In this post, we’re going to give you the most important information to know about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, also known as “Star Wars Land”—the new themed land open at Disneyland and coming to Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.
Honestly, the debut of Galaxy’s Edge has been such a big event that there are millions of pieces of content on the internet about it. We’re not going to embed every video or link to every post here. What we are going to do is provide you with the details you need to know in preparing for a potential visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resort.
URGENT - Select Reservations Now Available at Disney World Galaxy’s Edge
The following experiences at Galaxy's Edge in Walt Disney World are now available for booking (links take you to the pages, from which you should be able to book--the system is heavily loaded right now, and bookings are going fast):
This post is mostly an informative introduction to the land, but we have other Galaxy’s Edge content you might be interested in:
Disneyland Galaxy’s Edge Touring Strategy (tips for fitting Galaxy’s Edge into your day at Disneyland)
Late June 2019 Galaxy’s Edge Trip Report (discussing how I spent my last visit to Galaxy’s Edge)
Galaxy’s Edge Opening Trip Report Visit 1 (our first visit to Galaxy’s Edge, during the reservation period)
Galaxy’s Edge Opening Trip Report Visit 2 (our second visit to Galaxy’s Edge, during the reservation period)
Star Wars Land Basics
We’re going to start with the very basics about the new land.
What is the proper name of Star Wars Land?
The real name of the land is “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.” In general, we’re big sticklers for using the proper name of things (it’s “Cinderella Castle,” not “Cinderella’s Castle”). But here’s the thing—most people who want to learn about the land only know it as “Star Wars Land” at this point.
So to make this post as accessible as possible while also transitioning people to the proper name, we’re going to go with the “common” name of “Star Wars Land” in the headers and “Galaxy’s Edge” otherwise. These names are interchangeable for the purpose of this post.
Also, we want to add that the land is “set” in the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. This multi-level naming is similar to the names found in Animal Kingdom, where, for example, the land Pandora—The World of Avatar is set in the Valley of Mo’ara on the moon Pandora.
Where is Star Wars Land Going To Be?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a land at Disneyland park in California and Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios park in Florida. Some major media outlets continue to misreport the land as a “theme park”—setting readers up for disappointment. While this will be one of the most impressive theme park lands ever, it is not an entire theme park. As a land, your park tickets for Disneyland or Hollywood Studios are enough to get you entry.
At Disneyland, the land is in the northwest corner of the park, with three entrances—two between Frontierland and Fantasyland and one next to Hungry Bear in Critter Country.
At Walt Disney World, the land will be positioned between Toy Story Land and Grand Avenue (where Muppet Vision 3D is). It’s expected that for the first few months, the Grand Avenue gateway will operate as an entrance and the Toy Story Land gateway as an exit.
What Does Star Wars Land Contain?
We cover these spots in more detail later. For now, we’ll say Galaxy’s Edge is going to contain two rides, multiple stores, a quick service restaurant, some snack stands, a bar (yes, even in Disneyland), characters, and a lot of elements to interact with via the Play Disney app.
What About Original Trilogy Characters/Things?
This has been a point of confusion that many of us writing about theme parks didn’t expect. The land is “set” between The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker. So if you’re wondering “why can’t I meet Luke?” it’s because Luke is dead.
Lots of people have asked why Disney didn’t go with an established place, like Tatooine. First, as smart people have pointed out, Tatooine would be an awful place to spend a day. Second, creating their own location allows Disney to craft their own story in the place, rather than be constrained by decades of canon/semi-canon.
Theme parks, particularly modern theme parks, are pieces of art meant to tell a story. You wouldn’t pick a piece of Star Wars fan fiction set between The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker and ask “Why didn’t you make this set on Tatooine? And why don’t you have Darth Maul pop into the cantina?”
When will Star Wars Land open?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened to all guests on June 24, 2019. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World on August 29, 2019. We will cover more details on opening at each resort below! For now, we’re going to get more into the exact contents of the land.
Star Wars Land — Disneyland vs. Walt Disney World
While there are small differences between the two lands, for the purposes of planning a visit they don’t really vary. There are changes in coloring, for example, and a few structures have been rearranged. The basic layout of the land, most of the merchandise, and the major contents (stores, rides, restaurants) are the same.
Maybe the most significant difference between the two lands is that because Hollywood Studios allows consumption of alcohol throughout the park, alcoholic beverages are available at some snack stands and in the quick service restaurant. In Disneyland, alcohol can only be consumed inside Oga’s Cantina.
