The Millennium Falcon in all its glory at GALAXY'S EDGE
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California (Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks)

Yesterday, Disneyland‘s GALAXY’S EDGE opened for guests who were lucky enough to snag a reservation. Running in 4-hour time slots, this gave guests an opportunity to have a first look at this new exciting land. I was one of the incredibly lucky few that was able to attend, and believe me when I say that if you’re as big of a Star Wars fan as I am, GALAXY’S EDGE will not only meet your expectations but blast them off into a galaxy far far away.

As far as size goes, GALAXY’S EDGE takes up a pretty considerable chunk of the back half of Disneyland. Its located back towards the Thunder Mountain Railroad, where the old Thunder Mountain Ranch used to be. As you walk in, it’s easy to leave the dazzle of Disneyland behind and be completely transported to BATUU, the remote outpost surrounded by forests and mountains. Upon entering BATUU, you are greeted by Stormtroopers as you walk along what seems like a First Order controlled section of the outpost. As you snake along the various pathways and corridors throughout the outpost, fans of the films will spot some familiar items for purchase including the famous blue milk, which also comes in green. Walk a little further down and you will encounter the entrance to OGA’S CANTINA which offers a variety of libations for weary travelers, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic (I recommend the Jet Fuel). Oga’s was kind of a dream come true for me, as I have always counted the Cantina scene in Star Wars: A New Hope among one of my favorites.

Stormtroppers lead you into Batuu at GALAXY'S EDGE
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California (Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks)

Although GALAXY’S EDGE offers two attractions, only one, SMUGGLER’S RUN will be open for guests starting May 31 while the other, RISE OF THE RESISTANCE is set to open later this year. As you make your way past OGA’S CANTINA and through the bazaar, you will come face to face with what is undeniably one of the most impressive components in GALAXY’S EDGE: The Millenium Falcon. This is the entrance to the SMUGGLER’S RUN attraction. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to fly the Millenium Falcon, shoot incoming Tie Fighters and my favorite, punch it to light speed, this attraction will leave you in awe. As you make your way through the queue, which leads you INSIDE the falcon where yes, you can sit at the Dejarik table you are split into groups of six and assigned a title: Pilot, Gunner or Engineer. This will dictate what role you play and where you sit inside the Falcon cockpit. Once inside the cockpit, I couldn’t help but get a little emotional in realizing that I was sitting in the captain’s chair of THE Millenium Falcon. Similar to STAR TOURS, the simulation leads you through a galactic adventure only this time, it’s far more immersive as each rider has a specific duty to fulfill. The buttons throughout the cockpit illuminate to show you what to push, and if you feel like you might miss something while trying to figure out which buttons to push, there is an autopilot button but there’s really nothing quite like pulling the throttle yourself and plunging the ship into light speed.

As you leave SMUGGLER’S RUN you can roam around the shopping bazaar and see what fun souvenirs BATUU has to offer. As far as merchandise, you won’t find anything with the words Star Wars or any film memorabilia, as the idea behind GALAXY’S EDGE is to fully immerse you in the star wars universe. You will, however, find small droids for purchase as well as fully functioning Kowakian monkey-lizards that will sit perched on your shoulder as you explore all that BATUU has to offer. For the die-hard Star Wars fan, visit SAVI’S WORKSHOP where you can build and craft your very own custom lightsaber. Although this experience is not cheap (a full light saber with the crafting experience will run you about 200$) its definitely worth it if you’ve always wanted your own saber along with this unique experience. If you’re slightly pressed for cash, you can find pre-built sabers belonging to some of your favorite characters for a slightly cheaper price. (around 140$)

For food and beverage offerings, Batuu offers several selections at DOCKING BAY 7 FOOD AND CARGO. There you can enjoy a Braised Shaak roast (pot roast) or Smoked Kaadu ribs (pork ribs) among other selections. You can also stop by KAT SAKA’S KETTLE where they’re serving up speciality popcorn that are colored purple and red and are both spicy and sweet.

Throughout GALAXY’S EDGE, everything and everyone is made to make you feel like you are fully immersed in the Star Wars universe and it really works. From the detailing of every building and the way you are greeted by cast members throughout the land to interactions with Stormtroopers and even a wild Chewbacca roaming around, GALAXY’S EDGE was everything I anticipated and so much more. As I exited out next to the Thunder Mountain Railroad and was transported back into the real world, I looked back at the trees I had just come through and couldn’t believe that such a fantastical otherworldly place was hiding right behind them. I looked down at the gleaming blue light saber in my hand and realized that yep, I had just come from BATUU. GALAXY’S EDGE was truly one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever been lucky enough to be a part of and I can’t wait to go back.

Pilot the Millennium Falcon at GALAXY'S EDGE
Inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Disney guests will take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard the fastest ship in the galaxy when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in summer 2019 at Disneyland Resort in California and fall 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. (Disney Parks)
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