Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Opening Day Review

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
It's friggin' amazing! Disney nailed it, it's both massive and intimately small at the same time. There's room for improvement but it definitely doesn't disappoint, I left feeling content and like I had experienced something special. It didn't hurt that all my fears about parking and gate capacity issues were for naught as the park was probably the most empty I'd seen it in 5 years, it was wonderful. The wristband process was way smoother than expected, the opening day merch was nice enough that I bought way more than expected before even getting in the land, and of course the land itself delivers that Star Warsiness it promised.

Here's the trip report and extended review:

2896

Oh right, there's still Disneyland

Opening day was a ghost town, it was lovely, perfect parking space at Toy Story lot, no lines anywhere at 11am, everything was super easy, most rides were a walk-on. The worst thing about my day was that Star Tours was the same Jaaku/Crait scenes I see nearly every time, and if that's the worst part of a Disney day, it's a GREAT day. Walking into the park you get an all new map, beautifully embossed with matte and shiny sections. It feels incredibly premium compared to the normal maps, and I suspect these won't last long.

2909

Map exterior, front and rear

Shopping for GE starts at the Emporium, where they had a selection of shirts, hats, phone cases, 6" Hasbro figure sets, the RC DJ Rex and R2, and pins, as well as 2 pins and 2 shirts for APs (one each dated and not dated). Then there's Star Trader which was roped off, it had different merch, the 6" Hasbro figure sets, but not the color-change 4" build-a-droid packs. Launch Bay's top floor is another GE shop, they had more pin sets including a handsome limited edition large Falcon pin, a moisture vaporator fan-mister which is clever, 3 blind-pack pin series, and a more few odds and ends (some of the Launch Bay items are behind the counter, a Cast Member in the line has a photo list they are showing folks but not giving away).

2910

Front of AP-exclusive dated shirt (not pictured: small "Disneyland" at the back below the neck; "Annual Passholder" on right sleeve)

At 11am, there were big lines to get into Star Trader and for folks getting wristbands at the first floor of Launch Bay, but the 2nd floor of Launch Bay where the store was had only a small line and it was inside in air conditioning. The area was black curtains and product, reminded me of a convention store. By 12pm, the line for Star Trader was gone. By 3pm, the line for wrist bands was gone. You can only get your wrist band 2 hours in advance. They looked at our IDs and at the QR code (I printed mine, I was sure everything would go wrong and had backup plans for everything), didn't check our tickets at all, put a wristband on, and told us they changed which entrance to use. Leaving Launch Bay, they scan your ticket before entering the normal Launch Bay 1st floor store, nothing new there. We did several rides, walked on Star Tours, minimal wait for Hyperspace Mountain, stuff like that; it was a beautiful, wonderful day at the park.

At 4:45, 15 mins before we were supposed to enter, we decided to see if they'd let us in early. They scanned our wristbands right by the Hungry Bear bathrooms, let us in. We crossed under the train tracks and took our first steps into a larger world.

Right into a rope-drop-style queue.
2898

Hi everybody, so glad you could make it here before us. Oh, there's another group this size to the right of that lamp post? Dandy!

This is the furthest west portion of Galaxy's Edge, and here there's almost no sign of Star Wars, just some lights that look like propane heaters, a few that don't look like those (left), some nice foliage, and some nature sounds. A bench was found in the middle island I don't remember there being the music at all here. At 5:02, everybody started moving. The first thing you come across is a landed A-wing, X-wing, the "opening later this year" entrance to the Rise of the Resistance queue, a power distribution thing with a few gonk droids, and a small stand selling Coke bottles.

20190531_170621.jpg

Mmm, ice cold, refreshing and $5.50 for 13.5 ounces! Rise of the Resistance queue entrance behind

Yeah, I drank that Coke immediately, it was warm in the sun. It was a bit heavy on the syrup compared to most bottled cokes but within normal bottler tolerances. It wasn't that cold but it was on ice. The decorative cap is hefty plastic and sturdy, but is indeed just a cover for the standard cap underneath and they come apart with a little effort, the deco cap just presses over it. I refilled this bottle numerous times with water from the GE water bottle refilling stations, thank you Disney for those!

The entrance to Rise of the Resistance isn't massive, looks like something they dropped into place. I forgot to get shots of the entrance further in or the water feature (I could only hear it, not see it) but I got these at night:

The X-wing is up high and a little further away from guests than I'd like, I want to get close and really experience it from all angles; it makes noises and has lights, there's a steam "smoke" thing happening at the refueling hose.

2900

X gonna give it to ya!

