Disneyland is a meticulously crafted illusion, in which the tiniest details transport guests into the past, the future, or a land of fantasy.
Then those guests enter the restroom, where an ordinary collection of toilets and sinks snap them out of the magic.
Disneyland’s new Star Wars land, Galaxy’s Edge, takes restrooms seriously. It’s hard to keep lavatories “in character” at theme parks. In the United States, laws regulate the design of restrooms available to a business’ customers. They influence everything: the number of sinks, the upkeep of toilets, the material of the floors, the accessibility of the restroom itself, and plenty more. As a result, theme parks — Disney included — tend to keep restrooms simple, even if that briefly breaks the illusion of being somewhere beyond the real world.
During a press preview of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, I had a chance to tour the restrooms, which are located on the map below:
They feel like restrooms I’d find on a rough and tumble settlement at the edge of the galaxy, which is a weird thing to say considering fiction has given so few examples of what a space bathroom might even look like.
Even though the restroom is immaculately clean, there’s an intentional griminess to the art direction. The floor and walls, brand new, have been modified to look dozens of years old. The mirror is a little foggy and crusty. I may have been the first person to take a restroom selfie at Galaxy’s Edge. Truly, this will be my legacy.
This particular restroom doesn’t have front doors, and the sinks are long communal troughs. The design has a “public restroom on an Outer Rim budget” vibe.
The restrooms still have some pieces of the real-world, as they should. For example, folks should be able to properly dispose of their sharps. I especially liked the baby changing station; some designer got to art direct the required signage.
I spoke with Matt Martin, a creative executive for Lucasfilm’s story group, to learn how they fit the restroom into the Star Wars universe.
“There’s not a literal story in [the restrooms],” said Martin. “It just has a visual story. But yeah, it was definitely considered.
“I remember sending over reference of Star Wars bathrooms. The Batuu bathrooms don’t fit with what we’ve really seen so far. Rebels had a bathroom, but it was inside of a ship — it was not exactly the same as the inside of a smuggler outpost. But they definitely looked at reference for the bathrooms. They thought of everything.”