Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is Disneyland's Star Wars Land. On the planet of Batuu, a destination along the galaxy’s Outer Rim on the frontier of Wild Space, you can live your own Star Wars story at Black Spire Outpost.
The entire area is built with so many details that it would be fun to visit even if there weren't a single ride in it. And everything in Galaxy's Edge seems even bigger thanks to the use of the same kind of forced perspective effect that makes Main Street U.S.A. look longer than it is.
But there's more: Aboard the ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, you can take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy. You can also shop, eat, build a custom lightsaber, and enjoy beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic at Oga's Cantina.
Galaxy's Edge is not a separate theme park, but a new land added to the Disneyland park, and there is no extra charge to visit it.
Many people wonder exactly where Disney put the new area, and whether anything was removed to make room for it. If you are familiar with Disneyland, you may remember the old petting zoo and sometimes dining spot along the walkway between Fantasyland and Frontierland. The Galaxy's Edge entrance is along that corridor. The zoo and eatery are gone. The rest of the area's 14 acres were once the park's stables and other backstage operations.
While it may not seem like Star Wars fits into a place that's home to Mickey Mouse and spinning teacups, the transitions are well done, and it all seems part of a whole.
Important Things to Know
Only one ride is open in Galaxy's Edge. That's Smuggler's Run which is described below.
Reservations aren't required to visit Galaxy's Edge. In fact, the crowds that Disney hoped for (and most industry experts predicted) never materialized and ride wait times are far shorter than expected.
On January 17, 2020, the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction will open, which will put you in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. If more visitors flock in after that, entrance could be limited by the area's capacity, for safety reasons.
It's also important to know that the entrance to Galaxy's Edge isn't marked and you could walk right past it if you aren't paying attention. You will find two entrances along the pathway between the Red Rose Tavern in Fantasyland and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland.
Galaxy’s Edge is open during ordinary park operating hours, but it is not included in Extra Magic Hour or Magic Morning.
How to Have More Fun in Galaxy's Edge
Download Disney's free Play Disney app before you go. It's a big app that requires a WiFi connection for download, and it takes a long time. It's worth doing for the extras you get. It will transform your phone into a Star Wars Datapad and allow you to take on jobs, interact with droids, translate a variety of languages from across the galaxy, and help (or hinder) the Resistance.
A devout Star Wars fan could spend hours being a tourist on Baatu, exploring the markets and playing with the app. That's fine if you go there often, but if you want to enjoy all of Disneyland, you may have to set a time limit.
Also, get and use the Disney Parks App (which is different than Play Disney). Use it to order food instead of wasting your time standing in line.
In theory, everyone you meet at Galaxy's Edge is supposed to have a back story, but give them a break: Extended conversations about Star Wars lore can get in the way of their primary job.
More Star Wars at Disneyland
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
Outside the Smuggler's Run ride you will find a full-scale replica of Han Solo's famous Millenium Falcon. You can get those "I was there" photos out of the way on the way in and get more views of it as you make your way through the queue.
From the moment you step aboard the Millennium Falcon in Smuggler's Run, you may think you're in the middle of a Star Wars film. After getting your assignments as the crew of the fastest ship in the galaxy, you step into the lounge. It's a detailed replica complete with the Dejarik (holo-chess) table where Han Solo once advised R2D2: "It's not wise to upset a Wookiee." And take your smelling salts: It's so realistic that it could make a hard-core Star Wars fan faint.
Each ride module accommodates a group of six people. Riders receive color-coded cards that assign them to the role of pilot, gunner, or engineer. The Millenium Falcon is a motion-simulator-based ride whose story changes depending on the crew's actions. Pilots have the most control over the experience, making it a role that you may aspire to — or decide to turn down lest you gain a reputation for wrecking the Falcon.
What You Need to Know About Smuggler's Run
- Location: Smuggler's Run is in Galaxy's Edge
- Rating: ★★★★★
- Restrictions: 38 inches (97 cm). Regardless of height, children under age 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older.
