Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney World’s newest land, is the hottest spot in all four parks, and the kind of thing I grew up fantasizing about. Seriously – I was giddy when it was announced. With two rides, a themed bar, a quick service restaurant, shops, and a huge Millennium Falcon replica, it’s somewhere anyone who even casually likes the movies will want to visit. Galaxy’s Edge is located in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios (there is a very similar copy at Disneyland, but I haven’t been to that one yet, sorry!) and can be visited with regular park admission. This guide will help you make the most of your visit.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge rides
Rise of the Resistance
The newest ride debuted a few months after the rest of the land, but boy was it worth the wait. Disney’s most ambitious ride to date, it takes you from Batuu into the heart of a First Order ship. I won’t get too spoilery with it in case you want to be surprised by the experience, but interacting with the First Order crew was a blast. The whole thing lasts around fifteen minutes overall and mixes simulators, trackless vehicles, and more. We liked it so much that we scrapped our plans to rope drop Animal Kingdom the next day and instead set another 5:20 am alarm to get to Hollywood Studios in time to get a boarding group again.
Because of its popularity, Rise of the Resistance can only be ridden as part of a boarding group that’s assigned at park open. It’s not even included on VIP tours at this point. In order to get a boarding group, you pretty much have to be in the park the second it opens and use the My Disney Experience app to make a group (just like you would for FastPasses, except that everyone you select must have entered the park at that point). The faster you are, the lower your group number will be. If you don’t get a guaranteed group, you may be able to get a backup boarding group, which may or may not be called if there are downtimes during the day. I have a whole post with my tips for how to get the lowest number boarding group for Rise of the Resistance – I got #28 the first time and #2 the second, so I know what I’m talking about.
When your group gets called you’ll have a 1-2 hour window to return to the ride. Lower numbers only get 1 hour to return, but higher numbers that are called later in the day should still get 2 hours. Try to be as fast as you can as lower groups also tend to experience shorter wait times when they’re called to the ride than ones later in the day do and it also increases the likelihood that you’ll make it on the ride. Most days, word is that everyone actively trying to make boarding groups at park open will get on the ride, but if you show up even fifteen minutes late you’ll probably be out of luck. It sounds crazy and it actually kept us from even trying on our Christmas trip when the park was opening at 6 am, but it will prevent you from standing in line for hours to ride it.
The good news is that (at least in our case) Disney CMs were flexible for reservations. When there was a 2-hour window for everyone, this would’ve been less of an issue, but we had the worst possible timing for our boarding group the first time we did it. We had Slinky Dog FastPasses for 8:45-9:45 and an Oga’s Cantina reservation for 9:30. We had boarding group 28 that day and as luck would have it, we got called at 8:55 while we were waiting to board Slinky Dog. We hustled over to Rise of the Resistance as soon as we got off and asked what we should do – we didn’t want to miss Oga’s (for the experience and because it would’ve been a $20 fee if we no-showed the reservation) and the CM at the ride said to go ahead and get in line and let the Cantina seaters know why we were a bit late if we didn’t make it in time. We did end up being about 15 minutes late for Oga’s, but the CM checking us in there didn’t even need an excuse. I mean, we told him anyway because we were fresh off the ride and super excited about it, but it didn’t matter to him.
Note: Boarding Group procedures are constantly changing, so check the Disney website right before your trip to make sure you’re aware of any tweaks they make.
This interactive ride is the stuff of my childhood dreams. You get to step right inside the Millennium Falcon and take it on a mission of your own. You’re recruited to retrieve some cargo and can take on one of three different roles – pilot, gunner, or engineer. Unlike other simulator rides at Disney like Mission: Space where it doesn’t really matter if you hit the buttons, your actions control your flight and your score. Depending on your video game skills, this may be good or bad.
I’ve been a pilot twice and a gunner once. I have no desire to be an engineer. Though the ride is enjoyable, I think I was more excited about walking down the corridor into the Falcon and milling around inside while waiting for my group to be called. When you’re counted off into sixes, you’re handed a color coded card and then have a couple minutes to take photos inside the Falcon, which is great because otherwise everyone would be holding up the line doing it anyway. The two times we rode at rope drop and were in the first set of briefings, we had almost no time in the room, but when we rode at the end of the day, we had 3-4 minutes to take things in.
The pilots definitely have the best spot on the ride as they’re seated at the front of the cockpit and have the most control over the outcome of the game. One pilot handles the vertical steering and the other handles the side to side movements. The right pilot is also the one who punches it into lightspeed, which is really cool. You’re definitely going to hit some stuff along the way (which will be deducted from your score/cut at the end), but don’t sweat it too much and listen for instructions along the way.
