In a few short months, Walt Disney World is unveiling its most ambitious hotel venture yet. The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a two-night experience aboard the lavish starcruiser Halcyon. It allows its guests to live out their wildest Star Wars dreams in a fully immersive experience. However, you don't have to drop $6,000 for an incredible Star Wars adventure if you're planning on visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
In 2019, Hollywood Studios introduced a new area at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, allowing visitors to taste life on the planet Batuu. Here's the Ultimate Guide to Star Wars Galaxy's Edge from the co-host of the Star Wars Friends Podcast, Star Wars Mega-Fan, and Screen Actors Guild Member, Maggie Lovitt.
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What's in Star Wars Galaxy's Edge?
The expansive section of the park has a lot to see and do, including the rides Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. When the latter ride launched in 2019, it utilized a somewhat frustrating virtual queue system that allowed guests to secure their spots on the ride. It was pretty much a zoo. Fortunately, they did away with the virtual queue earlier this summer, but it is always possible to return during busy seasons.
Both rides are fully-immersive experiences and utilize state-of-the-art technology that you won't find on other Walt Disney World attractions. Rise of the Resistance—while prone to breaking down—is a thrilling experience that takes you through multiple stages and unforgettable locations. If you have the time, Smuggler's Run is a ride to experience again and again because it's always a little bit different every time you help smuggle the coaxium.
Given their popularity, you can guarantee that you will be waiting in line for a significant amount of time on both of these rides, but rest assured that Disney budgeted this into their construction of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge. Both rides offer an enjoyable line experience, taking you through the hidden Resistance Base and the Ohnaka Transport Solutions, where the Falcon is docked.
In addition to getting an opportunity to pilot the Millennium Falcon or escape from the First Order, you can also book an unforgettable experience at Savi's Workshop. There you can build your very own lightsaber (for around $200) or create your very own custom droid at the Droid Depot (for approximately $90). If you have to choose which experience you can fit into your Star Wars Galaxy's Edge adventure, we would suggest spending the extra money to build your lightsaber. Reservations for both of these experiences open up 60 days in advance, so make sure to make your decision early.
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: The Food, Drink, and Shops
Like most areas in the park, you will also find a delicious offering of food to sample during your adventure to Batuu. For casual dining, you can sit outside and enjoy a Ronto Wrap at Ronto Roasters or sit down for a more substantial meal at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, which offers some ridiculously delicious desserts as well.
Oga's Cantina requires reservations, as space is limited and the experience is geared towards adult visitors. It is, after all, a cantina, but not the Mexican kind you may be thinking. It's one of the few places in the park where you can score alcoholic drinks. You can book your restaurant reservations 60 days in advance, and it is worth setting the alarm on your phone.
If you want to experience a less raucous cantina, reservations are available after park closing hours. You can then exit through a practically empty Batuu on your way out. Of course, children of the 80s will resist quoting the original Star Wars movie (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) but get ready for lots of “This place can be a little rough” comments.
While visiting the Black Spire, you can also sample the infamous Blue Milk from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It comes in two varieties: green and blue, and you can also spike either drink with alcohol if you are so inclined. Like the Mantell Mix featured in Star Wars: The Bad Batch, you can pick up Outpost Mix from Kat Saka's Kettle.
It wouldn't be Walt Disney World without a collection of shops to pick up souvenirs and in-world memorabilia. In Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, you can visit:
- Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities for holocrons and kyber crystals to change the colors of your lightsaber
- the Droid Depot for add-ons for your build-a-droid
- First Order Cargo for all of your First Order apparel
- Resistance Supply for all of your heroic souvenirs
- Wearable apparel, adorable plush dolls, porgs, toys, and fashionable jewelry at the Creature Stalls, Black Spire Outfitters, and The Jewels of Bith
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: All the Extra Details Disney Excels At
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge is also very dedicated to sticking to the storyline, so you will have to learn some specific lingo to get around. For example, “Bright suns” and “Bright moons” are greetings, depending on the time of day, while “Til the Spire” and “May the Spires keep you” are typical goodbyes.
If you're looking for the restroom, ask for the “refresher,” and if you're looking for a water fountain, ask for the “hydrator.” When purchasing something, you'll be using “credits,” not money and that handy little device in your hand is a “datapad,” not a cellphone. While waiting in line, a cast member might ask you where you're from—don't be surprised if they've never heard of Idaho or Milwaukee. They may even ask you which part of the galaxy those planets are located in!
Since Star Wars Galaxy's Edge first opened, things have changed with how the character performers interact with guests. Before the pandemic, they were much more involved with the day-to-day experience—with Rey and Vi Moradi enlisting young visitors to help them spy on the First Order or escape from Kylo Ren's clutches. You may still find Chewbacca wandering around alongside Rey or Vi Moradi playing lookout as Kylo Ren, First Order officers, and the Stormtroopers march through the market, but it's not quite as involved as it once was.
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: Fun for All
If you're making your very first trip to Florida to visit Star WarsGalaxy's Edge, be sure to also stop by another Star Wars staple at the park. Star Tours — The Adventure Continues is outside the Batuu area of the park, but it is an absolute must-visit for casual and hardcore Star Wars fans. Believe it or not, it originally opened in 1987 in Disneyland—long before Disney officially purchased the franchise.
You are bound to have an epic adventure when you visit Star Wars Galaxy's Edge. It shines as one of the best places to visit in the U.S. for Star Wars and amusement park fans alike. one of The Black Spire Outpost has been smartly designed to cater to serious Star Wars fans and Walt Disney World guests with a passing interest in the franchise. There's plenty to see and do without shelling out extra money, but you do get the whole experience if you can budget to visit Savi's Workshop for a lightsaber and make a pit-stop at the Droid Depot.
If you're looking for ways to save money to afford that lightsaber or perhaps multi-day park tickets, think about booking your hotel accommodations differently. For example, did you know that you can book an Orlando resort, even on-property high-end Disney ones, by renting from a timeshare owner and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars of your stay?
Until you're on Planet, May the spires keep you.
This post originally appeared on Savoteur.