Updated on December 19, 2019
Galaxy’s Edge Updates
Note that boarding groups are still being used to manage the extensive crowds converging on Hollywood Studios for RoTR! Here’s an update however, boarding groups on the My Disney Experience app will not be available to Guests until the official park opening time for that day. So no matter if you get to the park at 5:00am or 7:00am, if park opening is at 8:00am (even if they let you in early), you will not be able to book your boarding pass until 8:00am (or the officially opening for the day you are visiting).
This makes it fair for all Guests to have the same chance at getting into a boarding group and riding RoTR. I would still recommend getting to the park at least an hour before the scheduled park opening. If the crowd is heavy, you still want to be as close to the front as possible when the gates open. The sooner you are “in the park” and can book your boarding pass on the My Disney Experience app, the sooner you will be able to ride the attraction. This is especially important if you want/need to ride the attraction early in the morning. The later you book your boarding pass, the later in the day you will ride the attraction.
Are you ready to rise up with the Resistance? Well… May the Force Be With You! This EPIC state-of-the-art, first of its kind attraction puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance! And based on reviews, this ride is like none other, riding right alongside (if not better) than Flight of Passage in Pandora at Animal Kingdom. That’s impressive!
On Thursday December 5, 2019 (Walt Disney’s 118th Birthday), we saw the Grand Opening of one of Disney’s most ambitious attractions EVER, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance! The Disneyland equivalent will open on January 17, 2020.
As anticipated, Hollywood Studios was packed on opening day and boarding groups were used to manage the crowds. By 9:00 AM all boarding groups were filled to capacity for the day, so similar to the old paper-based FastPass system, this basically means that unless you had already scheduled yourself for a boarding group, there was no chance of riding the attraction. Stand-by lines were not used on opening day, so that was not an option. The method works well and is very easy to use. I suspect that the boarding groups will be used quite frequently, at least initially, to manage the heavy crowds. The key is to get to Hollywood Studios very early (I would recommend up to an hour before opening) to be sure to get yourself into a boarding group.
***Note that you will not be able to register for a boarding group until you are actually in the park. Also note that even though you are in a boarding group, this does not guarantee you will ride the attraction. So, you need to manage your expectations. ***
Disney is very good at communicating, so not only can you check the current status of the land via the My Disney Experience App, but there are also signs and plenty of Cast Members around ready to help and answer questions.
Since the attraction is new, you should also be prepared for the attraction to go down at any point. I did hear of it going down during opening day, although it was not for very long before it was up and running again. I understand expectations are very high when it comes to anything Disney, but things happen. And often Disney can’t test how it’s going to be with hundreds of Guests, until hundreds of Guest ride the attraction. So that means opening day Guests are sometimes guinea pigs (in a very casual sense) to see how things go (especially because this particular attraction only had a small media event the night before, there were no special previews). As fun as it is to be there on opening day (I love to be part of the excitement and high energy), I actually recommend giving it a few days or even weeks for Disney to iron out the wrinkles. Because they will.
But be prepared to use the boarding groups for the unforeseeable future, as this attraction is going to be popular for quite some time!
How the Virtual Queue Works
To join the Virtual Queue, be sure you have the latest version of My Disney Experience downloaded on your smartphone or tablet, and have your tickets linked.
NOTE: Set up notifications on the app so you are alerted when it is time to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Launch the app and look for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Status and Access. Right now there are 2 ways you can find this:
+ As soon as you launch the app, it should be on the landing page OR
+ Hit the “hamburger” symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the app and click on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Select Find Out More:
+ If the current status is OPEN, then proceed to the Grand Avenue entrance (near Muppet Vision 3D) or the entrance at the end of Toy Story Land, and enter.
+ If the current status is ACCESS BY BOARDING GROUP ONLY, then select “Join Boarding Group“. You will receive a notification when your boarding group is called. You can also view the status in the app or use the digital status boards throughout the park for updates.
+ If “Join a Boarding Group” is grayed out, that means the boarding groups are full for the day and are no longer available.