We’ve only spent a few hours inside the Hollywood Studios version of the land, so operations for the land my change. One thing we want to note is that while Disneyland as a whole has a decent number of “roaming” characters, this feature is more rare at Walt Disney World, so guests aren’t as familiar with it.
At the passholder previews in Hollywood Studios, we could already see guests trying to line up for photos with characters, which isn’t supposed to be a thing. Rather, if you want a photo, you’re supposed to approach them while they’re roaming and quickly and candidly grab a shot.
Star Wars Land Rides
Star Wars Land has one ride and launch, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, with another coming later in 2019—Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is an interactive motion simulator ride where a group of six guests are put in control of the famed Millennium Falcon spaceship.
The team of six is broken into two pilots (who steer laterally and vertically), two gunners (who hit buttons to fire guns), and two engineers (who hit buttons to repair the ship). The visuals on the ride are beautiful, but you might find yourself a bit too distracted by your job to really appreciate them.
Some people say pilot is the best job. It’s the most challenging, has the best view, and is entirely forward facing. Honestly, we don’t mind being engineers (we’ve also been pilots), as you have a good view of all the action and your job is really easy.
What we’re looking most forward to—and what we haven’t experienced yet—is how Disney is pitching the ride experience to impact the rest of your day.
Details on this are spotty (even as the land has already opened in Disneyland), but the thinking is that how you perform in Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will eventually impact how other elements of the land—like Cast Members and Characters—interact with you. So someone whose team fails the mission might get cheeky commentary from a bartender. Or a team of skilled smugglers might have an unpleasant run-in with law enforcement.
This is the ride that is opening on opening day—May 31 in Disneyland and August 29 in Walt Disney World.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
While Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run has a lot going for it—nostalgia, the interactive element, and opening first—it’s the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride that is anticipated to be the gem of the land.
Honestly, what little we know about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance indicates it will be stunning in terms of size and depth. At its heart, this is a trackless dark ride. If I wanted to really undersell what we’re expecting, I’d say it sounds like a trackless version of DINOSAUR or Indiana Jones Adventure. The size really is captured in some of the existing concept art:
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open on December 5 in Walt Disney World and January 17 in Disneyland.
Star Wars Land Characters
Galaxy’s Edge has a few characters in the land (based on our experiences at Disneyland). Before we get into them specifically, here’s a map from Disneyland where the red circle (on the right side) is the First Order-controlled area and the blue path (left side) is the Resistance area.
In Walt Disney World we saw mostly the same routes, but the Resistance characters seemed to go all the way through the market (the covered portion right at the end of the blue line), as well.
Here’s the characters and where you’ll find them:
Rey (Resistance area, intermittently)
Chewbacca (Resistance area, intermittently)
Kylo Ren (First Order area, intermittently)
First Order Guy (I don’t know his actual rank) (First Order area, intermittently)
Stormtroopers (First Order area, pretty much always)
Vi Moradi (First Order area, intermittently, usually sneaking around carefully)
Rey and Chewbacca are based in the Resistance-controlled area and spend most of their time near the ships over there. They’re usually available for candid photos when they’re out.
The Stormtroopers roam both paths between First Order Cargo and the Market. Sometimes they’ll stop for photos, but you’ll usually plan to just catch a candid moment with them.
Kylo Ren and First Order Guy appear for a show at the TIE Echelon (outside First Order Cargo) every few hours, where Kylo Ren berates him for not capturing the spy (presumably Vi Moradi). First Order Guy then hangs out in that courtyard, while Kylo Ren and two Stormtroopers make their way to the area by Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop.
Vi Moradi is a Resistance spy, so she sneaks around the First Order-controlled area all day. She doesn’t usually stop for posed pictures, but she moves slowly and chats with people, giving you plenty of opportunity for a candid shot.
Star Wars Land Drinking—Oga’s Cantina
Oga’s Cantina is the bar at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Disney describes it as “the local cantina, where bounty hunters, smugglers, rogue traders, and weary travelers of all ages come together to refuel, enjoy music, and conduct meetings.” It serves non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, even in Disneyland (though you can only drink inside the cantina there).
Oga’s has proven to be the most popular element of the land in its Disneyland debut. Entertainment is provided by DJ R-3X, a droid similar to (or identical, I don’t really know the story here) the RX-24 that piloted the original Star Tours attraction.
The drinks are pretty standard Disney cocktail fare—instagrammable and not very strong.
