(UPDATED 6/3/19): Simply put: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is the most anticipated land in theme park history, and it has revolutionized the way we think of and visit theme parks. With that revolution however, it means planning for your and your family’s trip to the far off planet of Batuu, is going to be more crucial than ever before.
That’s why we’ve put together this Ultimate Guide to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge for both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to make sure you find out everything you need to know before visiting Star Wars Land!
We’re going to explain where it’s located, everything to know about the attractions, dining, shopping and any other planning and tips we can give you for Galaxy’s Edge.
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge just opened recently in Disneyland and we’ve had a chance to visit and spend some serious time there so we’re going to do our best job in preparing you for your trip. Just know that since it’s new Galaxy’s Edge will continue to evolve in the next weeks and months after opening but we’ll continue to update this guide so you have the most up-to-date information on Galaxy’s Edge. Enjoy!
For a detailed touring plan for Galaxy’s Edge based on our experiences there so far, scroll all the way down this page.
What is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?
Have you ever watched a Star Wars film and thought to yourself: “I would love to go there!”? Well now you have the chance! Disney has spent the better part of 6 years planning, developing and building this one-of-a-kind theme park destination which will make you feel like you are right in the middle of the Star Wars universe!
Galaxy’s Edge is HUGE, a whole 14 acres which is the biggest single expansion land Disney has ever built. It’s filled with surprises, hidden secrets and Easter eggs for you to explore. You’ll get to see never-before seen attractions, dining, shopping experiences which are like nothing else you’ve previously experienced in a theme park.
The story starts out with Batuu (the name of the planet in Galaxy’s Edge) being a remote port located on the outer rim of space, filled with merchants, smugglers, bounty hunters and all sorts of shady space-creatures who are looking to stay under the radar.
The Resistance has set us a base in the old ruins of an ancient temple located through the forest of Galaxy’s Edge and in a deep mountainous cave, long forgotten by most. This is where they’ve set up to come together and defeat the First Order.
Speaking of the First Order, they’ve just landed on Batuu and are patrolling Black Spire Outpost (the main town/marketplace in Galaxy’s Edge), looking for any Resistance supporters. You are very much involved in the story and your actions will have consequences, driving you towards the Light or Dark side of the force.
Where is Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Located?
There are two locations for this new Star Wars Land: in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. This is just the start and we expect to see more Star Wars Lands rolled out in Disney Parks throughout the world in the near future.
Why is Galaxy’s Edge Coming to Disneyland?
Disneyland Park is the most visited theme park in the world and it’s important to keep it fresh and updated. Disney chose to build Galaxy’s Edge here because it was the only place in the Disneyland Resort there was enough space and where it made the most sense.
Some might argue theming discrepancies stating that Star Wars doesn’t belong in Disneyland. While to an extent that’s true, the Star Wars franchise is now part of the Walt Disney Company and a massive part of the company’s future plans. Disney has always been focused on immersive environments, and there is none more beloved than Star Wars.
The area Galaxy’s Edge occupies is on the previous location of Big Thunder Ranch and some backstage areas. I don’t think anyone will argue this is a massive upgrade from what was there before.
To get to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge there are 3 access points: Next to Fantasyland, near Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland and in Critter Country near the Hungry Bear Restaurant.
Where will Galaxy’s Edge be in Walt Disney World?
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. It occupies the area which previously held: the Streets of America, the Hollywood Studios Tour, the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: Movie Set Adventure.
Unlike Disneyland, in Hollywood Studios Galaxy’s Edge will only have 2 entrances, not 3. One is located in the back of Toy Story Land and the other coming up from Grand Avenue. The second will be the main entrance with a huge tunnel in place ready to transport you to this far off world.
When is Star Wars Land Opening?
We’ve been dying to know this question ever since Galaxy’s Edge was announced back in 2015. You’ve probably even been waiting to plan your next trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World based on this information alone because if you only go once every 5 years, you might as well wait till this ground breaking new land is open right?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is opening in 2 phases – Not everything is ready for opening day, so Disney is opening Galaxy’s Edge in both locations as Phase 1 and Phase 2.
It’s important to note that both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World versions of Galaxy’s Edge have different opening dates. The opening dates for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land) are as follows:
(NOW OPEN) – Disneyland Galaxy’s Edge: May 31, 2019 (Phase 1), TBD (Phase 2)
Walt Disney World Galaxy’s Edge Opening Date: August 29, 2019 (Phase 1), TBD (Phase 2)
Why are they opening so early? There are a couple reasons for this. Disney wants to break up the crowds a bit and since not all the attractions will be ready at opening, some people will come on opening day and some later on in the year.
