Welcome to our first blog post of 2019! To our regular viewers, apologies for the unscheduled hiatus, hopefully we’ll be back to posting articles regularly very soon!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, known to most as Star Wars Land, is right around the corner, with both locations opening later this year. To those outside of the Disney Parks community, the details surrounding this new expansion can be a bit fuzzy – navigating all of the announcements and rumors yourself is no easy task. To help, here is a simplified account of everything we know so far about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Star Wars Land, originally announced in 2015, has now been officially titled Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and is set to open in two locations.
The first of the two will open in Disneyland (California) in the Summer of 2019, with the second location in Walt Disney World (Orlando) closely following in the Fall of 2019.
UPDATE (7/3/19): The official dates are now as follows:
Disneyland (California) – May 31st, 2019
Walt Disney World (Florida) – August 29th, 2019
Even though the locations will be in completely different parks (Disneyland’s will be in Disneyland Park and Disney World’s will be in Disney’s Hollywood Studios) the two versions of Galaxy’s Edge are going to be identical, offering the same experiences on both coasts. The expansion will consist of two new rides, dining experiences, shops, and an all-round immersive experience that will place you in the middle of the Star Wars universe.
UPDATE (7/3/19): Disney has announced that for Disneyland ONLY there will be a reservation system to enter Galaxy’s Edge between May 31st and June 23rd. Walt Disney World will not have a reservation system.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be home to two new rides, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run (where you and 5 others get to sit in the cockpit and fly The Falcon) and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (a trackless ride that will take you inside a First Order base of operations)
Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run showcases new technology that promises to allow guests to actually pilot The Millennium Falcon, controlling how the falcon moves around in different spaces (as opposed to following along with a pre-recorded film). New details released depict up to 6 guests in the cockpit, each with the position of either Pilot, Engineer, or Gunner – this concept should sound a bit familiar to those who’ve ridden Mission: Space over in Epcot. Together, you and your team will have to use teamwork to successfully complete your mission, assigned to you by Hondo Ohnaka, who you may recognize from the Star Wars animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
UPDATE (8/3/19): Orlando’s Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will not offer FastPass+ initially. It is unclear whether FastPasses will be available for the Disneyland counterpart.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, on the other hand, places you in the middle of a First Order base, encountering stormtroopers, First Order officers, and the infamous Kylo Ren. The ride boasts to be the longest Disney ride to date, with Disney officials even going as far as to call it “the most ambitious attraction we’ve ever built”. New details reveal that along with seeing our favorite First Order characters, some other favorites of ours, Rey, BB-8 and Poe Dameron, will also be making an appearance.
Not much has been revealed about these rides other than the stories behind them, but we’ll keep you posted when more information appears!
UPDATE (8/3/19): Orlando’s Rise of the Resistance will not offer FastPass+ initially. It is unclear whether FastPasses will be available for the Disneyland counterpart.
UPDATE (7/3/19): With the opening dates being moved up, Disney has announced that both lands will open with Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run only. Rise of the Resistance will open at a later time.
Dining and Shops
Besides rides, the other essentials all theme park expansions must have are dining locations and shops, and Galaxy’s Edge promises a lot of them. While we recently got a slew of details about each of the shops and restaurants, I won’t go into full detail for simplicity’s sake, but here’s a summary of some of the things you might find:
Some of the major dining locations include Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, a quick service restaurant, and Oga’s Cantina, a functioning bar that will not only be the essential Star Wars Cantina experience, but will also sell alcoholic beverages. Other than this, food locations will be dispersed around the land’s marketplace, and yes, you will be able to get Blue Milk.
Shops in the land will feature merchandise, such as clothes, toys, and other memorabilia, while other stores will feature more unique keepsakes. As recently revealed, Savi’s Workshop will allow guests to craft their own lightsabers while learning about the ways of the Jedi, and Droid Depot is where guests can customize their own 12-inch, remote-control droids. Like the food locations, smaller stores will also be dispersed throughout the marketplace, featuring stalls like Toydarian Toymakers and The Jewels of Bith.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is promising us a completely immersive experience, making us feel like we’re really visiting a thriving, existing world. From the few bits of information Disney has released, we can expect characters of all shapes and sizes walking around the land – aliens, humans, and droids alike. Not to mention the movie-quality surroundings, including full scale ships, like the Millennium Falcon, X-Wings, TIE Fighters, among others.
Disney has also mentioned the possibility of interactions between you and the residents of Galaxy’s Edge being fleshed out include your actions within the land. An example of this being with the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride. It’s been hinted that, since you’ll actually be flying it, bringing The Falcon back all banged up could create some in-world consequence for you. It’s not clear how, or if, this would work, but we’ll update you if anything else gets released.
Hotel (Disney’s Hollywood Studios Only)
Despite the two locations in both California and in Orlando being completely identical, there is one difference that will set the Disney World version apart from the Disneyland one: the Star Wars hotel. Only in the Orlando location, Disney has announced an immersive hotel experience that will be attached to the land. There isn’t much information available, as the hotel won’t even open the same time as the land, but from what we’ve seen so far from the concept art, this definitely looks like the stuff of dreams for fans (if the land itself weren’t a dream enough, that is).
Where does this fit in the Universe?
For the Die-hard Star Wars fans, you may be wondering, how does this all tie in? Is this it’s own, stand-alone land, or does it exist within the Star Wars universe? Let’s break down the canon aspects of Galaxy’s Edge.
The subject of Galaxy’s Edge is a marketplace called the Black Spire Outpost, located on the planet Batuu. Both Batuu and the Black Spire Outpost are slowly being worked into the universe, through books, comics, and most notably, a mention in Solo: A Star Wars Story (mentioned by L3-37 to Lando “You couldn’t get from here to Black Spire without me”).
It was previously unclear when exactly in the timeline the Black Spire Outpost we see occurs, but now that we’ve had confirmed appearances of New Trilogy characters (Rey, Poe, BB-8, and Kylo Ren) it’s very likely this takes place during that time period. My guess is that this all happens between Episodes 8 and 9. After doing some digging, it seems the information being presented is that Hondo Ohnaka was stationed on Black Spire around the events of Episode 8. Seeing as he’s starring in Smuggler’s Run, and the fact that Episode 9 will not have been released yet by the time the land open, leads me to believe that the world we enter will be in that time period.
Thanks for reading! Today’s further reading is Disneyland and Disney World, What’s The Difference? A handy guide to helping you figure out which resort is which, which parks each has, and some other interesting information that sets the two apart.
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