It’s finally here. After many, many moons of waiting and anticipation, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open for business at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. When you visit, you’ll certainly going to want to make the most of your time, and we’re here to help.
Whether you go before June 24 and are held to a four-hour time limit, or anytime after with no limit at all, here are io9's tips to maximize your time at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
This tip is mostly for people who have that four-hour time limit, but it can be helpful either way. Currently, there are only three truly high-demand things in the park: the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride, Oga’s Cantina, and Savi’s Workshop, where you make lightsabers. Let’s put aside the ride for a moment. If you want to visit the two other places, choose the one that excites you the most and go there first. Oga’s Cantina (the only public place in Disneyland you can order alcohol) is fairly small and fills up quickly, and Savi’s Workshop only lets in 14 builders at a time. Each attraction rotates out regularly, but small groups inevitably mean long waits.
Also, even in the few days since opening, Disney has already changed policy at Oga’s; now you put in a reservation, and you get a text when you can come back. So it’s a good idea to do that first if you want to go.
Though there is plenty to see, eat, and buy, there’s currently only one ride in Galaxy’s Edge and that’s Smugglers Run. So, of course, everyone is going to want to ride it. And you should! But don’t feel like you have to rush there. Wait times will fluctuate as people go in and out of the park (especially before June 24), so if you wait a little bit, you may be able to get on quicker. Even if the ride is your number one priority, patience may save you lots of time.
Smugglers Run is unlike most rides you’ve experienced—in truth, it’s really more of an arcade game. Here are some tips on making the ride the best you can.
- Go in with as big a group as possible - Each ride fits six people and communication is key. If you can enter with six people in total, that’s ideal. Four is OK too. If it’s just one or two, just be friendly and try to chat up your fellow riders. It’s very important to work together. Also, if you want to be a pilot, try to be on the far left-hand side of the prep room when a cast member hands out assignments. But, you can always swap if someone is willing.
- Pilot hints - There are two pilot seats with different functions. The right pilot controls the Falcon’s vertical movements and pulls the lever for hyperspace. The left pilot controls horizontal movement and engages the boosters. So, think about which you’d prefer if you can. Either way, once airborne be very, very gentle with the controls to have the best flight, and make sure to talk to your co-pilot. Let them know what you need them to do. It helps immensely.
- Gunner hints - There are two modes: manual and automatic. Manual is harder, in that you’ll have to aim the guns slightly. Automatic just hits everything and you can literally hold the button down to keep firing. That said, you lose points if you fire too much, so keep your hand on the button only when needed.
- Engineer hints? - No hints needed. Your job is easy, just hit the buttons fast. Simple.
- Multiple rides are key - Virtually every choice someone makes on the ride can change the ride itself. Sometimes you’ll get one piece of cargo, other times you’ll get two. (You can’t get three, so don’t worry.) You can fly under things, over things...every time you ride it will be different, you’ll discover something new, and you’ll earn more credits.
- Crashing is okay - Ideally, you’d want a perfect flight. And I’m sure people will figure that out sooner rather than later. But if you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly going to crash the ship a bit and that’s okay. In fact, if you damage it enough, you get to see a whole other section of the ride that it’ll skip if you do too good of a job.
Canonically, Galaxy’s Edge takes place after The Last Jedi at the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. Everyone there is pretending to live on that planet, at that time, and things can get tense between the First Order and Resistance. But, it puts guests in fun positions. For example, if you walk up to someone in the Resistance and say “Let the Wookiee win,” they’ll give you a trading card that, when you collect them all, creates a map of the Outpost. If a Stormtrooper asks you some questions, don’t be shy, go with it and see what happens. There are surely more cool things the cast members do too so don’t be afraid to play around.
There’s a lot of food in Galaxy’s Edge, but so far in my limited experience, the snacks are the true stars. Docking Bay 7 is filled with weird, cool, themed food if you want to sit down and have a full meal, but everything I’ve tried there has just been OK. On the other hand, Ronto Wraps (basically sausage in a pita), the blue milk (fruit smoothie), and the Kat Saka’s Kettle (popcorn) are all quick, easy, and delicious.
Every stand also has its own unique drinks and juices, including beers and wines exclusive to Galaxy’s Edge inside Oga’s. Then there’s also all the space Coke products.
The best stuff in Galaxy’s Edge is in its stores. Each one is filled with merchandise made specifically for this place and it runs the gamut from tiny magnets to $25,000 full-size droids. So you’ll want to see everything, even if you don’t buy anything. Plus, the stores themselves are filled with things to see and discover. Which leads me to...
There’s not an inch of Galaxy’s Edge that wasn’t crafted with care. So as you’re walking around, standing, shopping, whatever...just keep looking at things. You seriously never know what you may find. Maybe it’s R2-D2 droid prints on the floor. A familiar droid hanging on a wall. Or, maybe even reference to another Lucasfilm series, Indiana Jones. There’s something to see everywhere.
If Galaxy’s Edge is filled with Easter eggs, Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities is the Easter bunny. It’s a store, first and foremost, that sells some of the coolest Star Wars merch ever: lightsabers, holocrons, prop replicas. But it is also filled, top to bottom, with things to gawk at. The aforementioned Indiana Jones reference is in here, as is a look at what a baby Sarlacc looks like. Heads of famous creatures are on the wall. A full-size stuffed Wampa! There are references to Rebels and Clone Wars, and this is the only place you’ll find blasters in Galaxy’s Edge. Basically, this is a can’t-miss stop, even more so for sightseeing than shopping. Plan accordingly.
With the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the second ride in Galaxy’s Edge, at least a few months away, a whole section of the land will feel oddly...quiet. But still, check it out. If you head to that side, there are full-size X and A-Wings to get photos with, and maybe even an area for character photo ops.
You never quite know what could happen in Galaxy’s Edge. At times, a mini-scene might break out two feet from you between the Resistance and First Order. So if something starts getting weird, just stop and wait to see what it is. It’ll almost certainly be cool.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open at Disneyland in Anaheim, though if you don’t have a reservation, you can’t go until June 24. At that time, it’ll employ a virtual queue system. The Rise of the Resistance ride will open later this year. The same themed land will open on August 29 at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Admission is included with the price of a theme park ticket which currently fluctuates between $104-$149 for a one-day pass, depending on what date you go.
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