- Ride Time: 5 minutes
- Recommended for: Anyone who loves the Star Wars movies
- Fun Factor: High. Smuggler's Run is by far one of the best rides at Disneyland. Here's the rest of the list.
- Wait Factor: Disney's FASTPASS service, including access using Disney MaxPass, will not initially be offered at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. May the Force Be With You as you struggle for patience while you wait in line. Get in the Single Rider line for quicker access, but know that you might be separated from your companions when you board the ride.
- Fear Factor: Medium. Some scenes are exciting, but not too scary.
- Herky-Jerky Factor: Disney issues their standard warnings that riders should be "in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride." In reality, it's a pretty smooth ride from start to finish.
- Nausea Factor: Surprisingly low, but if you are susceptible, you may want to use your normal precautions.
- Seating: This ride is a small motion simulator room. The crew of six people sits on either side of an aisle in three rows. The seats are spacious and comfortable.
- Accessibility: Guests have to transfer from their wheelchair or ECV to the ride vehicle by themselves or with help from their companions. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV.
How to Have More Fun on Smuggler's Run
- The good thing about the queue for Millennium Falcon is that it's mostly indoors and air-conditioned. The bad news is that it's long and not very entertaining.
- Be aware that some people say Smuggler's Run is more like a video game with a task to accomplish than a typical Disney ride that tells a story.
- The Play Disney app will give you something to do while you're waiting. You can stay busy rerouting misplaced cargo, learning how to keep your cover under pressure, and helping prep the Falcon for your flight.
- Rider swap is available, allowing two adults with kids who don't ride to shorten their wait, with a second adult getting onto the ride as soon as the first adult returns, avoiding standing in line twice.
- Groups board in color-coded groups. You may be having a lot of fun in the lounge, but keep an ear open when your group is called, so you don't miss out.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be an immersive attraction that will put you in the middle of a climactic between the First Order and the Resistance and will blur the lines between fantasy and reality. It will open in January 2020.
Plans hint that guests would be guided through long, plot-filled stories before boarding their ride vehicles. That sounds like fun, but it comes at a price: low capacity. MiceAge reports an estimated capacity of no more than 1,500 riders an hour, which is about half of Pirates of the Caribbean. And if you've ever waited to ride Pirates on a hot summer day, that's not a happy prospect. It makes you wonder if you should start standing in line now to get into the attractions within its first year of operation.
Oga's Cantina, Other Food and Drink
Galactic smugglers, bounty hunters, and princesses on the run have a place to go at Galaxy's Edge: Oga's Cantina. And for the first time ever in Disneyland park, thirsty guests have a place to go to enjoy an alcoholic beverage.
Oga's interior resembles the Mos Eisley cantina in the original 1977 “Star Wars” movie. Music is provided by chatty RX-24, the former StarSpeeder 3000 pilot droid from the Star Tours ride, who has re-imagined himself as the cantina’s DJ. The only thing that's missing are all those fascinating alien races from the films.
Drink options are named for things from the films and include a bloody mary-style drink called the Bloody Rancor and a colorful blue concoction that stands in for bantha milk. Visitors are limited to only 45 minutes inside and are only allowed to purchase two drinks each.
In the morning, Oga's serves breakfast drinks and a couple of light bites to eat. After that, the only food on the menu is Batuu Bits, which are described as a "light crisp Snack Mix from the galaxy."
Restaurants at Galaxy's Edge
All of the food options below are included in mobile ordering on the Disney Parks app, except Kat Saka's.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo serves smoked “kaadu” ribs (which are actually made of pork), Endorian Tip-yip (aka chicken) and Yobshrimp.
At Ronto Roasters, you can get dishes featuring roasted pork and turkey jerky.
The Milk Stand is the place to get blue or green milk, similar to what Luke Skywalker drank in Star Wars episodes IV and VIII.
Kat Saka's Kettle is a food cart selling Outpost Mix, a sweet, savory snack made with popcorn.