2906

"A" is for "A-wing", small and simple, dedicated but delicate

There's a DL photographer doing shots of folks standing first at the A-wing, then the X-wing. One of the digital downloaded photos even had a "day one" banner at the bottom. Across from the X-wing is the first store we saw, the Resistance store with items you can't find elsewhere. Calling it a "store" makes it sound bigger than it is, it's 2 large stands made to look like cargo containers, a decent variety of items but not extensive by any stretch. You can only get the Resistance toys, keychains, and clothes at this store, although some of the multi-figure sets are also in Star Trader and the Emporium, including the Hasbro Black Series 6" figure sets. In the evening, we spied Chewbacca there, the CM turns to me and says I could turn him in, there's a 500,000 credit bounty on his head - I pretended to consider it before declining, while wondering why a Resistance member would help me turn in one of their heroes; maybe she was a spy for the First Order!

2907

The GE "day one" banner from the digital photo, only applied to 1 of our 22 photos across 3 different photo stations, so I guess even digital downloads are now limited editions

As you continue on, the light fixtures and vegetation also change styles again, which is neat that it's transitioning from Critter Country to Baatu gently. There's also a large door that is only for vendors, according to the small doorway to the left. There's the sound of rustling animals in the vegetation, one of them made a fart sound at us. The most notable Earth elements are the fire hydrants (not shown), painted with rust to make them spacy, but in no way designed to look like anything but a fireplug.

Finally, you come across the marketplace at the center of the land, and it's big. Real big.

2908

Oh hai everybahdy

(CONTINUED IN PART TWO)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Maradona

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
(PART TWO)

The marketplace
is where you find the first restrooms, which the CMs call "refreshers" (an existing Star Wars term) but clearly say "RESTROOMS" on the signs in spacy lettering. This is also where you find the shops and the smaller restaurants. This has a lot of noise, both from the bustle of people gawking and shopping, and also with piped in sound effects that are kinda loud to draw your attention to various this and thats. The bathrooms (not shown, because I'm not a creeper) have a great Star Wars look without feeling like you don't know how to use the toilet (standard park auto-toilets, no deco changes). The sinks are in troughs, there's a bunch in the middle of the room, with faucets that are automatic, simple hand-pump soap, and between the faucets are nondescript rusty boxes that are actually hand dryers, they also have an auto paper towel dispenser by the door. Even the full length mirror as you leave is weathered and has spacy edges.

The water fountain here has our first animatronic, every minute or so that someone uses the fountain the eye of a dianoga (the tentacle monster that trapped Luke in the trash compactor) pops out from a sludge-filled pipe behind the water fountain, it's not only a great effect but it subtly ties into the first shop nearby, the creature stand. There's an outdoor stand that has probably 75% of the stuff in the ship around the corner, demonstrating the various toys. The actual shop itself is TINY inside but has some great toys, most expensive, a few cheap, nearly all tempting. There's animatronic pets in cages as well, the center is a sleeping lothcat that moves its tail, but look around and you'll see much more. This is a fantastic shop but way too small, one of our group waited in line 15 minutes because there's only 1 register in there, I wish we could have taken it to the stall around the corner.

As you venture further into the marketplace, there's fun ideas like the kiddie landspeeders mounted to the walls (think pedal cars or power wheels, but they hover and you can't buy them because they're pretend), a ceiling-mounted Star Destroyer in the toy shop, an incredibly popular $50 Djarik chess set, lots of things to buy. The line for the Toydarian Toy shop was pretty long the whole day, it too is a small space, just a stall for 10 people or so, and only 1 register. There are a few closed shops that are really just clever displays, some with moving or blinking-light things. The costume shop was the only shop that was totally dead.

(Speaking of costumes, you know that "no costumes for adults" policy? Disney I guess didn't seem interested in enforcing that, as there were a BUNCH of guests wearing their own costumes, and some wearing Sith robes they bought there [I was very tempted by the $125 Jedi robe, heavy and nice quality]. It wasn't a real problem, the CMs stand out as their costumes aren't something seen in the films.)

my video doesn't do the scale justice, it's massive

Then you get to the end of the marketplace and Ronto Roasters, which is pretty amazing as it has this giant podracer engine upright and blasting "smoke" as it "roasts" the "meat" (2 nuna and a larger shaak on a spit driven by an 8D8-style droid), it's fantastic and there's a nice breeze here in the afternoon (although the handful of tables just outside this area probably got cold at night). The ronto wrap sausage was really delicious, nice snappy sausage (narrow but long), good tangy slaw that wasn't overpowering, delicate roasted pork which didn't distract from the rest, a warm soft pita wrap, and peppercorn mayo-type sauce. The peppercorn sauce tastes great but also adds to the alienness of the land because about halfway through eating the wrap, it makes your tongue feel like it's been vibrated or numbed, and for an hour after my water tasted like someone had put lemon in it! The sweet turkey jerky was fine, nothing to write home about but a nice flavor. The rest of my group really enjoyed Ronto Roaster's beverages, the Tatooine Sunset (Arnold Palmer with extra fruit flavors) and the Melliroon Juice (a bunch of fruit flavors they liked, but said was strong).

