Getting to Galaxy’s Edge: A Journey to Star Wars’ Remote Planet Batuu
A travel guide to an epic adventure at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in Disney World Resorts
By MJ Wilke
Editor’s note: This guide is based on an experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Although there are differences between the two Galaxy’s Edge, the planning is the same.
Whether you travel to Disneyland Park or Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, getting to Batuu requires some planning and preparations — much like actually traveling to the remote planet at the far edge of the galaxy, we presume. The new Star Wars land opened in Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California in May, 2019 with Disney’s Hollywood Studios opening later in August, 2019. When you walk into the land you are transported to the Black Spire Outpost on the remote planet of Batuu, set in the outer rim of the Galaxy. Virtual reality has nothing on Disney’s ability to transform an experience. Prepare to stop and collect your inner Star Wars geek the first time you see Stormtroopers assembled in the Rise of the Resistance. It is awe inspiring.
Within each park there are two main attractions; Rise of the Resistance; Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: workshops for droid and lightsabers, impressive Oga’s Cantina, Black Spire Outfitters, a few other places to pick up cargo, and a few spots here and there to find unique Batuu inspired treats (blue or green “milk”).
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
It would be wrong to classify this as a ride. Yes, it does have a vehicle, but, it’s a trackless vehicle moving in unpredictable ways and it’s not over in 3 minutes. The 20 minute experience has three phases and will move you through what feels like a pivotal part of a Star Wars movie. It is virtual reality with an emphasis on reality.
The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Smugglers Run is your opportunity to become a crew member of the Millennium Falcon. All 6 riders are assigned crew roles including pilot and participate in the hands-on, interactive, cause-and-effect operation of the ship making every ride a unique experience.
NOTE: Plan to do this thrill ride at least twice. Every crew has assigned roles, with the pilot having the most to do and it can get a little hurried. On your second ride try to look around and see the detail inside the cockpit.
For bounty hunters and other hungry and thirsty travelers, Oga’s is the iconic place. Definitely get a reservation – up to 180 days in advance. Standby reservations are sometimes available in the morning, which also happens to be the least expensive items on the menu. For guests at Disneyland, Oga’s is the only place (outside of super secret places) that serves alcohol. After one Jedi Mind Trick cocktail, lines seem manageable.
NOTE: You’ll be charged a fee if you fail to show up for a reservation, but you can change your reservation the day of your visit if space is available.
Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers
Reservations are highly recommended, which can be made up to 180 days in advance, for this unique experience. The handbuilt lightsabers at Savi’s are $199.99. Lightsabers can also be built at Tatooine Traders at Star Tours.
If droids are more your thing, $99.99 per astromech will get you your very own custom droid. Reservations are also recommended for this, again up to 180 days in advance.
Black Spire Outfitters
Every outpost, even at the edge of the galaxy needs a good clothier. Black Spire has just what you are looking for.
Just a few things to keep in mind as you plan your trip. Visiting mid-week is always less crowded than on weekends. If you want to experience the Rise of the Resistance, and let’s face it, that’s why you are really going, you need to give yourself the best chance of entry. Also check which days have Extra Magic Hours in the morning for Guests staying at Disney Resort. If you are staying at a resort hotel, great, you’ll have a better chance of getting an earlier boarding group. If you are not planning to stay at the resort, you should avoid those days or get a park hopper and be flexible.
Note: If you are a D23 Member (Disney’s official fan club www.d23.com), the Hilton Disney properties offer a discount on Room Rates ($20 a night off) + free parking ($22 a night). The savings during a couple night stay can pay for the year of membership.
Before you go
Download the apps.
The My Disney Experience app is a must. Download and practice using it before you arrive. If the popularity continues, you may need lightning speed to get a desired boarding group for Rise of the Resistance – more on that later.
Disney Play app is a fun additional interactive piece; however, make sure you also bring a portable phone charger. This app turns your smartphone into a Star Wars Datapad. It has a translator, cargo scanner, and more ways to interact with your surroundings at the park.
Download the music.
Galaxy’s Edge music library can also be played on the Disney Play app if you have an Apple Music subscription). Play while planning, in transit and even after you’ve left the park to extend your experience.
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite by John Williams (one symphonic suite, approximately 5 minutes long). https://amzn.to/2QXO3LN
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Oga’s Cantina: R3X’s Playlist (full album). https://amzn.to/2QyZKJK
The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run FastPass+
Savi’s Workshop: Handbuilt Lightsabers
Droid Depot: Assemble a Custom Astromech Unit
The shuttle from a Disney property is convenient, but, considering you need to get to the park extra early for the virtual queuing system, a taxi or rideshare may be a better option.
Make note of hours.
Take note of hours the park is open for the days you want to visit. Take special note of Extra Magic Hours.
Research and review entry procedures
A valid park ticket is all that is required to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, however, capacity is limited so there may be times that a wait will be required for entry. For the two ride-type attractions there is a slightly more complicated entry method. For Rise of the Resistance attraction, there is a virtual queue system using the My Disney Experience App. For Smugglers Run, the FastPass+ was recently added beginning Feb 19, 2020. If you do not have a smartphone you can find Guest Relations and they will assist you, but this is not going to ensure you a boarding pass for that day. For the most up-to-date and park-specific information, please visit Disney Parks website.
To get into Rise of Resistance attraction
Plan to get to the park early
You must be inside the park’s entry turnstile for the reservation system on the My Disney app to activate. At this time, the boarding passes fill very quickly and reach capacity for the day within minutes of the park’s opening.
You will get a boarding pass for everyone in your party. Everyone needs to be inside the turnstiles before a boarding pass will be assigned. Only one person in the group can get a reservation for the entire group, but, everyone in the group can try.
Your virtual reservation is assigned a group number. There is a warning with your group number: “Capacity is limited. A boarding group does not guarantee entry to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.”
The app charts the progress of your boarding group throughout the day with a droid going across the screen; another screen displays which groups are currently boarding.
When your boarding group is called, you will receive a push notification. You have up to 2 hours to report to the entrance of ride. Everyone on your reservation must enter the ride together.
Once your boarding group is called and you report to the entrance, then you get into a line to board the ride.
To ride The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Beginning in mid-February, Disney World will add Smugglers Run to the FastPass+ attractions. As with other FastPass+ attractions, you can make your selections up to 30 days in advance of arrival or up to 60 days if you are staying at a Disney property. At this time, it does not require a virtual boarding pass or advanced reservations.
At the park
However you plan your day at the Galaxy’s Edge try to take time and enjoy the music composed specifically for this land from legendary composer John Williams.
While you are in your virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance or recovering from an unexpected Millennium Falcon crash check off a few other Star Wars experiences outside of Galaxy’s Edge:
Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple
Star Wars Launch Bay
Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away live stage show
MJ Wilke is the founder of Wayward Nerd. She is a road warrior. A nerd. A trekkie. A whovian. A Star Wars fanatic. She will go where no one has gone before, come back and post it here.