Playing into that is the fact that one of the two attractions, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance won’t be ready in time for opening day in either park. That means if they waited for both attractions to be open, Galaxy’s Edge would miss the Summer season which is Disneyland and Disney World’s busiest times.
How to Get Into Galaxy’s Edge and Make Reservations:
This is going to depend on which version of Galaxy’s Edge you go as both systems are radically different from one another. You can read our page on making Star Wars Land reservations for more in-depth info, but we’ll give you the overview here.
Disney has anticipated the large crowds during the first weeks of opening and and because of this guests visiting Disneyland from May 31 – June 23 will NOT be allowed access to Galaxy’s Edge without a reservation.
There WILL BE NO STANDY-BY QUEUE to get into Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge during that first month, so don’t bother getting in line early and waiting, hoping to get into Star Wars Land. You need a reservation.
Making a Reservation – There are two options for Reservations:
- Make a hotel reservation at a Disneyland Hotel – All guests who are staying at a Disneyland hotel during the initial period of May 31 – June 23 will be automatically given ONE reservation (per guest) to Galaxy’s Edge.
- Make a FREE Online Reservation on the Disneyland website – (This option is no longer available as reservations have sold out already).
Some important information to keep in mind for your Galaxy’s Edge reservation:
- Your time will be automatically assigned to you.
- Your time will be restricted to 4 Hours which you will be allowed to stay in Galaxy’s Edge.
- Guests will be given a colored wristband upon entrance to Galaxy’s Edge which will correspond with your designated time slot. Once your time is up, guests with the previous hour’s wristband will be required to leave Star Wars Land.
- Guests will not be allowed to exit and reenter Galaxy’s Edge, so if you leave you won’t get back in.
- You only have ONE reservation per stay. You won’t be admitted into Galaxy’s Edge on multiple days.
- If your hotel reservation is cancelled, so is your Galaxy’s Edge reservation
- Modifications can be made to your reservations but it’s subject to availability
How does Disney enforce the 4-Hour Rule in Galaxy’s Edge?
Guests to Star Wars Land are given colored wristbands upon entrance. Each band has a specific color attached to a specific time slot. Disney had said that Stormtroopers would be assigned to enforce the strict time limit for guests and will escort out those who do not cooperate, but so far in our experience there we haven’t seen this happen to anyone….yet.
Virtual Queuing System:
What happens once June 24 comes around and no previous reservations are required to enter Galaxy’s Edge? Previous is the key word, because Disney is still setting up a sort of reservation system which will be done at the moment. They are calling this a “Virtual Queuing System.”
Guests will be able to enter Galaxy’s Edge as normal when the park first opens, but as it fills up they will need to make a reservation in the Virtual Queue for access. This can be done only from inside Disneyland either on the Disneyland app or at a Kiosk in the park.
For an in-depth look at the Virtual Queue System for Galaxy’s Edge you can read our post which explains this system better and what to expect.
As of writing, the reservation system and virtual queuing is only in place for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland, not Disney World, though that might change still.
Walt Disney World:
The version of Star Wars Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios will not have the same restrictions as the Disneyland version and should be much easier to get into.
There will not be reservations to get in (at least so far) but it wouldn’t surprise me if they do introduce the virtual queuing system to keep the crowds down. That would mean they probably will limit the amount of people inside Galaxy’s Edge but there shouldn’t be a time limit which means you can stay as long as you want.
To get into Star Wars Land in Walt Disney World you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way…wake up super early and get in line before the majority of the crowds. Yes it will be painful, but you’ll get much more done and won’t have to wait nearly as long as you otherwise would.
By the time August rolls around you could see some of the same systems implemented that they are using for the Disneyland version, so we’ll keep you updated if you need to make reservations for the Hollywood Studios version of Galaxy’s Edge.
Again, we’ll keep you updated about that if some changes happen…
Galaxy’s Edge Rides and Attractions:
While there aren’t many attractions in Star Wars Land (for the moment), the ones Disney has built are both E-Ticket, blockbuster-level attractions which will be a must for anyone visiting.
There are 2 Attractions in Galaxy’s Edge:
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run:
Have you ever wanted to board and pilot the most iconic spaceship in cinematic history? Now you have that chance!
Queue and Pre-Show – Disney has built an elaborate pre-show for Smuggler’s Run including a full-sized Millennium Falcon outside the entrance to the attraction. After that you’re brought into Ohnaka Transport Solutions where the Hondo Ohnaka audio-animatronic is waiting for you to give you your smuggling mission.
