Galaxy's Edge: A Trip to Batuu
Well, you can’t tell me you weren’t expecting this, right? And yes, there are a MILLION other people writing this same blog post but you come read mine for a reason, right?
This was our first time making the trip down to Orlando for an Annual Passholder preview event and I’m so happy we did! It wasn’t the longest or most convenient trip but it was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Galaxy’s Edge as empty as it was and be able to ride Smuggler’s Run as many times as we did in that short amount of time.
Before I get into my top takeaways, here’s some Mousekeeping, (as I always do):
Our preview time was a 4 hour window. I didn’t know if this would be enough time to see everything but I feel like I was able to get a good sense of the land in the four hours we were in there.
Given that this was previews, I’m not well equipped to share thoughts about what wait times will be like or how crowded it’ll be.
There’s currently only one ride open and will be the only ride open when Galaxy’s Edge opens to the public on August 29 — Rise of the Resistance is set to open in December in Walt Disney World.
We did not try for the Cantina; we’ll actually be back in January for a longer trip and have a reservation for the Cantina then! We also did not build a Droid this trip but will be doing so in January.
I was planning to give this its own section but I think it doesn’t really need an explanation but you’re going to spend a lot of money. Those awesome Coca-Cola bottles are not cheap.
Take Your Time & Let Yourself Enjoy the Immersion
It’s tempting to make a mad dash for Smuggler’s Run and for the Cantina, but one of the things I really loved about Galaxy’s Edge was the amount of details tucked into the land. If you’re a huge Star Wars fan, you’ll find things that the rest of us probably missed and maybe won’t understand the significance behind. There’s clearly been a large amount of thought put into details (like the signage) and for the rest of us that won’t catch or understand every single thing, there are still fun Easter Eggs! So keep your eyes peeled. Even the plushies you can buy look like they’re handmade by the Batuuans.
One thing I also think is important is to let yourself get lost in the immersion. Learn the lingo! When we were paying, the Cast Member asked us if we had a “yellow credentials card” and “accompanying identification” — it took me a second to understand she was asking for my Annual Passholder card and my ID but it was part of the fun! The CM’s also do a wonderful job of really playing up the area they’re in. You may get questioned as to why you’re wearing a shirt with the Millennium Falcon on it while you’re paying for your blue milk in the area run by the First Order or a CM may tell you to make sure you “don’t let the First Order know what you just did!” as you exit Smuggler’s Run. I personally think you’ll have a better time if you play along and really let yourself be a part of the cast of characters in Batuu!
Fun tip: If you have children, download the Play Disney Parks app. There’s QR codes on lots of the cargo that you can scan while waiting in line for Smuggler’s Run.
Smuggler’s Run (aka The Millennium Falcon ride)
I won’t do the thing where I save this til the end because I think this is probably the one thing I got the most questions about. So here’s the deal:
There are three “roles” you can be assigned:
Each flight has 2 of each role. So there’s six seats total. The Pilots sit at the front, followed by the Gunners, and then the Engineers.
The ride is a simulator. You have to do your job. It’s a bit tough to be at the back as an Engineer, hit buttons, and try to watch what’s happening but all hope is not lost if you’re an Engineer. We actually had a great time.
We were part of three flight crews. We waited no more than 30 minutes each flight. We were assigned Engineers twice and Gunners once.
I won’t spoil the queue and the experience but know that once you get into the room with the Dejarik Chess Table, you have a bit of time to roam and take some photos BUT make sure you’re listening for the color of your flight crew assignment.
Fun tip: Look out the window while you’re in the queue. You might spot some familiar faces making some repairs on the Falcon or catch some awesome views of the Falcon from above.
To Photopass or Not to Photopass?
I thought the lines for Smuggler’s Run would be the worst lines during previews. Imagine my surprise when the line for multiple angles of the Falcon were wrapping around the area!
I’ve mentioned in the past that I LOVE Photopass. Yes, Memory Maker is included in our Annual Passholder price but I purchased Memory Maker every trip before we were AP’s too. These folks have some of the best vantage points for some key locations and you’ll be sure to get some awesome photos via Photopass. I think this is really helpful for couples traveling on their own or families where mom and dad are swapping in and out of photos. You have the opportunity to capture some awesome shots with everyone in your party and aside from using a tripod or asking a stranger, Photopass is your best bet.
That said, Photopass is not everywhere. And there are lots of nooks and crannies and cool places to get shots. You’ll definitely have a hard time finding angles where there’s not a million people behind you but as my husband will tell you, you just have to be patient, take what you can get, and have a lightweight photo editor on your phone. The photo below and the first photo at the top were all just shot in random places I asked my husband to take some quick snaps.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise coming from me however, one thing I highly recommend, especially for Galaxy’s Edge is DRESS UP! It could be a t-shirt or something Star Wars inspired but this is one of the parks where I think you’ll actually be outnumbered if you just wear regular clothes. I Disneybound every single trip for the most part and you don’t have to be as committed to an outfit as I was (yes, I changed halfway through the day) but even just a t-shirt could get you noticed and let you have the chance to have interaction opportunities with the different characters in Galaxy’s Edge.
Some places I recommend for t-shirts are:
Karma & Kismet — her ‘Greetings from Batuu’ is one of my faves! [Use code: RISA10 for a discount!]
HotTopic and Boxlunch are also two of my favorite places for more mass-produced Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel goodies.
I put a breakdown of how I managed to do a wardrobe change in the middle of the day on my Instagram here but here are the actual details of my Galaxy’s Edge outfit:
Blue or Green?
Milk. We’re talking blue milk or green milk.
We didn’t try the alcoholic versions of the milk — I wanted to try them without anything changing the flavor.
There’s actually not much to say except that I prefer the blue one. So much so that we went back for seconds before we head out of Batuu.
The green one was too floral for my taste and I felt like I was drinking blended flowers. The blue one is actually quite refreshing. I don’t mind the consistency of either of them.
I don’t know how many people will agree with me but I’m going to also go out on a limb and say I probably wouldn’t like the alcoholic versions very much.
If you made it this far, I will do as I always do and thank you for reading! If you skimmed through the whole post looking for a tl;dr (too long; didn’t read), the only thing I’ll tell you is that it’s awesome and you need to go. And you’ll likely find me not only returning to Batuu soon but also in a virtual queue waiting for one of those very expensive cabins.
Let me know if you end up going and where you land on all the things I’ve mentioned here. I can’t wait to see how different Galaxy’s Edge will be in January when both rides are operational and it’s been open for a couple months.
But until then, may the spires keep you. ✨