Blue Milk is way down past the larger shops over in First Order country, the easternmost section of the land. The milk stand was so popular that when I mobile ordered it, the first window available was 40 minutes away, but it let me order it while I was in the rope drop queue so my milk was ready about 20 minutes in. All my group got one. Umm, how do I put this nicely? It's not good at all. AT ALL. It has a nice texture as it's coconut milk and rice milk blended into a semi-frozen concoction, but tastes like a sugar-free fruit bubble gum, and not a sour one, a real mild one like JuicyFruit gum - bleh. It's supposed to be dragon fruit, lime, watermelon, and pineapple. I didn't ask but it tasted like it was stevia-sweetened by how it lingered on the palate. (I had this before the Ronto Wrap so the peppercorn sauce wasn't a factor.) Later on, the green milk was worse and I got my money back because it also wasn't frozen at all the way it claimed it was supposed to be, it was barely cool, which they didn't tell me until after I paid and started to walk away. The green milk was repulsive, it tastes like the way a very cheap citrus dish soap smells. Supposedly it's Mandarin Orange, Passion Fruit, Grapefruit and Orange Blossom. And it's $8 for what couldn't be more than 10 ounces, it's tiny. This was the thing I liked the least about Galaxy's Edge, and from the reactions around the milk stand, it seemed like it was fun to buy but not so much to drink.

Also, unlike what the site and app said last week, the Annual Passholder discounts do apply to all the restaurants and even the Milk Stand, not the popcorn stand or the Coke bottle stands though.

2911

The cantina in the middle background

The First Order has the TIE Echelon transport fighter, designed for the land itself, sitting in front of a stage. Above this and to the left, a couple stormtroopers march atop the building. To the left of the TIE is the First Order shop, it's also small and not easily noticed, but it's an actual building unlike those Resistance folks; it's basically the same "we have a few themed toys and whatnots that you can't get at the other shops but we're kinda dinky" but more focused on gear than the Resistance shop.

2913

Everybody pumped to join the First Order? GET PUMPED! (Kylo Ren, implied not stated)

The TIE being on a stage further back doesn't seem to diminish its interest value the way the X-wing being set up and back was, perhaps because it's a little more vertical of a design, or perhaps the 2 Stormtroopers a First Order officer who came out and yelled at us from the stage about how great the FO are, and their mission to find a spy in our midst. It's cute, but needed 2 more stormtroopers minimum. Then ol' Kylo Ren comes out and chews out the officer, this Kylo Ren doesn't have even close to an Adam Driver voice but it's still a cute little pop-up thing.

2912

Dude, you guys totally blew it finding that spy, isn't that her right there?! Wait, is it? I dunno, but you suck, officer guy! (Kylo Ren, implied not stated)

This is a cute little show thing, and there is an actual spy character running around mingling in audiences, she's wearing a hood so it's not super tough to spot her, but I guess it helps by not wearing those helmets. A fun little side event, short enough that nobody spends 30 minutes waiting or even knows its coming. When not doing the little show, there's DL photogs doing guest photos here.

2914

Those XP-34s just aren't in demand anymore

Backtracking southwest of this a little ways is another restroom, a water fountain, a few buildings, and the fenced off landspeeder parking, including a Jaaku vehicle cut from The Force Awakens (but poor Hasbro made toys of it anyway). There's various sounds and even I think a radio broadcast playing here. This area is neat but feels a little underutilized, like they could do another character event like the one above here, or maybe a game with the kids.

2918

Gonk Droid being tortured, Astromech being oil-bathed, Battle Droids boxed up, Viper Probe Droid beheaded and netted to the wall. Truly the stuff of droid nightmares

Across from these is the Droid Depot, and you can either go in the rear area with the toys and knickknacks (the $75 metal bowl that's R2-D2 dome was incredibly tempting) or get in the long line at the other door to take part in the droid-building experience, which is controlled chaos. There's some great stuff in here to look at and merchandise that will tempt a Star Wars fan more than they thought possible. They also have a special edition Disney Gift Card that's metal and the shape of a Republic Credit chip, free with minimum of $100 loaded to it, the CM told my friend in line after me about how you could load it up and then buy your stuff with it... wish she had told me about this, especially before I spent money there. I would have returned my stuff and re-bought it, but their register went down and I didn't want to make another problem for them.

2915

Actual buildable parts going by on the conveyor belt, pick yours and take them to...

2916

You get a droid! And you get a droid! And you get a droid!

2917

Look sir, droid... parts!

(CONTINUED IN PART THREE)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Maradona

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
(PART THREE)

As for the 18" remote control Build-A-Droids in the wild, a few folks had the carriers for the 18" rc build a droids but only one I saw the whole day had the window punched out to actually hear it as they walked through GE, and I saw just 1 person actually playing with their droid in the land at all. If that remains constant through these previews, Disney will need to strengthen the messaging of what the droids do in the land to explain that they're meant to be part of the land's experience, not just a toy you take home.