Tell me this animatronic that will be there doesn’t look amazing:
There is then an optical illusion that makes you feel like you are really stepping onboard the Millennium Falcon.
The realism is incredible! We could have spent hours wandering the halls of the Falcon, just exploring all the details to be found. We also loved sitting on this bench where you can pretend to play a game of “hologram chess” just like in A New Hope.
Ride System – Once through the pre-show area, guests enter the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon in groups of 6. There are hundreds of functioning switches, buttons and everything is built to feel like you are on the real ship.
Once you enter there are three jobs to do:
- Pilots: Making the jump to hyperspace
- Gunners: Shooting down the incoming TIE Fighters
- Engineers: Repairing any damage taken by TIE Fighters
Everyone has to work together, each one doing their job in order complete a successful mission. Your results in the Millennium Falcon will then have an impact on your experience in Galaxy’s Edge after leaving.
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run has a height limit of 38 inches and no FastPass at opening.
For a Full walkthrough of the Smuggler’s Run Queue and POV Ride watch our video:
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance:
Rise of the Resistance is being hyped up by Disney as the most ambitious attraction they’ve ever designed, and the details are insane. Basically you are a resistance member who is part of a secret mission aboard a First Order Star Destroyer. Things go terribly wrong and you end up in a heated battle between the First Order and Resistance.
After the elaborate pre-show, this attraction is split into 3 parts: boarding a space shuttle for a secret mission then being captured by The First Order, escaping from your prison cell and engaging in the battle, then escaping the Star Destroyer and heading back down to Batuu.
The size and scale of this attraction are beyond comprehension and have to be seen to be believed. The main hanger will be powered by a 100-foot screen where tons of effects will take place. some of the action will take place.
Your favorite Star Wars characters such as BB-8, Rey and Poe Dameron will make appearances during the ride and you will face off against Full-sized AT-AT Walkers, over 50 stationary, stationary and animatronic, plus Kylo Ren himself!
Star Wars Rise of the Resistance will be a trackless ride which means that there will be lots of twists and turns that guests won’t be able to anticipate, making for a more unpredictable and fun ride. The ride vehicle will hold 8 people.
Here is a look at the ride vehicle that will be used:
I’ve never looked forward to a ride as much as I am Rise of the Resistance!
Unfortunately for me and you, Rise of the Resistance will NOT be open immediately when Galaxy’s Edge opens and it will be part of a phase 2 opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
You can read more about the details for the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction including a detailed description of the first third of the ride, as well as see the ride layout in these blueprints.
Will there be FastPass or MaxPass for the Galaxy’s Edge Attractions?
Simply put, No, not right now. When the Disneyland Galaxy’s Edge opens on May 31 and the Walt Disney World version on August 29, there will be no FastPass, MaxPass or FastPass+ services initially available for either land.
Obviously they will eventually introduce the FastPass and MaxPass systems to the Galaxy’s Edge rides, but during the opening and initial period it’s open, there will not be an FastPass solutions available. You’ll have to get in line and hope for the best.
Galaxy’s Edge Dining and Restaurants:
Visiting a galaxy far, far away takes a lot out of you, so it’s crucial to find a refueling station. Luckily Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge has all sorts of delicious looking food just waiting for you. In our Galaxy’s Edge Dining Guide we have an even closer look at all the food and menus you can find.
Disney has really made an effort not to include traditional theme park fare (hot dogs, burgers, pizza, etc). Don’t get me wrong, I love all that stuff as much as you, but would you really find chicken tenders and fries in the Star Wars universe?? I think not.
Batuu has a deep history of “farm to table” style whole foods which utilize local cooking traditions passed down from generation to generation. The food in Galaxy’s Edge is heavily focused on quality, uniqueness and they are great to look at too!
Galaxy’s Edge has 2 Restaurants and 3 Snack Stands:
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo:
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is a Fast Casual restaurant in Galaxy’s Edge that belongs to Chef Strong “Cookie Tuggs” which he uses to ship cargo in and out of Black Spire Outpost.
No reservations are required and there is indoor and outdoor seating. It reminds me a lot of Satu’li Canteen in Pandora: The World of Avatar, which is a huge compliment.
It offers a variety of food and drink, with some really stunning presentations. Unique creations like Smoked Kaadu Ribs, Yobshrimp Noodle Salad, Braised Shaak Roast and Ithorian Garden Loaf fill the menu.
The plates they serve the food here in are in reality a bit smaller than in these stock photos from Disney, but they food was excellent and we’d recommend almost every dish on the menu!
The desserts like the Oi-oi Puff and Batuu-bon are both really delicious and we love both!
