Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: Disneyland

Galaxy’s Edge is a special and expensive place for Star Wars Fans.

I somehow managed to get a reservation to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge for June 21st. I’ve been so busy traveling for work (hence the relative inactivity on this blog) that late June was really the only time I could make it. I got slots for my wife and I. Below are some thoughts on our visit.

The Park

Though Disneyland as a whole felt well executed (though painfully outdated), Galaxy’s Edge was on a whole new level. There were very fine details on everything from the broad vista as you walk into the park all the way down to the small details on the fake buttons.

Case in point, in the line for Smuggler’s Run, you walk past ships and operator consoles. Those consoles look very realistic, but when you touch them (as any child standing in line obviously would) there are no sharp edges.

There’s a speeder ship with the same model of speeder as Luke’s on display. If you look underneath it, you actually can’t see any supports. My guess is that the hoses on the side of it provide the structural support. It’s a detail that I think goes overlooked by passers-by but it’s an incredible detail.

I think the detail that really showed me that this place is on another level was the droid display outside the refreshers / restrooms. There are lights made of R2 unit domes. There are gonk droids being repaired. There’s an R2 unit getting an oil bath. But what really blew my mind were the realistic B2 Battle Droids in the cages. There’s obviously a lot of story behind this scene and a lot of questions as to why two 50-ish year old battle droid would be held in a closet on this outpost.

The Ride: Smuggler’s Run

Galaxy’s Edge needs more rides – I’d say four would be nice. But the one they have – Smuggler’s Run – is quite awesome. It’s a gimbles-driven ride where your crew sits in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and looks at a screen outside the ‘window’. It feels as though you’re taking off from the park and flying on your mission.

There are videos on Youtube showing some of the action. It’s a fun activity that lasts five minutes. I’d say it was on about par with the Incredicoaster in California Adventure.

Frankly, my favorite part of that ride was waiting in line. Most of the line wraps around the back and side of the Millenium Falcon. You can literally see each side of it and all of the detail they included. There’s also a speeder that’s being “repaired” that lights up and makes noises. It really feels like you’re walking into a docking bay in the middle of the day on Batuu.

The last step before you get onto the ‘ride’ is to literally walk into the inside of the Millennium Falcon – the little atrium where all the action happens (Note, this is not inside of the Falcon displayed outside – this is just a room at the end of the line). It really looks just like the films. My only complaint is I didn’t get enough time to loiter before getting pushed onto the Ride. I would have loved to have sat at the Dejarik table and taken a closer look around. It was rather mind blowing how great a job they did with the place.

Food

My wife is a bit of a foody and I just have negative things to say about things. So I wasn’t exactly sure how the food would be given my impression of amusement park food. But the food at GE was really great and well prepared. The Ronto wraps (essentially a hotdog/burrito with coleslaw) was a great fast, take-away treat.

Docking Bay 7 was really comfortable to eat in and felt very in-universe. We had breakfast there – very nicely done – and a desert. They were both well prepared and the desert was really tasty but not too large. Pro-Tip: don’t wait in the line to order food. Order through the Disneyland app and just go and pick it up. You usually only have to wait a few minutes and you can spend that time looking around.

I’d say the Blue and Green milk was probably the low bar for all the food. That’s actually a good thing because those weren’t bad. They weren’t great, but they were actually pretty refreshing. I didn’t like my first taste, but it got better after a few.

I was NOT, however, able to get into the Cantina so I can’t comment on the drinks there. Nor did we try the popcorn.

Shopping

Admittedly, I only spent a few minute’s in Dok Ondar’s. There were a lot of Easter eggs in there if you’re a star wars fan. But I also had to not stay in there in fear that I’d spend even more money. But I resisted. It was also pretty crowded in there so I didn’t really get to see the legacy light sabers or some of the other items (there are some Youtube videos with interesting things people have found in there).

The marketplace had some interesting shops as well. My wife picked up an Ahsoka plush toy (and the tote bag). We’re not really “stuff” people so we didn’t pick up much more.

Droids

We did make a droid though. I’m an engineer by training and I’ve built some interesting things in my day. This experience was really more geared towards kids, I think. But the process was still pretty interesting even for a grizzled adult. The droid itself is remote controlled and it makes random noises. It’s pretty fun actually and putting it together just added to the fun. But… $100 for a $35 toy that came disassembled and with no box. Mkay.

Crowds

There’s been a lot written lately about how light the crowds at Disneyland and Galaxy’s Edge have been. I’d never been to Disneyland before but if it gets more crowded than that then I don’t want to go.

The line for Smuggler’s Run was only 20 minutes when I went. It’s ranging from 30-60 minutes now. The ride moves really fast so it churns through a lot of people. You can probably ride it several times.

I wasn’t, however, able to get into the Cantina (it was probably the 4hr window limitation; it’s still hard to get in, but if you have all day, you can probably get a time at some point). I also didn’t try to build a light saber though that was also really hard to get into.

I hate crowds and I like short lines. So if you’ve got the money and like Star Wars, now is a good time to head to Disneyland.

However…, they just announced the next ride at Galaxy’s Edge – Rise of the Resistance – will be open in January 2020 at Disneyland and December 2019 at Disney World. It’s supposed to take upwards of 20 minutes and have a multitude of animatronics. It sounds intense and is probably worth waiting for.