You Can Now Head to a Galaxy Far, Far Away at Disney's First 'Star Wars' Theme Park Zone
Disneyland's Galaxy's Edge has thrown open its intergalactic doors, with another set to launch at Disney World in August.
For fans of George Lucas' sci-fi phenomenon, it's easy to feel the force. More than four decades after Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope first hit cinemas, the space opera has spawned sequels, prequels, spin-off movies and TV series, all manner of celebratory events, and a near-unparalleled type of pop culture frenzy. Now, that humble 1977 movie has also given rise to a dedicated theme park zone, called Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. It's the next best thing to punching it into hyperdrive and zooming to a galaxy far, far away (and, also, it's something that flesh-and-blood folks who aren't fictional characters can actually do).
Obviously, the force is particularly strong with this idea. Yes, we've definitely got a good feeling about it as well. First announced back in 2015, Disneyland Resort in California is now welcoming patrons into its 14-acre Galaxy's Edge after a star-studded launch this week — while Walt Disney World in Florida start doing the same at its own similar spot at the end of August.
This concept has clearly been in Disney's sights ever since it bought Lucas' company, Lucasfilm, for more than $4 billion back in 2012. Now that it has come to fruition, a world of fun awaits wannabe jedis, rebels and siths (because we all have a dark side).
Galaxy's Edge is set on the outpost of Batuu, in village of Black Spire Outpost. It's a hive for smugglers and rogues (naturally), and it's where you'll be wandering around when you're not jumping into the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy and trying to become best buddies with a loveable wookiee. With Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ranking among the site's top highlights, you really do just that, aka sit in the driver's seat of Han Solo's beloved ship. It's not open yet, but later this year you'll also be able to take part in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, where you'll get caught in the middle of a battle between the Resistance and the First Order.
The theme park zone's other huge standout is boozy watering hole Oga's Cantina, which brings alcohol to the California spot for the first time. Here, the drinks come with names such as Carbon Freeze, Oga's Obsession and Cliff Dweller, and are served in unique vessels while you sit at the counter or get cosy in a booth. And because every good cantina has its own vibe, this one gets some help from DJ R-3X, the former droid pilot from Star Tours. Relax, sip and try not to shoot first.
Elsewhere, if you're a hands-on type, you can construct your own R2-D2 or BB-8-style droids, which you can then take home with you. Or, build your own unique lightsaber, then take a few Jedi lessons so you know how to use it. You can also pick up Resistance or First Order supplies, look for rare goods at Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities and find a new friend at the Creature Stall (if you haven't noticed, plenty of these attractions involve purchasing some merchandise or a keepsake, because of course they do). And if all of this shopping is making you thirsty, the Milk Stand serves up exactly what everyone wants: blue — and green — milk.
When you're not giving your Star Wars skills and your wallet a workout, you can enjoy the finest food that Black Spire Outpost has to offer. Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo takes the form of a multi-purpose transport shuttle docked in a hangar, and is basically an intergalactic food truck, with 'Smoked Kaadu Ribs' (aka pork ribs) and 'Ithorian Garden Loaf' (aka a plant-based meatloaf alternative) on the menu. At Ronto Roasters, spit meats are cooked up on a recycled podracing engine, while Kat Saka's Kettle sells street food snacks.
Expect to spy an array of beloved characters roaming around as well — there's certainly room for it, with Galaxy's Edge marking the biggest single-themed expansion to both parks. The guiding concept is to "transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life." And, to give this interactive experience the requisite soundtrack, it'll features new Star Wars music by the man behind its iconic score, aka Oscar-winning composer John Williams.
If you're going to be on the US West Coast between now and June 23, tickets have already been snapped up; however once the booked-out opening period ends, you'll be able to head to Disneyland's Galaxy's Edge as part of your regular entry.
Eventually, visitors in Florida will also be able to spend a night or several in an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel as well, although construction hasn't started yet and an opening date hasn't been announced either. That said, Disney recently revealed that a visit to the hotel will involve boarding a launch pod and taking part in "a fully-immersive, multi-day Star Wars adventure aboard a luxury starship", with high-end dining and cabins that apparently have a space view all part of your stay.
For more information about Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland, and to book park tickets, visit the park's website.
Published on June 01, 2019 by Sarah Ward