Young themepark enthusiasts

exploring the world

Star Wars Land: Galaxy's Edge



We take you back to 2015. It is the 15th of august during the Walt Disney Studios presentation of Bob Iger on D23. Rumors has circulated for a longer period of time: Is Disney going to built a Stars Wars Land? And yes, we receive the answer we have been waiting for! WE ARE GETTING A STAR WARS LAND! It were 4 long years of waiting, watching construction work and analysing concept arts. But finally the waiting is over and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is open in Disneyland Anaheim. We visited the land and explored Batuu. Is it as good as Disney promised? It is that big? And is it worth to fly all the way to another planet to visit this outpost? Join us on an expedition and fight against the first order!




Galaxy's Edge is located in the north-west side of the park and has 3 entrances. One in Critter Country: Resistance base, one on the Big Thunder Trail: and one near Fantasyland: First Order area.
For now there is only 1 attraction to enjoy and that is: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The other blockbuster opens next year, but more on the attractions later.


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Lets start with the emptiest area of Batuu and that is the resistance area. In january next year the biggest attraction ever created will open in this area: Rise of the Resistance. That ride is going to be epic but for now it is closed, so not a lot is going on here. Chewbacca and Rey are patrolling through this area for a quick meet and greet and there are 2 star fighters to take a picture with. The photo pass photographers really helping you in getting the best picture, also they don't talk about pictures and backpacks. In Batuu it is scans and cargo. Really small details but it make you feel more in the world of Star Wars!


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After walking through the resistance base you enter the market place, and boy it feels like a market! All the shops sells different products, the interior looks so authentic and the amount of detail is again incredible. The castmembers really are outdoing themselves that it is a real market instead of an ordinary theme park shop. You can even adopt here your personal Star Wars Kowakian, just like you can adapt a Banshee in Pandora. Only the inhibitions of Batuu will advise you to eat it, because the meat is delicious!


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Sure one of the highlights in Galaxy's Edge is Oga's Cantina. Everybody who have seen a Star Wars Movie knows the legendary melody, and here is the place to visit the cantina for yourself. When you enter you will notice that the place is quite cosy and not really big. Because of this and the great demand you need a reservation to enter! Without reservation it is almost impossible to have a drink in the Cantina. We shared a table with 2 different families, because they fill up the tables at capacity, so you will never have a table for your own. That is something to remember. Luckily for us we had a great American family to chat with during our stay at the Catina. Also great to see is that the Catina has its own DJ! And not just a DJ: it is REX, the robot from Star Tours 1.0. He has started a new life playing songs while you enjoy your drink. The drink and cocktails here are not cheap but together with the whole atmosphere definitely worth a visit.
We had the Fuzzy TaunTaun which is Peach Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Orange juice with tangerine, pure cane sugar and ''buzz foam''. The cocktail itself tasted delicious, but the buzz foam is something really weird, it tickles your lips in a very strange sensation. I don't know if I liked it or not haha. But still worth a try! Also a negative note: It is a pity that the promises and concept arts are not the end product. In the concept arts also aliens and locals are visiting the cantina, which is something not happening in real life. It are just the visitors and castmembers who are in the catina and besides rex and some small animatronics there is nothing alien about this place. And due to budget cuts (rumours) the sit down restaurant is not being built, which is an extreme pity, because the popularity of this concept is huge. I would love to have dinner in a Star Wars like environment, but maybe in the future we will see it.






On the other end of Batuu you find the city part where the First Order is the boss. Storm Troopers will patrol the neighbourhood asking questions about the resistance and if you have any information which can help them to put the traitor behind bars (or just kill them). Also from time to time there is a small show when Kylo Ren is joining the Storm Troopers to patrol the area to look for information. As a Star Wars fan my heart was pumping a bit faster when Kylo Ren is leaving his ship and joining us on Batuu. This part of Batuu you can buy the blue and green milk. We did not taste it because it is expensive and the reviews are not that good, maybe they even will change the recipes in the future. Also you find here a shop with products approved by the first order with Storm Troopers Merchandise and other equipement.


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And all of these adventures leads to one thing: THE FALCON. It is finally time to take over the controls ourself and fly this monster through the galaxy. We enter the waiting are where you walk all around the falcon and see that the ship is themed 100 procent with tons of details. Nothing is missed in reproducing this artefact in a perfect way. Every 15 minutes or so they are trying to start the falcon with sounds, smoke and other special effects, unfortunate they don't succeed in let it fly away ;)




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After walking around the falcon you enter the workshop, where they are fixing old engines. The layout of the area reminds me of the waiting line of star tours, only this one is of course much better themed and larger. Here there is also one big engine at the ceiling which they are trying to start every now and then. During your wait you walk from the ground floor to the first floor in a shallow climb through the building. Eventually you enter the area of the falcon again, but now 4 meters higher, so you can see that even the upper part of the falcon, which you can't see from the ground is themed 100 procent. Nothing is spared to make this machine as authentic as possible.


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Then it is time to mee the boss himself. You are gonna work for Hondo Ohnaka, a pirate who steals cargo and sells it with great profit. He needs Pilots, Gunners, and Engineers to go on a expedition with the Falcon. He explains how important the mission is and that you can't fail, otherwise you need to pay him a lot of credits for all the damage you have made. After the pre-show you will be split in groups of 6, and everyone gets a roll. You enter now the famous chess room where you can make a picture or prepare yourself for your mission until you are called forward by a castmember.






OMG is this really gonna happen? Am I really gonna fly the Falon? It almost feels like a dream but it is really gonna happen. One final last instructions by Hondu and then the doors open and you enter the cockpit of the Falcon. Let be straight forward: THIS RIDE IS AMAZING…. if you are one of the pilots. When you are a pilot you get so much freedom, you are really in control of the falcon, and decide where the ships is travelling too. It is actually really hard to navigate the ship in a correct way, and that is something I really like. You actually can crash the ship, and bring great damage.
For one time you really need to work and show your skills to get good results, as normally interactive rides are really easy. When you are a gunner you can choose between manual or automatic shooting, so you can choose how hard you need to do your best. When you are engineer you need to control and fix the damage the pilots make, so you need to press the buttons when they light up. In my opinion the easiest and least fun role to do. But all 6 really need to work together, if you have fantastic pilots but shitty gunners you will get a bad result. All the roles are important to get to the finish line.




The rides takes around 5 minutes, and then you are back on Batuu and you get your result. Our first time wasn't the best as Hondu presents everything we broke down. Also the castmember advised us the rapidly exit the falcon as the bounty hunters will go after us because we broke down the ship. When you exit you see that the emergency lights ar turned on, and hear electrical sparks. If you did your job the correct way you would of course not hear and see that. All in all I am really impressed with this ride. Don't forget that this is the B attraction of the area, and normally the B attraction is much less impressive than this ride has to offer (look at Navi River Journey in Animal Kingdom). The story line is great, the details and theming out of this world and the interactive part is much better than expected. Disney raised the bar again, and I can't wait till the opening of Rise of the Resistance, which should be the best attraction Disney has ever built!



Conclusion


From theming to food, and from merchandise to flying the falcon. Galaxy's Edge is a must visit for every theme park fan. And yes Disney made promises which they did not full fill like more entertainment and more interaction with the cast members throughout the area, but still we love every part of the Batuu. It is even much bigger in real life than on the pictures. If you have the opportunity to take the Falcon and fly it through hyperspace, don't hesitate a single second and go! Disney is not cheap, but it is worth every penny.





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