Hello, Rachel! At this time, Guests will be required to stay in Oga's Cantina while enjoying alcoholic beverages.— Disneyland AP (@DisneylandAP) February 19, 2019
Like all of Galaxy’s Edge, Oga’s Cantina is expected to be an interactive space, an element that hasn’t been fully borne out in the early days of the land. Staff may comment on your performance at Smugglers Run, or bounty hunters may come looking for you (like in the below concept shot). How well Disney executes on this concept remains to be seen, but we’re excited to see it play out.
Star Wars Land Dining
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has four dining options—three snack stands and a quick service restaurant.
Ronto Roasters specializes in a roasted pork and sausage wrap. The real highlight of this spot, though, is just the area around the stand itself. There’s a gigantic roaster—about as big as the counter itself—operated by a droid.
Ronto Roasters is at one end of the market. The roaster is difficult to miss in the land. We highly recommend taking a quick minute to enjoy the droid operating the roaster. The entire area is beautifully detailed.
Kat Saka’s Kettle
Kat Saka’s Kettle is a snack stand selling a popcorn snack (including collectible bucket). It is located in the market area of the land just next to Ronto Roasters.
Milk Stand serves blue and green milk, including alcoholic options in Hollywood Studios. These are blended coconut milk concoctions. Milk Stand is across from First Order Cargo. We don’t think the milks are worth their price tag, but we also think it’s probably worth your group at least getting one to try.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is the main restaurant at Galaxy’s Edge. It is quick service style (order at a register, grab food, find a seat), though the Disney World website currently indicates it will not be participating in the Disney Dining Plans, which almost certainly means lines will most incredibly slow as confused guests who have waited an hour start arguing with Cast Members…but I digress…
One highlight was/is these cool sporks. Because so many were stolen in the opening days, it’s not clear whether these will continue to be a feature of the restaurant. [Update: As far as I can tell, the sporks are gone and never returning.]
We were very happy with the vegetarian options (admittedly we slightly prefer Satuli Canteen). You can view the menu here.
Star Wars Land Merchandise
There are a total of nine merchandisers in Galaxy’s Edge. There is also Galaxy’s Edge merchandise available outside the land.
Merchandise Outside Galaxy’s Edge
While there is some overlap, most Star Wars merchandise at Disney parks—including Galaxy’s Edge merchandise—can be broken into two categories. “In-universe items” that would make sense for someone living on Batuu to buy/sell are found inside of Galaxy’s Edge.
“Branded” items that scream “Star Wars” or “Galaxy’s Edge” that don’t fit thematically inside the land (like the above shirts) can be found in other stores in the parks, outside Galaxy’s Edge (particularly in launch bay and Tomorrowland).
Custom Merchandise at Galaxy’s Edge [Reservations Recommended]
At Droid Depot, you’ll be able to design your own droid. Droid Depot is also a store for droid related gear. Reservations are recommended, though Droid Depot has the best availability of the reservable activities in Galaxy’s Edge.
I was skeptical about how this would work coming into the land, and I was mostly right. My chief concern was that it wouldn’t be feasible to have these things rolling around on the ground, and in fact Disney prohibited this.
While they don’t seem to mind it for short times in controlled setting (Chewbacca hosted a droid race one night, for example) you’ll be carrying your (or your kid’s) droid most of the time it’s with you. Droids cost $99.99 + tax.
Even if you’re not building your own droid, Droid Depot is worth a visit for its other merchandise. Droid Depot is located on the south end of the land, near the eastern corner, next to Savi’s Workshop.
Savi’s Workshop is the custom lightsaber experience. Unlike Droid Depot, where you basically assemble your custom droid on an assembly line, Savi’s is more of an experience and is in fact referred to as a “ceremony.” Here’s the Disney Tourist Blog review of the experience.
Merchandise at Galaxy’s Edge - The Market
The Market (or “marketplace”) is a semi-covered market in Galaxy’s Edge. It is reminiscent of markets of the Middle East and North Africa. The four shops in the Market are all small stalls with varying amount of walk-in space.
Black Spire Outfitters mostly sells robes and local-style clothes. When we previously wrote about it we highlighted that getting into character was expected to be a part of the land.
Of course, not much has been made about Disney enforcing their costume policy in the land. There’s really no sensible consistency to the rules, but they seem to be costumes and robes aren’t okay, everything else is okay.
Toydarian Toymaker sells toys and small novelty items. It might actually be our favorite store in the Market, as it offers some cool things like a music box, sabacc deck, and puzzle cube.
Creature Stall sells stuffed and toy creatures.
