Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Guide to Star Wars Land

In this post, we’re going to give you the most important information we know about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, also known as “Star Wars Land”—the new themed land coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World—including the latest information on getting a reservation to enter the Disneyland version of the land.

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Honestly, the debut of Galaxy’s Edge has been such a slow drip of information that there are millions of pieces of content on the internet about it. We’re not going to embed every video, link to every article, or include every piece of concept art 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.

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.

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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.

Where is Star Wars Land Going To Be?

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be 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.

At Disneyland, the land will be connected to the rest of the park via the pathway between Fantasyland and Frontierland that runs along Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and previously had a smoking spot.

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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 Will Star Wars Land Contain?

We’re going to go into all of this later on. For now, we’ll say Galaxy’s Edge is going to contain two rides, multiple stores and restaurants, a bar (yes, even in Disneyland), and an expansive collection of other immersive and interactive details.

Something this post can’t capture because we just don’t have all the details yet is just how “immersive and interactive” this land is supposed to be. Basically every Disney description—from rides to restaurants to shops—indicates your activity in a given spot can change how you experience the land.

What you buy, how you dress, who you talk to, what you say—and maybe even who you look at (think of Luke in the cantina in Episode IV)—all of these sorts of things are expected to be fair game for reaction from Cast and Characters. Disney is trying to let you “Live Your Adventure.”

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Of course, almost none of this has been confirmed beyond insinuation from Disney. Much of it will no doubt be developed over time, but we also expect them to have some stuff up their sleeve on opening day.

When will Star Wars Land open?

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in Disneyland on May 31, 2019. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 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

As of this writing, we’re aware of no confirmed differences (other than opening date) between Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. While we expect the layouts may vary slightly (the layouts of the different parks will probably require different sight lines, for example), no significant differences are expected. To that end, everything in the below sections applies equally to both parks.

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Star Wars Land Rides

Star Wars Land is going to have two rides—Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will be an interactive motion simulator ride where a group of six guests are put in control of the famed Millennium Falcon spaceship.

There’s no doubt the ride itself will be fantastic, but it would be lying to say the immediate experience seems groundbreaking. In all likelihood, it will be a cross between Mission: SPACE and Star Tours (albeit with the most modern motion simulation technology). You can get a sense of the cockpit in the below preview shot:

Unlike Mission: SPACE, though, your actions will have an impact on how the ride proceeds. So presumably if someone doesn’t put the shields up, you’ll get hit by more enemy fire—those sort of things. What we’re all looking most forward to is how Disney is pitching the ride experience to impact the rest of your day.

Details on this are spotty, but the thinking is that how you perform in Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will 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.

Remember, this is the ride that is opening on opening day—May 31 in Disneyland and August 29 in Walt Disney World. We’ll talk more about touring strategy (that is, getting on the ride) later.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

While Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run has a lot going for it—nostalgia, the interactive element, and opening first—it’s Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance 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:

No opening date has been set for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance yet. Rumors suggest Disney has had trouble with the technology. Trackless rides are nothing new, but they’re obviously expecting this to be an entirely new level of trackless ride.

Star Wars Land Drinking—Oga’s Cantina

Oga’s Cantina will be a 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 will serve non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, even in Disneyland (though you’ll have to stay in the bar there).

For maximum capacity and to keep guests moving, the bar is expected to be mostly standing room, and for that reason we don’t expect it to serve much food. Beverages will no doubt be geared toward the instagram age.

Like all of Galaxy’s Edge, Oga’s Cantina is expected to be an interactive space. Staff may comment on your performance at Smuggler’s 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.

Other than that, there will be entertainment, “courtesy of droid DJ R-3X, a former Starspeeder 3000 pilot,” and the design of the bar itself is sure to be stunning.

Oga’s Cantina is scheduled to open at the opening date of each respective park. Operational hours are not yet known, but it will be tricky to balance demand with not wanting to serve alcohol at 7AM. Personally, we hope Disney opens the bar early but holds off on alcohol until around 11AM.

Star Wars Land Dining

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will have two dining options—a snack stand and a quick service restaurant (which we expect to be the best at Hollywood Studios). Both are expected to open alongside the respective lands.

Milk Stand

Milk Stand is another spot certain to be geared toward the instagram crowd, where it will serve—among other beverages and snacks—the famous blue and green milk beverages from the Star Wars films. As its name and below concept image imply, this will be just a walk-up stand, similar to Pongu Pongu at Pandora—The World of Avatar.