If you do not have or are not the using My Disney Experience app, to join a boarding group, visit a Guest Experience Team kiosk. Once registered, you will be able to use the digital status boards throughout the parks for updates.
If you have reservations for Oga’s Cantina, Savi’s Workshop or Droid Depot, or want to ride Smuggler’s Run, you will be able to enter into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. You WILL NOT need to enter sign up for a boarding group in this case.
To make reservations (which are highly recommended) for Oga’s Cantina, Savi’s Workshop or Droid Depot, visit waltdisneyworld.com.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Overview
Spanning 14 acres, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the largest single-themed land expansion Disney has ever done. Entering through 1 of 2 separate entrance points in Hollywood Studios (one off of Grand Avenue – next to Muppet Vision 3-D, and one from the back end of Toy Story Land near Alien Swirling Saucers), Guests are transported to Black Spire Outpost, a village on the planet of Batuu and completely immersed in all of the action, just like stepping into a favorite Star Wars movie scene.
I had the amazing opportunity to explore this new land during Annual Passholder Previews and was completely blown away. Within minutes of stepping foot into this galaxy far, far away I was completely in awe. In awe of the imagineering, the technology, the creativity and the immense level of detail. Every nook and cranny was filled with unique elements from these stories that we all know and love, and from the very story that we ourselves are creating in Batuu. There is so very much to explore, it can’t possibly be done in just one day.
My time on Batuu was phenomenal and unlike anything I ever experienced. This land outshines any other. You literally forget that you are in Walt Disney World when you are in Galaxy’s Edge. I cannot wait to go back and do it all over again! I am completely certain that when you visit, your mind will be blown. It is grand and it is spectacular.
Let’s explore what you’ll find once you enter Batuu!
Attractions in Galaxy’s Edge
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Height Requirement: 40″ (102cm) or taller
The Rise of the Resistance just opened on December 5, 2019 in Walt Disney World. This is the flagship attraction in this land. Here you will find yourself in the middle of an epic battle between the Resistance and the First Order! Walt Disney Imagineering is describing it as a cinematic immersive experience and one of the most complex things they’ve ever done. It will leave you asking how did they do that?!
One of coolest experiences in Galaxy’s Edge is the ability to interact in a whole new way with Play Disney Parks App. With the opening of Rise of the Resistance, use your Star Wars Datapad to choose to support the Dark Side or the Light Side by selecting new jobs within the app as you move through the Resistance clearing and toward the attraction.
Here are your two options:
- Distress Signal Received: If you choose to help the Resistance you’ll receive a distress signal from Finn, who is undercover on a Star Destroyer near Batuu. Connect and help him navigate the ship. Along the way, you may even free Resistance prisoners, reprogram droids and gather information on what the First Order is up to on the way. Depending on the route you share with Finn, you’ll uncover items and schematics exclusive to this assignment.
- Infiltrate Resistance Recruitment: If you prefer to side with the First Order, your job will be surveilling the Resistance recruit line and reporting back on the status of Resistance supplies. You will be able to communicate with a First Order officer as you make your way through, and with her instruction you may choose to scan crates, intercept transmissions or even plant tracking devices from your Datapad.
Will you be supporting the Resistance or siding with the First Order?
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Height Requirement: 38″ (97cm) or taller
Smugglers Run was the first attraction to open in the Galaxy. It allows you and your flight crew to take the controls of THE fastest ship in the galaxy on a special mission. Yes, that’s right!! You will be navigating the Millennium Falcon!!
Hondo Ohnaka is looking for a few new recruits! Are you up for the challenge? Your mission will be to deliver hard-to-find items in the famous Millennium Falcon.
This attraction does not have FastPass+, so you will need to stand in line in order to ride. After you get through the queue, you will meet up with Hondo (an advanced and extremely life-like animatronic) who will explain your mission. Once you are set, you will advance to the next area where you will be given a role to play, along with 5 other players who will join you.