2922

Black Spire Outpost facing north, marketplace is to the left, Droid Depot to the right, Doc Ondar's antiquities and Docking Bay 7 in the middle

Next to the Droid Depot was the waiting area for the Savi's build-a-lightsaber experience, I believe that area was capped by a CM, it wasn't nearly as "secret" as I was expecting. Above that is Doc Ondar's antiquities, and if the Droid Depot called to my wallet, this place basically promised that it would own my soul forever. I avoided buying anything solely because I had already spent well above my budget, and the #1 thing I would have bought (after a saber hilt) was the Jedi holocron... but it's $50 without a $13 crystal. I really want one of these, though, so I think a holocron, a crystal, a lightsaber, and a Jedi robe are a birthday item in the making. There's several animatronics, including Doc himself, and we got super lucky that when we went in there wasn't a line, because when we left it was another giant line just to get into this shop that maybe held 30-40 people. It was so crowded I forgot to take any pics.

At one point, the Stormtrooper duo singled out some kids and marched over, asking them questions, then finding their answers satisfactory. It was a cute moment, and the only thing I could see being better was if there were 4 of them instead of 2. I tried to be subtle as I took this shot of the troopers:

2919

"What are you doing on Baatu? You must be well-skilled to handle such a creature." - actual dialogue

The Cast Members of Galaxy's Edge are all in character, and - aside from "bright suns," "to the spires," and a few other oddities that don't remind me of Star Wars and are wildly overused - there's a lot of great work being done by them. Most keep it in-universe without being overly attention-grabbing, distracting, or obnoxious. A very small percent were going a little too large with their characters and needed to dial their performances back, but most were just the right balance of CM and character. One instance I saw was a guest asking of the price of something being in "credits" was "dollars" and the CM had to act like they didn't know what "dollars" was, which left the poor guest befuddled -- that is probably going to be the biggest challenge, how to ride the divide between being in-character and serving the needs of guests. Honestly, if they dropped the in-universe aspect entirely, it'd still be a fantastic experience rich in imagination and fun, but I get why they chose the path they did, and I can't fault that.

2921

Docking Bay 7 interior

(Just realized I'm telling things out of order, I apologize if you're trying to follow the narrative. We bounced around from edge to edge before exploring the middle, but there was a lot of back-and-forth.) We ate our Ronto Wraps in the Docking Bay 7 Cargo restaurant instead of sitting in the cold, almost nobody was in there since it was well between mealtimes, so we weren't taking up space. It's a neat layout, lots of "junk" for tables and chairs, the biggest space to spend money in Galaxy's Edge and it really didn't seem like it'd seat more than 80; the line for it at 8-9pm was massive. The plates are a little bigger than the official photos made them look, but still might be a tough sell at $17-$20 a dish for some folks.

2924

Not pictured, me, awestruck

Then it was the big show, the Millennium Falcon. Nested in the northeast corner is a very large alcove of Black Spire, and the impressive Millennium Falcon. The ship that made the Kessel Run in an arguable number of parsecs is massive and impressive, both day and night, and heavily detailed. They claim it's 1:1 scale, but as my Star Wars friends and I are big nerds, we were seeing it closer to 4:5 scale, which lends to that "forced perspective" element that Disneyland does so well - here as good as anything in the park. It has so much personality sitting there, and sound effects like it warming up or having problems, ships flying by, help add a sense of immersive reality.

2932

She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts

There's 3 or 4 Disney photographers taking shots of guests in front of it at all times, lines go from short to long very quickly just for those photos - as with everything yesterday, we were fortunate to enjoy short waits. For some reason, the lighting on the Falcon like at the front of the mandibles is red rather than white, but there's no doubt this is it. The boarding ramp is down, there's fuel hoses attached with steamy "smoke" every now and then, the blue-vested crew running about.

2927

Exhausting

Smuggler's Run has a digital board telling you about wait times and single rider right at the front, ours said 30 minutes and we waited 5, others earlier in the day said it was showing 20 and they waited 90, so there are still bugs being worked out. By the time we got there, they were marking wristbands with permanent marker to signify you were let in and couldn't ride again - they didn't tell us that was why, only the people behind us. (Later, at 8pm, we tried to get back on the ride because it was reporting 10 minute waits -- turns out it was so low because they were not allowing anyone with 5pm-9pm wristbands ride it at 8pm and hadn't told guests ahead of time. Some guests were extremely and understandably upset that their 4 hour reservation didn't include the only ride starting at hour 3.) We didn't have to do any of the exterior queue, which we saw at the 9pm hour was quite full, instead walking in behind the 2-story windowed doors and right behind the lit-up exhaust of the Falcon.

2931

Oga's Cantina in upper background

It was very immersive and real, even before the in-queue audio of workers freaking out at things going wrong started up. It's beautiful and impressive and intimate because you're so close to it. Then a workbay with all manner of engines and parts and whatnots where you walk up gantry-style ramps to the second floor, this area is so neat that we let folks go by us so we could take it in, and I was so distracted I forgot to actually take photos. You then cross the workbay back the way you came from before looking out the windows of the giant 2-story doors again, looping back and coming to the point where they divert you into the pre-preshow room, left or right. There was a kid behind us who was alone that said single rider didn't have the preshow and he wanted to see it, he picked the right time since we were in there in a few minutes.

