Disneyland guests can finally make the jump to hyperspace as the theme park opens its long-awaited Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansion on Friday.
The massive 14-acre plot of land puts fans in the middle of a new location set in the Star Wars universe: The remote Outer Rim planet of Batuu, specifically a settlement called Black Spire Outpost.
The spires that give the village its name, according to the backstory, are actually the petrified remains of ancient trees, as the planet had once been home to a lush forest before some unspoken cataclysm.
Eventually, the land will have two signature attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Rise of the Resistance.
The latter opens later this year, making Smuggler’s Run the centerpiece at the moment.
The ride is a simulator, but unlike the Star Tours ― another Disney park simulator ride that takes place in the “Star Wars” universe ― this one allows guests to control and even damage the Millennium Falcon.
“It’s Star Tours on steroids at a level you can’t possibly believe,” George Lucas, the “Star Wars” creator who sold the property to Disney in 2012, said Wednesday at the opening ceremony. “Now the technology is here, this thing is amazing. It’s something you couldn’t even dream about 20 years ago.”
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 30, 2019
The story behind the ride is that intergalactic pirate Hondo Ohnaka ― from the “Star Wars: Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Rebels” animated series ― has borrowed the ship from Chewbacca and needs help carrying out a raid on the First Order.
There are six seats per cockpit: two pilots, two gunners, and two engineers (tip: the pilot on the right gets to pull the lever that makes the jump to hyperspace).
For “Star Wars” fans, however, the queue may be just as much an attraction as the ride itself: It sends fans through the ship’s instantly recognizable corridors and even pauses in the room with the Dejarik (holographic chess) table.
Naturally, no Disney theme park expansion would be complete without food, drink and plenty of opportunities for merchandise.
On the food and drink front, the company has created its own versions of “blue milk” from the first “Star Wars” film as well as the infamous “green milk” in “The Last Jedi.”
Neither are truly milk, but rather dairy-free slushy drinks.
There’s also some booze: Oga’s Cantina is the first location in Disneyland to sell alcohol to regular guests.
The food offerings range from exotically spiced popcorn to sausage and pork Ronto Wraps sold from a stall that has a droid roasting meats under an old podracer engine:
The merchandising includes an experience where guests can make their own light sabers for $199 or build their own droids from $99, not to mention a litany of plush toys and costumes.
Better save those galactic credits.
Interestingly, none of the merchandise in Galaxy’s Edge says “Star Wars” on it, which the company said is part of the immersion: Just as the film characters don’t know they’re in a “Star Wars” movie, neither should guests. (Although there is still plenty of merch with “Star Wars” on it available elsewhere in the parks.)
While Galaxy’s Edge opens to the public on Friday, it’s on a reservation system until June 23 and all of the public reservations have been snapped up.
Guests at Disney’s three on-site hotels, however, get an entry into the land as part of their stay.
A twin version of Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studies at Walt Disney World in Florida in August.
Credit: Ed Mazza