If you love Star Wars you can’t miss Galaxy’s Edge, the all-new Star Wars land opening at Disney World next month – why not make your visit extra-special by turning it into an all-out space-themed vacation?
Anyone who knows anything about Star Wars has probably heard about Galaxy’s Edge, the hotly-anticipated Star Wars land coming to Disney World this August. The new area will transport visitors into an ultra-realistic Star Wars-themed universe, not just with the rides and merchandise, but also with exciting interactive experiences like lightsaber building, droid designing and fully-immersive dining.
This guide is packed with helpful information about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World including advice about the best time to visit, finding your way around, avoiding the crowds, the top attractions to check out, and much more. We’ll also tell you about Disney World’s existing Star Wars land which is packed with attractions like Launch Bay, Jedi Training and Star Wars-themed shows.
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At communities like Encore Resort at Reunion you’ll also enjoy free shuttle transfers to and from the theme parks.
Tell me more about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
Recently opened at Disneyland Anaheim and coming to Disney World Orlando on August 29, Galaxy’s Edge (also known as Star Wars Land) is the biggest Star Wars expansion in Disney history. The lands are almost identical however we’ll just be focussing on the one at Disney World in Orlando for this post.
The sprawling new land spans more than 14 acres and has replaced the majority of the Hollywood Studios Streets of America section. It’s styled as Black Spire Outpost, a once-vibrant village on the distant planet of Batuu where a war is raging between the Resistance and the First Order. It includes two signature attractions, Millennium Falcon and Rise of the Resistance, along with an array of themed shops, restaurants, characters and experiences.
When is Galaxy’s Edge opening?
Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World opens on August 29, 2019. Visitors will be able to access Galaxy’s Edge with valid theme park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There’s a caveat to include here: the land’s headlining attraction, Star Wars Rise of the Resistance isn’t opening until later this year. On the plus side though, Disney World guests won’t need to secure a reservation to visit Galaxy’s Edge which was the case over at Disneyland for the first month of the land’s operation.
So, to re-cap, phase one of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World is opening August 29, 2019, while phase 2 which includes Rise of the Resistance is opening later this year.
What should I expect?
One of the best things about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is that it’s fully immersive and realistic.
From the moment you arrive you’ll feel as if you’re actually in another world full of unique sights, sounds, smells and tastes. The land will offer a mix of amazing rides, lively markets, quirky cantinas and interactive areas like lightsaber workshops and droid building depots. You’ll also encounter surprises like hidden Resistance rendezvous points, First Order bases and secret smuggler hideouts.
Guests will have consistent interactions with Star Wars elements, whether it’s Stormtroopers barking orders, Chewbacca making his signature noise or the sound of background music composed especially for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
How to enhance your experience
Download the Play Disney Parks mobile app and soon after you arrive at Galaxy’s Edge, the app will transform into a Star Wars Datapad designed to guide you deeper into the Star Wars experience. It can help translate languages (both written and spoken), scan objects to find hidden cargo, unscramble transmissions from outer space and collect credits in galactic bank accounts.
Games can be played by guests waiting in line for specific rides, unique playlists can be accessed and ride stats automatically logged. At Millennium Falcon for example, you’re rewarded for good results by being issued galactic credits (the Star Wars universe’s currency). If you do badly or damage the ship, you’ll be docked credits. This in turn affects how Black Spire’s residents respond to you, whether they put a bounty on your head for money owed, or sidle up to you to get some of your credits for themselves.
Through the app you’ll get to play a real role in your own Star Wars story. You’ll have the opportunity to pledge your allegiance to the Resistance or the First Order, or strike out on your own as a rogue adventurer. Interact with droids, hack into control panels and complete secret missions set by your chosen side – play however you want.
Don’t worry if you don’t want to download the app as you can still enjoy plenty of other interactive experiences at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
What are the main attractions?
Star Wars Land is undergoing its final phase of construction but its buildings, shops and main attractions are all in place. Here are some of the land’s key features:
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Ever wondered how it would feel to fly the Millennium Falcon? Well you can find out for yourself at Galaxy’s Edge. Located in the Central Spaceport area and measuring more than 100 ft long, Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run is an exact replica of the ship from the films. Selfie opportunities abound both inside and outside the spaceship which boasts incredible design and attention to detail.
The queue will see guests circle around the back of the parked Falcon, which is on loan to Hondo Ohnaka awaiting some much-needed replacement parts. Hondo needs crews to run a mission to nearby planet Corellia to steal some super fuel from the First Order, and this is the subject of the Millennium Falcon experience.
From inside the cockpit, a team of six people operate the spacecraft during an interactive experience that, just like the movies, gets a little bumpy.
