Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge review: Worth the Money?
Having been lucky enough to visit Galaxy’s Edge recently, I found myself not wanting to leave the land to go anywhere in the park, let alone nowhere else on Walt Disney World property. You might think I’m crazy for saying that, but honestly, it’s true.
I had so much trouble trying on deciding whether or not to leave the land for a FastPass for another ride; that’s how much I loved it. The atmosphere is beyond belief, and the entertainment and immersion are just incredible.
There is so much detail that went into this land, and even though I spent so much time in Galaxy’s Edge, I guarantee that there are still details that I didn’t see.
Today, I’m going to share as much as I possibly can with you about the land. We will discuss everything that you can see when you walk around the land, the entertainment that is present there, the food, the crowds, the price, and the Force. Grab a cup of blue milk and settle in, because we are going to discuss all things Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The atmosphere of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is absolutely INSANE. For years, Disney has been talking about how immersive the entire land is, and they do nothing but deliver. Galaxy’s Edge is located in the back of Hollywood Studios, entering it through a tunnel that looks like it straight from the ancient days of the Jedi.
That tunnel is the main entrance to Galaxy’s Edge, and the other entrance is through Toy Story Land. (If you’re crazy, like me, and want to have a completely immersive experience, you’re going to want to go through the tunnel entrance. As soon as you enter the land, the music envelopes you into the complete world of Star Wars. It is the icing on the cake, and you are no longer in Hollywood Studios.
The land is completely immersive. In my opinion, when you are in Galaxy’s Edge, you are unaware that you are in the park. I said this multiple times to the rest of my party; I did not feel like I was in Hollywood Studios.
Galaxy’s Edge is the biggest expansion that has ever been done to any of the Disney parks in the entire world. It truly is very big and isolated from the rest of the park. The rest of the park is cut off from Galaxy’s Edge, and I felt like I was in a completely different park.
Honestly, Disney did an amazing job, because I felt like I was on a completely different planet. With this being the entire point, I would say that Disney did a great job.
You are on the planet Batuu, at Black Spire Outpost. The story behind it is that the planet is on the Outer Rim Territories and was one of the last stops before the Unknown Regions and Wild Space. It was a popular outpost for those traveling the old sub-lightspeed trade routes.
With the invention of hyperspace, it became bypassed a lot and then evolved into a thriving spaceport for smugglers, adventurers, and rogue traders traveling between uncharted space and the galactic frontier. Oh yes, it is extremely detailed. There is even a book that goes along with the land that you can purchase to learn the back story: Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson.
The land is surrounded by giant black trees and towering structures that tower over the outpost. These are some of the first things you see when you enter the land. Everywhere you walk, there are buildings and different kinds of ships that are pulled straight from the movies.
There’s the rebel encampment, complete with Resistance ships and a make-shift encampment for the Resistance where you won’t find the First Order. Venture a little deeper into Galaxy’s Edge, and it’s complete with a marketplace, two restaurants, Savi’s Workshop, the Droid Depot, Oga’s Cantina, Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, and the Millenium Falcon housing the attraction, Smuggler’s Run. Last but not least, one of Galaxy’s Edge’s central attractions just opened up on Thursday, December 5 and is called Rise of the Resistance.
The entire land is pretty easy to navigate, and there are plenty of “residents from Batuu,” or cast members, that will help you find wherever you need to go. The details in this land are unbelievable and will have you stopping multiple times to see how everything interacts with each other and with guests.
One of the greatest sights is seeing the Millenium Falcon for the first time. This is a life sized ship, in full and spectacular detail. It is pretty incredible to lay your eyes on it, and not just for the first time, but every single time you see it.
The sights and sounds are amazing, but that is not where it ends. Different Star Wars characters can be seen walking around the land, interacting with each other and with guests. Rey, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, Stormtroopers, and a new friend named Vi Moradi, can be seen walking around the outpost, interacting with the land and with guests.
This creates amazing immersion and is absolutely spectacular. Now, what exactly are the attractions and entertainment in Galaxy’s Edge?
Attractions and Entertainment
Where does one start? Whatever you are looking for, Black Spire Outpost has it for you. In my opinion, there’s plenty of things to keep a guest occupied the entire day, or at least most of the day.
Let’s begin with shopping, because who doesn’t love souvenirs? The Marketplace in Galaxy’s Edge is unique from most Disney World gift shops because they are not just one big gift shop after a ride or on a main street in a park. It truly is a marketplace.
