Ooteenie! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opens at Walt Disney World
You may have been awakened early this morning by a great disturbance in the Force – as if millions of voices suddenly cried out (primarily from the greater Orlando area.)
Well, maybe not millions, but certainly thousands. And if they did, it’s because they got a glimpse of the crowds lining up hours before the official opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the highly-anticipated new land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World.
Today’s opening drew massive crowds long before visitors were allowed inside. Long lines began forming overnight, according to would-be Jedi in the midst of the throng. A New Hampshire transplant who now works as a Cast Member reported to his post at 3:30 a.m., and said the entry, though crowded, was “smooth as silk.”
“The Force was strong and the crowd was well-behaved,” he said.
The new experience transports guests to a world a long time ago and far, far away. Wander into the new 14-acre land and you’ll find yourself on Batuu – a far-flung location along the galaxy’s frontier, and home to the Black Spire Outpost, an infamous port for smugglers, traders and adventurers. It’s populated by aliens (some new, some familiar), droids and other inhabitants, along with unusual food and drink options.
Galaxy’s Edge is home to two new attractions, one of which is now open. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run puts guests into the cockpit of the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” as they fill one of three critical roles: pilot, gunner or engineer. The ship responds in real-time, and depending on how skilled each of the crew is, it can affect the outcome of the story.
The second attraction, expected to be the E-ticket gate-buster, is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. It’s reported to be one of the most ambitious, advanced and immersive experiences ever undertaken by Walt Disney Imagineering, but fans will have to wait a bit longer to find out. Rise of the Resistance opens on Dec. 5.
In the meantime, visitors to Batuu can munch on unusual bites and sip refreshments just like the kind Aunt Beru served back on Tatooine. The Milk Stand offers two local favorites – Blue Milk and Green Milk. Blue Milk was first seen in “Star Wars: A New Hope” when Luke Skywalker sat down for a family meal. Green Milk was introduced in “The Last Jedi” when Luke lived on the planet Ahch-To.
Try Oga’s Cantina for a few themed cocktails and some music provided by DJ R-3X – the former Starspeeder 3000 pilot. Ronto’s Roasters features a large podracing engine firing up a barbecue pit for mouth-watering Ronto Wraps. When customers queue up to order, they encounter a former smelter droid that’s been put to work turning the spit of meats. Guests can also choose from a variety of exotic non-alcoholic drinks like the Sour Sarlacc or Tatooine Sunset.
It’s all-the-more immersive thanks to a suite of new John Williams composed music, written specifically for this land and its attractions.
And now, you can actually go to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters. (Or, something close to it.) Among the opportunities to separate your space-bucks from your intergalactic credit account:
- Guests can construct their own astromech droids at the Droid Depot. Patrons pick pieces off a conveyor belt to build one of two core models (R-series or BB-series) and they can customize their droids with various parts and colors. These droids interact with elements throughout the land. Additional accessories can be added.
Pro tip: If you get a protocol droid, make sure it speaks Bocce.
- At Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers, guests have the opportunity to craft and customize their own lightsabers. In this mystical experience, guests feel the Force as they build these elegant weapons from a more civilized age.
Get a look at the experience here, taken from the May opening of Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland:
- Inside Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, guests find a selection of rare and mysterious items for sale, representing different eras of the Star Wars galaxy including holocrons, ancient Jedi and Sith artifacts, lightsabers and more. Explore the nooks and crannies of the shop for a look at Dok-Ondar at his desk. The large Ithorian checks his inventory and barks the occasional order at his assistants.
- The Black Spire Outpost marketplace features the Creature Stall dedicated to the plethora of rare and fascinating creatures that populate the galaxy.
- Black Spire Outfitters showcases the latest in galactically trendy apparel and accessories.
- Toydarian Toymaker stall is full of toys and games crafted by a Toydarian (the flying alien species first seen in “The Phantom Menace”).
- Jewels of Bith offers “trinkets to treasure” and other accessories.
- Resistance Supply is a makeshift location at the Resistance’s hidden command post, selling Resistance pins, badges, hats and other accessories to help guests feel like part of the cause.
- First Order Cargo is a temporary First Order storage dock easily identified by a never-before-seen First Order TIE echelon ship. The cargo location offers guests a chance to pledge their loyalty by purchasing pins, caps, gear, model ships and more.
Guests can also interact with the land and its inhabitants via the Play Disney Parks Mobile App. The app transforms the user’s phone into a Star Wars Datapad, allowing it to translate galactic languages, participate in a multiplayer game throughout Galaxy’s Edge or to support the Resistance or the First Order.
With that, the gates are now open, allowing fans to transport themselves to the world of Skywalkers, Vaders , rebels and villains.