The opening of Disneyland’s new “Star Wars Land,” aka Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, isn’t noteworthy just for its size (14 acres) or rumored cost ($1 billion, according to the most outlandish estimates). Fans are freaking out over the promised experiences: flying the Millennium Falcon, building lightsabers, and shoveling down space food all within four hours. The mass anxiety surrounding what to do once you finally plant your feet beside those droid wheel-marked paths of Batuu is real — but manageable.
I visited Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge while it was still a work in progress, and the knowledge I’ve amassed from flopping past the Holochess table in oversized men’s construction boots has not made me your only hope, to paraphrase my favorite princess, but a worthy leader on this intergalactic journey.
This guide will prepare you to tackle every bit of the outer rim planet without spoiling a thing, whether you have a timed reservation during Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’s first month of operation or plan to visit beyond late June, when a same-day virtual queue will be used. Either way, if you’ve got the Star Wars shpilkes, here’s how to plan ahead for which boutiques to speed-walk toward, what’s worth eating, and everything in between.
How to find your way around the map of Star Wars Land
Let’s talk logistics. Galaxy’s Edge consists of two areas. The cantina, stores, marketplace restaurant and Millennium Falcon ride are all within Black Spire Outpost, where you’ll be spending most of your time. The Resistance Forest, located just beyond the marketplace, is home to a souvenir location but mostly Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which won’t open until later this year.
Much of Galaxy’s Edge comprises stand-alone shops, a handful of which are concentrated within the souk-like marketplace. When approaching from the center of Black Spire Outpost — look for “meat” being roasted on a vertical spit — you’ll hit Ronto Roasters; pass it to reach a collection of individually themed stalls like Toydarian Toymaker, The Jewels of Bith, Creature Stall, and Black Spire Outfitters, as well as Kat Saka’s Kettle, offering colorful, spicy-sweet popcorn.
There are three entryways to reach Galaxy’s Edge from Disneyland: one by Critter Country, one past Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland, and one just beyond Fantasyland, closest to Red Rose Taverne restaurant. The Critter Country entryway leads through the Resistance Forest first — here, you can pop into the marketplace through its opposite end — while the Fantasyland and Frontierland entrances emerge toward all the good stuff.
Take the Frontierland walkway, with the marketplace entrance on your left and droid shop on your right, to reach Savi’s Workshop, with Handbuilt Lightsabers on the right-hand side. Keep going to enter Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities on your right or Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo on your left, or spot a damn fine view of the Falcon straight ahead.
The other main path, stemming from the Fantasyland entrance, has First Order Cargo on its right and the Milk Stand toward the left. Keep going — walk, don’t run — to live out your booze-soaked fantasies at Oga’s Cantina on the right side, and, alas, see the hunk of space junk up close before trying your luck on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run straight ahead.
Where to drop your coin once you know the land
Here for souvenirs? There are nine unique locations packed with an unprecedented amount of exclusive merchandise, so beelining toward the right one is crucial.
If you’re all about the rides and just want something original and small to take home, bop over to the marketplace shops, which have a solid selection of kid-friendly toys like exclusive soft plush Rey, Chewbacca, and porg dolls, “handmade” wooden figurines, beeping droid headbands, and interactive stuffed creatures like Kowakian monkey puppets that sit on your shoulder and toy Tauntauns that react when touched.
For those in search of a trophy souvenir to bring home and display, book it toward Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, which is packed with all the high-end, super-insidery merch that fans are bound to freak out about, sold under the gaze of its mysterious Audio-Animatronic proprietor. (Think classic Luke, Vader and Darth Maul’s replica sabers, as well as Sith artifacts and glass case collectibles.)
For more traditional souvenirs and clothing, head to First Order Cargo for Stormtrooper pins, keychains and military-inspired gear; try Black Spire Outfitters within the marketplace for robes and lightsaber clip belts for the whole family; or hit the Resistance Supply out by the Resistance Forest for Rey and Poe-inspired outfits and Black Spire Outpost-branded gear.
The big show, however, are those much-discussed personalized goodies. Droid Depot allows guests to customize an R2-series or BB-series droid for $99.99, with “personality chips” reportedly sold separately at $14 a pop. The shop is filled with loads of other merch as well as busted droids on display throughout, so take a peek inside regardless.
