Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Preview & Walk Through
By Steffen Brandt
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge officially opens at the Walt Disney World Resort inside Disney's Hollywood Studios on August 29th, 2019. We were allowed into "Star Wars Land" for a 4 hour preview this past weekend. Read below for our entire review of the land, food, and entertainment offerings you'll find when you visit this galaxy, not so far away, in Orlando, FL.
From the moment you enter the giant archway off of Grand Avenue (formerly called the Streets of America) you are immediately transported to a galaxy far far away. I know that it is cliche to say that but honestly the angle, direction, architecture, texture, and flow of that archway is so fluid and well designed that you really feel transported away from Hollywood Studios and immersed into the Star Wars universe.
Galaxy's Edge is divided into 2 sections - the Resistance side and the First Order side.
Emerging from the archway you find yourself on the remote planet of Batuu at the edge of the galaxy's outer rim territories. Take a moment to look around, look behind you, and feel the sense that you have now entered the land and left Hollywood Studios behind. Is it the midichlorians I feel or Disney Magic?
Galaxy's Edge is divided into 2 sections - the Resistance side and the First Order side. When you enter the land you emerge in the Resistance side, as evident by the full scale Resistance ships that have docked there conveniently in the perfect spot for a photo. Poe Dameron would be proud of the pilot who pulled off that maneuver! To the left you find the future entrance to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. This attraction is set to open on December 5th, 2019 in Walt Disney World and January 17th, 2020 in Disneyland. Between the ship PhotoPass opportunities you will find 2 kiosks selling unique Star Wars themed merchandise called Resistance Supply. Don't forget to pick up your Galaxy's Edge reusable bag for $1.50!
Continuing deeper into the land you arrive at a crossroads. Suggestion, go left. Don't worry, Star Wars Land is a big circle and you will end up back here eventually and see everything. If you go left you will enter The Market comprised of a "Refresher" (Star Wars Land's name for the restroom), and 4 shops which include:
Black Spire Outfitters
Jewels of Bith
All 4 of these shops are very small, but each of them have very unique gifts and souvenirs.
Here you will also find Kat Saka's Kettle - a small eatery and seating area themed to cooking food using what appears to be a space ship engine:
Once you exit The Market you will come to a crossroads again where you can take the steps down to the left or the right. Don't worry because it’s still the same separated paths from earlier. One just went into The Market and the other went around The Market. To the right before you go down the steps is Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities. This souvenir shop was heavily themed and has very unique items. Personally, I feel the theming of this store is a little dark. There are animal heads on the walls and overall the feeling in this store feels more like "shock value" than a whimsical place to buy items.
Now, back to The Market. As you exit The Market, to the left before you go down the steps you will find Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. This is the quick-service restaurant for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. We ordered the fried chicken over mashed potatoes and the beef shank. Both were good quality for a quick-service location.
As you exit Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo and proceed down the step you will find Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run to the left. There are 3 entrances, from left to right the entrances read: single rider, FastPass+ return, and standby. What is to be the most photographed thing in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will of course be the full scale Millennium Falcon which circles this area. PhotoPass photographers were positioned at multiple places around the ship to take staged pictures of you and your party. You also get an up-close look of the ship from the ride queue.
Let's discuss this ride a little before we continue our walk-through of the land. For our experience the wait time read 60 minutes for the preview weekend. Truth be told we only waited about 35 minutes. Some of the line queue was located outside in mostly shaded area while providing you a terrific view of the detail included on the back of the Millennium Falcon. Once you enter the building the ride queue feels more like an industrial repair shop reminiscent of the latter part of the Star Tours ride queue.
After receiving instructions in 1 staging area you enter a hallway where you are divided into groups of 6 and provided a crew assignment and color. You are then ushered into the Millennium Falcon common area. Here you wait with several other crews and you are allowed to take pictures at the iconic chess table. When your color is called your crew assembles and you are placed in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. A quick seat belt check and you are on your way.
