The newest land at Disney World is Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge located in Hollywood Studios. This is by far the most immersive land Disney has ever created. When you walk in to this land you leave Disney World and enter the planet Batuu (See this land in photos here)
This is your guide for understanding, getting the most out of, and touring this amazing land of Batuu.
Not only is this land visually spectacular and detailed, it is also literally the most immersive land that Disney has ever built.
When you are in the land Cast Members are no longer "Cast Members" at Disney World. They are residents of the planet Batuu. And they will talk to you accordingly. So if you ask them about where to find Minnie Ears or how they like working at Disney World, be prepared for them to respond as a resident of Batuu.
For example, on my very first ride on the Millenium Falcon the Cast Member asked if anyone had ever piloted a ship before. I excitedly responded, "Yes! I did at Disneyland!" to which he said, "What's Disneyland? It sounds weird."
I suggest you let yourself get fully in to the fun. Interact with Cast Members, and have fun with their commitment to their character.
You'll also notice that their vocabulary is slightly different. First time visitors might be surprised when a photopass photographer says they'll "take your scan" rather than take your photo. Here is a quick reference to differing vocabulary:
Aside from just conversation with Cast Members, you'll find the writing in Batuu to be different than the writing here on Earth.
The language you see on signage is written in Aurebesh. While the letter symbols are similar to our alphabet, some of the signs around the land might take an extra glance. Disney provides the letter guide above in the park map so that you can decipher text throughout the land.
Many of the signs are written in English as well. Or, you can download the Disney Play app on your phone. Not only are there games that you can play throughout the land (and in line for the ride), but you can also use the app to decipher signs you find around the land.
If you want to experience some of the extras that the land has to offer, you might want to consider making advanced reservations.
With the popularity of the land, Disney has decided to open advanced reservations for 3 stops in Batuu.
Oga's Cantina is a lounge that serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well a couple of small bite food options. This stop is both unique and fun, and a must do for big Star Wars fans. You'll have your choice of several amazing and fun drink concoctions, and you'll listen to the DJ stylings of DJ Rex.
While this location is open to all ages, be aware that it is in fact a lounge. It is 90% standing room, alcohol is served, it gets loud, and no strollers are allowed. So if you plan on bringing your little ones just be prepared.
You can make advanced reservations for Oga's Cantina on Disney's website.
Here you'll be able to build and take home your very own droid. Aside from just building, there will be various options to actually bring your own droid to life.
You'll chose between a BB series or an R series droid. Then the fun begins. You'll be given a basket to collect your parts, and a blueprint to put your droid together. You'll select your droid parts as they move by on a conveyer belt.
Droids are $99 plus tax, and additional personality chips and accessories can also be purchased for an additional fee.
This has been an extremely popular shop, and so Disney has allowed guests to make reservations. If you are interested in building a droid you can make reservations here (note that your entire party will NOT be able to join you while you build your droid. You can bring one guest only).
Read more details on Droid Depot, including my review of the build here.
Have you ever wanted to build your own light saber? Here is your chance.
You'll be able to build your own, and chose Light or Dark side. You'll also be able to chose Peace Justice (modeled after Jedi from the Republic era); Power Control (a nod to the Sith); Elemental Nature (harnessing air, earth, fire, and water); and Defense (shrouded in mystery).
This unique and interactive building process is unlike anything else. Lightsabers cost $199 plus tax. This shop is extremely popular, and reservations for this experience are highly recommended. You can make reservations here (note that your entire party will NOT be able to join you while you build your lightsaber. You can bring one guest only).
Get all of the details and my full review on the build here.
There are two rides in the land. The first is Millenium Falcon Smugglers Run.
This ride is located in Galaxy's Edge, and it put guests in the drivers seat of the famed star ship. Guests who are riding this attraction will be given "flight crew" roles on the ship. You are either a pilot, gunner or engineer on the ride.
This ride is a lot of fun, but younger kids may not be able to or want to ride. There is a height requirement of 38", and the seats on the ride are spaced out. So if your child gets scared you wont be able to comfort them. Note that rider switch is an option if you have smaller kids.
The second ride in Galaxy's Edge is Rise of the Resistance. This ride puts guests in the middle of a battle between The Resistance and The First Order.
Guests are recruited to join Rey and General Organa at a secret base. Along the way they are captured by the first order, and must escape and save the base. All while staying a step ahead of Kylo Ren.
For a full overview of this ride (including height requirements, ride video and more) see my full article on Rise of the Resistance.
Like any new land or attraction at Disney World, your best bets for touring the land with the least amount of people is to tour either first thing in the morning, or later in the evening.
With the opening of Rise of the Resistance, Disney has decided to use a virtual boarding pass system for this ride to cut down on crowds and wait times. This boarding pass is essentially a virtual line for the ride. You get your boarding pass and are called when it is your turn to ride. You have either one or two hours to get to the ride once you are called (the amount of time you have to return will be given to you when your group is called to ride.)
To get a boarding pass you must have the My Disney Experience app, and a valid Hollywood Studios park reservation. For more on making park reservations you can read my full article here.
Virtual queue access open at 7am and 1pm EST each day.
You do not need to be inside the park to reserve a spot in the virtual queue at 7am. But you will need to have your app up and ready to go before 7am. Boarding passes fill up very quickly. Sometimes within seconds.
I suggest double checking your app ahead of time. Make sure your entire party is linked in your Friends and Family list on your My Disney Experience account. If you need help doing this you can read more about the app here.
I also suggest deleting any friends that are not in your group. This will make selecting your party much easier.
Have the app open and ready before 7am, and get ready to refresh the moment 7am hits. You can even have other people in your group try on their phones. Once one of you grabs your reservation it wont let the other people in your party get in the virtual queue, but having more people try will help your chances of getting a spot.
At 7am you'll see a button on the home page of the My Disney Experience App where you can join the virtual queue. Select "Join" to get in the queue. Your name will automatically be selected. You will need to manually select the other people in your party. Then select "Join Virtual Queue" to get in line. You'll be given a boarding group.
You can check on the status of the boarding groups from the home screen of the My Disney Experience app.
If you are unable to get a 7am virtual boarding pass, you can try again at 1pm. This time you must be inside Hollywood Studios in order to join. You'll go through the same process as above while in the park.
There is no way to guarantee your ride time. But to make sure you get the soonest possible boarding pass have your My Disney Experience app open and ready to go at the virtual boarding pass times.
It is important to note that if you are planning on park hopping, you wont be able to enter Hollywood Studios until after 2pm. So you'll be able to enjoy Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, but you wont be able to ride on Rise of the Resistance.
Here are other things to note about boarding passes:
If you are starting later in the day, and would like to end with Galaxy's Edge I would suggest the following:
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See you at the parks,