The entire set up looks like a bazaar, housing different small shops with vendors welcoming “travelers.” (Travelers are what guests are called in Galaxy’s Edge. Many of “Batuu residents” will be welcoming travelers the entire time they are in the land.) The shops are smaller, so sometimes they can feel a little crowded.
However, they feel more authentic to a bazaar, being smaller in size and selling different and specific products at each shop. For instance, there is one shop that is like a “pet shop.” It holds different creatures in the Star Wars universe that are for sale to travelers. These stuffed animals and plastic toys resemble big Star Wars creatures in a smaller stature for travelers to take home.
Another shop holds different games from the universe, like Sabaac and Holo-chess, along with some “home-made” dolls of famous Star Wars characters. Another shop sells galactic popcorn and Coke products for a snack, and another sells some generic souvenir items for Galaxy’s Edge such as t-shirts, iron on patches, magnets, etc.
It might not seem like there is a lot to buy at the Marketplace, but let’s not forget that that isn’t always what Disney World trips are all about. The Marketplace is incredibly immersive and detailed that you will be impressed with how it is set up. It looks exactly like a bazaar you would find in the world of Star Wars.
The other shopping option would be Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. This gift shop is exactly what it sounds like. The story behind it is that Dok-Ondar collects different antiques and rare objects from around the galaxy, such as Jedi holocrons, journals, and lightsabers that might have belonged to different Star Wars’ legends throughout the galaxy.
Some lightsabers you can buy are Luke Skywalker’s, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s, Rey’s, Darth Vadar’s, Kylo Ren’s, Ahoska Tano’s, and many others! The workers in the shop will even allow you to hold a legend’s lightsaber if you ask! You can even see Dok-Ondar himself, an Ithorian species, working in his shop and watching over travelers visiting!
If you look closely around the den, you can see all the antiques, creatures, and objects that Dok-Ondar has collected over the years. You can find different armor from Mandalor, the Empire, the Rebellion, and the Resistance among his belongings.
The shop can feel crowded at times with only one entrance in and out, but it’s worth it to look at all the products Dok-Ondar has available along with everything he has collected. We will talk about crowd levels a little later, but there certainly are times that might be better to visit the shop than others.
Now, what kind of souvenirs in Galaxy’s Edge come with a unique experience and customization? There are two activities that are extremely popular amongst travelers in the land!
They are Savi’s Workshop and the Droid Depot. Savi’s Workshop is the home of a group called “The Gatherers.” The story is that these men and women have devoted their lives to restoring balance of the Force to the galaxy, educating travelers on the Force and the ancient ways of the Jedi.
They gather and collect different scrap pieces and antiques from across the galaxy, holding onto them and hiding them so it does not end up in the hands’ of the First Order. This is the place where you can make a reservation to build your own lightsaber. Having done this experience myself, it is an absolutely amazing undergo that extreme Star Wars fans should participate in.
A gatherer leads you in the “ritual” of building your lightsaber while teaching you about the history of the Force. The end result is a custom lightsaber to your liking and a beautiful experience where you can make memories with your family and friends. The price for this is $199.99, but that includes building your custom lightsaber, and having a unique “ritual” and show as you do so.
The other activity involves building your own droid at the Droid Depot! I have not done this activity yet, but I plan on doing so in the near future. The Droid Depot does not require a reservation, so you can just hop in line if you wish to build a droid. The Droid Depot is packed with astromech droid parts that you can build and customize.
If you don’t know what astromech droids are, they are what R2D2 and BB-8 are from the movies. They are just different kinds of astromechs; they help with the flying and fixing of ships in the world of Star Wars. There are different colors and parts that you can pick and choose to build your astromech droid.
They even have different personality chips that can go into your droid, such as one that sympathizes with the Resistance, or is in league with the First Order. Once you are finished building it, you can buy different accessories for your droid, such as a bag to carry it in around the park, blasters to attach to it, decals for your droid, etc.
Now, to build a droid, it costs $99.99, but building a droid also requires a personality chip to put into it, which is an extra cost. All the accessories that can be bought in the droid depot are additional costs as well.
An extra tidbit that is exciting about the droids you build is that they interact with Galaxy’s Edge and with other droids that other travelers build as well.
For instance, my cousin build a droid with a personality chip that was sympathetic with the Resistance, starting to move and beep excitedly as we walked into the Resistance encampment in the land. If you walk into the First Order section of the land, it becomes nervous. With a First Order droid, the opposite would happen! Make sense?
Have you ever dreamed of ordering a drink in the famous cantina in Star Wars: A New Hope? Now you can! Oga’s Cantina draws you into the most perfect and amazing atmosphere for a cantina from Star Wars.