Docking Bay 7 doesn’t serve alcohol, but there are some non-alcoholic drinks like: Moof Juice, Phattro and Batuubucha Tea!
Read more about Docking Bay 7 here including the Menu and our Review of the place.
Oga’s Cantina was the first of the dining locations we heard about coming to Galaxy’s Edge. This a location much like the space cantina Luke and Obi-Wan go into in the original Star Wars movie, and this is where the best drinks in the galaxy are located.
It’s alien proprietor, Aga Garra, has strict rules that its patrons have to live by and it has its own way of enforcing the law!
It’s a lounge/bar which serves mostly drinks at the time of opening, however more food could be introduced at a later time. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are featured, and there are so many good sounding ones it’s going to take a while to try them all. Even kid’s will have a ball with these unique designs.
Entertainment is a big part of Aga’ Cantina and the music will be played courtesy of RX-24 who has moved on to better things from his days piloting the Star Tours attraction.
Alcoholic options include: Spiran Caf, Bloody Rancor, Fuzzy Tauntaun, Jedi Mind Trick, The Outer Rim, T-16 Skyhopper, Dagobah Slug Slinger and Bespin Fizz. There is also variety of wines and beers available.
Non-alcoholic drinks include: Black Spire Brew, Moogan Tea, Tarine Tea, Blue Bantha, Cliff Dweller, Hyperdrive (Punch It!), Jabba Juice, Blue Bantha, Carbon Freeze and Oga’s Obsession.
This is a super fun place to just go and hang out, but right now since demand is so high they tend to not want you to linger too long. Once things quiet down a bit it will be more chill. In any case, it’s a place you absolutely can’t miss!
Find more about Oga’s Cantina menu and our review here.
This is the centerpiece of the marketplace in Black Spire Outpost and one of the most visually interesting places you’ll find during your trip to Galaxy’s Edge due to the gigantic pod-racing engine/barbecue pit smack dab in the middle of the restaurant.
Droids are a part of this experience as Ronto Roasters is run by Bakkar and his droid: 8D-J8, who slowly turns a spit, roasting the meat over the barbecue pit and making for some truly mouth-watering sandwiches.
Food choices include: Ronto Wrap, Nuna Turkey Jerky, and Drinks: Tatooine Sunset, Sour Sarlacc and Meiloorun Juice.
We didn’t like everything here, but the Ronto Wrap is amazing and must be tried!
Kat Sakas Kettle:
At Kat Saka’s they have a specialty mix of Popcorn called the Outpost Popcorn Mix. It’s like eating fruit loops and popcorn mixed which many people like but I find a bit too sweet.
Even being on a far off planet, you know soft drinks have to be somewhere in Galaxy’s Edge and one of the things people have been talking about are the unique Coca-Cola products in the shape of thermal detonators:
They are more expensive than regular sodas in Disneyland, but they are also way cooler. I’m more into the unique and specialty drinks you can find in Galaxy’s Edge, but if you are looking for a coke, this is the way to do it!
One of the things everyone tries when visiting Galaxy’s Edge is the 2 kinds of milk served at the Milk Stand: Blue Milk (or Green Milk). You can now drink the same stuff you’ve seen in the Star Wars movies which is a local favorite in Black Spire Outpost.
Both types of milk are dairy-free and a mixture of coconut and rice milk, but we don’t happen to be very big fans of either. Try it just for the sake of trying it but that might be all you need to do.
Check out more about the blue and green milk on our Milk Stand page.
Galaxy’s Edge Shopping and Merchandise:
Of course you can’t leave Galaxy’s Edge and go home without something to prove you were actually there. Don’t worry, there isn’t a shortage of merchandise unique to Galaxy’s Edge and the marketplace in Black Spire Outpost is filled with shops. You can read our full Star Wars Land Shopping Guide for more info on all the merchandise.
Black Spire Outfitters:
In Black Spire Outfitters you will find a variety of customizable Star Wars gear, allowing you to dress as either the Sith or Jedi. You can find gear very similar to what the cast members were.
Supporters of the Resistance will feel right at home. Look for all types of clothing, badges, gear and more…
First Order Cargo:
First Order Cargo is similar to Black Spire Outfitters but it’s stocked with gear for those with the First Order!
Lots of Star Wars artisan-style plush characters, wood and tin toys and musical instruments. Have you ever wanted to jam out on the instrument the aliens were playing in the Mos Eisley Cantina in “A New Hope”? Now you can!
If you don’t have time to practice, no worries, because the instruments can be played manually or with the already pre-programmed music. Wouldn’t it be something if you could sign up for lessons in Galaxy’s Edge and learn how to play them??