Here you will receive one of three roles (Pilot, Gunner or Engineer) to perform during your mission!
- Pilots work together to steer the ship, avoiding obstacles that could cause damage (front row)
- Gunners use triggers in the cockpit to blast enemy targets as they surround the Falcon (middle row)
- Engineers repair the ship as necessary while performing other tasks crucial to the mission’s success (third row)
The Pilot has the best seat in the house as they are in the front row navigating the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy and have the clearest view of the attraction. Gunners and Engineers viewpoint is a bit more limited, and if you are very good at your “job” and focused on pressing all the blinking buttons next to you, you will miss a lot of what is going on during the ride itself.
TIP: My recommendation is to focus less on your “job” accuracy and pay attention to the ride – I think you’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of it, especially on your first go-around. But remember, each players role directly affects the overall ride experience.
This is a simulator ride, it can get bumpy and you will get jostled around, especially if your pilots aren’t navigating the ship very well! It is similar to Star Tours in that respect, but much more advanced technologically, and you don’t need to wear 3D glasses, which often is the bigger cause of headaches and motion sickness. However, if you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to skip this attraction.
Since the role you are assigned and the overall experience of the ride will differ each time depending on the flight crew, this allows for Guests wanting to ride the attraction again and again. You will always walk away with a completely new experience.
Interactive Play Disney
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is also the first land designed to integrate with the Play Disney Parks app and offers interactive adventures and experiences that bring surrounding environments to life at Walt Disney World Resort. The app will provide new opportunities for guests to engage with the Black Spire Outpost, like translating a galactic language, learning what’s hidden inside crates and containers, or accomplishing certain tasks by participating in missions. Guests also can use the app to interact with a variety of elements, like antenna arrays, door panels, drinking fountains, droids, media screens, and ships.
Be sure to come hungry!! There are several yummy eateries in Batuu. I didn’t get an opportunity to try everything – so I’ll have to review more the next time I visit. But during my inaugural trip to Batuu, I visited Oga’s Cantina and Docking Bay 7. Let’s get to all the details!
This is THE place to grab a beverage, catch up on the latest gossip while R-3X, formerly the Starspeeder pilot on the original Star Tours, DJ’s a collection of new music.
Oga’s Cantina is so much fun. It is lively and loud. Seating is family style, so you are often seated with other families, couples, etc. It’s a great way to meet new people! Seating is also not guaranteed, so you may need to stand. The music is fun, the wait stuff plays their parts perfectly and the drinks are awesome. Anything you may have heard about the Fuzzy Tauntaun is true! That foam on top… it really does numb your mouth!
What You Need To Know:
- Reservations are available 180 days out from your vacation; a credit card is required.
- Cancellations can be made up to the day before without penalty. No shows will be charged per the cancellation policy.
- There is a 2-drink per person maximum and Guests will be limited to 45 minutes in the Cantina.
- Guests must be 21 or older to consume alcohol.
- Oga’s is mainly standing, with limited seating; seating is not guaranteed and you may be seated with other parties.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs has traveled throughout the galaxy following his longtime gig as the chef at Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana and brings exotic flavors and unusual dishes to his traveling diner “Tuggs’ Grub.” For complete details on this dining option, click here!
Exploring works up an appetite and there was no better place to grab a bit to eat than Docking Bay 7! It was delicious. This quick service location is cafeteria style, so I do recommend someone in your party search for a table while the other(s) order food. It does get pretty busy!
A recycled podracing engine fires up a spit of exotic meats, meticulously turned by a former smelter droid, 8D-J8. Guests can even sample some of the tasty Ronto fare.
The place to get your two local favorites: blue milk, first seen in Star Wars: A New Hope, and green milk, introduced in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Both the Blue Milk and the Green Milk feature a plant-based blend of coconut and rice milks and can even be ordered with alcohol (exclusive to Walt Disney World Resort). Sip on a Blue Milk Cooler with rum or a Green Milk Cooler with tequila! And don’t forget to order your Bubo Wumba Family Farms souvenir drink vessel.
