Disneyland currently gives guests with reservations for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge four-hour time slots to enjoy the park. That’s enough time to do nearly everything you could want (until its second ride, Rise of the Resistance, opens later this year) but you’ll want to arrive with a plan.
We’ve been to the land twice: once for the press day, and again on opening day. During that time, we discovered a few tricks that make a visit to Batuu far more relaxed and enjoyable. We recommend you prep for your adventure long before you enter the park, or even catch a plane to Anaheim.
How to prepare for Disneyland and Galaxy’s Edge
Download the Disneyland and Play Disney Parks apps and learn how they work
The Disneyland app (Android, iOS) allows guests to check the wait times on rides, make mobile food orders ahead of time, and book MaxPass tickets for certain rides in both Disneyland and California Adventures (though not Smuggler’s Run at the moment).
The Play Disney Parks app (Android, iOS) contains the Galaxy’s Edge game, which is surprisingly deeper and more enjoyable than we expected. The game allows players to hack, scan, and translate the park’s gizmos, QR codes, and signage written in the language of Aurebesh. It features dozens of missions, delivered by iconic Star Wars characters through a futuristic spin on text messages.
Pack a portable smartphone charger
You should always bring a smartphone charger to theme parks, where you’ll likely eat phone battery surfing social media while waiting in lines. But you should especially bring a charger if you plan to dig into the Play Disney Parks app’s (Android, iOS) Galaxy’s Edge game, which uses bluetooth connectivity in the background, even when you’re not playing the game.
The park’s designers have done a good job of providing shade for the Smuggler’s Run line. That said, other parts of Galaxy’s Edge are exposed to direct sunlight. Waiting in line for Savi’s Workshop and Oga’s Cantina, two of the most popular attractions, can be particularly sweaty.
Trust us: You don’t want to leave Batuu feeling like you were actually burned by its twin suns.
Take a look at the map
There’s a lot to do in Galaxy’s Edge, but some of it is pretty well hidden. Its designers have tried to create a believable, fictional city in Black Spire, so you won’t see flashing neon signs saying “Buy Lightsabers Here!”
Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities is one of the coolest shops in the entire park, but some guests might overlook it altogether, thanks to a simple circular door that blends in with its surroundings.
To make sure you get the most of Galaxy’s Edge, look at the map above (or in the Disneyland app, available on Android and iOS). If you don’t mind spoilers, learn what the stores and restaurants have to offer online. Make a mental priority list. We won’t go so far as to recommend writing a strict list of things to do in a specific order — we encourage adjusting on the fly — but if there’s something that really interests you, be sure to know where it fits into the land.
Don’t pack too much stuff for the park
A smartphone charger, sunscreen, and a water bottle are crucial, but don’t pack too much unnecessary stuff. Remember, Galaxy’s Edge only has one ride at the moment. That means you’ll be spending most of your time eating and shopping.
We didn’t think we’d buy that much stuff. When we got to the hotel, we realized we’d grabbed two boards games, two lightsabers, and a bunch of other trinkets for friends and family who couldn’t make the trip. Spare your back of unnecessary aches and pains.
What to do when you arrive at Disneyland
Arrive at Disneyland a couple hours before your Galaxy’s Edge reservation to collect your wristband
To differentiate groups of guests by their reservation time, Disneyland requires all Galaxy’s Edge visitors to wear color-coded wristbands. To collect the wristbands, your entire party must be together and visit the Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland — it’s the old Carousel of Progress building right next to Space Mountain. Seriously: Have everybody in your group with you. A member of our party was grabbing coffees, and we had to wait outside the entrance for him to return.
Once inside the Launch Bay, every member of your party must show government-issued photo IDs and their reservation confirmation email to collect their wristbands. Be sure to get the bands scanned on the way out of Launch Bay, which seems to register the bands for the day. If you want to buy some Galaxy’s Edge merch early, some stuff is for sale on the second floor of the Launch Bay, though prepare to wait in line.
Speaking of lines: The line to collect wristbands looked very intimidating when we visited the park. Don’t worry. It moves quickly.