Yes it’s a flight simulator, but it’s on an epic scale and uses state-of-the-art technology to give guests an ultra realistic experience. The ship’s viewports show the spacecsape in real-time reacting to guests’ active controls. There are more than 200 buttons, switches and toggles at your service, and how well you use them will in turn impact how you are received in the rest of Black Spire Outpost.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Located out of Black Spire over in the Wildness section of Galaxy’s Edge is Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. One of the most immersive rides ever built at Disney World, this flagship attraction will let you play the part of a new Resistance recruit who’s been captured by the First Order and taken aboard a Star Destroyer.
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Your mission is to try to escape the neo-Empire’s clutches using a troop transport vehicle. Along the way you’ll come face to face with countless stormtroopers, full size AT-ATs and the evil Kylo Ren himself.
As exciting as these rides sound, what comes both before and after is equally impressive. Neither ride will feature a traditional marquee or sign, and neither will follow the exit-through-retail system that serves many other rides. Instead, these new attractions at Galaxy’s Edge are as seamless and immersive as possible.
Where to eat and drink
Just as the rides at Galaxy’s Edge are realistic, so are the restaurants and bars.
You’ll find the infamous blue milk that Luke Skywalker famously drinks in the movies as well as a whole host of brand-new plates and drinks to help convince you that you’re really on the planet of Batuu.
Reservations are not available for any other Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge food and beverage locations. Mobile ordering is available at three locations: Docking Bay 7 (the main eatery), Ronto Roasters (serving snack wraps), and the Milk Stand (selling blue and green milk).
Here’s a more in-depth look at where to eat and drink at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge:
The main watering hole in Galaxy’s Edge is Oga’s Cantina, half inspired by the Mos Eisley cantina from Episode IV: A New Hope and half an entirely new destination. It’s styled as a place where bounty hunters, smugglers and rogue traders come together to refuel, enjoy music and conduct meetings – no questions asked. And with its expansive menu of curious concoctions for kids and adults alike, you’ll find it a welcome rest stop in between attractions.
Breakfast lunch and dinner are all served at Oga’s Cantina. The specialities though are any of the elaborate cocktails and mocktails served with a variety of special effects. Expect to find options like the Jedi Mind Trick, The Outer Rim and Dagobah Slug Slinger – they come bubbling, steaming and glowing.
The cantina adheres to proprietor Oga’s strict code of conduct, but some patrons can be unpredictable so keep a look out for some impromptu antics. For example, you could be enjoying a meal and you may see bounty hunters starting a fight or smugglers getting hauled off to jail.
Also listen out for the quirky musical entertainment courtesy of droid R-3X, the former Starspeeder pilot from Star Tours who now serves as the cantina’s resident DJ. This is a great entertainment venue as well as a diner.
Oga’s Cantina is located at Black Spire Outpost just past the Millennium Falcon.
Docking Bay 7
Housed in a huge hangar bay, this casual restaurant serves up a slew of exotic dishes, all of them delicious but none of them familiar. Headed by Chef Strono ‘Cookie Tuggs’ who presides over the open industrial-style kitchen, it offers unusual dishes such as Kaadu ribs for starters, fried Endorian Tip Yip for mains and Batuu Bon for dessert.
Once you’ve got your grub you can dine inside the spacious hangar or grab a table in the rustic outdoor seating area surrounded by the crumbling walls of the old marketplace.
Sink your teeth into tasty snacks like grilled sausages, turkey jerky and roasted pork wraps at this massive meat stall, located in the souk markets area. Inside, you’ll see a huge hanging podracer engine heating up the spit of meats. A droid turns the mechanical spit, grilling a large side of ronto, a massive beast native to the planet of Batuu.
The tasty treats are made to go and are offered alongside a a variety of speciality beverages including Meiloorun Juice, a real-world version of the famous purple juice from Star Wars Rebels.
The Milk Stand
This highly-themed drinks stand sells one thing and one thing only: alien milk, also know as Bantha milk, farm fresh from Bubo Wamba Family Farms. This famous drink made its Star Wars debut back in 1977 and has since expanded to include two different forms, blue milk which was originally seen in Episode IV: A New Hope, and green milk from Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.
Neither variety is actually milk, they’re both plant-based non-dairy smoothies made from frozen coconut and rice milks. The blue is infused with dragon fruit, pineapple, lime and watermelon, while the green contains mandarin, grapefruit, passion fruit and orange blossom. The drinks can be purchased in a novelty cup for $7.99.
Another non-frozen deluxe version can be found at Oga’s Cantina and comes with extra treats on top such as a sugar cookie, rice crisp and ‘Bantha horn’ made out of frosting.
