Disnyland – The Happiest Place on Earth a couple months back opened their newest expansion, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I had the chance to experience the work that the Walt Disney Imagineering team accomplished after 5 years of being developed, not once but twice.
I can recall entering the Disneyland gates anticipating my arrival into a galaxy far, far away. I stood at the ropes patiently at the Frontierland Entrance panicking. Within minutes the entrance to the Frontierland area of the park was overwhelmed with guests anticipating the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. The area was so crowded I could feel the breaths of others hit the back of my neck. Within moments the rope dropped what once was a crowd of people anticipating their first view of the new expansion.
When my friend saw the Disneyland cast members open up the entrance to Frontierland, she quickly grabbed my hand and we made a run for it. We ran past the Golden Horseshoe and the Sailing Ship Columbia, rushed past Adventureland and Pirates of the Carribean, quickly dodged the the group of people entering the Haunted Mansion and quickly hurried past by Splash Mountain just as the first log flume went down the final drop. Within minutes we were at the bridge by the Hungry Bear Restaurant. I remember thinking to myself, “This is it. Just to the left of this bridge is Star Wars Land.”
Me and my friend traveled under the tunnel and could hear John Williams’ score for the new themed land. You couldn’t have a Star Wars themed land without the music that is cherished millions. Hearing the new music brought a gigantic smile to my face. Rey and Chewbacca walked right past us and gave us a wave of “hello and welcome!” As we traveled further into the rebel outpost hidden in the forest we started hearing so many creatures rustling among the trees. These sounds brought the world even more to life.
Scott Trowbridge, the Supervising Imagineer for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge had this to say about the planet of Batuu, “This used to be a vibrant trading port back in the old sub-lightspeed days, but now with the advent of hyperspace, its prominence has kind of fallen and faded a little bit which has made it a great spot for those who didn’t want to be on that kind of mainstream path. The smugglers, bounty hunters, the rogue adventurers looking to crew up, the people who don’t want to be found — basically all the interesting people.”
As me and my friend traveled further into Batuu we arrived to a marketplace. Looking at the design of the marketplace you can easily tell that the imagineers got inspiration from the marketplaces found in Istanbul, Morocco, and Jerusalem. As Chris Beatty, a Walt Disney Imagineer said during an episode of Disney Plus’s Imagineering Story, “I remember standing in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. It’s incredible to actually close your eyes, stand in the middle of the bazaar, and you hear the shopkeepers yelling at each other. You can hear the call to prayer. You hear all these different people speaking different languages pass by. And you can smell the Turkish coffee. And you can smell the wet stone ‘cause it’s been raining that morning, and the stone just has a smell to it. The ground you’re walking on, those cobbles have been walked on for a thousand years. If you close your eyes, you could be in a Star Wars film, right? You could be on the planet Batuu. You could be on Black Spire Outpost.”
While exploring the marketplace of Batuu, me and my friend stopped by the Toydarian Toymaker, Black Spire Outfitters, Kata Saka’s Kettle, Creature Stall, Jewels of Bith, and Ronto Roasters. The Toydarian Toymaker is a salesperson on Black Spire Outpost who is selling handcrafted toys of very notable figures in the galaxy. Want to dress like a Jedi? Stop by Black Spire Outfitters to dress yourself for your galactic adventure. Kat Saka’s Kettle is simply a popcorn stand but what makes this stand different is their flavors. After trying their Chocolate Popcorn with Crait Red Salt, the Disney Parks Chefs out did themselves making such a wonderful menu for Galaxy’s Edge. The Creature Stall is the Star Wars equivalent of a pet store, here you can buy your very own Porg or even your own Kowakian monkey-lizard and let them join you in your very own Star Wars adventure. At Jewels of Bith, this is the equivalent of the hometown gift shop of the planet Batuu. Here you can stop by and grab some merch from Batuu before you head back to your homeworld. Ronto Roasters is a good place to eat if on a budget here they serve the Ronto Wrap and Tatooine Sunsets. A Ronto Wrap is roasted pork, grilled pork sausage, peppercorn sauce, tangy slaw, wrapped in pita. The Star Wars food shouldn’t work on paper but surprisingly is some of the best food I have ever had. A Tatooine Sunset is my personal favorite drink which is, Gold Peak unsweetened tea, Odwalla Lemoande with Melon and Blueberry. I actually bought five of them at once because I became so addicted to it.
After having lunch with my friend we left and headed to Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Before we could arrive to the line we were approached by Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and two of his First Order Stormtroopers. They were asking if we were with the Rebellion and threatened us. Before I could reply they stormed away warning me not to cross their path again.
Now, here we are the only ride that was open to the public for now. The queue line was roughly a two hour wait to ride the attraction so, me and my friend decided to go on our own ways to live our own Star Wars adventure.
After waiting for about thirty minutes, we were finally on the Millenium Falcon. The interior, every little detail was straight out of the movies. My friend and I were luckily reunited and got to be on the same flight crew as the engineers.
After waiting for other flight crews to finish their mission we finally got to board the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon and go on our own mission. The pilot’s we had weren’t the best so we ended up crashing almost every time, which made me and my friend’s job much more complicated having to fix the ship after the pilot kept damaging it. The ride itself was groundbreaking and made it feel like I was actually on the Millenium Falcon living my own Star Wars story. Millenium Falcon to me is what Star Tours should’ve been, would’ve made Star Tours so much better.
To end the day me and my friend bought some green and blue milk to finish living our Star Wars story.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a groundbreaking achievement for them parks and the most immersive way to live your Star Wars story. There’s so much left for me to explore. Rather it be me building my own R2 or BB unit, building my own lightsaber, dining at Docking Bay 7, stopping by the Cantina for a drink, or riding Rise of the Resistance. There’s so much left to explore of Batuu. Me and my friends Star Wars adventure is only beginning.