9 Ways To Prepare For The New ‘Star Wars’ Park At Disneyland
Photo: Emma McIntyre (Getty Images)
The farthest reaches of outer space just got a whole lot closer thanks to the make-believe might of Disneyland. Batuu, a remote trading outpost in Disneyland’s new Galaxy’s Edge recently opened in Anaheim, California (and an Orlando, Florida location opens on Aug. 29), bringing the outer rim of the Star Wars galaxy to a theme park near you.
Boasting a billion-dollar price tag and the latest in 21st-century technology, the new theme park offers Star Wars fans a chance to step inside their favorite galaxy in the most interactive playground ever conceived. Covering the entire 14 acres of Batuu’s main spaceport, however, can be a daunting task. Make the most of your visit, all while avoiding the wrath of the Empire, with these nine insider tips taken straight from the Rebel playbook.
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More menace, less phantom.
Say goodbye to your dad’s amusement park. Galaxy’s Edge is stepping into the future in ways we've only dreamed of. The land is essentially a giant interactive board game that allows visitors to join the action using the Play Disney Parks app. With bounty hunters on the loose, gambling dens, and the sounds of chaos filtering throughout the space port, the experience is totally in-your-face. And with crowds expected to break records (after June 23 when advanced reservations end and the port opens to the general public), there’s no room for daydreaming. When you arrive on Batuu, get ready to battle.
Return of the barf bag.
The trading post of Black Spire hosts a mélange of eateries and um…drinkeries. Be prepared to scarf down odd colored Bantha milk straight from the teat of the snarling giants. Down a few stronger brews at Oga’s Cantina, where the music is lively and past battle scars show clearly on the walls. Snack on turkey jerky and Batuu Bites (rice crackers and seaweed) and save some room for the only sweet-treat known to Batuu: the Oi-oi Puff, a hard-shelled cream puff stuffed with raspberry mousse. Just don’t nosh too much right before making the jump to light speed.
Millennium Falcon in a million parsecs.
While the elaborately designed park features a real-life dead forest, secret saber shop, Jabba’s palace, a vast marketplace and much more, the main attraction is definitely the life-sized, 111-foot long, Millennium Falcon. If the force is with you, you might even get a chance to pilot the legendary spacecraft with a ragtag crew of rebels as you punch it into hyperspace. But be prepared for long, long lines with the front of the line looking like it’s in a galaxy far, far away
Strike back at long wait times.
We predict shorter lines after the morning rush and before the local ragamuffins invade the park, making lunchtime the perfect time to strike. Main attractions like Savi’s Workshop (where customizable lightsabers are to be found) and Droid Depot are not currently taking reservations, but this will likely change in the near future. Keep an eye out for announcements that will make your visit hassle-free as the park evolves and troubleshoots the experience.
Pick a side before entering the realm. A battle is being waged between the forces of light and dark, and your actions will affect the balance of power as you move about the port. The alternate-reality game that Disney and Lucasfilm have created responds to each visitor via the app, making every twist and turn a slippery slope between the powerful evil of the First Order and those of us in the Resistance. Choose wisely.
Your only hope is to bring a working credit card.
Remember the name of the game. This is Disneyland we’re talking about, not Home Depot. And because Batuu is a trading outpost, the space port is littered with shops and merchants looking to sell you everything from a Chewbacca key chain to your very own personalized R2 droid. You can even take home a seriously coveted, handmade lightsaber (as long as you’re willing to cough up the $200 it costs just to gain access to Savi’s Workshop).
Not to mention, fulfilling your lifelong dream of getting drunk at a space cantina will rack up a pretty chunky tab. Hey, nobody said space was cheap.
If you want to bypass the advanced reservations, there is a loophole. Guests who stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel are also granted access to the Galaxy's Edge. So get on the horn, book that last hotel suite, and elbow your way to the front of every line. You suffered through A Phantom Menace. You deserve it.
Don’t go solo.
The new single-themed park is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible at an amusement park. The immersion and interactivity is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Bring a friend to make the most of your adventure. After all, without Chewbacca, Han Solo is just another handsome guy with a spaceship.
Lost you will be, without your ET (Electronic Translator).
Be sure to download the in-park app that will augment your reality for a less confusing experience. Most of the signage is written in Galactic Basic, aka Aurebesh. You will need to utilize the apps translator to help navigate your way through Black Spire, the Resistance Forest, and beyond. Don’t worry, it will only take a few years to really learn the language.
Good luck! And may the Force be with you.