I love that the concept image goes as far as including ropes for the line…

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo will be the main restaurant at Galaxy’s Edge. It will be 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…

Like the rest of the land, the concept art for this restaurant indicates it will be incredibly well-themed. We’d expect it to have some of the best quick service food in the resorts. Disneyland has a link to an as-of-yet empty menu.

Star Wars Land Merchandise

The Disneyland and Walt Disney World websites currently list a total of eight merchandisers in Galaxy’s Edge. This is an astounding number for a land that has two rides. By contrast, Pandora—The World of Avatar has one store and one small stand.

Honestly, the most I read about these shops, the more excited I get. If you’ve visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal, you know a lot of it comes to life through shops, and I expect the shops of Galaxy’s Edge to do the same. All the shops are expected to open concurrently with the respective lands.

Custom Merchandise at Galaxy’s Edge

Both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World websites highlight two “custom merchandise” offerings.

At Droid Depot, you’ll be able to design your own droid. You can see what looks like the building stations in the foreground of the below concept image. Color me incredibly skeptical about this. The concept sounds cool, but in practice I wonder…

How big are these droids? Do they move on the ground (and will every guests try to make their’s follow them around the packed land)? How are guests going to carry these things around otherwise? Inside the Magic has answers to some of these questions. But the bottom line—”remote-controlled mini-droid”s around the land sounds like a complete nightmare.

Savi’s Workshop is where you’ll be able to purchase your custom lightsaber. This experience is expected to be completely unlike the current “build-your-own” that goes on when you exit the Star Tours ride. This is a dedicated, “covert” shop where you’ll construct a “one-of-a-kind” lightsaber.

Other Merchandise at Galaxy’s Edge

Black Spire Outfitters will be the main apparel shop of the land. Star Wars fans love getting into character, and at Galaxy’s Edge such activity will be highly encouraged, as part of the premise is varied interactivity based on your identity.

Toydarian Toymaker sounds like the closest thing to a traditional merchandise shop in the land. “Toy” appears twice in the name, so we expect this is where you’ll find most of the merchandise geared toward children.

Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities (above) seems like it will be more geared toward adults looking for collectibles. I’m incredibly excited about this shop, and I’m not even a big Star Wars fan. So far the concept reminds me of Borgin and Burkes at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. The concept image above gives you a good sense of the variety of really cool items to expect.

Creature Stall is an interesting concept. It looks to be a small shop dedicated entirely toward stuffed and toy creatures. This seems a bit excessive—how many different creatures to they really expect kids (or adults, I know) to fall in love with?

Finally, Disney recently unveiled two more stores. Resistance Supply will be a small shop where you can stock up on—you guessed it—Resistance-themed gear. Its counterpart is First Order Cargo, where the First Order has apparently opened up a gift shop as part of their community outreach strategy. You can see some of the store—which appears to feature weaponry heavily—in the below concept image.

As a side note, these last two stores are technically only confirmed so far for Walt Disney World. While we expect them to be at both parks, its possible these are late additions that may not make the May 31 opening in Disneyland.

Star Wars Land Disneyland Opening Information

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in Disneyland on May 31, 2019. When the land opens, it will only have one operational ride—Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. The other ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, will open sometime later.

Disneyland Star Wars Land Reservation system

From May 31 through June 23, guests wishing to access Star Wars Land will need a free reservation. Details for the reservation system will be announced on the Disney Parks Blog and at Disneyland.com on May 2 at 8AM Pacific Time with the system opening for reservations at 10AM Pacific Time.

Guests who are staying at Disney hotels (Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel) from May 31 to June 23 will be able to guarantee a reservation. Guests who have already booked should have received an email with their time slot. It contains the coveted piece of information:

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The reservation will be limited for a four-hour window. It’s not clear how they’ll force you out of the land, but it does sound like they’re going to figure it out. It’s even possible they’ll just be clearing out the entire land. This would work well if they implemented some sort of virtual queue system for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, as is rumored.

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During the May 31 through June 23 time period, guests without a reservation will not be able to enter the land. There will be no “standby” queue to enter the land. After June 23, the land will become open to anyone with admission to Disneyland.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Opening Date (Disneyland)

As of yet, no opening date has been indicated for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. If we were guessing, we’d say “late Fall 2019.”

