I wouldn’t say I’m the biggest Star Wars fan out there, but I’m definitely a huge fan of the franchise. I remember seeing The Phantom Menace opening weekend back in 1999. Can’t believe I was only 7 at the time! Honestly, that’s probably where my love of Ewan McGregor came from. Any who, although the prequels weren’t that good, at least we have the originals and the new trilogy. Right. Right?
During my quick trip to Disney World last week, I had the incredible opportunity to preview the new Star Wars land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. While Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been open at Disneyland for a few months now, its Disney World counterpart does not officially open until tomorrow, August 29th! Getting a chance to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge before it opened to the public was seriously a dream come true!
Here’s a little recap of my visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney World:
Before I get into the recap, here’s a little background information on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This new immersive land is themed and inspired by the Star Wars universe. (Obviously). At the time of this blog post (August 28, 2019) the new land is currently located in both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge takes place within the village of Black Spire Outpost, on the wild frontier planet of Batuu. So warning, I will be referring to it as “Batuu” from time to time in this post.
Another warning: this post is going to be very LONG. So, you’ve been warned! I’m going to be breaking this post up into four main sections: Rides, Food, Shopping and Overall Atmosphere.
As of now, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge features two attractions, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has yet to open at either park. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be opening at Disney World on 12/5 (Walt Disney’s birthday) and on 1/17/20 at Disneyland. Since this ride isn’t open yet, there’s not much I can say about it. BUT, I did have the opportunity to ride the other attraction, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, several times!
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run gives YOU a chance to pilot (or just fly in, but more on that later) the famed Millennium Falcon.
Not only is the outside of the ride amazing but the queue itself is so immersive!
After making your way through the ship, you finally get to the preshow. Here is where you meet a pretty neat (that rhymed) Hondo Ohnaka animatronic figure. In this room Hondo is accompanied by his R5P8 droid and they tell you your mission for the ride.
This lasts about 2 minutes (if that long).
Once outside the preshow room, you are broken up into groups of six and given a card. These cards are very important because they tell you your “job”/role and your color. There are three different jobs on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. There are two pilots, two gunners and two engineers.
(So six people in total per vehicle).
I had the incredible opportunity to ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run three times. I was a Gunner once and an Engineer twice. Pilots (which I still haven’t experienced yet) fly the ship. Gunners are in charge of firing the blasters/missiles and shooting down the incoming TIE Fighters. And the Engineers repair any damage taken by TIE Fighters.
Once you are split up into your color coordinated groups and everyone is given their role, you are free to roam around the Millennium Falcon for a bit until your color is called. I liked that system way more than just “walking in line” until your turn.
While waiting for your group/color to be called, you’ll find a ton of neat things like the famous holochess table. (There will be a small line of people waiting to get their photo taken there so just an FYI). After a few minutes of waiting, you’ll hear your color called and all six of the people in your group will be taken into their own cockpit.
I didn’t get any good on ride photos, but there are plenty of YouTube videos out there is you want a little spoiler of the ride. Personally, I’d rate the ride a 3/5. It was a lot like Star Tours in a way expect you were more in control of what was happening. I do like the aspect of having different roles because it does make each ride different. I had a different experience when I was a Gunner than I did being an Engineer.
My favorite part of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run wasn’t even the ride itself. I loved the immersive queue and the amazing theming throughout it. I honestly felt like I was roaming around inside of the actual Millennium Falcon!
During my visit to Batuu, the longest the wait time ever got for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers was 40 minutes. However, I never waited more than 25 minutes (and I rode it three times). Keep in mind, I did visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during an Annual Passholder preview event prior to the land opening to the public. I can guarantee when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge officially opens tomorrow in Disney World, wait times will be over 3-4 hours. Personally, the ride is not worth a 3 hour wait time but hey, that’s just me.
I don’t think any ride is worth a 3 hour wait.
There are several dinning options on Batuu including: Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, the Milk Stand, Ronto Roasters, Kat Saka’s Kettle and Oga’s Cantina. Today I’ll be talking about the two I personally tried: Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo and Kat Saka’s Kettle.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is a quick service restaurant housed in a working hangar bay. They have a variety of unique, yeah, that’s the word I’ll choose, foods from across the galaxy.
I went with the Smoked Kaadu Ribs and the Fried Endorian Tip-Yip.
Fried Endorian Tip-Yip is just a fancy Star Wars way of saying Fried Chicken, Roasted Vegetable Potato Mash and Herb Gravy. I really enjoyed the chicken and veggie potato mash! I’d give it a 4/5.
The Smoked Kaadu Ribs came with Sticky Pork Ribs, a Blueberry Corn Muffin and Cabbage Slaw. Let me just say, I’m not a ribs person but I did like this dish. The blueberry corn muffin was surprisingly good. My mom really enjoyed the cabbage slaw. 4/5 for sure.
I’ve see at lot of Disney fans comparing Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo to Satu’li Canteen in Pandora over at Animal Kingdom. I’ve also heard a lot of people say they prefer Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo to Satu’li Canteen. While I do see the similarities, both are amazing well themed quick service restaurants, I’d pick Satu’li Canteen every time! (Shameless plug: check out my review of Satu’li Canteen HERE!).
I also had the chance to try some of the sweet and savory popcorn over at Kat Saka’s Kettle. The purple (sweet) popcorn legit tasted like fruity pebbles. The red (savory) popcorn was just nasty for a lack of a better term. If it was just the purple popcorn I would have enjoyed it more. It gets a 2/5 from me.
What’s a new land without lots of new merchandise? Star Wars fans rejoice, because there’s a ton of shops throughout Batuu!
While I didn’t build my own Droid at Droid Depot, I still went and checked it out anyway!
At Droid Depot, you have the option of building your own customized BB-series droid or R-series droid. Think Build-a-Bear, but a Star Wars version! Along with the “build a Droid” section, there’s also a full gift shop inside.
Doesn’t it look like R2-D2 is staring into your soul?
I thought the BB-8 and R2-D2 light up headbands were super adorable!
You can never go wrong with Porgs!
Be still my heart. How freaking ADORABLE are those plushies?! I’m so proud of myself because I displayed such willpower when I saw these. I didn’t buy any of them. (Even though I wanted them all!).
If I had to score Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on theming alone, I’d give it a 5/5. BUT after factoring in the rides, food and shopping along with the overall atmosphere, I’d give it a solid 3/5. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice addition to the parks but it has a long way to go. Right now it feels more like an outdoor shopping area than anything. But I am excited for the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride to open later this year. Hopefully that will add a little more oomph to Galxay’s Edge!