A girl's guide to Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Move over Luke….Rey needs to get to the bar! Okay, so everyone is raving about the new Galaxy’s Edge, and for someone who got to experience the whole thing red carpet style I have to say Oga’s Cantina goes on the top of my list as a “must see” (yes an exact replica of the one from the movies). It’s now the only place in Disneyland that serves alcohol (so you can imagine it’s going to be pretty popular), but one thing Disney didn’t factor in was *how popular the Cantina would be.
Now that the reservation window to visit Galaxy’s Edge has expired, I can only imagine the crowds checking out Batuu (this is the name of the new planet), FYI)…and knowing that these Star Wars fans are going to be a thirsty bunch looking for a little more than blue and green milk (which by the way tastes delicious), Disney decided to organize the way people would get their spot inside Oga’s Cantina.
So if you want to get inside, you now make a reservation and get a text message when your seat is available. To get in there’s a 2 drink minimum and each reservation is for 45 minutes…so when you’re time is up….bottoms up!. And here’s the skinny on the drink menu: A beer will put you back $12, but let’s be honest….you came all the way to the planet of Batuu and you’re not just getting a beer. The fancier concoctions come with a full souvenir cup and cost you upwards of $45, but if you want to go big… a full tasting flight of all of the beers on tap (4 total) will put you back $75, and comes complete with a souvenir board made of a hardwood cedar plank with decorative hollowed Rancor teeth where the samples are served (yes, we know your husband will be the one who wants this and will then have to carry it around the park the rest of the day. Hah).
Okay, enough about the bar….let’s get to the experience. I’m going to give you my take on the land (aka no crowds), then I’ll give you an idea of what it looked like in the first two weeks (from a friend), but as for now (with no reservations) grab your sunscreen and expect a crowd, because people want to see this new space….and have basically been waiting since the 70s to fly the Millennium Falcon.
As a girl who was raised in Orlando and has had Disney World Annual passes since the age of 4, I have to admit that this experience exceeded all expectations, but I was out there getting an exclusive experience…. enter: one on one photos, seeing everything for the first time, and riding the new “Smuggler’s Run” ride (twice in a row), without ever stepping in a line. I get it, I fully drank the Koolaide, and I’m totally okay telling you that because I took the speed round through this land and could tell you what to see and what pictures you’ll love at what time of the day…and which ones to not waste your time with.
So here we go…..
1. Download the Play Disney Parks app. This app will not only allow you to interact with different parts of the land, but will help you find out where you’re going and map out what you want to see. The land is designed to have a “resistance” outpost area and a “first order” area. So if your time is short and you want to join one side, go straight to join forces with Kylo Ren and don’t look back. The app will also allow you to scan codes that you can find in different places in the land (almost like a treasure hunt), which is always fun if you’re looking for something fun to do with the family. I’ve also heard (but not tested), that you can order food and even figure out how to go to the bathroom while waiting in lines with the app….let me know if you find out how!
2. I highly recommend getting the max pass for everyone in your party (whether you’re in Star Wars land or not). You’re going to want to come in the park early because as soon as you enter the park, you can open the Disney app (different from the play Disney parks app), and secure your ride time for the Millennium Falcon). This will make your ride time way shorter, and once you reserve your time you can just show up for the max pass line and jump on board. My friend who went during the reservation window said his longest wait was 30 minutes.
3. Choose one experience to splurge on: Build your own droid (base model is $99), or build your own light saber ($200). I decided to go all in and build my own light saber and it was INSANE!!!! From the start to finish, the experience made me feel like I was transported to a different world and was going to seriously become a Jedi! No joke, the case members, the lighting, the music, the technology. All of it was 100% worth it, and it’s not your average light saber…this thing is legit with sounds, lights, and about 3-5 pounds (not a kid toy). Oh, and sneak peak video of this experience is on my IGTV. Insider tip: The experience at night made it way cooler, because as soon as you make it, you get to carry it around in the dark where it is obviously all lit up!
Making a droid can be just as cool, but the experience is more based on you and your drill and truly putting together your new little intergalactic robot. You assemble the whole thing from start to finish and you can even choose a personality for your droid. It comes complete with a remote control you can scoot it around the new Star Wars land where it will interact with other people’s droids.
4. The Marketplace. This is definitely one of the cool photo opportunities where people are selling creatures, locals are hustling and bustling, and food vendors are alive and well. I tried some of the popcorn in this area which is modeled after a spicy/sweet kettle corn. I wasn’t a huge fan, but it was a pretty purple and red for photos, and I would imagine that people who like kettle corn might be into this. I didn’t end up buying any souvenirs from the marketplace, but it was fun to walk around and see the cast members all in character. And if you wanted to leave with a full jedi robe for each member of your family, you better bet they have it for sale.
5. The Food. We had a few TV segments focused on the food, but I didn’t get to try all of it. I noticed in one of the restaurants we featured it was much more focused on plant based options and they had some really fancy options including desserts (that looked a little space-like). I had one that was pink and filled with chocolate and something else, but all I know is it was delicious. The other spot I got to check out was Ronto Roasters and they have a lot of BBQ style options. The “ronto” was the planet’s version of pork, and I tried the Ronto wrap, which was yummy and appeared to be a play on a “bahn mi “style hot dog, but in a pita style bun as opposed to a sandwich. All in all, the food was good, and if you’re gonna grab lunch you might as well try the new foods inside Star Wars land as opposed to going back out into the park. My favorite was still the blue milk, which was coconut milk with pineapple and was more like a slushy. I would imagine that this would be a real winner in the hotter months. As for Oga’s Cantina, I got a sample of one of their cocktails during the media party and from taste of it, it was something fruity with Malibu Rum (not my thing so I opted for one sample and some dancing). They didn’t have any of the souvenir cups on display yet, so I’m not sure what they look like, but I can imagine as a mom with 2 kids finding a cocktail and some AC after a long day at Disneyland….that souvenir cup is like a badge of honor.
6. Photo Ops: Because this is really why you’re there! I loved the over look balcony near Ronto Roasters to take a pic with the Millennium Falcon in the background. And I loved this one in the daylight. But, I will say any pics with the X wings or shots of the replica aircrafts do look extra cool at night. Olga’s Cantina always looks cool at any time of day (since it’s indoors), and the whole experience was much better to see first in the day light and then again at night to really see everything and all of the detail that’s been put into every little nook and cranny. If you can go a sunset and stay until it’s dark you’ll get the best of both worlds and it truly does transform. As for character photo ops, we were told characters are out and about walking around, but I’m sure that has changed at this point. Stormtroopers were all freely walking around and members of the resistance were in full recruitment mode, but as for now (with no reservations), I have no idea what the land will entail and if long lines ensue for a photo with Chewy or a Trooper.
To wrap this one up with a bow, I’ll say this: everyone who I’ve talked to so far hasn’t complained about their “galaxy’s Edge” experience and they were in awe of what the land offered. I’m excited to go back and see the next ride open before the end of the year “Rise of the Resistance”, because not only do I want to go in and see the land when everyone is there, but I can’t wait to see what the imagineers have come up with next. They say this will be the most technologically advanced ride yet, but they were tight lipped about anything else….so I guess we will have to wait and see.