The ride itself is a combination of Mission Space and Star Tours. Each crew member has an assigned task to press certain buttons when prompted. If the crew member does not press the button within an allotted amount of time the ride will press it for you and continue the mission. This is the same as Mission Space in EPCOT. To be clear... the ride is NOT like Mission Space in any other way. Instead it takes its cues from Star Tours wherein it is a simulator ride.
Herein is where you have control over the motion sickness level. Personally I get motion sickness. I can't do Star Tours anymore. This attraction relies on the pilots to drive. If you get a bad pilot.... like, oh, lets say, an 8 year old that can't reach the buttons once he is strapped in and has no ability to steer without running into everything possible.... just hypothetically... THEN YOU WILL GET MOTION SICK! However, If you have an adult or teen that is good at video games then I recommend putting them in the Captain's seat so everyone can enjoy their ride.
Another note about the ride experience: The cabin is a compact space that resonates sound. Screaming is very loud. The children on our adventure were very excited. Their excitement was deafening.
Overall I will give the ride another chance with a better crew before I pass any judgement. But my advice is "part of the crew, part of the ship." Get yourself a good crew and your experience will be pleasant.
Leaving the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler Run area you begin to enter the First Order area. You will pass by Oga's Cantina on your left. This is a 90% standing room only bar and light snacks restaurant. Hopefully you made your reservation 180 days in advance! Further into the First Order area you will find the Milk Stand on your right as you approach a full scale tie fighter. Here you can order both blue and green milk. It was $8 for non-alcoholic and $14 for a shot of rum in it. We got the blue non-alcoholic milk. It is a cold slushy-type beverage with a sweetened condensed milk texture. The blue one tasted of blueberry melon. It was an interesting texture and flavor. Probably a "one and done" though. I can't say I would seek it out for a second helping. They also offered a souvenir milk jug on a neck strap for $24. To the left of the tie fighter is a first order souvenir shop called First Order Cargo.
Continue past the tie fighter and you will again see many PhotoPass photographers ready to take some great staged photos of your party in front of the ship. Continue walking past the Milk Stand and you pass another "Refresher" station before coming to the Droid Depot. This is where you can build your own custom droid for $99.99 galactic credits. The droids are built in a similar to Ridemakerz vehicles (if you are familiar with those). Basically you pick the parts and the characteristics of your droid and then assemble it. The droid is placed in a box similar to a Build a Bear crate so you can carry it around somewhat comfortably the rest of the day. There are other souvenirs that you can purchase here that are droid themed such as key chains, cooking aprons & oven mitts, and a bowl made out of upside- down R2-D2's head.... a little morbid... haha!
Exiting the Droid Depot and turning to the right you will find Savi's Workshop. This is where you can build your own replica lightsaber for a mere $199.99 galactic credits. I will say that these lightsabers look amazing and that they give you a great carrying case that looks like a pool cue case. A little rich for my blood, but I am happy that there is a more "adult" lightsaber option.
After you exit Savi's Workshop just walk straight towards the pod racer ships and you have now circled the entire land. My take on this epic new land is that it is very well themed. A lot of details everywhere. We did not get into the Disney Play app that can be utilized everywhere throughout this land, but that's because it is still in the testing phase. I hope to see more interaction with characters and perhaps some shows/demonstrations in front of the ships scattered throughout the land once it officially opens on August 29th, 2019. That wish set aside I was not disappointed in the least and I know that you won't be either.
May the Force Be With You.... Always.
This blog was originally posted on The Bibbidi Bobbidi Blog: https://thebibbidibobbidiblog.weebly.com/blog/star-wars-galaxys-edge-preview-reviewwalk-through
Steffen is a writer for The Bibbidi Bobbidi Blog. Growing up in the Midwest, Steffen and his family traveled to the Orlando area several times per year to escape the cold. These trips lead to his love of Disney and eventually a major move to the sunshine state with his loving wife, Marissa. Now they are fulfilling their lifelong dream of being close to the magic and sharing their love of Disney with you!