Star Wars and Disney fans know what the 31st of May means. It’s the date that Disneyland’s highly anticipated new attraction, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens to the public. The immersive Star Wars-themed land features two rides; Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run (open from 31st May) and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (opening later in 2019). Disney World’s identical Galaxy’s Edge opens in late August.
While the rides promise to thrill, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is so much more than speed and adrenalin. Would-be Lukes or Leias will love exploring the 14 acres Star Wars Land, set on the planet of Batuu. It’s here, on this lunar landscape, that guests will mix with the 1,400 cast members as well as pop into stores, restaurants and take part in out-of-this-world interactive experiences using the Play Disney Parks app. In its entirety, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be the most immersive Disney experience ever and one you won’t want to miss.
Make the most of your visit by reading our guide.
What can you expect from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?
Designed by Disney Imagineering and in close consultation with Lucas films, the planet of Batuu (approximately 14 acres and the most substantial addition Disney has ever made to its parks) encompasses everything Star Wars. Visitors and fans will notice elements from all the Star Wars films as well as new additions.
To sum it up in one word, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an ‘experience’ which will leave guests feeling like they are on a galaxy far, far away. Rather than being another part of Disneyland/ Disney World, the Star Wars area is immersive, meaning you will live and breathe Star Wars and won’t see any advertising, uniformed staff or slogans.
Disney guests will wander the planet’s barren and wild lunar landscape, and, when not riding, will gravitate towards the epicentre of the planet, named the Black Spire Outpost. It’s here that visitors can eat and drink while rubbing shoulders with the imperial First Order, smugglers, traders and crowd favourite, Chewbacca.
WATCH: Behind the Scenes at Disneyland’s And Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
What are the food and drink options at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?
If you’re feeling thirsty, you can drink (this is the first time that Disneyland has sold alcohol) and eat at Oga’s Cantina (based on the cantina in A New Hope). Uniquely, in this tavern, you can buy or barter for your food or drink so that you get a real feel for life at a space trading post. It’s also at Oga’s Cantina that you can stand at the bar and chat to Star Wars characters.
Other eateries include the main restaurant Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo, and smaller stalls selling Ronto Roasters, Blue Milk and Outpost Mix popcorn. There’s also the opportunity to buy Coca-Cola’s range of drinks in their unique, droid-shaped bottles.
What merchandise will Star Wars: Galaxy Edge sell?
Of course, no trip to Disney’s new Star Wars land will be complete without a souvenir or two. In this instance, the merchandise sold within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will not be available anywhere else within the park or online.
Everything sold on the planet of Batuu is made to look handmade or, put together from old droid parts.
Adding to the immersive quality of Star Wars’ experience, the planet of Batuu is the place not only to buy but to make your one-off souvenirs. For those in the market for a new lightsaber, Savi’s Workshop is the place to visit. The only catch being that to visit Savi’s you must find it first. The workshop is unmarked on the Disney map, so guests must use their App and speak with the ‘Gatherers’ to locate its whereabouts.
Once in the workshop, guests will receive a lesson in Jedi before building their lightsaber. This immersive lightsaber-workshop lasts 15 minutes. (There is a limit on numbers and age restrictions also apply).
Elsewhere, at the Outpost, you can build a unique R series or BB series droid which will interact with other elements within Batuu.
Other stalls will sell antiquities, creatures and toys; all made to appear as if they are pieced together from scraps found strewn around the planet. For dress-up, the Black Spire Outfitters sells full costumes as well as Resistance clothing and First Order Cargo.
What are the two rides at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
The first of Disneyland’s Star Wars rides opens on May 31st (late August at Disney World). Guests will climb aboard the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, the Galaxy’s ‘fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy’ for a thrilling and interactive smuggling mission. As you’d expect, there’s no sitting back and relaxing on this ride. Instead, each rider is assigned a role as pilot, engineer or gunner before being thrown back in their seat for blast off. Will there be danger at every turn? Yes! Plus, plenty of surprises along the way.
Riders height: at least 97cm, suitable for kids, tweens, teens and adults
Riders under seven years must be accompanied by a person aged 14 years and older.
The ride is listed as ‘thrilling’ and includes drops, darkness and loud noises.
Smugglers Run is not suitable for people who suffer from motion sickness, neck, heart or back issues.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Opening later in 2019, the Rise of the Resistance is Disney’s flagship ride. At present, Disney is keeping the exact details of what happens close to their chest. However, rumour has it that mid-ride guests will transfer from a ‘preshow’ vessel onto a trackless Star Destroyer.
During Rise of the Resistance, riders will see Poe, BB-8, Rey, Finn on screens and come dangerously close to animatronic versions of Kylo Ren, General Hux and other members of the First Order. Your mission is to defeat the Order and return as a Resistance hero!
Ride details and specifications yet to be released
Key dates for visitors to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Disneyland (California)
The first Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disneyland on 31st May 2019.
Between 31st May – 23 June 2019 guests must reserve their admission (free) to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Please note, the allocation for guests who are not staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels is currently exhausted.
Admission to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is automatically included for guests staying at any of the three Disneyland Resort Hotels between 31st May – 23 June.