Gunners are seated behind the pilots and are responsible for protecting the ship by shooting at Tie Fighters and hitting the train carrying the cargo. The buttons are on the side wall instead of in front of you, so I found it hard to focus on the cockpit screen to see while reaching for the buttons. We also had two really bad pilots (seriously, the one wasn’t even attempting to do anything – she just sat there with her hands on the joystick staring straight at the screen while her husband reached over and hit buttons when he could) so our score was pretty bad and because they kept running us into everything I got jostled into the side wall and hit my elbow.
The engineers are seated at the back and only have a couple things to do at two specific points where you’re trying to reel in the cargo. It’s kind of hard to see from back there and would definitely be a disappointing ride experience.
Smuggler’s Run began offering FastPasses starting for visits on February 19th, and it’s in the top FastPass tier along with Slinky Dog Dash and Minnie and Mickey’s Runaway Railroad (opening in March). It also offers a single rider line, which may cut your wait down, though you’re very likely to end up as an engineer from that line.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge food and drink
This lively bar has strong shades of the cantina from A New Hope (that’s the original Star Wars movie for those of you who are just casual fans). Reservations are required, and while there are a few booths, it’s mostly standing room only. You’re also limited to 45 minutes in the bar. I’ll be honest – I didn’t like it on my first visit. We were crammed around a narrow table with a bunch of other groups and the bartender serving us looked at one lady like she was a criminal for asking to hang onto a menu (I suspect this is partially because people were stealing anything not bolted down the first few weeks that Galaxy’s Edge was open). I liked our second visit better because we had a bigger group with my family and it was the day after we got engaged so it felt like a mini Star Wars themed engagement party. It wasn’t until my third visit that I really enjoyed myself – my friend and I got to stand at the main bar instead of off to the side and I felt like we had so much more space and a more “real” experience.
Overall, the atmosphere is fun, but I’d really like to be able to sit down after being on my feet all day at a theme park. I also enjoyed myself a whole lot more when we got a spot at the main bar instead of one of the narrow standing tables because the bartenders are a lot of fun and we had much more attentive service from them than we did elsewhere, but you don’t really have much control over this. It did seem like smaller groups like 2s and 3s were being used to fill spots at the bar, so booking with a smaller party might help you in that respect, but it’s still just chance.
There are a few snack-y food offerings, but it’s mostly about the drinks, with a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic themed beverages on the menu. One of my favorite moments was when a Storm Trooper wandered in and announced that he was looking for a pilot during one of my three visits. The bartenders started booing him and we all joined in until he backed out the door.
Oga’s Cantina drinks
After three visits with friends and family, I’ve sampled at least half of the menu items. My favorite beverage so far has been the Carbon Freeze, which is a non-alcoholic blend of juices and boba beads, served frothing with dry ice at the bottom. Not only do I love the flavor, you just can’t beat that presentation. Standing at the bar drinking that was the most immersed in the Star Wars environment that I’ve felt so far in the land. It was even better because the menu mentioned the boba beads, but we had no idea it would come out bubbling like a mad scientist’s experiment.
On the alcoholic side of the menu, the Bespin Fizz is served with a similar style, though it lacks the boba beads and looks slightly less cool in my opinion. This one is odd because I like each of the individual ingredients listed on the menu, but just didn’t love the flavor combination.
My favorite of the boozy drinks I’ve had is the Jedi Mind Trick, with vodka, blue curacao, grape juice, and more. It was slightly more citrus-y than I prefer, but it was a tasty treat and perfect for toasting with the family.
I also tried the Hyperdrive (Punch it!), another mocktail. I really liked the flavor, but it was like 90% crushed ice which really detracted from it. It felt like I was trying to sip a slightly melty snocone and I was getting more ice than drink. I’d order it again and ask to go light on the ice or maybe whip out the silicone straws I got at the 2020 Festival of the Arts.
Food offerings at Oga’s
For breakfast, you can get a pretty expensive charcuterie board or a Mustafarian cinnamon roll. We opted for the cinnamon roll on my first visit and felt pretty meh about it. It’s pretty dry and not very sweet, so kind of the opposite of everything I generally like about cinnamon rolls. My fiancé finished it off for us, though I guess at that time he was still carrying the ring around in his pocket. The same cinnamon roll is served for breakfast at Docking Bay 7 if you want to try it but couldn’t get an Oga’s reservation.
On another visit, I also tried the Rodian Ration (you can also get a non-alcoholic version called Oga’s Obsession), which is sort of a petri dish full of liquor-y jello with boba beads and pop rocks. It was weird, but tasty and very unique. It’s definitely worth a try if you don’t mind the very different mouth feel with the pop rocks crackling and boba beads popping.
Docking Bay 7
This is the main counter service restaurant in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and it does not disappoint. You’ll definitely want to mobile order your food as the line to place orders at the counter was pretty long. It’s an excellent use of Dining Plan credits too as the adult entrees are pricier than ones you’ll find in other quick service spots.
