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Are you interested in visiting Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge?
Then you’ll want my tips and tricks to make sure you have the best possible experience in this immersive new land!
First, here are some quick and dirty basics on Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge:
- It is an area located inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, FL (there is also a Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland in California, but this post is concerned with the Florida version)
- It is 14 acres in size and cost an estimated $1 billion to build
- It opened on August 29th, 2019 in Walt Disney World (though the headliner attraction didn’t open until December 5th, 2019)
Next are my tips for visiting Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and things you need to know before visiting!
1) Be ready to feel like a stranger in a strange land – in a good way
The setting of Star Wars Land is a remote port called Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. Paths wind through the land and while there are a few signs, you are meant to feel a bit lost here.
Therein lies a lot of the fun at Galaxy’s Edge. It is designed to be explored and experienced like you are a visitor to a strange new planet.
I really enjoyed wandering around the land and getting a bit turned around. I walked into every open door, sometimes having no idea what was inside.
Visiting Galaxy’s Edge is an adventure, so try to embrace that lost feeling and don’t hesitate to explore every part of the land.
2) Rise of the Resistance Is Ultra Popular (and For Good Reason)
The Galaxy’s Edge headliner attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opened December 5th at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It is a next-generation attraction that truly puts you inside the Star Wars universe.
So far it has been incredibly popular and Disney has used a virtual queue they call “Boarding Groups” to accommodate the crowds.
It is unclear how long this system will be in place. For now, the only way to ride Rise of the Resistance is to grab a spot in a boarding group.
Right now spots in boarding groups are being released at 10 am and again at 2 pm. So be ready before those times!
Here’s how to get a spot in a Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group:
- Be inside of Hollywood Studios at least 5 minutes before you want to grab a boarding group spot.
- Make sure everyone who wants to ride Rise of the Resistance is inside the park by the release time (have their Magic Bands or tickets scanned).
- Be sure to turn WiFi OFF – use your data instead.
- As soon as the clock strikes the official release time, have the My Disney Experience app open and tap the icon to get a spot in a Boarding Group for everyone in your party.
If you follow this plan you should be able to get a spot in a Boarding Group.
A reader also advised to try to get away from any large groups of people if you can. This will make your data demand less. If you are trying to head straight for another attraction then disregard this, but if you want the earliest possible boarding group it should help.
The height requirement is 40″ but keep in mind that there are scary elements and your child should be able to understand that the attraction is pretend and they are in no real danger.
I will update this post as soon as this process changes. We predict that at some point Disney will ditch the Boarding Group system in favor of a traditional FastPass. Get my ultimate guide to Disney Fast Pass 2020 in this post!
3) Arriving early isn’t necessary to ride the Millenium Falcon
If you or members of your family can’t (or don’t want to) experience Rise of the Resistance, there is another fun attraction in Galaxy’s Edge – Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
Since there is currently no Fast Pass option for Millenium Falcon, many people think they need to arrive as early as possible to ride it with the shortest wait.
However the longest waits of the day for Millenium Falcon have been in the first hour or two the park is open.
Your best best may be to visit the park later in the day, when many people have moved on to other things. During my visit, the standby queue was 30 minutes in the afternoon but 65 minutes at 6:30 am!
This pattern may change as crowds adapt to the new attractions.
3) Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is super fun (but not Earth shattering amazing)
Millenium Falcon is best described an an interactive flight simulator.
You’ll be assigned one of three roles during your “flight” (pilot, gunner, or engineer) and you’ll be prompted to push buttons/steer during the ride.
You won’t have much choice of what role you play but you can trade off in your party if someone really want to be the pilot, for example. Every role is fun in it’s own way but the engineer requires the least amount of work and allows you to watch the flight more.
I found the ride very bumpy and was thrown against my seat belt quite a few times. I’m not prone to motion sickness but I think if you are you might find it not much fun.
While the height requirement is 38 inches, I think the ride requires some maturity to ride. You are seated alone across an aisle and it can get VERY intense. Just keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to bring a little one along.
There is a single rider option for this ride but here are a few things to know about it:
- You’ll miss the storytelling in the queue and a fantastic audioanimatronic of Hando Anaka. I suggest waiting in the standby queue at least once, then using the single rider line if you want to ride again.
- If you go through the single rider line with a companion, you may or may not be on the same ship.
- The single rider line may close if it reaches capacity, but will reopen after a while. If the standby queue is super long you may want to wait for the single rider line to reopen.
I thought the Millenium Falcon was really fun, but not Earth shattering. I would definitely ride it again but wouldn’t make a trip to Hollywood Studios just to do it.
4) Oga’s Cantina is a must-do experience (but not very kid friendly)
My hands-down favorite part of Galaxy’s Edge was Oga’s Cantina, the lounge that is located by the Millenium Falcon attraction.
This place has incredible details and a club-like atmosphere: loud music, tons of people, lots of color, and lots of alcohol.
90% of the “spots” in the Cantina involve standing at the bar or a counter-height table. You’ll be randomly assigned a spot and asked to stay there and not wander around.
Taking kids here could be a big challenge if they aren’t tall enough to see over the counters. I saw some parents holding their little ones up the entire time, which doesn’t seem like much fun to me.
The drinks are very expensive but are exotic, strong, and delicious.
The Fuzzy Taun Taun even has a compound in the froth that causes short term numbness/tingling in your mouth! Certainly not for the faint of heart.
I had the T-16 Skyhopper which has vodka, melon liqueur, and half and half. It was delicious and not too sweet.
The best parts of the Cantina experience were the antics of the cast members and talking with other “travelers” who you are sharing a space with.
