Today I got to visit Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and it was everything I hoped for and more. Born in the year of Star Wars, and almost named Leia by my mom, Star Wars has always been a HUGE part of my life. I can’t remember when I first watched Star Wars: A New Hope. In my world it just always was. I saw all the other movies in the theaters, dressed up as Princess Leia for Halloween more times than I can count, carried an Ewoks cartoon lunch box to school, watched all the cartoons, read a lot of the books and comics, went to the conventions, cosplayed, collected all kinds of merchandise, and generally have loved Star Wars forever.
So when Disney announced we were getting an entire Star Wars themed land I nearly cried from happiness. I kept joking with friends that once I got in, just forward my mail as I won’t want to ever leave. Fast forward years later and today I finally got to visit that land, and it not only met, but exceeded my expectations, and I didn’t even get to do/see/eat/experience everything.
There were 5 of us going and had a reservation time at 8 a.m. Knowing from other people’s experiences that we should get there early, we arranged to meet so we could go through the gates at 6 a.m. Your primary reservation holder needs to have both the email reservation code so they can confirm you have an early morning time, and everyone in your party must have a valid Disneyland ticket to enter. Once through, we were directed by awesome Cast Members (CMs) working dark and early to the Launch Bay to pick up our wrist bands that would give us entry into Galaxy’s Edge (GE.)
The line at Launch Bay was fast and smooth. You need to have your ID handy so the CM can check your name against who is listed on the reservation, but it’s a quick process and we were done before we knew it. When we got our wristband the CM also gave us a special map/brochure for Galaxy’s Edge so be sure to ask for one before you leave. Our group was directed to head towards the Rose Tavern in Fantasyland as that would be where we would be led into GE. We were stopped just between the Galactic Grill and Submarines, and right before the Matterhorn with a bunch of others, until about 7 a.m., at which time we all made our way into Fantasyland towards the Rose Tavern and in front of closed gates.
While we waited , my friends and I figured out our plan of attack. We knew that Oga’s Cantina fills up FAST, and that the themed gift cards we wanted to purchase, as they look like local currency and are only available at the Droid Depot, tended to sell out quickly, so we decided to hit the Droid Depot first, change our money to the “local currency” and then get in line for the Cantina immediately afterwards. Around about 7:45 they opened the gates and led us to the Big Thunder entrance, all the while directing us to raise our hands with the wristbands high so the CMs could see them. About 10 minutes before 8 a.m. we were in.
Pictures don’t do it justice. It’s big. It’s beautiful. It’s highly detailed. I didn’t know where to look first. You’re not in a land. You’re off world and it’s magical. A lot of it looked based on the incredible artwork of Ralph McQuarrie and it felt like stepping into one of the movies. The level of detail is stunning.
There were CMs lining the walkway which ended up directing us past the Droid Depo and into First Order territory. We quickly decided to change up our plan as we already saw a long line forming for Oga’s Cantina, and it ended up being the right decision as our group was the last in the line before they cut it off and people were stuck making reservations for a later time. We were all given a Cantina card to be handed in once we reached the entrance. Because we were at the end, there was a Cast Member behind us making sure the line kept moving and keeping everything in order. This was our first interaction with a citizen of Batuu and I cannot recommend enough talking to all the citizens/CMs about their life there at Black Spire Outpost.
When you enter Galaxy’s Edge you’re not on Earth, you are on the planet Batuu and everyone there behaves as such. They have their own lingo, and great stories to tell, and their own ways of doing things. It’s a truly immersive experience and one I cannot recommend taking part in enough if you really want to get the most out of your experience at Galaxy’s Edge. I’m VERY introverted and usually shy away from any character interactions and the like as I always feel weird conversing, but it was so easy to talk to the people of Batuu because you were doing just that: talking to people. It’s just that they happen to live on a different planet and the Star Wars movies are their history.
Some guests are going so far as to create their own characters to be when they visit, kind of like Dungeons & Dragons, and I can totally see how that would make the experience even more fun. I’d heard a little about all this so when I was trying to figure out what to wear, I decided to dress as an “off worlder” or smuggler type to blend in with the experience a bit more. It was totally worth it from the reactions and interactions I got and I highly recommend it. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get a new wardrobe. 😉
Noemi, our Cantina line CM, couldn’t have been more wonderful and helpful, and I’m so sorry I didn’t get a photo (or image capture, as they call it on Batuu.) She helped us figure out how to use the Disney Play App Datapad feature on our phones to hack panels, and gave us all sorts of tips for navigating future visits. For example: Savi’s workshop, the place where you can build your own lightsabers, fills up in a blink, so if that’s something you want to do, she recommended getting your wristband as early as you can, ask a CM what entrance you’ll be using to enter Galaxy’s Edge, and be in the front of the line before you head to GE. Once you get in, run, don’t walk to Savi’s. Oga’s and Savi’s are the first to fill up in the time slots so get there early!
We lined up around 7:55 a.m. and were inside the Cantina by 8:10 a.m. so getting there early really paid off. The Cantina is a U shape and we passed DJ R3X as they lead us to one end of the U at the bar. It’s not very big, but that just made it more intimate. It’s loud with R3X playing all sorts of Star Wars inspired music, including at one point THE Mos Eisley Cantina song we all know and love, it’s colorful, it’s detailed, and it’s wonderful. If you want to experience the Cantina, go there first. It’s a fantastic way to start your trip to Batuu off right with great theming, music, atmosphere, Batuu bartenders, and very tasty drinks. You can order a maximum of 2 drinks per person and have 45 minutes to hang out there.
Between all of us we got the Cliff Dweller with the Porg mug, the Blue Bantha with a bantha sugar cookie, a Bloody Rancor, a Bespin Fizz, a Yub Nub with a mug, and a Mustafarian Lava roll. All the drinks had a great flavor and wonderful presentation, especially the Bespin Fizz. If you have a group, I really recommend everyone getting something different and then sharing. It’s fun way to experience all the drinks, and they really are an experience!
The lava roll was good, a themed cinnamon roll with chocolate cookie crumbles and red icing. The bantha sugar cookie that came on top of the Blue Bantha was really tasty, much like a very chocolaty Girl Scout Samoa cookie on top of a sugar cookie. We were able to wander around and take lots of photos and some of the bartenders chatted with us about their life at Black Spire Outpost.
When we were ready to leave, those of use who got the souvenir mugs with our drinks were handed fresh ones in boxes. Oh and take the coasters! There’s several designs, and we ran into another guest who had a stack of them just from asking a bartender if he could have some extras. I’m all about the free souvenirs, and these are really fun ones. The Cantina was such a great way to start the day and really set the mood for the rest of the morning and the rest of our time there.
More on our adventures to come in part 2!