This is probably my favorite park breakfast, though it is a little on the light side. I got the youngling version of the Bright Suns Breakfast. It comes with an egg and cheese bite, a pile of purple potato hash, and quite a bit of fruit. I loved the potatoes and eggs, though I wish it hadn’t been served partially on top of the cold fruit because that cooled it off really quickly.
Lunch and dinner have more variety on the menu. We loved the Endorian Tip Yip, which is a rectangular chunk of lightly breaded chicken. You can get it with macaroni and cheese and veggies or mashed potatoes with veggies mixed in. I preferred the mashed potatoes with it, though I felt like we got a lot more food when we ordered it with the mac and cheese because of the extra side of broccoli that came with it. I also tried the Batuuan Beef Pot Roast, which was surprisingly tasty and tender and came with pasta and veggies as its side.
My fiancé and I also tried the Takodana Quencher drink. Neither one of us would’ve ordered it if we hadn’t been using dining plan credits that included alcoholic beverages. It tasted ok, but had no hint of booze in it (and not in the super sugary mixed drink to hide the alcohol way I like) so it felt really weak even by Disney drink standards.
As it’s really the one iconic food or drink item from Star Wars, it’s no surprise that blue milk makes an appearance in the land. You can also order it at Oga’s Cantina (where it comes with a tasty cookie I actually liked better than the milk itself). It’s blue (duh), thick, and has a slight fruity flavor. I’m glad I got to sample my fiancé’s glass of it, but don’t think I’ll be ordering it myself. You can also order green milk, which is similar in consistency, but citrus flavored. The Milk Stand also offers both flavors with boozy additions, which honestly doesn’t sound all that appealing to me. Mobile ordering is available at the Milk Stand though I honestly haven’t seen the lines too bad, even at Christmas.
This outdoor food stand serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at what I’d call heavy-snack level. You won’t get full combo meals here, but the portions are enough to serve as a light meal or hold you over for a couple hours. The main offerings are gyro-style wraps with marinated meats and sausages, and some special turkey jerky. For breakfast, you can also get a morning wrap that includes eggs or overnight oats. Mobile ordering is available at this location, and I’d recommend using it as there were long lines at certain times of the day.
Kat Saka’s Kettle
This is a straightforward popcorn stand that serves a sweet-spicy mix of popcorn. It also has the orb bottle Coke products.
Those special pop bottles
Called Bottled Orb Soda, these were an immediate hit when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened, but they’re ultimately just uniquely shaped bottles of the same pop you can get anywhere in the parks. They do look pretty cool and I was tempted to buy one but I figured I’d just end up recycling it anyway. Despite the rumors you may have heard, the TSA won’t have you arrested for flying with one, though it will have to be empty if you have it in a carry-on.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge shopping
The shopping in Galaxy’s Edge isn’t exactly what you might expect. A bunch of Star Wars t-shirts would break theming, so if you want those you’ll have to head to Star Tours or one of the other gift shops. Instead, you’ll find limited souvenirs from Black Spire Outpost (the made up city on Batuu) and other items that would ostensibly be sold on the planet. At one store, there were some simple dolls and old-fashioned toys made to look like famous characters, which I thought was a cute touch. Another had a bunch of kitchen items, and it was unbelievably tempting to come home with the giant mixing bowl that looks like R2-D2’s head (Does R2 actually have a head? Dome? Whatever. You get what I mean.)
Building a custom lightsaber is something that has long been offered at Hollywood Studios, but Savi’s Workshop takes it to a new level and adds in a bit of show. Reservations are required for this, and there is still typically a line even at your time slot. You get to create every aspect of your lightsaber, and while I opted not to spend the money ($199.99 plus tax) to do it, the ones I saw other guests carrying around looked incredible. If you’re flying to Disney World, you may want to check with your airline to see if you’ll be able to carry it on before you do it. Each builder can bring one guest with them to enjoy the experience.
Another reservation-only spot allows you to build your own custom droid. You can make an R series or BB series droid (think R2-D2 and BB-8. Once you make your choice, you’ll get a selection of parts in a variety of colors and a blueprint for construction. As with Savi’s Workshop, each builder may bring one guest in to enjoy the experience. Droid Depot also comes in at a slightly more affordable $99.99 plus tax.
Photo spots in Galaxy’s Edge
There are plenty of areas around the land that lend themselves to photographs, but you’ll reliably find PhotoPass photographers at a couple of spots near the Millennium Falcon. The better of the two is at ground level in front of, but slightly off to the side of the ship, under the archway across the sidewalk. You get a much better view of the Falcon here, and the photographer in this location tends to do the porg magic shot, though it feels a lot more crowded and you’ll have tons of people behind you in the photos. Make sure you ask for it if you want the magic shot, as it was never offered in the three times I’ve had pictures taken in this spot.
