Published November 2019
What a great moment to be a Star Wars fan! Since 2012, Disney has been focused on expanding the saga’s universe. This is such a fertile ground that every year they release new movies, new products, and new stories, with a seemingly endless horizon.
Now, the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, has taken this worship to another level: the fans are no longer just mere spectators; they are part of the adventure.
In an area of 602,780 ft² [56,000 m²], Disney created Batuu, a very hot planet with few trees where guests can interact with the characters – you’ll hear the salutation ‘Bright suns!’ all the time –, fly the Millennium Falcon, build their own lightsaber... There, they walk through the Black Spire Outpost, a kind of spaceport, while listening to a soundtrack composed by John Williams especially for the land.
On this list, we tell you everything you need to know before exploring Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, so you can enjoy it even more:
This attraction combines storytelling with interactive gameplay to make you the protagonist of your own Star Wars adventure. Prepare to climb into the cockpit of "the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy" and take control of the Millennium Falcon in one of the three unique and critical roles as the ship hurtles through space.
This is how the story goes: after being hired by Hondo Ohnaka, an infamous pirate, you enter the simulator alongside with five other people (pilots, engineers, and gunners). If you are a bad pilot and hit the rocks, the Millennium Falcon will present technical failures. On the outside, you can smell the burning circuits!
Batuu is partly inhabited by the Resistance (followers of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo) and partly by the First Order (a government that uses the dark side of the Force). You will run into Characters all the time and realize that oftentimes they are on a mission. Or running from the Stormtroopers (the soldiers in white armors) and interacting with guests.
Chewbacca is one of the place’s main attractions, and the Stormtroopers usually ‘subdue’ guests to ask what they are doing there. “Let’s get moving, let’s get moving!”
The Batuu market has several shops that offer all kinds of licensed products. Stuffed toys, tees, and Jedi clothing, but always in tune with the context. For example: more ‘modern’ items like posters, wine, and colorful toys with flashing lights and that spin are available at stores out of this area. What you’ll find there follows the narrative and the same aesthetics.
Save some room in your bag to visit Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities, a combination museum and store. On the walls, busts of animals from planet Vandor, weapons used in all the movies of the saga, helmets, sculptures, and droids. You can spend hours there before buying costumes, crystals, lightsabers, and many other items. And Dok-Ondar himself, the alien clerk, is on the other side of the counter.
We all know the ingredients; they are from Earth. But the presentation of the dishes at all the restaurants at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is intergalactic and quite modern. From pork meat to seafood, with vegetarian and vegan options.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is installed in a hangar where you can have a seat and rest, while Oga's Cantina serves snacks for space travelers to chow down on. For adults, fun lies in the colorful alcoholic drinks, like the Fuzzy Tauntaun, made with peach vodka which numbs the mouth. There, you can also try the Blue Milk from planet Tatooine or head to the Milk Stand to taste the Green Milk from Ach-To.
In a dark room, guests learn how to build their own lightsaber at Savi's Workshop. Forget about the Star Wars toys you’ve seen so far: this is truly a collector’s item, which looks (a lot!) like the weapon that cut off Luke Skywalker’s hand in The Empire Strikes Back.
You can choose all the parts of your saber (a purchase of US$200 is required), including the crystal color, from among 120,000 combinations. At the end, it's yours to keep!
In Droid Depot, at another shop at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, you can build droids by using mechanical parts that appear on a conveyor belt. Then, all you need to do is install a personality chip on your robot, which you can take home for US$99.
Anyone staying at one of Disney’s resorts can enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios before or after the park opens or closes to the public on specific days (consult DisneyWorld.com). With Extra Magic Hours, you can enjoy the attractions with shorter queues, including at the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
In addition to being Disney’s biggest expansion since the inauguration of the parks, in 1965, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is also its most technological area. For an even more immersive experience, download the Play Disney Park app to your smartphone. It will help you unveil the hidden codes, translate extraterrestrial languages, and interact with droids.
In December, another ride at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set to open. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance promises to be even more impactful for fans – but we won’t give away spoilers here.
Disney has also announced the construction of a new resort in its hotel complex, in the shape of a spaceship for anyone who wants to have the experience of conquering a galaxy even when it’s time go to bed. There’s no set date for the resort opening.
Going to Orlando – and Batuu – is easier and quicker than you might think. LATAM has direct flights to Orlando and Miami, Florida, departing from São Paulo, in Brazil, and Lima, in Peru. Come with us!