The Creature Stall:
Want to take home some furry friends from Galaxy’s Edge? There are plenty of plushes of recognizable characters from all the films like Tauntauns, Porgs and Wampas, Worrts and more. They all have various functions like movements and sounds.
The Creature Stall is run by an Amani named Bina, but you probably won’t find her around as she’s always out looking for more creatures to sell in her shop.
Dok Ondar’s Antiquities:
You may remember the reference of the 245-year old collector Dok-Ondar from Solo: A Star Wars Story. Well he’s in charge of the black market in Black Spire Outpost, so if you are looking for the rarest collectibles in the galaxy, this is the place to be.
You’ll get to see him as he’s in the store as an animatronic figure, and he interacts with guests and cast members who come near. He is one of the most impressive animatronics I’ve ever seen and probably even better than the Hondo figure in Smuggler’s Run. Try to barter with him if you are looking for a deal.
One nice thing is that his collection is always different as Disney plans on continuously updating what he has in stock, so if you see something you like now, grab it as it might be gone next time.
Some artifacts include Jedi Relics:
And Sith ones too:
Holocrons will be a big part of Dom Ondar’s collection which are ancients relics used to give power to both the Jedi and the Sith. They will hold secret information that can only be discovered by using the cyber crystals to unlock them…
Ever want to take home your very own functioning BB-8 or R2-D2? Well now you can at the Droid Depot.
Here you build your very own R or BB Series droids from a tech-savvy Utai named Mubo. He and his helpful staff want to help you choose the perfect droid for you which will be totally customizable.
Choose the parts you want from the conveyor belt that passes overhead and follow the instructions. Each droid is approximately 12 inches tall and can be guided by remote control. The best part is the droids will have interactive capabilities within Galaxy’s Edge, helping you to unlock more secrets.
Even if you’re not buying anything, a visit to the Droid Depot is totally worth the time. It’s really impressive to stand there and see all the droid parts pass by either overhead or in front of you.
While all the other merchandise is cool, the hand-built lightsabers are what I wanted to get the most!
The Jedi supporter Savi, runs this workshop with fragments and parts for lightsabers he gathers from around the galaxy. His followers “the gatherers” help you choose and build your very own personalized lightsaber.
Part of a multi-step process, up to 14 guests enter around the workshop bench at a time and be able to customize wither own lightsaber. There are 4 different stories to choose from each with its own elements of the force. You then choose the type of cyber crystal you want to insert and there you have it.
We wrote a detailed explanation about Savi’s Workshop and the lightsaber building process and our experience there if you want to know more.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Maps
Disney has just released a new Disneyland Guidemap with Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge worked into the top left corner:
Here’s a closer-up view:
Disney also released a Merchant and Dining Guide which shows the shops and dining options in their positions in Black Spire Outpost:
For a more detailed look at the Galaxy’s Edge maps, check out our post here.
Galaxy’s Edge Characters:
It wouldn’t be Star Wars if it wasn’t filled with strange, alien characters and that’s what will make Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge so unique.
Which Star Wars Characters are in Galaxy’s Edge?
Poe Dameron, Rey, BB-8 and Kylo Ren all make appearances in the Rise of the Resistance ride.
Dok-Ondar – He runs the black market in Black Spire Outpost and you can find and even barter with him in his shop, Dok Ondar’s Antiquities.
Hondo Ohnaka – You know Hondo from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Now you’ll be working for him on a secret smuggling mission, in the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride. Get ready to see one of the most impressive audio-animatronic figures in the ride’s pre-show area.
R-3X / Rex – He’s retired from being a guide on Star Tours and now you can find him entertain guests in Oga’s Cantina.
Zabaka – She runs the Toydarian Toymaker shop.
Bina – Sheruns The Creature Stall which offers some of the rarest creatures in the galaxy. Don’t expact to find her when you go, she’ll be out looking for more to add to her collection.
What makes Galaxy’s Edge a truly unique experience is the interactivity of the cast members who each have a role to play on Batuu, all with different stories. They all though must stay “in-character” so this really makes you feel like you are on another planet.
Just be careful who you talk to, some are Resistance supporters, while others are loyal to the First Order!
Here’s a look at their uniforms:
There are many different styles, and cast members are free to customize their outfits in dozens of different ways, which they can do on a daily basis.
Play Disney Parks App in Galaxy’s Edge:
When Disney launched its new Play Disney Parks app and introduced it into current Disney attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Slinky Dog Dash and Peter Pan’s Flight, it was all just a test for what it will bring to Galaxy’s Edge.
