Review: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World

Review: Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney World Hollywood Studios 1

Ever since my husband was a little kid he dreamed that someday, someone with a lot of money would build a Star Wars Land that he could go play in. Well, with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge his dream finally came true.

So with this post, we hope to unpack all of the tips and tricks that we have learned about how to make the most of your time on the planet of Batuu. That way, even if you are a beginner to Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll know enough ahead of time to get you pointed in the right direction.

First, I’m going to talk about the three experiences that offer reservations and that’s Oga’s Cantina, the Droid Depot, and the build a lightsaber experience at Savi’s Workshop. All three will technically take walk-ups on the day you visit, but the availability for each is very different and it will vary throughout the day.

Oga’s Cantina

Without a doubt, Oga’s Cantina seems to be the most difficult thing to experience inside galaxy’s edge without a reservation. It’s easier to get on the Millennium Falcon ride a few times than it is to grab a drink at Batuu’s premier bar. If you want to see DJ Rex and enjoy some space cocktails and you didn’t get a reservation the best time to try your luck is bright and early first thing in the morning.

I asked cast members throughout different points of the day if they were taking walk-ins and the answer I always got was no. You may get lucky in that last hour of the park being open but if the cantina is important to you do it first.

I know that drinking at 6 a.m. sounds nuts but try the bloody rancor (Bloody Mary) it’s a great way to start a day at galaxy’s edge. Oga’s Cantina was by far my favorite experience on Batuu, it so much fun and perfectly themed.

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Droid Depot

The one experience out of the three that’s easiest to do without a reservation seems to be the Droid Depot. Park guests are able to walk up and wait in line to build their own droids. I managed to score a last-minute reservation the day before visiting for 7:30 p.m. and when I arrived I walked right in with no problem.

The reason the Droid Depot seems to be easier to do is that the store is broken up into sections. Those with a reservation walk in on one side of the main entrance while the standby people stand on the line outside.

Those who don’t want to build a droid but still want to see what other merchandise items are available can enter the store at a second entrance. It’s important to understand that you can still go home with a droid without waiting in line or making a reservation at all.

If you’re not concerned with building your own then you can purchase a pre-built R2-D2 Droid and DJ Rex as seen in the cantina, I even found a C-3po droid. The R2 unit is the same price as the build your own version at $99 and all of the accessories are compatible with both versions.

The personality chips will determine if your droid is part of the resistance or the first order and these are priced at $12.99. If you’re getting these make sure you look at the display case because it will tell you which color is assigned to each personality and you can listen to a sample of the different sounds they make as well.

You’ll probably have to wait about 20 to 30 minutes to get inside and after you build the droid you can walk through the second part of the store and check out the accessories. If all of this sounds way too expensive at $99, there are smaller droids you can take home too.

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I must say that the droid Depot seems to be a really big hit with both the hardcore fans and the more casual Star Wars lovers. The kids seem to absolutely love it as well and it’s a fun experience being able to build your own droid.

Savi’s Workshop

I have to talk about lightsabers because the big fans will surely want to get their hands on one of these. Out of the three experiences that take reservations, Savi’s Workshop seems to be in the middle when it comes to availability. It’s a little harder to score a reservation here than Droid Depot but not as exclusive as Oga’s Cantina.

During my visit, they were not taking walk-ins for the first half of the day. The only exception was right at 6:00 a.m., while everyone’s heading straight to the Millennium Falcon you may be able to slip inside here without waiting at all.

But after 4PM they were taking walk-ins on and off for the rest of the night and the wait wasn’t too bad. So if you’re trying to do it all, then the Cantina is still the first thing to do. Savi’s Workshop is a good option for later in the day when the crowds lower a bit.

Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities

Speaking of Light Sabers, remember that you can get legacy lightsabers inside Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Of all the shops inside Galaxy’s Edge, the hardcore fans will love this one because it is absolutely packed with details and nods to so many beloved characters and creatures in the Star Wars universe.

If you can’t get into Savi’s Workshop for one reason or the other then you can go here and pick up other lightsabers like Luke’s green lightsaber as seen in Return of the Jedi without any sort of reservation inside Dok-Ondar’s.