Disneyland Star Wars Land Touring Strategy (Opening Months)

Until the land is actually open to the public for a few weeks, we’re pretty limited in the conclusions we can draw. 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: Smuggler’s Run (the ride opening first) will not be part of the FASTPASS or MaxPass system at Disneyland when it first opens.

It’s safe to say that whether you’re visiting during the reservation period or after it, you’ll want to head to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run as soon as possible.

Besides that, we expect Oga’s Cantina to be the hotspot for adults. Beyond all the other hype, this will be the first place other than Club 33 to serve alcohol inside Disneyland. Unlike when on rides, guests in bars don’t funnel right in and right out. I don’t know what the capacity is, but I do think you could find that many people who would happily stand all day in the bar.

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For families, we’re thinking merchandise spots will be the go-to after the ride. Again, like bars, you don’t know how long people will spend shopping. And these won’t be ordinary shopping days. Keep in mind probably less than 10% of people buy something when exiting a ride on a normal day. What do you think it will be for a first time visit to Galaxy’s Edge? 80%? 90%? This means more transactions and longer lines.

Our lowest priority would be restaurants. While any dining spaces will be a step above anything else in other theme parks, we expect traffic to flow through these at a relatively reasonable rate.

Once June 24 hits and the land is open to the public, we expect all of these items to have long waits—including just to get into the land. I would not at all be surprised to see an hour long wait to do pretty much anything, including purchasing merchandise or even accessing a store. I’d be happy to be wrong about this.

When to Visit Star Wars Land at Disneyland

We’ll be at Disneyland for the opening date of Star Wars Land, and our Disney hotel reservation should guarantee us entry into the land. That said, we have two quick thoughts about visiting during 2019.

First, if you can get a reservation to visit the land and want to visit during May 31 through June 23, go for it. This is a chance to be among the first to experience the land, and it will be with a “limited” number of people (still expect multi-hour waits for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, though). We’re not going to waste time with any of the “early adopter” analysis here.

As of this writing, Disney’s hotels are sold out for opening date of May 31, meaning the only way of getting in on May 31 will be through the public reservation system. We haven’t check all the dates between May 31 and June 23, but booking a Disney hotel is the only way to guarantee access to the land.

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Second, if you can’t get a reservation, don’t plan to visit Disneyland until early 2020. To say that Disneyland currently has operational difficulties is a huge understatement. Nothing about the current state of the park—from its physical capacity, to ride downtimes, to traffic patterns on busy days—indicates it will be in a good position to deal with the crowds from June 24 through the end of the year.

And here’s the 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: Smuggler’s Run.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Opening Date (Disney World)

As of yet, no opening date has been indicated for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. If we were guessing, we’d say early 2020. The August 29 opening date for the land is late enough in the year that the resort will be operating near capacity through the end of the year—it’s hard to imagine Disney deciding to add a new ride to this. That said, the August 29 opening was a surprise to begin with, and Disney is still using language that suggests last 2019 is the target time.

Star Wars Land (Disney World) Touring Strategy

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.

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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.

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Similar to Disneyland, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s 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 certainly be focused on Galaxy’s Edge.

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. But we’ll be starting with the same idea as Disneyland—prioritize Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, then Oga’s Cantina (though operating hours will play into this), then stores, then restaurants.

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We expect Hollywood Studios to frequently hit capacity between August 29 and the end of the year. We also expect long waits (several hours) to access the land, along with long waits to do pretty much anything once you’re inside.

If you’re in Walt Disney World for multiple days, the best strategy will likely be to visit Galaxy’s Edge at rope drop at least twice—once to ride Smuggler’s Run and once to experience the rest of the land.

Visiting Star Wars Land in Walt Disney World

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. 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.

That said, we don’t think you should expect to get in and out of Galaxy’s Edge in a few hours having experienced everything regardless of when you arrived. That’s why we recommend either committing an entire day to the land or multiple visits at opening if you’ll be around Walt Disney World for multiple days.

If you really want to visit Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll need to strongly consider staying at a Disney hotel at Walt Disney World or another hotel with Extra Magic Hour. The land will almost certainly reach capacity during Extra Magic Hour for the first few weeks it is open.

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.

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Alternatively, you could target Pop Century, Art of Animation, or Caribbean Beach—the resorts on the Skyliner. Currently, we don’t know how the Sklyiner will handle this increased traffic, but we’ll be at Pop Century for some of our visit and will report back.

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.

Just starting out? Check out our Disneyland Planning Guide. If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars.

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.