Line up to enter Galaxy’s Edge no more than 15 minutes before your reservation
The Disneyland crowd management people don’t want guests clogging the entrance to Galaxy’s Edge, so they ask folks to show up no more than 15 minutes before their reserved time slot. Reservation groups aren’t too big, so you won’t need to be at the front of the crowd to make the most of your visit to Batuu.
Take the extra time to enjoy Disneyland. In general, you can see a lot of the park if you arrive at opening. For our 11 a.m. reservation, we got our wristbands, had breakfast, and rode Star Tours, Space Mountain, and The Haunted Mansion before we got in line for Galaxy’s Edge.
What to do when you enter Galaxy’s Edge
Don’t rush to ride Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Currently, guests enter and leave the land in overlapping shifts. As a result, there are moments during your time slot in which the land will become dramatically less crowded because the previous group’s time has wrapped and they’re leaving. (The obvious exception being the first group to enter.)
In our experience, this is the perfect time to ride Smuggler’s Run. We saw the wait time drop as low as 30 minutes during the middle of our 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. reservation.
Of course, if you’re worried about potentially missing the ride, it’s best to be cautious. If at any point you see the ride at 30 minutes, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity.
If you want to build a $200 lightsaber or get an alcoholic drink, prioritize it
The two busiest spots in Galaxy’s Edge are Savi’s Workshop, where guests can build their own lightsabers, and Oga’s Cantina, the one place in Disneyland that serves alcoholic drinks. Both have lines that can reach over two hours.
With an hour left in our reservation, we tried to get in line for Oga’s, but a cast member informed us that our group had been cut off. There wouldn’t be enough time for us to wait in line, order a drink, and enjoy that drink before our time slot concluded.
On one hand, nobody likes to be turned away from a cool bar, especially one with the animatronic DJ R-3X. On the other hand, the strict line management has helped keep crowds and waits manageable. Overall, enforcing cutoffs feels like a reasonable trade-off for shorter lines — at least until hype dies down.
Order food and drinks through the Disneyland app
Food lines aren’t too bad, but if you want Smoked Kaadu Ribs or Blue Milk, we still recommend you use the Disneyland app (Android, iOS) to order in advance. The app works with the Docking Bay and the Milk Stand, and it can save you some precious minutes better spent touring the market or getting a photo opp with Vi Moradi.
Drink lots and lots of water
Disneyland’s designers have included a few stations for guests to refill water bottles. Take advantage of them. It can get hot in a crowd underneath the California sun, and getting dehydrated will quickly spoil and otherwise great day.
Smuggler’s Run allows guests to exit the line to use the restroom. Here’s how Travel and Leisure describes the bathroom pass:
The new bathroom pass allows riders to leave the line, head to the restroom, and then re-enter through the FastPass line where they’ll wait in a holding area for the rest of their party. The bathroom pass – a lanyard with the Queue Re-Entry Pass attached — will be given to the rider by a Disney employee. The pass will be available to customers in the Smugglers Run line when it opens and at the Rise of the Resistance queue when the second Galaxy’s Edge attraction debuts later this year.
As my colleague Charlie Hall mentioned in his review of opening day, the land has an impressive verticality to its design. If you enjoy Star Wars Easter eggs, you will find many tied to walls, hanging from ceilings, or tucked into storage areas, like the treasures floating above the clerks at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.
Use colloquialisms to start conversations with cast members
Galaxy’s Edge has its own canonical story in the Star Wars universe. It takes place over the course of a single day at an undisclosed time between the events of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, and already ties into a handful of comics and books. It even has a main character: Vi Moradi, General Leia Organa’s top spy.
You can meet Vi if you want to talk with an actual starring character in the Star Wars canon. Or you could just chat with the locals. Every cast member has devised their own fictional backstory, and we found that most of them were eager to share parts of it.
These four phrases will, if not impress cast members, convey to them that you are game to participate in the land’s fiction.
Good day: Bright suns
Good evening: Rising moons
Goodbye, or Till we meet again: Till the Spire
Good luck: Good run