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.
This post is mostly an informative introduction to the land. If you’re visiting the Disneyland land during the reservation period, we have a touring guide to Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland.
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.
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), and an expansive collection of other immersive and interactive details.
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 in Disneyland on May 31, 2019 with a reservation period. The land will open to all guests on June 24, 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 major 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.
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 didn’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 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, but Disney has repeatedly affirmed it would be before the end of 2019 in both parks.
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.
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. 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.
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
At Droid Depot, you’ll be able to design your own droid. Droid Depot is also a store for droid related gear.
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. So far, reservations have not been taken or needed for droid building.
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.
Lightsabers cost $199.99 + tax. To visit Savi’s (as of this writing), you need to head there ASAP and get a return time. You’ll pay upfront when you get your return time. Savi’s is located between Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities and Droid Depot.
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”, you can go around using your smartphone as your “datapad” completing simple tasks and solving puzzles are different areas of the land.
This is definitely one of the aspects of the land we expect to see more fully borne out over time. You could spend an entire four hours in the land just on the Play Disney Parks app, and obviously very few people have used their time like that so far.
Star Wars Land Disneyland Opening Information
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in Disneyland on May 31, 2019. Currently, it has one ride—Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The other ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, will open sometime later in 2019.
Disneyland Star Wars Land Reservation system
From May 31 through June 23, guests wishing to access Star Wars Land will need a reservation, which can now only be obtained by booking a stay at a Disney hotel.
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:
The reservation will be limited for a four-hour window. Disney is using wristbands to track guests by entry time.
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, but Disney will have a system in place to limit the number of people in the land at any one time.
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 “Fall 2019.”
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 we’ve written for the reservation period—that is visits to the land through June 23 (Update: the post should cover June 24 and after visits beginning around June 24 or 25).
You can also visit our Disneyland Galaxy’s Edge Opening Trip Report (days 2 and 5) for our firsthand experiences in the land.
Via the OC Register, we now know that access to Galaxy’s Edge will be controlled using a “boarding pass” system beginning June 24. Guests who arrive early may head straight to the land. After the land hits capacity, guests will need to use the app or in-park kiosks to obtain a “boarding pass” that will allow them a later entry to the land.
There are still some ambiguities in how this system will work out, so we’re going to leave it at that for now. Until we know how much capacity Disney is letting into the land, we probably shouldn’t speculate about how long waits will be for things.
When to Visit Star Wars Land at Disneyland
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: Smugglers 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.
Second, if you can’t get a reservation, we’re hesitant to visit before 2020. If you can combine the visit with a holiday visit and you’re willing to just bear the crowds, then fine. But if this is a once-in-a-long-time sort of visit, you’ll be best waiting until things calm a little.
Of course, we (and many others) were very wrong about how the “soft” opening on May 31 would impact crowds. Its possible Disney nails the boarding pass system and manages to somehow keep crowds even-keeled, in which case we’ll update this recommendation.
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)
As of yet, no opening date has been indicated for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. If we were guessing, we’d say late 2019. 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
Update: Disney world has announced Extra Extra Magic Hours and expanded park hours related to Galaxy’s Edge. We are developing a comprehensive strategy in response to this update.
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 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.
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 Smugglers Run and once to experience the rest of the land.
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.
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.