2925

Let's make some money, honey!

Hondo with a giant "window" behind him that's a wonderful screen showing the Falcon being flown from where it was earlier into the docking bay in the next area, explains how we're the new crews that are going to man the Falcon for his mission to, let's say, borrow some stuff, some of which will help Chewbacca who calls in via those side screens to growl at Hondo for messing up the Falcon and reminds him that the stuff will help the Resistance. A great scene that's over far too soon, then it's time to board the Falcon's waiting room, they give you a cardboard chip with your group's color and jobs, and into the Falcon's docking port you step, to find other folks also waiting in the Falcon. It's really it, there's so much to see and look at, it's a relatively small space and again the wait somehow isn't long enough - a phrase one doesn't say often in Disneyland - but it's so very intimate and whole.

2926

We're home

I barely remembered to take any pictures by this point, it was ridiculous. Soon enough your color is called up and down the hall you go, there's positions on the floor, and a small screen with Hondo reminding you of a few things. Then the cockpit opens up, and there you are, and the moment just stops for us as we drink it all in. The CM tells us to buckle up, something we hadn't even considered before, and as it's a 6-person cockpit it's easy and quick. The seating in the pilot area anyway is comfy and ample. There's buttons everywhere, and soon you're off, and it's lightspeed to Endor... wait, no. Lightspeed to following Hondo's lead craft.

(CONTINUED IN PART FOUR)
 

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
(PART FOUR)

2935

These are your jobs, this is what you do, got it? No? Too bad.

The ride is both a high-quality video game and something more. You can analyze the graphics of the visuals and easily pick out its video game-ness, but if your mindset is about living in that moment, letting your imagination wash over you, none of that matters because you're busily doing your job, trying to see everything, and paying attention to Hondo on the commscreen all at once. It's thrilling, an on-rails video game with enough freedom to let you crash stupidly into everything, and by splitting up the piloting job between up-down and left-right, it gives you a little more time to try to look around -- but not much, because it's extreme! Supposedly there's autopilot controls you could use, we didn't. As pilots, there are only a small number of occasions where we had to hit other buttons or toggles on our sections, they're not as lit as the main controls and my co-pilot missed his, so I had to quickly reach over and hit them for him -- it felt vital and like being in that world; it's not about blame, it's about completing the mission! We did far from perfectly, it's easy to miss big things right in front of you while looking around, and then crash into them. If Lando can knock the dish off the Falcon, surely we beginnings can't be too blamed for the severe damage we did to the ship. It's an unbelievable amount of fun, and despite the 6 minute length, over far too soon.

2943

Could be worse - It's worse

Our earned credits (score, not real money) was knocked back considerably by a little shoddy piloting, yet nobody was angry at that, we shared blame and everybody was just thrilled to have experienced it. Our engineer and gunner in the back 2 seats said it was a lot of fun, but they couldn't see anywhere as much of the screen as us, having 2 rows of seats between them and the cockpit main window, so being a pilot is probably the wisest course of action.

2936

Dusk falls

2940

And leads to night, with the First Order area lit up

I specifically chose the 5-9pm slot so we could see how GE looked from day through night, and it did not disappoint. There's not much of the dusk you can actually see since the horizon in the main part of GE has the impressive spires that make up its mountain range, but there will be some lovely sunsets here when there are more clouds to catch those colors. The surprising thing is how dark it is at ground level, it seemed dimmer than Frontierland or Adventureland, but that could just be because of the different uses of space in GE compared to those others. But above ground level, the lights are bold and blend together an otherworldly environment that embraces you and rewards you for taking in everything, near and far.

2941

Black Spire Outpost nightlife

2944

Nighttime shopping at the marketplace

2942

the Falcon and spires at night

I knew fireworks would be here soon, and we mulled about trying to look inconspicuous for 30 minutes. The first fireworks that appear are actually from Fantasmic to the south, it's fun to see them pop up, they come without warning, you can barely hear anything from that show until those fireworks pop. Our group slowly blended into the folks in the First Order area, and then, with no fanfare, no dimming of lights, no music or anything, the fireworks were just suddenly overhead to the east.

20190531_213442.jpg

A nice, modest firework, or a starship exploding

The fireworks are RIGHT there, they boom loudly but not as obnoxiously loudly as when the train went by them pre-GE construction. They're so close that they actually feel smaller somehow, and that again adds to the intimacy of Galaxy's Edge in its own way. The strange thing was how about half the crowd barely cared about the fireworks even a little, they had things to do, foods to taste, and purchases to make that were more impressive than some old gunpowder and chemicals exploding in the air around them.

About 2/3rds of the way through the show, a guest came up to us and said the view of the fireworks from the Falcon area was even better, and boy was she right! At first we thought we had missed it, but luckily had been only a lull. The view there is exquisite, and it wasn't particularly busy there either, we had plenty of room around us. It was a heck of a show.