From 24th June 2019, guests can enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge but must book admission through either the Disneyland App or at designated locations throughout the park. On booking, you will be given a time slot to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will not open during Magic Mornings or for extra Magic hours.
Disney FastPass services will not apply to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – this may change in the future.
Key dates for visitors to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Disney World’s Hollywood Studios (Florida)
An identical Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is being constructed at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios (Florida) and is scheduled to open on 29th August 2019.
Visitors are not required to book admission to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens on 29th August.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open during extra Magic Hours.
On site guests will enjoy additional extra magic hours every day from 6am-9am from 1 Sept – 2 November 2019.
Disney FastPass service will not apply to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – this may change in the future.
Regular theme park admission is required to enter Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There will not be a separate ticket for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. To visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park between May 31 and June 23, 2019, guests will need valid theme park admission and will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, to access the land. It is important to know that admission may not be possible based on capacity. After such time, guests can join a virtual queue via the Disney app or at designated locations within Disneyland Park upon arrival.
Disneyland: Approximately $150 (AU) per day (prices vary according to date) for a 1 Park / 1 Day ticket. However we recommend that you will need 3-5 days to experience Disneyland and adjacent Disney California Adventure Park and generally the more days you purchase the cheaper it becomes on a daily basis. A 5 day Park Hopper ticket that allows you to move freely between parks costs approximately $600 (AU) and will include one Magic Morning and is valid for 14 days from first day of entry. Contact us to find out more.
Disney World Florida: Approximately $250 (AU) per day for a 1 day/1 Park ticket (age 10+). However we recommend 5-7 days to experience Disney World properly. A 10 day Park Hopper ticket is $860 (AU) and will include one Magic Morning entry and is valid for 14 days from first day of entry.
Park opening times
Disneyland: Open from 8 am – midnight, extra magic hours 7-8am and Magic morning 7-9am. Park schedule is released every six weeks (check for seasonal changes).
Disney World: Open from 9 am – 9 pm. Extra Magic Hours 8-9am. Park schedule is released every six weeks (check for seasonal changes).
When to go
No doubt you’re excited about visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, however, it makes sense to choose your travel dates wisely. If you want to go when there are fewer crowds, it’s advisable to go when children are at school. Also try to avoid visiting over weekends, public holidays and other peak times – such as Halloween.
However, at peak times, you’re more likely to find special events and extended opening hours, so it’s a matter of choosing your preference of time over availability.
Bearing in mind that Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in May and will be busy. In general terms off peak is between September – November and February – May.
For Disney World visitors, the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in late August, and so it’s worth waiting for at least a few months for the busy period to settle.
We recommend downloading the Disneyland/ Disney World apps, as it regularly updates offers, special events and closure/maintenance details. You can set up your own account to prepare and customise your Disney experience, making the most of your time whilst you are there.
Average temperatures in California:
Jan – 20c, Feb – 21c, Mar – 21c, Apr – 23c, May – 24c, Jun – 26c, Jul – 29c, Aug – 29c, Sep – 29c, Oct – 26c, Nov – 23c, Dec – 20c
Average temperatures in Florida: Jan – 16c, Feb 16c, Mar – 20c, Apr – 22c, May – 25c, Jun – 27c, Jul – 28c, Aug – 28c, Sep – 27c, Oct – 24c, Nov – 19c, Dec – 16c
There are three hotels within the Disneyland Resort (California).
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier. The advantages of staying within the resort are that you can use extra magic hours, are only a footstep away from all the action and you bump into a Disney character or two!
There are also several Disney approved hotels and accommodation nearby.
There is a large selection of Disney hotels at Disney World (Florida) including several hotels at Animal Kingdom and Epcot. There are lots of nearby hotels and accommodation types, that offer deals and packages with the parks and transport.
Excitingly, there is a Star Wars themed hotel planned for Disney World. The resort will be part of Disney’s new 360 vacation concept where guests are fully immersed in Star Wars land. In the case of Galaxy’s Edge, the hotel will be a type of spaceship. Prices are estimated to be from $900 to $1,000 per person and limited to a two-night stay. This price includes all meals, as well as admission to the theme park. No opening date is currently set.
How much does a holiday to Disneyland and Disney World cost?
There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to a holiday at Disney, including the time of year, the number of days you intend to visit the parks, your preference in terms of accommodation and your budget.
In terms of the latter, the good news is that visitors from Australia will find the USA good value for money. With Disney hotels located on the doorstep of Disneyland or Disney World, you wont need to worry about additional transport to get there.
As a rough guide, allow the following per person (in AUD):
Flights: Off peak from AUD$990 to Los Angeles and AUD$1,290 to Orlando.
Up to $150 (AU) per day – Disneyland*
Up to $250 (AU) per day Disney World
*Park Hopper tickets become much better value on a daily basis
Accommodation: Expect to pay between $350 – $500 a day for Disney hotels (price based on the standard family room, four people, in September).
A final word
A holiday to Disneyland or Disney World is perhaps a once in a lifetime experience. Whether it’s a family trip or just you and your partner, do not underestimate how much there is to do at Disney. Importantly, do not underestimate how exhausting back to back days at a theme park can be. We always suggest that you factor in a few days of rest as well as time to see the region into your trip.
Finally, may the force be with you!