I don’t want to give away some of events that might happen while you are there, but if you’ve ever been to the interactive bar Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian then you will know what to expect!
Currently you can try to make a reservation for Oga’s Cantina here.
But fear not if you can’t get one. There is also a stand-by queue and it moved quickly when I was there. Though it looked long I was inside within 10 minutes.
While the drinks are expensive (mine with tax and tip was $20) you are definitely paying for the experience – and I think the value is wonderful. I’d suggest highly prioritizing a visit to the Cantina, but it if you have little ones just be prepared.
There is a 45 minutes limit so you get your drinks quickly and can even take them to go (a good option if you’ve got littles in tow).
5) The food is exotic looking and fantastic
The main quick service dining location in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is called Docking Bay 7. It is located right by the Millenium Falcon and across the path from Oga’s Cantina.
Breakfast is available from 6 am to 10 am and there is a combined lunch and dinner menu after 10 am.
The theming inside the restaurants in excellent so I’d suggest sitting in there if possible, but there is some seating outside as well.
The food is made to look very exotic (what you would expect in a distant outpost) and in my experience was outstanding.
I had the “Tip Yip” (aka chicken) Endorean Salad and it was probably the best salad I’ve ever had a Disney World.
It had roasted cauliflower and butternut squash in with greens and incredible marinated chicken. My only complaint was too much dressing but I often feel that way about salads so it might just be me.
Honestly everything I saw served here looked amazing. I can’t wait to head back and try more items.
I asked the cast members which dessert they recommended and they all agreed on the Batuu-Bon. It’s a chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse and and coffee custard. It was crazy good and I ate the whole thing myself (full disclosure here).
There other dining location that serves entrees is Ronto Roasters. It has a limited menu with grilled sausages and pork wraps.
The Milk Stand is the place to get some famous Blue Milk or Green Milk. It is frozen fruity concoction and is plant-based (no real milk). I’ve heard good things about the berry-flavored Blue Milk and mixed reviews of the Green Milk.
And last you can grab some colorful popcorn at Kat Satka’s Kettle. Overall the food and drink options at Galaxy’s Edge are plentiful and high quality.
7) The merch is plentiful (but building Droids and Lightsabers ain’t cheap)
As I already mentioned, there are no fewer than NINE merchandise locations in Galaxy’s Edge. Clearly merch is a big deal in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
The two hot-ticket items are pricey, though. Building your own custom droid at the Droid Depot starts at $99 and building your own custom light saber in Savi’s Workshop is $199.
BUT understand that you are paying for more than the item – both should be considered experiences and that is what you are truly paying for.
There is ritual and process involved in both and they can be fulfilling lifetime dreams for Star Wars fans. I haven’t heard from anyone who was disappointed by the experience at either of these merchandise locations.
So save up your “credits” (that’s the term for money on Batuu) if you want to experience building a droid or light saber!
8) The roaming characters are a big part of the fun
There aren’t any character meet and greets in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (though you can meet the characters in Hollywood Studios – more on that soon).
But characters are present, both randomly walking around and in impromptu performances. Hang around long enough and you can expect to see Kylo Ren, Storm Troopers, Ray, and Chewbacca around the land.
The Storm Troopers are very interactive – they will question your allegiance and give you a hard time. They are particularly responsive to kids in costume so that is one reason to dress up!
9) You can dress up in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (kinda)
In general Disney World has a no-costume policy for adults, and that’s not different in Galaxy’s Edge.
However adults can wear clothing inspired by characters, such as this amazing dress worn by my friend Julie from Double Your WDW. Adults can also dress up like Batuu locals in Earth tones and natural fibers.
Kids under 14 can wear full blown costumes, but they have to have their eyes visible and have good peripheral vision (so no Storm Trooper masks).
10) There’s WAY More Star Wars at Hollywood Studios Beyond Galaxy’s Edge
Galaxy’s Edge is just the a small part of the Star Wars related things to do at Hollywood Studios.
Here’s what else you can do to satisfy your need for all things Star Wars:
Star Wars Launch Bay
Launch Bay is an attractions located in the Animation Courtyard section of the park.
Inside this large building you can meet and get pictures with BB-8, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader (for the first time outside of special events).
You can also explore exhibits and props, buy merchandise (shocker, right?), and watch videos about the Star Wars universe.
Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
Star Tours is an older 3-D motion simulator attraction, so if you haven’t had enough of flying through space on the Millenium Falcon you can do more here.
And you can get a Fast Pass for this attraction if waits are long (get my Ultimate Guide to Fast Pass at Disney World here).
Jedi Training – Trials of the Temple
This is a popular show in which kids ages 4-12 can get trained in the Jedi way and maybe even battle with the dark side.
You can sign your little one up at the show location (right outside of Star Tours), at Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost, and I saw cast members hanging out around the park signing kids up as well. There are shows throughout the day.
Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
This is a stage show that takes place several times daily right in front of the Chinese Theater.
It’s an impressive show with lots of live characters, movie clips, and music. Pick up a Times Guide as soon as you enter the park to get the show times for that day.
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
This is the nightly fireworks and projection show at Hollywood Studios. It is best viewed from in from of the Chinese Theater (or back a ways on Hollywood Boulevard) for the best experience.
I think this is a fantastic show whether you are a Star Wars fan or not. Those big walky robots look like they are coming straight at you (clearly I can not call myself a fan).
I hope this post helped you plan your visit to Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and all of the related attractions and shows there.
If you have any questions just leave a comment below or join the discussion in my free private Facebook group for The Budget Mouse here.
May the force (and your wallet) be with you.