The other PhotoPass spot is up the stairs toward Docking Bay 7. There’s a sort of balcony here that overlooks the Millennium Falcon and the area is quieter and blocked from the crowds so you’ll have a cleaner background for your photos. There is, however a pole in an annoying spot and you’re looking at the side of the Falcon rather than the front.
Aside from the big one at the Falcon, you’ll find plenty of other cool spots for photos as you explore. You’ll find some ships and droids scattered around if you do some exploring.
What Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge doesn’t do well
So as much as I love the new land, it’s far from perfect. There are a couple of things that keep me just really liking it instead of being deliriously in love with it.
I still think making up Batuu out of the blue instead of transporting guests to one of the iconic spots from the movies was a miss. When I go to Universal and walk into Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, it’s incredible because those are places I have a strong emotional connection to and dreamed about setting foot in when I was reading the books and watching the movies. I just don’t feel that way about Batuu, whereas you could’ve set the land in any one of a dozen places from the movies and I would’ve been ecstatic.
It would be so much cooler if they allowed adults to dress up in the area. Disney parks policy is no costumes on adults outside of the Halloween party, but in this deeply themed immersive area it would be awesome if that rule could be relaxed. Again, going back to Universal’s Harry Potter areas, it’s so fun to walk around and see so many people wearing robes and having fun posing for photos. How much more fun would Galaxy’s Edge be if you could walk around in Jedi robes (they’d probably sell more of them too if you could actually wear them). In all the times I’ve been to the Harry Potter areas, I’ve never once mistaken a guest in a costume for a character, so preventing confusion seems like a pretty flimsy reason not to allow it, even if it was only in this one area of the park.
Practical information for visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
- This is the newest area of the Walt Disney World parks, so expect it to be crowded. There isn’t much you can do to avoid that, especially if you’re planning a visit during a busier time. We did find that even during the packed Christmas holidays, lines died down for Smuggler’s Run a lot toward closing and we had a more enjoyable time exploring the land with fewer people around.
- If you plan to rope drop Galaxy’s Edge (ideal if you couldn’t snag a FastPass for Smuggler’s Run), head to the left after you make it down Hollywood Boulevard. There will be digital signs pointing you toward the theater that hosts the Frozen singalong. This is where you’ll be held while you wait for the park to open – don’t try to cut through Toy Story Land as CMs will prevent you from entering Galaxy’s Edge from that walkway early in the morning (this will open up once the initial rope drop craziness fades).
- Use mobile ordering to save time. This is one of my favorite time-saving tricks at Disney. Unless you need to pay cash or don’t have a smartphone, there’s no reason to wait in long food lines at the parks. Note that at Docking Bay 7, there is a CM guarding the entrance and requiring that you wait outside until your order is called, so be prepared for that. While some of the restaurants mark your order ready almost immediately after you tell the app you’re ready, Docking Bay 7 has had us wait around 5 minutes on each of our visits (which is still less than we would’ve waited in line), so I’d mark yourself ready a few minutes earlier than normal.
- Kids are welcome to wear costumes, but sadly no one over age 14 is allowed to dress up. You can however, do a Disney Bound style character homage. The Her Universe line, which I mostly get at Hot Topic, has several options like the Han Solo inspired skirt I wore for my first visit.
- Use the Play Disney app for extra interactions in the land. This separate app (not part of My Disney Experience) allows you to play interactive games in several ride queues in the four Disney World parks, but it goes to an extra level in Galaxy’s Edge. You can take on roles like a resistance sympathizer and play games in different areas. I went through a whole one in the queue for Smuggler’s Run the first time I waited and while it was something to pass the time, I felt like it was better suited for kids. I was supposed to be helping Finn on a mission and ended up rolling my eyes at how completely useless he was in the game.
- If you want a shot at Smuggler’s Run FastPasses, you’ll need to try booking at exactly 7 am on the first day you can. That’s 60 days from check-in if you’re staying on property or 30 days from the day of your visit if you’re not. To be honest though, you’re extremely unlikely to get one in your initial booking run if you’re not on property, though repeatedly checking the app in the weeks before your trip can lead to good results. If you’re staying at a Disney hotel, you can book your whole stay (up to 2 weeks) when your window opens 60 days out, so you’ll have a better chance at Smuggler’s Run if you look toward the end of your trip since fewer other guests will have had a chance at those. I typically pick the hardest to get FastPass I want and plan that park on my last full day and go straight to that day when the clock strikes 7 am, then work my way backward toward the beginning of my trip.
- Keep an eye out for the Storm Troopers who frequently wander the land. They’re lots of fun and frequently pick on guests they come across.
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