

Disneyland requires a no-cost reservation to enter Galaxy’s Edge between May 31 – June 23, 2019. Guests staying onsite at the Grand Californian, Paradise Pier Hotel, or The Disneyland Resort will receive an appointment from Disney directly via email. Your reserved time inside Galaxy’s Edge will last four hours total. You can enter and exit the land during those four hours. After your reservation time has ended, you will have to leave the area. I don’t know how they will enforce this policy, but it’s what is stated by Disney in the email that was sent to resort guests.

Anyone staying at an offsite, non-Disney hotel needed to make their own reservations for Galaxy’s Edge. These reservations were open for booking on May 2nd and are officially sold out for dates between May 31-June 23. If you don’t have a reservation for that time you will not be able to enter the parks.

The decision to force reservations is most likely put in place so Disney can reduce the urge for die-hard fans to camp out before the park opens. After June 23rd, the land will be free reign. No reservations are required and no limitations on how long you spend in the land, as of now.

What hotel should I reserve for my Disneyland vacation?

If you plan on visiting between May 31-June 23 then a Disneyland Resort hotel is the best choice. This will give you a guaranteed reservation for Galaxy’s Edge. If you are unable to stay at a Disneyland resort and you were able to make a reservation online for Galaxy’s Edge then any offsite hotel within walking distance will do.

You should try your best not to drive or park at Disneyland once this land is open. The parking lots already fill up quickly without Star Wars Land, so I imagine this will only get worse. Not to mention the horrendous traffic and the amount of time it takes to board a tram and commute from the parking garage. Walking from your hotel is your best option. I created a spreadsheet that includes all Disneyland Good Neighbor hotels with star ratings, distance from Disneyland, and amenities. This is located inside my Theme Park Resource Library and you can sign up here! Are you tired of me saying that yet? My resource library is pretty cool, I promise!

The Disneyland Hotel Room with cinderella pillow
The Disneyland Hotel Room

How early should you plan to arrive at Disneyland?

If you’re arriving between May 31-June 23 and have a Star Wars reservation, I advise arriving at least an hour and a half before your reserved time. I would even venture to say two hours beforehand. This will allow enough time for you to get through security and other hold-ups. If you’re arriving after June 23 then you will most likely need to arrive at Disneyland at least an hour and a half to two hours before the park opens. Yes, I sound like a crazy person, but getting from your hotel to the Star Wars Land is going to be quite the process. Don’t forget to bring a portable phone charger! You’ll need some entertainment while you wait.

Where do you enter Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland?

Star Wars Land is located next to Frontierland behind Big Thunder Mountain and the Rivers of America. Three pathways lead to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and all three go under the Disneyland Railroad tracks, if that helps with orientation.

  1. The first entrance is on the left side of Fantasyland.
  2. The second is behind Big Thunder Mountain via a small trail on the left side of the mountain.
  3. The last entrance is through a new path that is located on the lower level of Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country. This wooden walkway travels alongside the Rivers of America.

Discount Disneyland Tickets 

Get Away Today is an awesome company that offers discounted tickets and hotel deals year-round. Get Away Today is a trustworthy resource who I’ve used to book my vacations in the past and their customer service is awesome! Undercover Tourist is also an option for Disneyland tickets, but I prefer Get Away Today for west coast theme parks.

Disney World

Back of Cinderella Castle at Disney World Pink Filter
Back of Cinderella Castle in Disney World

Disney World will not require reservations to enter Star Wars Land. I’m assuming this is because they have ownership over the surrounding land near the theme parks. They can control the crowds and the possibility of opening day camp-outs better than Anaheim.

What hotel should I reserve for my Disney World vacation?

AKA How to Successfully Transfer from Your Hotel Room to Galaxy’s Edge

Entering Star Wars Land at Disney World will require some extra planning than Disneyland.  Most Disneyland hotels are in walking distance and only a few resorts offer this option at Disney World. To be safe, I would arrive 2 hours before park opening. Guests have to be at Animal Kingdom an hour before opening to ride Flight of Passage, so I think 2 hours will be necessary for Star Wars. We’ll see how it turns out. Here are some ideas for a successful transfer from your hotel room to Star Wars Land.

To help decide on a budget-friendly Disney Resort head over to my post: Best & Worst Disney World Value Resorts Ranked: Onsite vs. Offsite

  1. Book one of the BoardWalk resorts like The BoardWalk Inn, Swan & Dolphin, or the Yacht & Beach Club – then walk to Hollywood Studios. I owe this pro-tip to Tom Bricker over at Disney Tourist Blog. (One does simply walk to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Sean Bean!)
  2. Book a resort that has access to the new gondola transportation that escorts guests from their resort to Hollywood Studios. Here’s hoping this form of transportation will be more effective than the bus system! The resorts that have access to the gondolas are Pop Century, Art of Animation Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort and the new DVC Riviera Resort (opening December 16, 2019).
  3. Reserve any nearby resort and take a Lyft to Hollywood Studios. At this point, taking a Lyft is a good alternative to driving. The line leading to the parking lot will be horrendous and the lines to board the tram will be horrendous. Lyfts and Ubers must wait in line to enter the drop-off area of Hollywood Studios, but the overall process won’t be as bad. It will be faster to take a Lyft and be escorted directly to the front of the park.
  4. Reserve any Disney resort and arrive at your bus stop super duper early. Busses usually start departing resorts an hour before the park opens and sometimes they start loading a little early. My speculation is that it’s best to line up an hour before the official departure time. Example: Busses depart at 8:00 AM then line up at 7:00 AM.
  5. Take advantage of the Extra, Extra Magic Hours during the fall. Disney has graciously created more Extra Magic Hours to accommodate the capacity. New hours are copied below!