Visitors to planet Batuu are allowed to move freely between piloting the Millennium Falcon and browsing a collection of toy Rathtars — the world we live in now! — but there’s only one place you can’t enter without a cover charge. Savi’s Workshop sells the famed weapons, sure, but you won’t step foot in the door unless you or a guest are making one to the tune of $199.99. The merchandise experience, which lets guests hand-select their own kyber crystals and build a heavy-duty personalized lightsaber, has approximately three build show experiences per hour, and each turn is limited to 28 people — 14 builders with a single allotted guest.
What to eat at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
As die-hard fans already know, there’s one sit-down restaurant, Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, as well as the quick-service spot Ronto Roasters for spicy sausage pita wraps and food stalls selling blue milk and colorful popcorn.
If you’ve waited a lifetime to suck at the teat of a Bantha, hit the milk stand and slurp down what’s basically Disney’s nondairy space horchata. Blue and Green Milk may not be the flavor profile you usually go for (early reviews touch on floral flavors, with tropical tastes like watermelon and passion fruit). But the rest of the Star Wars-themed “specialty drinks” are juice and tea concoctions with earthly items like Odwalla lemonade and Minute Maid limeade, so even at $8, the smoothie-like beverage is a better buy.
Much of Docking Bay 7’s food errs on the nutritional side, making the true highlight its indulgent Oi-oi Puff: a raspberry cream puff that I lost my mind over when tasting the menu for Eater back in March. The picture-perfect crunchy shell stuffed with flavorful mousse is one of the best foods at Galaxy’s Edge, so be sure to save room.
Trust your gut when it comes to selecting a concoction at Oga’s Cantina, where the fruit-forward drinks are sweet yet strong, but keep an eye out for specialty souvenir mugs and the highly underpublicized Batuu Bites, an umami-packed mix of rice crackers and seaweed crisps that’s a welcome galactic replacement to standard pub mix.
What to do first once you’re inside Galaxy’s Edge
Strategy is a tough call this early — so far, it’s looking like everyone is rushing to ride the Millennium Falcon first, but we won’t know until Galaxy’s Edge is fully up and running what the best plan of action will be. Walt Disney World’s most recent flagship attraction openings of Flight of Passage within Pandora - The World of Avatar and Toy Story Land’s Slinky Dog Dash continue to clock lengthy wait times, particularly in the morning, but didn’t launch with as many in-demand experiences surrounding them.
According to Len Testa, co-author of The Unofficial Guide and founder of Touring Plans, an algorithmically powered website that tracks and predicts theme park traffic patterns, wait times for Smugglers Run should spike at park opening and stay high throughout the morning, but dip around lunchtime, “especially if it’s hot.” Testa predicts times will pick up again later in the afternoon “once Disneyland locals get off work and get to the parks,” which would make a midday visit ideal during regular visits, but with timed entries may be moot.
Regardless, formulate a little game plan for what’s most important to you, and get that done first. Souvenirs could sell out quickly, and the cantina line could bloat when timed entry zones overlap, so tackle your priorities from the get-go of your assigned entry time.
Reservation times are not currently announced for Savi’s Workshop or Droid Depot, but the functionality is there and remains in Disney’s fine print, so keep that in mind, possibly scooting there first just in case.
And, if you can keep the ants in your pants long enough to wait to say “punch it!” just a few hours longer, it may be worth saving Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run for later in your visit. Unofficial Disney policy is that if you’re in line for an attraction when the park closes, you get to ride — but with preview visitors wearing color, time-blocked wristbands, there’s no word on how strictly exit times will be enforced.
Whatever you do, download the Play Disney Parks app before you enter. It’s being used to facilitate and enhance the Galaxy’s Edge experience — and you’ll be way too busy sucking down cantina drinks and taking in the otherworldly delights of Batuu to do it once there.
Carlye Wisel is a contributor at Travel + Leisure, and has covered theme parks for Eater, GQ, Popsugar, Racked, Thrillist, Bloomberg, Marie Claire, Fodor’s, and Men’s Journal, among others.