2938

Amazing experiences collide

After the fireworks concluded, we sat down and discussed it, and realized those *cough* 5 hours were everything we needed for that day. No, we didn't get in the cantina, we didn't fly the Falcon a second time, we didn't buy a bunch of things we'll come back for, we didn't even get escorted out by troopers for overstaying our welcome. We Star Wars supernerds just felt fully immersed and content, we had enjoyed it thoroughly and left wanting more in the future, but not for that night. It was everything we expected, many things we didn't, and virtually nothing we feared. We decided to leave through a gate we hadn't entered from, the Fantasyland gate, and as we passed through, we finally heard John Williams' Baatu theme being played, wishing us farewell for now.

2939

Bye, Baatu, see you again in the future! (Wait, are those hidden Mickey light figures in there?)

It was amazing to then step back into Disneyland, to be transported in a few steps from one amazing magical land to another. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge doesn't intrude upon Disneyland in sound or visual ways aside from adding a big new blue mountain range to the northwest side. As we walked through Fantasyland, we saw the castle cut off and were about to bypass when they dropped the rope, it was like Disneyland had decided that everything was going to be perfect for our group, right down to the smallest details. Were the roadbumps along the way? Maybe little ones, but the positives so vastly overrode the negatives that it erased them.

Galaxy's Edge is a big land, but also small and intimate. Part of that is due to its crescent shape, so that space is has to be used wisely, and they did. Everything feels big, but once you start to take it in, once you walk it 2 or 3 times from end to end, you realize how it's a complicated idea of big and small hand in hand, how much of the construction but also the imagination makes it bigger, how there is a world of spending but also a world of experiencing even if you don't buy a single thing. The Cast Members work hard to make it an experience like no other, but it's their dedication to making that experience so wonderful that far outshines any character work they could do, because you feel their energy and excitement and their desire to make this not only their own, but our own as well. Even with one ride right now, the land truly is the attraction, they made the imagination come alive in ways never imagined or realized on this scale.

They nailed it, and I can't wait for those who haven't gone yet to go almost as much as I can't wait to return. I want to share this with everyone who wants to experience it, and yes that will lead to bigger crowds and longer lines, but it'll also lead to more smiles, more dreams of lightsabers and starfighters and droids and troopers for young and old, and that makes all the waiting worth it. That's what Disneyland is already all about, this is just a fantastic addition.

Some additional thoughts:
  • The fireworks should be said to be a space battle nearby, this probably isn't something CMs can do on their own so it'd have to go through higherups, but it would make a lot of sense and fit perfectly.
  • I didn't try the Play App at all yet, I could see how this would extend the enjoyment for some folks, but that's not quite where my head was at. I don't think I saw anybody using it overtly, but a lot of folks are looking at their phones so who knows.
  • This land is going to look amazing in the rain, it's going to fit so perfectly.
  • The lack of signs for the shops is a bit challenging, more than once I had to check on the app to see where I was heading.
  • Disney needs another kind of small treat in here, there's no churro or pretzel-equivalent item to nosh, and the only desserts are the oi-oi puff and the Batuu-bon which are in Docking Bay 7. We didn't try the sweet & spicy popcorn, but it's not the sort of thing we were thinking about when this came up. Basically, they need to figure out a space-churro, something more exotic than a regular one, and maybe have a stand that moves from place to place in the under-utilized areas, or just multiple carts.
  • The green milk machine stopped freezing at all on Friday, and one of our group went back Saturday, same thing, I wonder if there's a reason only the green is having that issue; it wasn't outselling the blue while we were there. Also, no milk jug sippers that we could see.
  • The land needs maybe a little activity in the middle south by the Big Thunder trail entrance and by the Resistance side of the land on the west, those spaces got underutilized and there should be something more to do that's not in an app, maybe have something like the Green Army Man show in DCA but less specifically musical and a little more interactive, although a musical band could be amazing too. Small things help round out this experience so well, needs more of those.
  • There aren't any aliens and creatures that I saw aside from Chewie, hopefully we'll see that increased as it goes.
  • There's a lot of upper area character walkway space not being used yet, wonder what that'll be.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Maradona

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
Some additional photos of the western Resistance sector:

2945

It makes noises, the Gonks are immobile but make noise too

2946

Note the offset fixture from the mount in the ground, a spacy touch seen elsewhere in the land

2947

"Hi, we're... uh... 'space plants,' yeah, that's the ticket"

2948

No, Jabba's not here, stop knocking!

2949

Top of the RITR queue entrance, night

2950

Bottom right detail of the RITR queue entrance, with trash can

2959

Night in the peaceful Resistance sector
 
Last edited:

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
Some additional photos of the eastern sectors:

2951

That's a big door!