Extra, Extra Magic Hours

Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Sept. 1-Nov. 2, the park will open from 6:00-9:00 AM for guests staying onsite. These guests will have access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, and a few other attractions. All lands are subject to capacity. Meaning you’re not guaranteed access to Galaxy’s Edge so I would get at Hollywood Studios around 5:00 AM.

Aug. 29-31, Hollywood Studios will open at 6 AM for everyone, including offsite guests.  

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Extra, Extra Magic Hours will happen on Aug. 29-Nov. 2, from 7-8 a.m. The open attractions will include Pandora and a couple additional rides.

Magic Kingdom Park —Magic Kingdom will open earlier on Aug. 29-Nov. 2, from 7-8 a.m. The open attractions will include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and more popular attractions.

Disney's BoardWalk and Jellyrolls at Disney World
Disney’s BoardWalk and Resort

Where is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge located in Hollywood Studios?

There are/will be 3 connections to Star Wars Land in Disney World.

  1. The only entrance available when the land opens in August is via The Grand Avenue by Muppet Vision 3D. This will act as an entrance and exit. To access the main entrance, you will make your way to The Grand Avenue where you will line up to enter the land.
  2. The Toy Story Land gateway by Alien Swirling Saucers is rumored to be an exit only. This will possibly end up being an entrance once the crowds calm down.
  3. The final entrance is via the Star Wars Resort Hotel which is predicted to open around 2021.
Entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Hollywood Studios
Entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios

Discount Disney World Tickets

Undercover Tourist is a crowd-favorite for discounted Disney World tickets. The discounts only apply to 3+ day tickets. 1 or 2-day tickets are not discounted and should be purchased through the official Disney website. Pro-Tip: If you do not purchase the e-ticket option and need your ticket number to link to your My Disney Experience you can call and have Customer Service give you the number over the phone.

Get Away Today provides discounts on Disney World tickets starting with 3-Day base tickets, but Undercover Tourist is the more popular option for east coast theme parks.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Appearances in Books and Media

I plan on re-watching the entire trilogy before setting foot inside Galaxy’s Edge. Mostly because I’m terrified that a well-informed Cast Member will quiz me and start name-dropping obscure Star Wars characters. The Imagineers planned way ahead and began implementing Galaxy’s Edge references into movies and books years ago. The land is slowly being intertwined into the Star Wars canon. It’s fun to see this real land woven into the lore!

To build excitement for your trip, here are some books and media which references Batuu and Galaxy’s Edge.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Book)

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge book

Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire (Book)

Galaxy's Edge Black Spire Book

Galaxy’s Edge: Crash of Fate (Book)

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge A Crash of Fate book

Star Wars: Smugglers Guide (Collector’s Book)

Star Wars: Smuggler's Guide

Solo: A Star Wars Story (Movie)

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Thrawn: Alliances (Book)

Star Wars Thrawn Alliances book

Pirate’s Price (Book)

Star Wars Pirate's Price book

Myths and Fables (Book)

Star Wars: Myths and Fables Book

The Take-Away

Moral of the story is: Lines are gonna be long so pack your patient pants. Once you step inside this world, you’re going to forget everything I wrote in this article and it will be a free for all. Hopefully, you’ll be so immersed in this incredible land because you’re enjoying yourself so much. One thing is certain, this land is going to be amazing, detailed, and immersive. Did I mention that all the animatronics are voiced by the original Voice Actors? They convinced Frank Oz to do the voice of Yoda again, Jim Cummings for Hondo Ohnaka, Paul Reubens for Rex, and even went to Kenya so they could use the original voice of Nien Nunb. Then they asked John Williams to create an original score exclusively for Galaxy’s Edge.

It’s the attention to details that makes this land unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at a theme park. The best part is, Imagineers built this place with the fans in mind. They even feature real fans retelling their favorite Star Wars memories via a holocron. How cool is that! Every time I look at the real pictures of Black Spire Outpost I think it’s CGI. The architecture, ride technology, spaceships, and character development is incredible. And the food is sure to be absolutely out of this world. May the forks be with you!

Download the FREE Easy Snack and Dining Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!

Speaking of food! Sign up for our newsletter and get the free printable: EasySnack and Dining Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which is located inside my exclusive (and free) Theme Park Resource Library. Planning a Disney vacation is expensive enough so I give away tons of resources for free to help ease the pain a bit. You’ll also receive more Star Wars advice and insider tips sent right to your inbox. Theme Parks for Grown-Ups loves talking Disney is devoted to helping you plan an awesome and cost-effective vacation. Click here or fill out the form below for immediate access!

Easy Guide to Snacks and Dining at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

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I wanna hear from you!

Have anything you want to add to the list above? I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy a Disney vacation. Plus, your feedback is helpful to other readers! Feel free to comment below if you have added comments, questions, or reactions!

Article References

Wikipedia
Disney Fandom
#DisneyParksLive Bringing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Life at Disney Parks
Disney Parks Blog
Orange County Register
Inside the Magic
Travel and Leisure

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