A traveler’s guide to Galaxy’s Edge

I first visited Disney World in 2016 at the age of 28. I wondered, would the experience still seem magical since I hadn’t gone to Disney World as a kid and didn’t have any particular nostalgia for the parks?

As it turns out, I needn’t have worried – I fell instantly in love, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Disney World two more times since then.

My favorite park in Disney World is, unsurprisingly, Hollywood Studios, because that’s where the Star Wars stuff is. If you’re a Star Wars fan and you haven’t yet made a trip to the Star Wars-themed land “Galaxy’s Edge,” I promise you, it’s worth every penny. 

Disney World is a wonderful barrage of sights, sounds, and experiences, and there’s no way you could possibly do everything on one trip. I’ve visited Galaxy’s Edge two times, and I still haven’t experienced everything the land has to offer. 

Disney World is an expensive experience – and I have concerns about how the continually increasing prices are making it harder for the average person to visit. If you decide to take a vacation to Galaxy’s Edge, it’s going to cost quite a bit of money, and I’d definitely recommend doing your research ahead of time to make sure you get the most out of your trip. 

Galaxy’s Edge transports you to a planet in the Star Wars universe called Batuu. I’ve seen complaints that it’s not Tatooine or Hoth or another recognizable planet from the original trilogy, but trust me, it’s much better this way. With Galaxy’s Edge, the Disney Parks aren’t  just trying to recreate a scene or a feeling from a particular movie; Galaxy’s Edge allows you to step into a whole new world that gives you an opportunity to create your own adventure. 

Budget some time in your schedule to just walk around and experience the general ambience of the land. The theming here is incredible, and you’ll feel like you’ve actually traveled to a galaxy far, far away. If you can stay at the park until after the sun goes down, definitely do – Batuu is beautiful when it’s lit up at night. 

Prepare to get emotional when you see the replica of the Millennium Falcon at the heart of Galaxy’s Edge; the first time I traveled to Batuu, I actually started crying before I even made it to the Falcon. It looks incredibly realistic.

There are two rides in Galaxy’s Edge: Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run. Smugglers Run is a Millennium Falcon flight simulator and it’s super fun, though watch out for a little motion sickness if the pilot in your group decides to fly the ship erratically (translation: if they’re like me and have no idea what they’re doing and just crash the simulator into stuff). 

Rise of the Resistance is both a ride and an experience – and I don’t want to say much more than that, because this ride is best experienced as a surprise. 

You can purchase an “individual lightning lane” pass to skip the standby line for Rise of the Resistance, and it is 100% worth it. I don’t love that Disney is charging so much for a one-time ride, but waiting in the regular line is actually not a guarantee you’ll get to ride this thing. 

I paid $15 for a lightning lane pass to ride Rise of the Resistance on my first day at Disney World last month, and it was a great experience. The last day, we got up super early so we could ride ROTR as soon as the park opened…only to be informed that the ride was experiencing technical difficulties and wasn’t open yet. By the time the ride started operating, the wait was multiple hours long, and that just wasn’t doable with a small child. 

Rise of the Resistance is a complex ride, and it’s prone to frequent breakdowns. In fact I think it broke down at least once a day every day we were at Disney World last month. Try to ride it early in your trip and buy a lightning lane for extra security. 

If you’re not a rides person, there’s still plenty to do in Batuu! I love trying new foods, and the “Ronto Wrap” is a must during your visit. You should also make a reservation to Oga’s Cantina, and you’ll need to do this well ahead of time because spots fill up fast. There’s a droid DJ and all kinds of drinks (alcoholic and nonalcoholic) to sample. Docking Bay 7 is a Star Wars themed restaurant within the land, and it’s a nice place to sit and catch your breath after a day in the Florida sun. 

I actually haven’t tried the famous blue milk in Galaxy’s Edge (they have green milk too), because I’ve heard mixed reviews and comments that it’s super sweet. Maybe next time I’ll be bold enough to give it a try!

Last but not least, there is a LOT of merch available in Batuu, and if you’re a Star Wars fan, you’re probably going to want to come home with a few treasures. Nothing you’ll find here is cheap, but it is high quality (at least the souvenirs I’ve purchased) and to me was worth saving up for. 

I have not done the custom build your own lightsaber experience but I’ve heard it’s amazing and well worth the hefty price tag. On my recent trip to Galaxy’s Edge, I bought what’s called a “legacy saber” – i.e. a lightsaber that’s from a character in the movies, TV series, video games, etc. I really wanted to have Rey’s lightsaber from the end of Episode IX, which she crafts using parts from her staff. Rey’s a character who has deep personal meaning to me as a fan, so that’s why I went with a premade lightsaber rather than the build your own option. 

I’ve purchased a porg puppet from the adopt a creature stall that is absolutely delightful (it flaps its wings and makes sounds). Depending on your perspective, this could be adorable or annoying (to me, it’s adorable). I also got a Jedi holocron (they have Sith holocrons available too), and you can modify the sound effects the holocrons make by purchasing different kyber crystals. 

I recommend researching the type of souvenirs available in Galaxy’s Edge before you go so you know what you really want (to avoid impulse buys) and allow yourself time to save up enough money. I saved money for a year just for souvenirs for my recent Galaxy’s Edge trip, so I could pick out some cool stuff and not feel guilty.

Finally, if you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Disney World’s new Star Wars themed “hotel,” the Galactic Starcruiser. I use “hotel” in quotes because it’s really more of an extended RPG experience. 

It’s also CRAZY expensive, and despite how much I love Star Wars, that sticker price is just too high for me. I’d rather have a full Disney vacation for a week than spend that kind of money for two nights – despite how cool the experience reportedly is. Batuu has plenty to offer on its own!

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