On my last trip, I did not think I was going to be able to sqeeze a reservation in because it was so popular. However, we were able to get in with no problem being that we found a reservation one night for the next morning. Oga’s is easier to get into with a reservation, so I highly recommend making one.
However, you do not necessarily need a reservation for it. You can go and make a reservation in person, then wait in line until your reservation is ready. From what I’ve heard, it usually does not take long.
It’s no surprise that the inside of the cantina is incredible, just like the rest of the land. The music is spun by DJ Rex, whom you probably recognize as the former pilot from Star Tours.
Sometimes the music gets to be too much, and he will revert back to his old job briefly. It’s insane how detailed it all is. Creatures can be found in tanks behind the bar, and it all looks very makeshift, just as a hole in the wall cantina would look in space.
The space is smaller, and most of it is standing room only. With that being said, we did not feel overcrowded at all. They allow you 45 minutes in the cantina, which we found to be more than enough time.
A host leads you to your spot, where they ask you to stand and enjoy your drinks and food first before walking around the cantina to look at everything. You are allowed to get two drinks, and the food they serve there is just like bar food, mostly of an appetizer stature.
We went for breakfast, which lasts until 10:30, so we purchased a yogurt parfait with oats and a cinnamon roll. Both were excellent, and I was honestly full when we left.
The drinks that you can purchase are so much fun, because they are fully themed for a space cantina. What’s nice is that this cantina is for everyone, from small children to senior citizens.
I even saw a few babies in there. Star Wars is for everyone, so everyone is absolutely included. With this in mind, the cantina provides both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There are even some kid options, such as blue milk with a sugar cookie. I had two non-alcoholic drinks as my options: the Carbon Freeze and the Jabba Juice.
The Carbon Freeze was my favorite, having dry ice at the bottom of the cup to cause the drink to bubble and fizz. The glasses are even shaped in a funky way to show that they truly are from a galaxy far far away. I can’t wait to try everything on the menu.
Now, last but not least, the one attraction that draws more people than anything else is Smuggler’s Run. This is the attraction that everyone runs to immediately upon entering Galaxy’s Edge. The reason for this is due to the long wait that can accumulate as the day goes on.
The best thing to do is get to the park before it opens so you have the least amount of wait time. Feel free to wait any other time of the day, but being the most popular ride in all of Disney World right now, you will be waiting at the very least, two and a half hours. Therefore, my suggestion would be to get there ASAP. We will discuss more on this later.
Now, the ride itself is absolutely amazing. You fly the Millenium Falcon as you run a mission for Hondo Ohnaka of Ohnaka Transport Solutions. Hondo Ohnaka is from the series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. You are running a mission for Hondo, with a flight of six crewmembers: two pilots, two gunners, and two engineers.
The line forms around the Millenium Falcon, so you can explore the miraculous detail it holds while you wait in line. Inside, you are in a ship hangar, listening to music that the crew on Batuu listens to, seeing all the tools and ship parts, and look at different parts of ships being repaired. Before you enter the Falcon, you are given a briefing by Hondo Ohnaka himself, an animatronic that looks so realistic, it’s scary.
You are then handed a card of a certain color that tells you which part of the flight crew you are, and then you head on into the Falcon. It’s absolutely beautiful, by the way. You are then in a group a people exploring inside the Falcon, while waiting for your color of the cards to be called out.
This point can be a little confusing at first because you aren’t sure where you are going, but cast members are there to help you and answer any questions. This is also a great time for photo-ops, even though I have not waited more than a minute the few times I’ve ridden it.
Once you are loaded into the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon, everything happens very quickly. A cast member makes sure you are strapped in, and then it’s all up to you.
Each crew member has their job, and what makes this ride so unique is that how well you fly the ship, repair it, and fight off enemies, actually affects how well you do. Yes, it really is all up to you.
Whenever a crew member has a job to do, the buttons and levers will light up green. You must take action when this happens, or your mission will not go well. It really is the most incredible thing. Even once the mission is done, you have time to walk around the Falcon afterwards.
Depending on how well the ship made it through the mission, it will show within the ship’s hall. If you flew it well, it will be mostly pristine. However, if you crash a lot, it will show with crackling electricity, light flashes, and even smoke coming out of the walls if you do really bad! How you fly your mission, really affects the ship. Like I said, absolutely incredible.
Let’s talk food! There are some great options when it comes to eating in Galaxy’s Edge. There are two quick service restaurants and Oga’s Cantina, which we talked about earlier. The first quick service restaurant is called Ronto’s Roasters.