Just download the Play Disney Parks app on your mobile device and it will tell you which parts of your environment are interactive. This will add to the story and make Galaxy’s Edge different every time you visit with new things to explore.
There are 4 functions you’ll be able to do: Hack, Scan, Translate, and Tune. Read the native alien language, spy on the fellow residents of Galaxy’s Edge, break codes and hack into surveillance boxes. There will even be specific missions for either the First Order or Resistance that can only be carried out by using the Play Disney Parks app.
Read all about how the Play Disney Parks app and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge interact together in our detailed explanation.
Galaxy’s Edge Planning, Tips and Touring:
Now that you know what Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is all about, we’re going to share with you our best planning tips and advice for touring Star Wars Land so that you’ll have a great time and get to experience everything while you’re there.
This will be especially important if you are visiting the Disneyland version from May 31 – June 23 as you’re time will be limited to 4 hours! That means you need to get in and be as efficient as possible during your window!
When Should I Go to Star Wars Land?
This is a loaded question and totally depends on which version of Star Wars Land you plan on visiting and how much you can handle crowds…
If you can’t wait to visit Galaxy’s Edge and don’t care about crowds, then going on opening day to either Disneyland or Disney World will be an experience like no other. Unfortunately if you don’t already have a reservation for Disneyland you won’t be able to get in the first month (unless you get one of the few remaining hotel reservations), but going to opening day in the Hollywood Studios version is certainly still possible.
So far in Disneyland because of the reservation system things haven’t been too crowded, but when it opens up to the public it’s going to get worse, especially in the WDW version if they don’t implement a reservation system or virtual queuing. There will absolutely be highs and lows during the first few months, but it’s too early yet to tell just exactly how long the Galaxy’s Edge mania is going to last. Plan on higher than normal levels throughout the rest of 2019 at this point for both Disneyland and Disney World.
If you don’t want to deal with the crowds then going after the holidays are finished (January 2020) is going to be your best bet, however Galaxy’s Edge is so awesome that it’s worth a visit no matter what.
Things to Do BEFORE you go to Galaxy’s Edge:
- Make sure you have your tickets and any reservations for Galaxy’s Edge you may have booked ahead of time. Visit our reservations post to know what to do when you go.
- Download the Play Disney Parks App on your phone. This is going to be instrumental to your enjoyment of Galaxy’s Edge if you really want to get into the story and enjoy all the details.
No you don’t absolutely HAVE to download it and you can experience and have a great time in Galaxy’s Edge just how it is. However, with all the extra time and effort the Disney Imagineers put into making this land, it would be a shame not to experience it all.
Disneyland Touring Strategy:
I originally thought that between the two versions of Star Wars Land (Disneyland and Disney World), the Disneyland version was going to be the toughest to navigate and would have the worse crowds of the two. Disneyland for one is smaller, so just fitting the people inside is a challenge. The fact that Disneyland is already the most popular theme park in the world doesn’t help matters.
The other big problem is that since Disneyland opened first, people who can’t wait till August will come here. Another thing to keep in mind is that since Disney pushed the opening of Galaxy’s Edge to May 31, the Disneyland blackout dates won’t have started yet and many of the Disneyland Annual Passholders will still have access during the opening period.
More importantly it’s going to take some time to figure out the logistics of it all (how the crowds move, how long the rides take to unload and load, etc) plus technical difficulties. All of this means things will move slower at the start.
However after having visited Galaxy’s Edge myself and spending a considerable amount of time there, at least during the reservation period till June 23, things seem pretty under control. It looks like the reservation system and virtual queuing have kept massive crowds at bay for now.
In the first few days surprisingly Disneyland hasn’t had all that much higher than normal traffic. It seems that Disney has made it clear that only people with reservations to Galaxy’s Edge will make it inside to visit, and most of the Disneyland APs got the message. I saw very few people lining up hoping to get into Galaxy’s Edge only to be turned away. It happened, but not as much as I thought.
Either way I think if you are going your best move is to stay nearby within walking distance, either at a Disneyland Hotel (especially to get an automatic reservation) or another local hotel if you’ve already secured one of the free reservations.
If you’re going on foot, make sure to still leave plenty of time before your reservation to have time to make it through security and the front entrance, but from everything we experienced it wasn’t all that much more than a regular day in Disneyland so allow more time for the entrance, but don’t go crazy.
However if your reservations are at 11am for example, I would still try to show up earlier than normal to be one of the first in line to check-in for that turn. Disney says they start checking people in 2 hours before reservation time (so it would be at 9am in this scenario) but we’ve always seen them starting earlier than that. Just to be safe I’d arrive 3 hours early, because being towards the front of the line in your turn will be crucial to doing some of the more popular experiences.
