Ah. Star Wars Land. The magical majestical 9th wonder of the world that we’ve been spying on from Mickey and Friends Parking Structure (the 8th wonder is obvious the backside of water). We’ve waited patiently, we prepared for the crowds, we furiously refreshed our computers to get reservations–and now our time has come!
In order to visit Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (the formal name for this planet is “Batuu”), you need a reservation through June 23. You can still get reservations by staying at a Disneyland Property hotel (Grand Californian, Paradise Pier, or Disneyland Hotel). The reservation is set for a 4 hour block of time (8am-12pm, 11am-3pm, 2pm-6pm, 5pm-9pm, 8pm-12pm). Notice that there is some overlap between reservations so there are times where Batuu is twice as crowded (the sweet spot is 3 hours into your reservation).
There are 4 major things that people want to accomplish during their 4 hour time slot:
- Oga’s Cantina (which is the first non-exclusive place to purchase alcohol inside Disneyland, all ages are welcome and non alcoholic food and beverages are also served)
- Build a $200 lightsaber
- Build a $100 droid
- Ride Smugger’s Run, aka “The Millenium Falcon Ride”, height limit 38″
But…what if I have kids who don’t drink alcohol, don’t have $300, and who are shorter than 38″? Is there still enough to do in Galaxy’s Edge?
What can my short under 38″ do?
- Play with characters! Ask Rey to give you flying lessons, as Chewbacca if he’s given up eating porgs, help the rebel spy Vi Moradi hide from the stormtroopers.
- Browse the marketplace— My favorite shop in the marketplace is the Creature Stall which is almost like a museum of space animals. Here, you can adopt a porg or a variety of other exotic animals. The girls loved playing with all the creatures even though we didn’t take one home that day.
- Get some Batuuan Snacks–I definitely recommend the Blue and Green milk ($7.99) located near The First Order
- Hit up the locals to teach you more about their planet. Every resident of Batuu has a backstory! Ask them what they think about the presence of the First Order Stormtroopers.
- Simply sit back and people watch! There are little secrets hidden all around Batuu–did you know there is a secret water fountain that reveals a space creature?
How to Interact with the Batuu Characters
Since Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is a completely immersive experience, the characters don’t have formal meet and greet lines. They are continuously on the move but they will stop for a quick photo if you ask. Unfortunately, none of the characters sign autographs, so stash those books away and seize the moment. To get the most out of the experience, it’s best to play along, especially for kids!
Rey and Chewbacca are free to roam around the Rebel Base and they’re always looking for more people to join the Resistance. If you’re not sure how to enter a conversation with Rey, you can ask if you can help with her mission or if she can tell you anything about the starships. When we visited her, the girls asked if they could play hide and seek and they could have easily stayed with her the rest of our 4 hour reservation. Chewie is a little harder to communicate with since he only speaks Wookie, but we found out that he likes to play with porgs!
Stormtroopers are all over–on rooftops, walking around, you are bound to run into them. They might try to take you into custody, and you always say yes to a Stormtrooper. Kylo Ren only comes out after the short stage show in the First Order area, but he does walk around and roam. These show times are not published, so it might be hard to catch it. I would recommend trying to find him during the second and third hour of your reservation so there are less people trying to surround him for a photo.
Vi Moradi (pronounced like “eye” with a v) is another fun character to play with all throughout Batuu. She is the Rebel Spy that everyone is looking for! We’ve seen her in the Marketplace as far as the First Order area. She’s always on the run looking over her shoulder for Stormtroopers. You can ask if you can help her evade the Stormtroopers. She taught us that when we see the Stormtroopers, we should blend in–stand tall, smile and wave! The girls literally waved to every single Stormtrooper they saw for the rest of the day. You might have also seen her at the opening ceremonies for Galaxy’s Edge where it was said in passing that the first person who turns in the wookie wins a prize–just letting you know, there is no prize!
R2-D2 is a lifesize droid in the giftshop of Droid Depot! He occasionally can be found running around beep beep booping, but he is often resting and recharging. You can also take home your own real R2-D2 for a mere $25,000! Don’t forget to recreate the iconic Leia picture!
With interactions like these, you’re bound to get a ton of great candid photos and videos which is way more priceless than a posed photograph. Our favorite character experiences have been when the kids are able to play freely with the characters and let their imaginations come alive. Some people say that magic doesn’t exist, but in these moments its clear that magic is real.
The “Lands” within Star Wars Land
- Resistance Base (by Critter Country Entrance) where you can meet Rey and Chewbacca and check out a ton of cool starships
- The Marketplace (shops and Docking Bay 7, the main quick service restaurant)
- The Droid Depot–located below the main marketplace where you can build your own Droid. This is also a gift shop. (located nearest to the Big Thunder Entrance)
- The First Order aka “bad guys” Storm Troopers, Kylo Ren, and his ship (located nearest to the Fantasyland Entrance. Also the closest entrance to get to Oga’s Cantina)
- The Millennium Falcon, the only ride attraction called “Smugglers Run”
Both times I’ve entered Galaxy’s Edge, I’ve used the Critter Country Entrance which leads directly into the Resistance Base. If you keep walking straight, you will hit the Marketplace with the majority of the shops. If you make a right around the Marketplace, this is a shortcut to get to the First Order, Oga’s Cantina, and the Millennium Falcon. If you have a stroller, take this path. The Marketplace is a little higher than the rest of the land and requires stairs to get to all the other parts of Galaxy’s Edge (there are ramps available but if you need to make a quick bee line, take the shortcut path).
If you enter via the Big Thunder or Fantasyland entrance, it might be hard to find the Resistance Camp since it feels like you’re leaving the land. To get there, go through the Marketplace all the way to the end, keep on going down the path until you see merchandise kiosks, and then you’ll find the huge starships. This is also where the second ride attraction “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” will be (it is set to open later this year).
Places to Rest, Chill, and People Watch
With younglings, sometimes you just need a wide open space to roam! One of my favorite things to do in Batuu is sit, people watch, and take in all the amazing sights and sounds. Here are some of my favorite open areas:
- Resistance Base–by Critter Country entry. There are a ton of starships to look at and plenty of sitting areas. Added bonus is that this is also where Rey and Chewbacca hang out.
- Docking Bay 7–two words: AIR CONDITIONING. If you need to escape the heat, there is ample seating in this quick service restaurant. Grab a cup of water and chill.
- Outside Droid Depot–by Frontierland entry. There is ample seating near the foliage in this area. You might be able to catch stormtroopers walking by with a First Order Officer (this is also a hint when the First Order Stage show is about to start).
- Millennium Falcon–I think this is technically a stroller parking area, but there are so many places to spread out and relax! You’ll also find some shade close to the Cantina. I heard that this is the best place to view fireworks if you are in Batuu at night.
When is the best time to go?
Come June 24, a same day reservation system similar to FastPass will be available to Disneyland Park Guests. As of now can meet all the characters from 8am opening to 12am closing, but that can change at any point. For lightning, the best time has been around 5:00pm. The opening group does have its advantages since there is no other group that is already in Batuu. Fireworks are supposed to be gorgeous from inside Galaxy’s Edge. It is rumored that once reservation spots are lifted to the general public, there will be no forced exit time, meaning you can spend as long as you want in Batuu.
Batuu is a beautiful planet that will literally make you feel that you’ve blasted away from the rest of Disneyland Park. So many adventures and memories await! Til the Spire!