Jewels of Bith focuses on “Black Spire Outpost” merchandise, including pins.
Merchandise at Galaxy’s Edge - Outside The Market
Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities is where you’ll find “dark side” and “light side” or Sith / Jedi collectibles. There are things like Kyber Crystals, busts of important people (e.g. Luke, Yoda, Palpatine, Darth Maul), small statues, and similar items. They also sell lightsaber parts.
Resistance Supply is an outdoor merchandise stand at the Resistance (west) end of the land. You’ll find clothes, water bottles, and other gear branded with Resistance insignia.
First Order Cargo is the First Order counterpart to Resistance Supply. Located on the east end of the land just next to Kylo Ren’s TIE Echelon, this is where you’ll find clothes and merchandise branded with First Order insignia.
The idea is that if you purchase Resistance Gear or First Order gear, cast and characters may treat you differently. When Emily walked into First Order Cargo with her Resistance jacket, the cast members said things along the lines of “you’re brave” “we don’t know you” and “you better watch out.” And when people saw us in our opposing First Order and Resistance outfits, they asked how we made it work.
It’s fun, but I think it highlights a challenge of the land in Disney’s friendly space. Personally, I’d like a land where a Stormtrooper actually kicks you out of First Order Cargo for wearing a Resistance jacket, but it seems unlikely I’ll get that.
Star Wars Land and Play Disney Parks App
Crucial to the interactivity of the land is the Play Disney Parks app. Assuming the role of Resistance fighter, First Order supporter, or “scoundrel” (or all three), you can go around using your smartphone as your “datapad” completing simple tasks and solving puzzles are different areas of the land.
I spent a significant chunk of my late-June visit on the app, and you can read more about it over in the trip report from that visit. For now, it suffices to say that there are four ways to use the app to interact with the land:
Hack - solve a puzzle on your phone to elicit a response from elements in the land (e.g. the TIE echelon will power up, a droid will make noise)
Scan - scan QR codes (with the app) to “collect” items from crates scattered throughout the land
Tune - solve a puzzle to reveal a transcript of a conversation held over antennas in the park (great for learning about the backstory of the land)
Translate - type in words in the local language to see their english equivalents
Besides those four tools, you can take on jobs that require you to use the four tools to earn credits and build allegiance to the side of your choice.
Star Wars Land Disneyland Opening Information
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in Disneyland to all guests on June 24, 2019. Currently, it has one ride—Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The other ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, will open early next year.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Opening Date (Disneyland)
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open on January 17, 2020 in Disneyland.
Disneyland Star Wars Land Touring Strategy (Opening Months)
Let’s start by saying that currently there are no plans for Galaxy’s Edge to be accessible during Extra Magic Hour or Magic Morning at Disneyland. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (the ride opening first) will not be part of the FASTPASS or MaxPass system at Disneyland for a while.
We have a Disneyland Galaxy’s Edge touring strategy that covers how to visit Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland. You can also visit the following trip report posts to read more about time in the land:
When to Visit Star Wars Land at Disneyland
The opening of Galaxy’s Edge on June 24 was surprisingly slow. Until Rise of the Resistance opens in early 2020, we expect this trend to continue, with a traditional holiday bump. As for that opening, we’d probably avoid the opening days because there’s no way to know what to expect. Rather, we favor a holiday visit to the resort when yes, crowds will be high, but at least you’ll have the payoff of a holiday visit.
Otherwise, early 2020—late-January and February—is a time to consider. January 17 will bring a surge of Rise of the Resistance guests, but (holiday weekends excepted), these cooler post-holiday months tend to be a good time to visit. That said, Disney has shown to expect the unexpected when it comes to crowds at Disneyland recently.
One last thing, starting August 29, you have a fine alternative—visiting Walt Disney World, which is why we’ll move onto that next.
Star Wars Land Disney World Opening Information
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in Walt Disney World on August 29, 2019. When the land opens, it will only have one operational ride—Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Opening Date (Disney World)
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open December 5, 2019 at Disney World.
Star Wars Land (Disney World) Touring Strategy
We have a post dedicated specifically to Walt Disney World visits from August 29 through November 2. If you are visiting Galaxy’s Edge during this time, we recommend reading that post.
From a touring perspective, the Walt Disney World opening of Galaxy’s Edge will be very different from the Disneyland opening. First, Walt Disney World will not use a reservation system for accessing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This means anyone who gets into Hollywood Studios can theoretically enter the land.
Second, Galaxy’s Edge will be included in Extra Magic Hours—a perk of staying at Disney hotels where guests are allowed to access the park earlier than other guests.
