The moment Galaxy’s Edge was announced by Bob Iger on August 15, 2015, my husband and I were on the edge of our seats. As life long Star Wars fans, and theme park enthusiasts, we couldn’t read enough news about it. We honestly weren’t sure when we would get the chance to visit, but when my parents began planning a surprise birthday trip to Disneyland for our daughter, we quickly invited ourselves, ha!
The timing was also perfect, because Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland has been open for 8 months (meaning, the kinks are mostly worked out), and Rise of the Resistance opened ten days before out January 27th trip. With a trip on the horizon, we began designing “BatuuBounds” and made reservations for all the activities Black Spire Outpost had to offer. Now that we’re back, I am going to share my unsponsored perspective and a few things that surprised us with you!
First of all, the rumors you have heard are true. Most things you read about Galaxy’s Edge mention the immersive experience, and how it is tailored to encourage people to become part of the planet Batuu. Meaning, that if you dress the part, you will get pulled in the galactic outposts story.
We put together outfits for our trip, and basically went two different routes. My husband (@fortnerindustries) purchased a few Batuu-esque pieces that would hint at the idea of a smuggler or Jedi. His shirt, pants, bag, shoes, and goggles, can all be found on Amazon. [Affilate Links]
On the other hand, I went for something completely custom. I found a unique black denim jacket on Poshmark, which would have suggested an edgy Kylo Ren look on it’s own, but I wanted to go further. I designed stencils and used acrylic paint pens to make a Mandalorian themed jacket, which you can read more about here. I was stopped by every single character, and even a few park visitors while we were there!
This brings me to the characters! The characters you will see in Galaxy’s Edge are Kylo Ren with his posse of Storm Troopers, Rey, Chewbacca, R2D2, and resistance spy, Vi Moradi, who was created specifically for this land. The characters do not do traditional meet and greets, and it can actually be difficult to get them to stop for a photo. This can be fun, because it makes them feel more integrated in to the experience, but I find the “Where’s the wookie?/We’re hiding from Kylo Ren” storylines wear out pretty quickly. Basically, if you visit Galaxy’s Edge more than once, you’re going to hear all of Kylo Ren’s canned responses to people, and witness Chewie running away from everyone. I’ll be interested to see if they change it up in the future.
Of course, we were also excited about going on the new rides! The land opened with “Smuggler’s Run”, where a team of 6 pilots the Millennium Falcon to pick up items for the resistance. The best part of this ride is being in the pilots seat, but the worst part of this ride is not being in the pilot’s seat. A lot of visitors are confused by this ride, because Disney didn’t do a great job balancing the positions. The experience is a lot different (ie, not as fun or exciting) if you are not one of the two pilots. The best way to experience this ride is with five of your friends. That way, you can all swap up your positions each time you ride so everyone gets the chance to be pilot, gunner, or engineer at least once during your trip. When you ride with strangers, it’s luck of the draw. Tons of people we rode with didn’t even realize this ride is interactive! How you perform at our position greatly effects the outcome. Fortunately, Isaac and I were able to ride it often enough that had a shot at each position at least once. We can attest that pulling that lever to light speed like the galaxy’s most famous Nerfherder is a thrill!
Hands down the most stressful, and rewarding part of our trip was acquiring a boarding pass for the newest ride, “Rise of the Resistance”. It’s so new, that you have to use the app to get a boarding group number, and wait for it to be called. That means we sat in Disneyland with hundreds of other people, staring at our phone, refreshing until 9am hit and we could get those passes. Our first day we were group 71, but the second day we tried we were group 4. Someday these will not be necessary, but until then be ready with your trigger fingers to get a pass!
The ride itself has three main parts to it. After waiting in line you watch a pre show with Rey, where she gives you your mission. Then, you walk back outside (this surprised me!) to board a shuttle that is supposed to take you to the rebel base, but of course gets caught by Kylo Ren. Next thing you know, your shuttle has opened up on his ship, and the First Order is commanding you to disembark. THIS is the part that really blows your mind, because you walk into a huge hangar with tie fighters and storm troopers overlooking space. After this, you wait in a short line again, this time under the watch of the First Order who will reprimand you if you touch things are step out of line. Finally, you are rescued by some rebels, and board a ride vehicle.
Once you are on the ride vehicle, things get crazy! The vehicles utilize trackless technology, so you never quite know where they are headed as Kylo Ren chases you down. Surprisingly, our daughters favorite part was the drop at the end as your escape pod launches you to safety! Speaking of kids, we heard about some kids getting frightened on this ride because the First Order officers were kind of harsh, but we didn’t experience that. They will say, “Don’t touch that” or “Get back with your guardians”, but I didn’t think they were mean. Additionally, the rebels who rescue you are SO SUPER NICE to kids. Both times we rode, they specifically talked to the kids about what was happening, gave them high fives or fist bumps, and showed them the droid on the front of our ship that was going to get us to safety. There was even a set of young brothers on our second ride that said they had built a droid, and then the rebels chatted with them about how they could fix the droid if he broke. It was adorable!
I have a lot more to share about our trip… Lightsabers! Oga’s Cantina! However, I think this post is getting lengthy, so I’ll be back with another one about the rest!