They serve mostly lunch and dinner, with some breakfast options before 10:30. They serve grilled sausage on a pita with different options of toppings, that’s made to be like an exotic meat. They have a couple other options such as pork rinds and overnight oats. The meat is “supposedly being cooked” by an old pod racing engine in the middle of the restaurant.
You see, the story is that pod racing was made to be illegal by the First Order, so the restaurant has many tributs and memorabilia of pod racing strewn about it. Eating breakfast here, we found it very delicious and would definitely eat it multiple times again.
The second place is called Docking Bay 7, which I actually liked a bit more. There are more options here, and they are bigger meals.
The entire restaurant is laid out like a docking bay, getting different cargo and objects ready for transport throughout the galaxy. You might even see see some organic beings being frozen in carbonite for transport. This place is excellent for lunch and dinner, with also some options for breakfast.
Alright, now we move onto the question everyone cringes to ask but must know…what are the prices?
Now, obviously it does not cost anything to get into the actual land of Galaxy’s Edge except, of course, for a park ticket for Hollywood Studios. However, the different activities and such, as discussed earlier, do involve different prices to pay.
For instance, the experience at Savi’s Workshop to build a lightsaber is $199.99 with additional costs for accessories. To build a droid, it costs $99.99 with additional costs for accessories. Any other products in the land can be found in the Marketplace and Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities and come at a variety of prices.
As far as food and refreshments, Ronto’s Roasters and Docking Bay 7 both are quick service meals with Ronto Roasters being slightly lower in prices. However, this depends on the options you choose. Ronto Roasters, both drinks and food included, can range from about four dollars to thirteen dollars.
Docking Bay 7 is about the same, but because the meals are a bit bigger, the meals are a little more expensive, ranging from about twelve dollars to fourteen dollars. Oga’s Cantina is about the same way, due to the food options being mostly appetizer and drink choices.
I went in with a party of three, including myself, and the bill came to be about eighty dollars, tip and all. That is with two drinks each (so six all together) and two food options.
The wonderful thing about Galaxy’s Edge is that it is not expensive unless you make it out to be. Depending on your Disney World trip, you can choose to spend a little amount of money or everything you have in Galaxy’s Edge. The good thing is, is that you can still enjoy the land without spending a cent if you so choose.
The crowds can be a little tricky to maneuver, however, there are definitely ways to handle them better at certain times. I was in the land at various times, from opening until closing. My best advice is to rope drop the park, meaning you arrive before the park opens and you wait for them to let you through to the attractions.
Right now, it’s very fun to rope drop Hollywood Studios because they know that the majority of people are going to make their way towards Galaxy’s Edge. Because of this, four stormtroopers lead the crowd at a safe speed, forcing everyone to walk to Galaxy’s Edge to music that represents the First Order.
In my opinion, this is one of the most clever and smart things a Disney park has done. It gets everyone excited for Galaxy’s Edge, you get to be there right at the beginning of the day and witness the festivities, and everyone arrives in Galaxy’s Edge in a safe, efficient and fun way.
From there, the cast members of Galaxy’s Edge line either sides of the crowd funneling it down to a perfect line ready for Smuggler’s Run. Disney parks are so incredible in knowing that that is what most people want to do first; ride an extremely popular ride.
If you do not want to ride the ride, all you do is walk out of line once it is formed. However, you are safely and efficiently put in line.
On this past trip, Hollywood Studios opened at 8 AM with extra magic hours from 7 AM to 8 AM. My party and myself arrived no later than 6:15 in the morning. This seems crazy, but trust me, it is worth it.
You can go through the bag search and the gate rather quickly, before most of the people that will enter the park that day. Because my party did this, we were able to wait in line for Smuggler’s Run, ride the ride and be off of it by 7:30 AM. From there, we were even able to wait in line and ride Slinky Dog Dash within the next forty minutes. It is worth it to get up early.
The crowds are thick, especially because this is still a very popular and brand new land. You will have to dodge crowds of people every now and then, but it still isn’t terrible in my opinion. The crowds tend to get thinner as the afternoon turns into evening.
Exploring the land at night is a whole new experience. The lights and scenes are just incredible, and if guests bought lightsabers that day, they will definitely be carrying them around, It’s a whole new kind of magic, especially when the crowds have thinned.
Overall, the crowds in Galaxy’s Edge are going to be worse in the middle of the day, but even then they aren’t too terrible. They will be the best in the morning and the evening. Honestly though, these are the best times to explore Galaxy’s Edge.
This article was written by Countdown to Magic contributor Kylie Twiest. Photos used in this article were taken by Kylie Twiest.
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