So, if you are a hardcore nerd like my husband then consider your options first. Do you want to build your own or do you want a specific character’s lightsaber? If you are like my husband and want a very specific lightsaber, then don’t worry about reservations and visit Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.

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Otherwise, try to do Savi’s Workshop towards the end of the day if you don’t have a reservation, and remember you can purchase extra kyber crystals inside Dok-Ondar’s and that will change the color of your lightsaber. Whether you want to wear Queen Amidala’s headdress or take home Yoda’s illuminator you’ll definitely want to make a stop at Dok-Ondar’s, it’s the best shop in my opinion.

Meeting Characters

It’s important to understand how the characters work in this land. While visiting galaxy’s edge you might see Rey, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, a few stormtroopers and a few extra characters dotted around.

But the big difference here is that this is not your traditional character meet-and-greet, these characters are just freely roaming the land and interacting with guests. They won’t necessarily stop and take pictures, but trust me if your little one is dressed up in costumes they will definitely interact with you and you’ll have a great time.

So if you’re a big star Wars fan and you’re hoping to get that family picture with Chewbacca, then remember that Star Wars Launch Bay is still open at the moment. In the Launch Bay, you can meet three characters right now BB-8, Chewbacca and for the first time, you can now meet Darth Vader at Star Wars Launch Bay.

In the past, you could only meet him during Star Wars weekends so it’s been a long time since you could take a photo with him. Now he’s taken over the spot where Kylo Ren used to meet inside Star Wars Launch Bay and the good news is all of them have very short wait times at the moment.

Can You Wear Costumes?

I think it’s important that we talk about costumes because big Star Wars fans will probably want to dress up as their favorite character when they visiting Galaxy’s Edge. For anyone under the age of 14, the same rules apply as they do at all of the other parks. You can wear full-blown costumes on Batuu, even masks, but they must provide good peripheral vision. Cast members must be able to see a younglings eyes even with the mask on.

For those of you who are 14 and up, you can’t quite wear a full costume but you can get away with a few things. You can wear normal clothing that is inspired by different Star Wars characters; for example, ladies can wear a dress that pays tribute to their favorite droid and anyone can wear muted tones and pieces of clothing that kind of resemble what the residents at galaxy’s edge wear.

What you CAN’T do is wear a full suit of armor, you can’t dress up like a stormtrooper for example or put on that full Chewbacca costume. You’re not even allowed to wear a pilot jumpsuit with a helmet.

But I saw plenty of people wearing tunics similar to what the Jedi and Sith wear and a few outfits that look really close to what Han Solo wears. Anything beyond that is a no-go and if you’d like you can check Disney’s official rules on this one just to be sure.

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Play Disney Parks App

Really quickly I wanted to mention the Play Disney Parks App and how you can use it for an added bit of fun in Galaxy’s Edge. There are antennas and several other things around Galaxy’s Edge that provide an interactive experience with the datapad on your Play Disney Parks App.

The datapad can be used to hack into different conversations that are taking place all over Galaxy’s Edge, for example, Oga’s and Dok-Ondar or Hondo, etc. You’ll find that when you get near the Antennas you’ll be able to use the datapad to hear these conversations.

The Play Disney Parks App also allows you to collect different items and earn credits in the app. This is just for fun, you don’t actually get anything from it, but it can be a lot of fun.

Review: Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney World Hollywood Studios 6Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is the one ride currently open at Galaxy’s Edge because Rise of The Resistance opens later this year on December 5th. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is a fantastic attraction, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at Disney. Once inside you are recruited by Hondo Ohnaka to work for Ohnaka Transport Solutions. But you’ll learn that Chewie has landed the Falcon on Black Spire Outpost to do some repairs.

Hondo and Chewie have struck up a deal that in exchange for parts Chewie has agreed that Hondo can use a falcon to carry out some smuggling missions and that’s where you come in. I was lucky enough to ride the Falcon several times and each time I got to play a different role. So here are a few tips to best experience Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

After the pre-show, you’ll be escorted into the main hold of the Falcon where you can roam around a little bit and explore before sitting in the cockpit. So make sure you get that picture by the chess table and spot the hidden easter eggs like luke’s training helmet and Seeker droid as seen in Star Wars: Episode IV.