Once you get inside Galaxy’s Edge I’m going to give you some advice that may seem out of the ordinary, but I think the Disneyland and Hollywood Studios versions of Galaxy’s Edge need to be toured in completely different ways, due to all the logistical differences between them.
I think the general strategy for a new land like Pandora or Toy Story Land in the last couple years has been: show up early and make a b-line for the headliner attraction in that land. While that’s worked in the past, it has to be different here, especially for the Disneyland version, at least for the first month.
Since there are 4 hour time limits, you shouldn’t run straight for the Millennium Falcon. Instead you should try to visit some of the smaller areas of Galaxy’s Edge like Oga’s Cantina and Savi’s Workshop before they fill up. Those have been the hardest to enter experiences.
Think about it, Smuggler’s Run is able to push through 1,500 – 2,000 per hour which is going to be a significantly higher number than the 100+ or so that fit in Oga’s Cantina or the 14 people at a time in Savi’s Workshop. If you run directly onto the Millennium Falcon, by the time you get done, maybe an hour will have gone by, but the lines in those smaller places will be insurmountable with only 3 hours left to go.
Disney has also been cutting off reservations from Oga’s Cantina and Savi’s Workshop sometimes after only 20 minutes of your turn, whereas Smuggler’s Run usually has big wait times at the beginning of every turn but then quickly dies down to 30 minutes or less.
I would choose one of Savi’s Workshop or Oga’s Cantina first, go there, get your reservations, then try to get one for the other of the two. They will give you a reservation time to come back and enter Oga’s or get your lightsaber.
Then while you are waiting, do some exploring in Galaxy’s Edge, get some snacks, do shopping or ride Smuggler’s Run. If you ride during the middle two hours of your reservation, you can get on very quickly, maybe even multiple times. It’s hard to tell because we are still at the beginning and Disney is testing lots of things, sometimes they restrict you from riding Smuggler’s Run more than once, other times they don’t.
Even if all you care about is riding the Millennium Falcon, I still wouldn’t go there because you will wait much longer in the first hour than the middle 2 hours. Do some exploring, then come back for Smuggler’s Run.
I would do things in this order:
- Savi’s Workshop
- Oga’s Cantina
- Wander Galaxy’s Edge exploring other shops, alleys, etc
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run (which I’d wait right till the middle 2 hours to get in line for).
- Eat at Docking Bay 7 (do this at the end when new people are coming in and will be rushing for everything else.
It’s really hard to do everything in a 4 hour window. We still haven’t been able to do Savi’s, Oga’s, Millennium Falcon and Droid Depot all in one 4 hour window, if done right you should be able to hit 3 out of 4. That’s why it’s important to prioritize which are most important to you.
Once the 4-hour limits are lifted in Disneyland then I might advise a different strategy, but for now this seems like the best way.
If you can wait to visit Galaxy’s Edge then the crowds should be lower in January/February 2020, or you might want to visit Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios which could be more manageable.
Disney World Touring Strategy:
The touring strategy for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in Disney World will be slightly different from the one in Disneyland because the layout isn’t exactly 100% the same and different protocols are in place, at least for now.
As of writing, the Hollywood Studios version will NOT have a reservation system, nor is it scheduled to have a virtual queue. I think that will change by the time August rolls around and they very easily could integrate it into My Disney Experience app. Seeing how well the limited access is working for Disneyland so far, it’s likely Disney World will implement something similar.
One thing we highly recommend is staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel during your visit to Galaxy’s Edge. The Epcot area hotels are going to be the best bet to walk, or the ones on the new Disney Skyliner route. We don’t know the exact opening date for the Disney Skyliner yet, but there’s a very good chance at how fast the construction is moving that it will be open by the end of August, which means it will be very convenient to arrive in Hollywood Studios.
These are my hotel suggestions for visiting Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios:
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Yacht and Beach Club Resort
- Swan and Dolphin
- Pop Century Resort
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Art of Animation
That is of course if you can’t wait till 2021 and stay at the Star Wars Hotel right across the street. Guests there will come to Galaxy’s Edge on secret missions, giving you a completely different view of Star Wars Land.
Besides the close proximity, staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel is going to give you even more advantages including…
Extra, Extra Magic Hours:
Disney has announced that it will be debuting Extra, Extra Magic Hours to be able to get into Galaxy’s Edge super early, which will give you a HUGE advantage for getting in and seeing the land before the others.