2952

Falcon alcove far east section

2960

Ceiling detail of the post-queue, pre-pre-show waiting area, made to look like you're under a movable lift

2953

That's a manhole fit for an alien

2954

Captured Rebel equipment in First Order area

2955

Captured Rebel equipment in First Order area, continued

2961

interior ceiling detail of Docking Bay 7 restaurant, cargo pod hanging above as if it's being loaded from the ship outside

2956

View from south of marketplace

2957

The mighty Chewbacca started out by the Resistance camp and made his way to Black Spire Outpost, making noises along the way, stopping for selfies with guests but continuing on whatever mission he's on

2958

A bustling spaceport at night
 

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
Some of the merch I got:

2971

Dated opening day pins, regular and Annual Passholder (date is under the little flap, locked by the rotating Millennium Falcon)

2972

Droid Depot wind-up electronic sounds Gonk Droid ($10), roughly in scale with 6" Black Series

2973

Droid Depot Gonk with last year's Disney Store-exclusive wind-up Battle Gonk

2974

Limited edition Galaxy's Edge large pin, from Launch Bay store, not sold in GE, window box closed

2975

Limited to 2000 pieces, box back

2976

box open view
 

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
16,062
59
105
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
Impressive, JT. Now the First Order has plenty of evidence to convict you of spying! Did you lug your merch with you as you walked along in their bags, in your own bag/backpack, or any lockers to store?

So, if, say, there were somehow a person in the 21st century who does not own a cellphone, would this hypothetical person be completely unable to navigate or gain entrance to GE? If said made-up person was fairly knowledgeable of SW and has been to Disney parks in two different US states? Maybe, if this non-existent person were intending to go there a few months after this opening weekend, but prior to the Halloween/Christmas seasons?
 

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
Most of what I bought was outside of GE, so I used Package Check which is a service available in 3 stores in Disneyland where they'll hang onto your package until the end of the day, and then you come pick it up. The stuff I bought in GE went into my backpack. They don't currently offer Package Check in Galaxy's Edge, but they will down the road. My friends used Package Check but also bought more stuff in GE and lugged it around, we waited until after Smuggler's Run to buy stuff.

Were someone a mobile device luddite like that, I bet they'll have an alternate system, but they haven't announced what it is yet. It could be pagers that person could carry with them, or that person may have to come back every few hours and ask the entry castmembers. But I'm sure Disneyland will figure out a method for this, not everybody carries a mobile device into the park even when they own one. *cough*get a flipphone*cough*
 

Lord Malakite

Jedi Council Member
Sep 30, 2001
3,343
17
37
Williamsburg, OH
Sounds like you enjoyed the experience a great deal, aside from the blue/green milk and maybe the typical Disney theme park price gouging. Of the two biggest complaints I've heard one was the blue/green milk concoctions. The other was the lack of Original Trilogy (and to a lesser degree Prequel Trilogy) representation in favor of the Sequel Trilogy stuff. In your opinion, do you think that hinders the GE experience in any way to living up to its max potential?
 

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
Honestly, it didn't really bother me, I think it works the way it's done. The land exists largely just outside of story, it's not Kamino nor is it Canto Bight. The Resistance sector doesn't have any standout storytelling that gets in your face. The First Order sector does have the modern troopers but that's nothing terribly offensive, and every once in a while you'll see Kylo Ren come out and stomp about, but he's just a guy in a black cloak and helmet when he's in the crowd. The marketplace has plenty of OT products and decor, that works for me. The buildings are very familiar to the OT, and the marketplace reminds me of the PT. We spotted the Rey character outside the marketplace, I thought it was just a guest cosplaying , I paid her no mind.

The Smugglers Run ride itself has Hondo as your main character, who has spanned the PT era through now to the ST so that's not a problem for me. The ride is the Falcon itself, which is very OT. Chewie shows up onscreen, he covers all the eras.

So for my tastes as someone who loves the OT and Rebels, likes the side-story movies, barely tolerates the PT and TFA, and loathes TLJ, I think it wasn't hindering the enjoyment to set it in the era they did, at least for someone like me. (I've noticed online that the people who aren't huge Star Wars fans seem disappointed in the lack of main characters, and that seems to translate to OT characters.)
 

figrin bran

Jedi Commander
May 4, 2002
7,329
7
Los Angeles
Visit site
Thanks for the super in depth review JT!!!

I’m going this Friday!!! Originally had 2 slots that day but will have to forgo the second for a family event.

Of course I have a list of merch to get and of course the wind up Gonks weren’t on it but if you say they scale to BS 6”...

Was wondering how much you got to look at the 14.99 diecast vehicles at the Resistance and FO storefronts? I’m planning on getting a TIE Echelon and wondering if they’re comparable to Titanium or Action Fleet or Disney Store’s diecasts from a few years back? No reviews or photos I’ve read have mentioned these.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JediTricks

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
Congrats, hope you have a blast!

I checked out the Resistance die cast vehicles, they're ok but smaller than Action Fleet and bigger than Titanium and it looked like perhaps smaller than Disney Store's Die Cast. Yes, another scale. The TIE Echelon in that series I barely noticed, I think I checked for the lowering ramp and didn't see one, but don't hold me to that.
 

figrin bran

Jedi Commander
May 4, 2002
7,329
7
Los Angeles
Visit site
Thanks JT!