Third, related to the above two points—staying at a Disney hotel at Disney World will not guarantee admission to the land at Hollywood Studios. Extra Magic Hour means you have an advantage over the general public, but no guarantee.
Similar to Disneyland, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will not be a part of Disney World’s FastPass+ system when it launches. Our Hollywood Studios FastPass+ strategy has been updated to emphasize the importance of getting a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash, as your Hollywood Studios rope drop strategy will likely be focused on Galaxy’s Edge.
Finally, Walt Disney World began taking reservations for Oga’s Cantina, Savi’s Workshop, and Droid Depot in advance of the land opening (it took Disneyland a week to arrive at that approach). This means that Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will be the only big-ticket item people are lining up for (the stores and restaurants may still have smaller lines, too).
We’ll be at the opening of Galaxy’s Edge in Walt Disney World and have a reservation at a hotel from which we can walk to the land opening day. Personally, we’ll probably try to arrive between 3AM and 4AM, though we’ll be following the situation closely on social media to see if we have to go earlier.
As we’ll be around Walt Disney World for about a week after the land opens, we hope to have semi-useful strategies for experiencing the land by then.
When to Visit Star Wars Land at Walt Disney World
The only time we’d really advise you to stay away from Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World is the first week the land is open and the first few days Rise of the Resistance is open (around December 5).
We expect this to be a challenging week for the operations staff of the park and for things to be a bit chaotic. Challenges will remain once they settle in, but we think after the first week they’ll at least have sorted through the worst problems.
With crowds unexpectedly low at the Disneyland opening of Galaxy’s Edge, many people are wondering whether to expect the same at Walt Disney World. All anyone can say at this point is that no one knows. That said, there’s still no good reason to target the first week, as it includes a holiday (Labor Day) and there’s no reason to be a “test subject” for any new procedures in the early days of the land.
If crowds are low week one, they’ll be low into the holiday season. Very few families can or will plan a short-notice trip to Walt Disney World, so it’s unlikely low crowds would quickly bounce back.
Where to Stay to Visit Star Wars Land (Disney World)
If you’re visiting Walt Disney World primarily for Galaxy’s Edge, there are two sets of hotels you’ll want to consider. First, Yacht Club, Beach Club, BoardWalk Inn, and Swan & Dolphin all are within walking distance of Hollywood Studios. The walk is not short—about 20 minutes—but you’re guaranteed a hassle free arrival at Hollywood Studios.
Walt Disney World’s Star Wars Hotel
Disney World has also announced a Star Wars Hotel to be built outside Hollywood Studios in the coming years. While a lot of the concept of this has been discussed—particularly that it will bring the immersion of the land into the hotel—very few details are known about this project. For now, if you want to read more about this, we suggest using Google and keeping in mind pretty much everything is either rumor or early concept at this stage.
All Your Other Disneyland Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disneyland planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way.
When it comes to hotels, we’ve got reviews of all three Disney hotels: Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. As for tickets, check out where to find discount Disneyland tickets.
Know what to ride with our: Disneyland Rides Guide and Disney California Adventure Rides Guide. And just as important, know how to get on the best rides without the wait with our Disneyland and Disney California Adventure FASTPASS and MaxPass Strategy! For the complete guides to a day at the park, we have a One Day Disneyland Itinerary and a One Day Disney California Adventure Itinerary.
We always recommend arriving at the parks early. If you can get access to Extra Magic Hour at Disney California Adventure or Extra Magic Hour and Magic Morning at Disneyland, you’ll have the most time in the parks. Even without those bonus hours, you’ll need to know Rope Drop Strategy at Disneyland and Rope Drop Strategy at Disney California Adventure.
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way.
Just starting out? Check out our Walt Disney World planning guide! If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
When it comes time to book, we've got you covered with posts on how to book cheap flights, how to get the best deal on your Disney hotel, and where to find discount Disney World tickets. And of course everyone wants to know whether or not they should get a dining plan—check out our Complete Guide to Disney World Dining Plans!
Don't forget to master your Disney World FastPass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks! We've got park-specific guides as well: Magic Kingdom FastPass, Epcot FastPass, Animal Kingdom FastPass, and Hollywood Studios FastPass.
Know what to ride with our guides to: Magic Kingdom rides, Hollywood Studios rides, Epcot rides, and Animal Kingdom rides! Plus learn about the water parks with our guide to Blizzard Beach and our guide to Typhoon Lagoon!
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.