Extra, Extra Magic Hours are only available for those who are staying at a Walt Disney World Hotel. They allow guests to get into Galaxy’s Edge 3 Hours before normal park guests and will be running from 6am – 9am every morning.
This is a limited time event and the dates are from August 31 – November 2, 2019.
For more information you can read our guide to Extra, Extra Magic Hours which will explain everything you need to know.
If you are planning on utilizing the Extra, Extra Magic Hours for Galaxy’s Edge, then I recommend you get in line at the front gate at 5am. I know you probably think I’m crazy and that’s way too early to go to a theme park, but you’ll thank me later when you don’t have to wait in line 5 hours for the Millennium Falcon, or when you don’t get shut out of Oga’s Cantina or the Lightsaber experience.
Of course if you are planning on going opening day in Hollywood Studios then you are going to have to get in line much earlier than 5am, in fact you probably want to bring a blanket and sleep in line overnight as the crowds that day are going to be out of control.
I can’t emphasize enough though how much you need to take advantage of these Extra, Extra Magic Hours when you go during your trip though, it will allow you to get so much more done than you normally would have been able to. At worst you go back to your room at noon for a nap before the rest of your day’s activities, but please use them.
As for the best strategy inside Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios, even though there isn’t a 4 hour limit on your time, I still recommend going for Savi’s Workshop or Oga’s Cantina first. They way they sell reservations for those two you risk getting shut out if you don’t secure a spot.
I think you’ll have longer lines for Smuggler’s Run in Hollywood Studios, because you’re not going to have a 4 hour limit and they will try to get more people in there imo. I don’t if the lines will reach 5-6 hours, but a steadier 2 hours is likely. Let’s see how fast Disney moves on enabling FastPass+ for Smuggler’s Run too which could change things.
So rope drop Oga’s or Savi’s then I would head to Millennium Falcon next (and Rise of the Resistance when it opens). the other stuff you can do later on. Again this is changes though when FastPasses are made available for Star Wars Land later on if you get one of them.
Again we’re going to have to wait till Galaxy’s Edge actually opens up there in August till we have more answers, but we’ll keep updating our strategies to help you navigate as best as possible.
In the end, you can drive yourself crazy with planning but at the end of the day you can’t predict exactly what will happen. No matter which park you decide to go to or when you go it’s going to be an experience like nothing you’ve ever had before. So unless you are severely turned off by crowds, plan ahead as much as you can, suck it up and just go and have a blast! It’s going to be worth it!
Star Wars Land FAQ’s:
The two lands are basically identical, except for a few cosmetic and logistic differences.
The Disneyland version for example will have a slightly different queue area for Rise of the Resistance where guests enter.
The Disney World Galaxy’s Edge will have 2 entrances, while there will be 3 entrances in Disneyland.
Yes. Oga’s Cantina will serve alcohol and be the only place in Disneyland where you can find alcohol outside Club 33.
Nowhere. Both in Disneyland and Hollywood Studios, the Star Tours attractions will stay right int he same place they are now.
Disney hasn’t said exactly where it falls in the Star Wars timeline, but we know that Black Spire Outpost has existed for some time because it is referenced in Solo: A Star Wars Story. That puts it before the original Star Wars Trilogy.
However the current story happening when you enter Galaxy’s Edge takes place during the current Star Wars Trilogy (Episodes 7-9) because it’s being inhabited by both the First Order and the Resistance. There isn’t an exact date to the story though which gives Disney more freedom in its storytelling for the land.
Yes, absolutely. Galaxy’s Edge is now being featured in the latest Star Wars books, comics and was even mentioned in Solo: A Star Wars Story. It’s definitely in the cannon now.
The answer comes from the giant petrified rock formations that line the sky high above Batuu. Every planet in the Star Wars universe has some unique geographic characteristics, and these ancient trees are what defines Galaxy’s Edge.
Among all of them, there is one petrified tree in the middle of the marketplace which is black, hence the village name: Black Spire Outpost.
Galaxy’s Edge Latest News:
There is literally new information coming out about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge every day and it’s really hard to keep up with it all. We’ve made a list of all the latest information from Star Wars Land so you don’t miss anything!
That finishes up our Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Guide. We hope you found it both exciting and helpful in planning your trip to visit Star Wars Land.
We’ll continue to add more information to this guide in the following months as we continue to refine our touring plan for Galaxy’s Edge. Keep checking back here at Ziggy Knows Disney for the latest info on Star Wars Land!
I want to know what you think about our Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Guide…
- When are you visiting Galaxy’s Edge?
- What part are you most excited about?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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