Kat Saka’s Kettle
One of the many street market stalls, this grain vendor sells the ever-popular Outpost Mix (sweet and salty popcorn snack with a hint of spice).
Want to do some shopping? There is no shortage of places to buy your favorite galactic merchandise! Note that you will not find generic Star Wars merchandise in Galaxy’s Edge. When shopping in the market, you feel as if you are shopping like a resident of Batuu. The merchandise is very unique to the land.
Savi’s Workshop – Build Your Own Lightsabers
Guests come to the workshop to meet with the Gatherers – a secretive group of people who have dedicated their lives to restoring balance in the galaxy by passing on their knowledge of Jedi lore and the Force. The workshop Master guides guests to customize and build their own unique lightsabers, and instructs them on the ways of the Jedi.
Visitors to Mubo’s workshop can choose parts and construct their own individual astromech droids to accompany them on their journey, and then take them home with them.
What You Need To Know:
Savi’s Workshop and Droid Depot:
- Building a lightsaber costs $199.99 per person (plus tax). A credit card is required to make a reservation. Custom lightsabers are non-refundable.
- Custom BB-series unit or R-series unit cost $99.99 per person (plus tax). A credit card is required to make a reservation. Custom droids are non-refundable.
- Reservations are available 180 days out from your vacation
- Cancellations can be made up to the day before without penalty. No shows will be charged per the cancellation policy.
- The number of Guests on the reservation should reflect how many people will be building a lightsaber or droid. Guests may bring ONE additional person with them to observe, but that person should not be part of the Guest count on the reservation.
- The experience takes approximately 15-20 minutes.
Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities
For those in the know, Dok-Ondar is the Ithorian you seek for selling and buying rare and uniquely-valued items from across the galaxy and spanning all eras.
First Order Cargo
A spaceport hangar bay serves as the temporary base and landing spot for the First Order. First Order officers have brought in crates of gear, uniforms and other supplies to win the hearts and minds of locals and visitors to Black Spire Outpost.
Resistance members and local sympathizers oversee a makeshift stall that supplies Resistance uniforms, pins, badges, hats, helmets, jackets, maps, tools, training supplies, food rations and other items.
There are also several market stalls which sell a variety of merchandise such as:
- Toydarian Toymaker (toys)
- Creature Stall (interesting critters that you can take home with you)
- Black Spire Outfitters (clothing)
- The Jewels of Bith (accessories and other trinkets to treasure)
Learn the Language
When in Batuu you will want to know some of the basics so you can you chat with the Black Spire residents. They have developed their own dialect and I’m here to share some of that with you! Have fun with it! The Black Spire residents are so friendly and helpful.
Here are some common phrases and greetings:
“Bright Suns” – Good morning or Hello
“Rising Moons” – Good evening
“Til the Spire” – Goodbye or Safe Returns
“Well bartered” – Thank you
“Under the shadow of the spire!” – Cheers!
“Good run” – Good luck
Cast Member Costumes
These costumes showcase how Cast Members will be dressed throughout Galaxy’s Edge. There was a lot of thought and attention put into the designs and ensuring the costumes can weather all conditions. Here’s some of what you’ll see:
Join the Resistance
Resistance costumes are rugged, military-inspired uniforms, with a soft, well-used feel. Vests and jackets feature patch details inspired by communicators worn in the films, and there is an optional hat to protect from the elements.
The First Order
This costume is a powerful, charcoal grey military-style uniform with structured shoulders taken directly from the looks seen on screen. In stark contrast to the other costumes seen on the planet of Batuu, First Order costumes are pristine, polished and orderly.
Black Spire Outpost Villagers
The village costume collection is comprised of multiple shirts, bottoms and vests for tons of mix and match options to suit preference and personality. There is also a suite of accessories including scarves, necklaces, hats and a versatile pouch to further customize their look
John Williams is also creating an all-new and original Star Wars Theme exclusively for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Here’s a sneak peek!!