I guess I’ll be the one reporting back on Galaxy’s Edge diecast vehicles. Only 2 more days for me now! The sibling and I don’t intend on Savi’s or Oga’s so we should be able to hit Smuggler’s a few times.
 

Maradona

Jedi Apprentice
Jun 25, 2007
2,302
32
Echo Park
After a second visit to Galaxy's Edge yesterday - and three more smuggling runs - I can safely say I will NOT tire of the Millennium Falcon experience. There were so few people yesterday that we essentially walked onto the cockpit each time we got into the line and couldn't "hang out" on the ship very much, unlike the first visit on day one. We found two hidden Mickeys on the ship so far, but I get the sense there are more to discover. I've now been both left and right pilot, right gunner, and left engineer. You can't see as much being gunner or engineer as you can piloting, but there is not a dull moment throughout. The first two trips yielded one stolen shipment each, but we scored to on the second. Heading back for Episode 3 of our initial forays to Black Spire Outpost next Friday.
 

JediTricks

Jedi Council Member
Aug 14, 2001
38,418
91
44
Los Angeles, CA
www.geocities.com
Thanks JT!

I guess I’ll be the one reporting back on Galaxy’s Edge diecast vehicles. Only 2 more days for me now! The sibling and I don’t intend on Savi’s or Oga’s so we should be able to hit Smuggler’s a few times.
I ended up picking up the TIE Echelon die cast, which hopefully you'll get as well. For $15, it's an adequate value, with AP discount it's good. It's about 3/5ths the size of an AF, and maybe 2 or 3 times as big as a Titanium Series. It has no moving parts at all, despite a closed ramp sculpted on the underside. The wings are immobile plastic with painted panels; the body is all die cast except for the engine thrust nozzles at the back with weathering and painted windows. There are 3 screw bosses on the underside which stick out a little, but nothing heinous. The stand comes in 2 pieces that snap together, is in the shape of the FO emblem, and plugs into 2 holes near the back of the ship -- it's a little boingy, but stable.

As I went with Maradona, I also did the ride 3 times that trip, it was amazing and didn't lose its luster for me. I did left gunner, left engineer, and left pilot this time, having done right pilot last time. Engineer does have less of a view but also less obstructions from the frame of the cockpit window, that frame was a problem for my piloting when I was trying to precision steer us behind the moving train. Like a doofus, I accidentally triggered the automatic pilot for the guns and then killed the cancel request because I hit the buttons too quickly during loading. I liked the Engineer role, it was challenging without requiring me to constantly pay attention to it, and I got to actually react quickly to put out the damages which got extra points. That said, all 3 positions were fun and I look forward to going on it again soon.

I have more photos and even a video of my drink at the Cantina, the non-alcoholic Carbon Freeze which was an absolute delight. I'll try to get those up tomorrow.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Maradona

figrin bran

Jedi Commander
May 4, 2002
7,329
7
Los Angeles
Visit site
Everything that has been said - it’s true, all of it!!!

I went this past Friday on an 11-3 reservation and undoubtedly it was one of the greatest SW experiences I’ve ever had and there have been plenty of those in the past.

I suppose I’ll be sharing all my thoughts in small segments but the first thing I wanted to touch upon was how all the nuances make Galaxy’s Edge/Batuu such a great place.

When the land was first announced, I’m sure I was not expecting what we ended up with. Maybe some sort of speeder bike chase ride, some sort of Hyperspace Mountain-ish roller coaster.

I was so impressed by how we have things in the land like an X-wing, A-wing, Tie Echelon, all manner of droids, the Falcon, it never feels like they’re a part of some 3 ring circus. Each and every element totally feels like a part of the environment and not “let’s shoehorn as much Star Wars-ness into every corner”.

While paying for an item at the First Order themed storefront, an officer plus Stormtroopers and Kylo Ren emerged from the nearby TIE Echelon. At the same time as the cashier/Batuu resident was ringing me up, they started their propaganda speech. The cashier started telling all of us present in the shop that we really didn’t need to listen to any of this nonsense and that they were much better off on Batuu before the arrival of the FO.

Such a small thing and yet it totally enhanced the overall experience! Even their greetings of “bright suns” and “safe journeys” felt infectious and I would repeat it back to them when greeted as such. I even gave Rey a “bright suns, Rey” while walking past her.

Even the random ambient noises that you hear intermittently have so much significance whether they are animal sounds or machine sounds or ships flying overhead.

More thoughts to come but my first four hours there weren’t nearly enough! The Disney imagineers definitely deserve their due for keying in on the fact that the Star Wars universe is so much more than lightsaber battles and space battles and vehicles chasing other vehicles. By taking risks in how they approached this project, it ultimately resulted in something much deeper and rewarding than the standard theme park experience.