Once inside the cockpit, you’ll be assigned a different position either the pilot, gunner, or engineer. If the idea of pressing buttons and making things work on the ship is a little too much for you then I’d suggest trying to be the engineer.

It’s the easiest role to play and the buttons you have to press will light up when the time comes which makes it very easy. Now if you’ve been dreaming of flying the Falcon for years then you’ll want to sit in the right pilot seat because you will be the one to make the jump to light speed.

I found the role of right pilot quite easy and I’m not a big video game person. Besides making the jump to Lightspeed you’ll also steer the ship up and down. The Left pilot is the one who steers the ship from left to right and I think the left pilot actually has a little bit of a harder job to do. I know that there are tons of Star Wars fans out there will want to be the pilot, but I think a rather underrated role to play is being the gunner.

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What’s interesting about this role is that it can be both easy and difficult depending on the settings you choose. At the start of the mission, you can choose to go into automatic or manual. Automatic is almost as easy as being an engineer but it’s a little bit more engaging. Going into manual mode is actually really hard and I think the most fun to do out of all the positions. But it’s best to do this role after you’ve ridden at least once or if you’re an experienced gamer.

You might feel overwhelmed as you’ll want to watch the screen and enjoy the ride just like you would on Star Tours. But Hondo will keep reminding you that you have to shoot the harpoon or you’ll fail the mission. So yeah, there’s a bit of pressure with this ride.

I absolutely recommend riding this more than once, by the third ride you’ll really get the hang of it and get to appreciate it in its full glory. Right now it’s way easier to ride more than once than you think too. The attraction is not offering FastPass+ which means the standby line is moving fairly quickly. The worst I saw was when the wait hit two hours, but on average the wait time has been hovering between 75 minutes and 90 minutes.

I must say that for a brand new attraction that is not bad at all and unlike Slinky Dog Dash, the entire queue is pretty much indoors. That’s a good thing, definitely do the standby line the first time and enjoy the full queue experience. If you want to keep the wait no longer than 90 minutes then ride this first thing in the morning or after the sun goes down towards the end of the night. But, after you’ve done it once definitely use that single rider line.

Single rider will open and close throughout the entire day basically once the single rider line hits capacity they’ll cut it off. But it won’t be much longer until they reopen it again. I think the longest I ever waited in the single rider line was about 30 minutes and on average I would say I waited for about 15 minutes. The only downside is that you can’t really request a specific role, however, if you make friends in your group, you can work out a trade if you feel comfortable doing that. If you want the pilot’s role it’s unlikely you’ll get to do that in the single rider line, so when you do it stand by go in a big group and decide early on who’s going do which role (ask really nicely!). Millennium Falcon is a lot of fun but it takes a few rides to really get the hang of it.

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If you are wondering how to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in conjunction with everything else in Hollywood studios then I would say download the my Disney experience app and just keep an eye on the wait times throughout the day. Slinky Dog Dash still seems to be the most popular attraction outside of galaxy’s edge.

If you want to do it all inside Hollywood Studios then try and score a Fastpass for Slinky Dog, if not that then the second most popular ride seems to be switching now between Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Star Tours and Tower of Terror have been seeing very low wait times now. I think Tower of Terror is best to do stand by and I would only get a fast pass for Star Tours if you just don’t want to use a tier 2 fast pass on another show.

But the wait times at Star Tours now have been comfortably sitting at 10 to 15 minutes. I think once Rise of the Resistance opens and even later in 2020 when Mickey’s Runaway Railway opens everything will change once again. I’ll definitely keep you updated on the best ways to visit the park. I hope you have a great time visiting this new land and I think you’re going to love how all-encompassing this new land is…  it’s absolutely incredible!

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Heather Noyes is the founder of this website and formerly a Disney travel agent. Ever since she was a little girl she's loved Disney. Over the years she has planned several trips for her family, friends and former clients to go to Disney World.

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