The Milk Stand is located in Black Spire Outpost’s main marketplace, adjacent to the First Order’s base of operations at Docking bay 9. To bypass the queues, guests will be able to place a mobile order and head straight to the mobile order pick-up window.
Kat Saka’s Kettle
Enjoy a unique ‘taste of Batuu’ at this colorful snack stop where grains from all over the galaxy are on display. Located at Black Spire marketplace, it serves generous piping hot helpings of Outpost Mix, a blend of sweet, savour and spicy popcorn.
Refreshing beverages are also available, sold in themed bottles specially designed for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. You’ll find bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Dasani, all looking like they were actually made on Batuu. Even the name’s are printed in Aurebesh, the written language in the Star Wars galaxy.
Guests are advised that speciality bottles are limited to a total of three per person, per transaction. Also note that Kat Saka’s Kettle will not feature mobile ordering when it opens.
The best character encounters
Expect to encounter numerous colorful characters and exotic creatures hiding out and making deals around Black Spire Outpost. There’ll be aliens, droids and humanoids ready to interact with guests, plus some familiar faces like Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, BB-8, Nien Nunb and Hondo Ohnaka.
Resistance fighters Rey and Vi Moraldi may try to recruit you to join the Resistance cause. Also look out for Kylo Ren’s daily appearances at Docking Bay 9 with his fleet of Stormtroppers in his wake. As Stormtroopers patrol Black Spire outpost they may snap the occasional order at you or question you about the Resistance.
Where to shop
The Droid Depot
At The Droid Depot, guests of all ages are invited to construct their very own astromech droids. You’ll pick pieces and parts off a conveyor belt to build one of two core models, the R-Series or the BB-Series. Once built, you can customize it with a variety of personalized elements such as colors, programming chips and unique accessories.
In addition, the Droid depot will offer pre-built droids and other droid-inspired products.
At Savi’s Workshop you’ll get the chance to craft and customize your very own lightsabers. Guided by Savi himself, you’ll build your lightsaber then ‘ignite’ it using the store’s ‘special’ kyber crystals.
This supply stall sells Resistance-themed pins, badges, hats and other accessories. It’s located at the hidden Resistance command area so you may need to hunt around to find it.
First Order Cargo
Styled as a temporary First Order storage dock near the Black Spire marketplace, this store gives guests the chance to pledge their allegiance to the other side by purchasing a variety of themed items and apparel.
Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities
As you explore the nooks and crannies of Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities you’ll find a selection of rare and mysterious items for sale. Holocrons, lightsabers and ‘ancient’ Jedi and Sith artifacts can all be perused and purchased. While you’re browsing you’ll see Dok Onwar sat at his desk, checking his inventory and barking orders at his assistants.
The Market Stalls
Head to the Creature Stall and check out the hug display of exotic creatures from all over the Star Wars galaxy. Remember, you’re in Galaxy’s Edge so the deal is you’re not just buying animated plush toys, but adopting ‘real’ creatures or ‘unique companions’ as Disney calls them. Choose from a range of quirky toys such as monkey lizards, wort frogs, wamaps, porgs, rathtars and puffer pigs – the list goes on!
Over at whimsical workshop Toydarian Toymaker you’ll find all manner of artisanal collectibles and play things handmade by busy toymaker, Zabaka the Toydarian. Her silhouette is often visible through the frosted back window as she flits around making Wookie dolls and classic games.
You’ll find more in the way of apparel at Black Spire Outfitters, plus other trinkets and souvenirs at The Jewels of Bith.
When’s the best time to visit Galaxy’s Edge?
With Galaxy’s Edge opening at Disney World at the end of August you should expect it to be much busier than usual, especially for the first month or so. You’ll probably find it’s also a busier Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season this year. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to go, it just means higher than normal crowds, although we think September and October, especially week days during term time, will be a pretty good bet.
Bear in mind that Disney’s Hollywood Studios and its experiences are subject to capacity. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will be included during Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And from September 1 to November 2. 2019, The Extra Magic Hours benefit is being offered every morning at the park for Disney Resort guests.
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Disney’s Fastpass+ service is unavailable for the attractions at Galaxy’s Edge, however this is likely to be updated after the opening of both phase 1 and phase 2. Don’t forget, Rise of the Resistance is opening later in the year, so this should work to temper the crowds.
Check out our crowd calendar below and you can plan your visit around the crowds and the weather. You can find out more about the best time to visit Disney World in our handy guide which can be found here.
Know before you go
Here’s a quick overview of everything you need to know before you visit Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.
- Valid theme park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required to visit Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
- Park tickets do not guarantee access to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. The land and its experiences are subject to capacity.
- Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will be available during Extra Magic Hours and for extended Extra Magic Hours from September 1 to November 2, 2019 from 6am to 9am.
- Disney Fastpass+ is unavailable for the attractions at Galaxy’s Edge, however this may be updated after the opening of phase 2.
- Rise of the Resistance will open later this year. The exact date is yet to be confirmed.
- No reservations will be available for any Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge food and beverage locations.
Other top Star Wars attractions at Disney World
Guests visiting Disney World can enjoy an array of existing Star Wars attractions including exciting entertainment, out-of-this-world encounters, special displays and themed tours. There’s plenty do at the current Star Wars land, as well as cool new attractions opening at places like Disney Springs.
Our favourites include:
Star Wars Launch Bay
This multi-sensory space at Hollywood Studios’ existing Star Wars land celebrates all things Star Wars. Guests can interact with iconic Star Wars characters, tour galleries featuring treasured memorabilia and buy special Star Wars merchandise. Meet BB-8, watch films at the Launch Bay Theater, enjoy special character encounters, dine in the quirky cantina, and check out authentic props from Star Wars movies.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
The Adventures Continue was one of Disney World’s first ever motion simulator rides. You board a Star Wars transport vehicle and as you start your journey, thing go a bit wrong. It turns out there’s a rebel spy in onboard and agents from the Dark Side give chase across the Star Wars galaxy. The ride film is projected in high definition 3-D and has more than 50 combinations of opening and ending scenes including clips from some of the most recent Star Wars movies. You could probably ride Star Tours all day without seeing the same film segment twice.
Star Wars The Adventures Continue is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
Adjacent to the Star Tours building entrance, this popular interactive show is staged several times a day. It has been recently reimagined with new characters and a new villain from Star Wars Rebels, the popular Disney XD series. Your little ones are the stars of the show as they appear on stage as mini Jedis to do battle against villains such as Darth Vader and Kylo Ren.
To take part, visit the sign-up area at Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost as early in the morning as possible. Spots go quickly and are given on a first-come, first-served basis.
Star Wars Guided Tour
For the ultimate Star Wars experience comes the ultimate tour – a 7-hour guided adventure through the park’s current Star Wars land. It includes an expert tour guide, priority boarding for Star Tours, an in-depth tour around Star Wars Launch Bay and a screening of Path of the Jedi. You’ll enjoy a Star Wars-themed dinner as well as entry to the Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes themed sweets and specialty beverages, as well as reserved viewing for A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show.
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
This amazing nighttime show is based on the Star Wars film series and features fireworks, projection mapping, fire, lasers, fog effects and more, all taking place at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood Studios. It features rousing music from the films, and a tower of fire and spotlight beams that create a massive lightsaber in the sky. Make sure you stake out an up-close spot in front of the Chinese Theater, where you’ll get the best view.
A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party
This themed dessert party takes place at Star Wars Launch Bay and gives guests access to photo ops, characters, special exhibits and a VIP viewing area for the fireworks. Food includes themed cupcakes, cookies, brownies and a selection of savoury snacks such as cheese flatbreads and dips.
The party begins at 8.15pm and is a separately ticketed event with admission to Hollywood Studios required. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available.
Secrets of the Empire at the Void
Over at Disney Springs there’s more Star Wars themed fun in the form of Secrets of the Empire at the Void. Visitors have the opportunity to don virtual reality gear and enter a hyper reality world. During the game you’ll be disguised as Stormtroopers and embark on a rebel mission to capture Imperial intelligence.
You’ll feel the heat and smell the ashes as you fight lifelike battles against monsters and other enemies rising from flames around you. There are galactic buttons you can actually press and cyber doors you that you can actually open and step through. You may have to remind yourself a few times that it’s not real!
Where to stay
If you’re looking to treat the kids but you don’t have the budget for theme park hotels, why not rent a private villa with amazing themed rooms? At communities like Reunion Resort you can choose from a range of great-value villas, all just minutes from Disney World.
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This villa starts from $518 per night for the whole property, which is just $37 per person if you fill it – so for a week’s stay that’s $259 per person.
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This 5-bedroom villa has space for up to 10 guests and features a huge sun deck, open plan living areas and a custom-built game room and entertainment den. Kids will love the themed bedrooms and all the family can enjoy the resort’s extensive facilities which include communal pools, a water park, gym, spa, golf courses, tennis courts, restaurants and bars.
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With enough space to accommodate 28 people, this villa is perfect for large families or groups of guests traveling together. There’s a huge private swimming pool with sunken loungers, luxury sunbeds and a spillover tub. It’s also got a game room, movie theater, bar and quirky themed rooms.
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