I want to get into my FAVORITE part of Disney Parks: the stories and the details. Galaxy’s Edge is FULL of them. It is such an immersive space, and right next to Toy Story Land, ANOTHER totally immersive land. The Imagineers are really upping their game lately. Let’s start at the very beginning: the name. Like the name indicates, Galaxy’s Edge is on the back EDGE of Hollywood Studios. There are two entrances into Black Spire Outpost. You can enter near MuppetVision 3D, which will bring you in by Rise of the Resistance; or enter from Toy Story Land, near the speeder garage. No matter which entrance you use, pay attention to how the landscaping, the sounds, and even the smells slowly transition you into this new world. Disney uses this in every park to change lands but it is truly magnificently done in Galaxy’s Edge.
So you’re now on the planet Batuu, at the Black Spire Outpost. This was once a thriving settlement, but is now home to bounty hunters, smugglers, and others hiding out from the First Order. It was named after the petrified spires located all over the place, that used to be ancient trees lining the rivers and plains of Batuu. The whole place is a story, and everyone and everything is a character. Resistance characters, like Chewbacca and Rey, can be found near the Droid Depot by the Speeder Garage. Keep an eye out for Vi Moradi, a Resistance spy. She has blue hair and an orange jacket. BUT REMEMBER: she is a spy.
First Order characters, like Kylo Ren and his troopers, are found at the TIE Echelon back near the milk stand. Each cast member in Batuu has a backstory. They are all part of the story. If you ask them how to get to the Rock n Roller Coaster, they might look at you funny. Ask them where they live, why they’re in the outpost, or their opinions on the Resistance or the First Order.
Language of Batuu
- “Bright suns” means “Good morning”
- “Rising moons” means “Good evening”
- “Refresher” means “restroom”
- “Hydrator” means “water fountain”
- “Credits” means “money”
- “Data pad” means “cell phone”
- “Only the ancients know” means “I don’t know”
- “Til the Spire” or “May the Spires keep you” means “Goodbye
Now, shopping. The Imagineers visited marketplaces in Istanbul and Marrakesh for inspiration, and drew on those experiences to design the marketplace at Black Spire Outpost. In many cases, audio animatronics serve as the shop keepers, giving more authenticity to the Star Wars theming. You will find a water fountain, excuse me….a hydrator, near the bathroom, I mean, refresher, for filling you water bottles. Above that hydrator, you will see a one-eyed Dianoga. Star Wars fans will recognize it as the creature in the trash chute that pulled Luke underwater in A New Hope. The Creature Stall has all kinds of creatures, like Porgs, Santhas, Tauntauns, and loth cats. You can purchase these rare space pets and bring them home with you. Black Spire Outfitters sells your finest space clothing, and you can find accessories, trinkets (like the japoor snippet Anakin carved for Padme in The Phantom Menace), and treasures.
At the Toydarian Toymaker, manned by Zabaka, a Toydarian like Watto, you will find “handmade” toys, like handstitched porgs or Yoda rag dolls. You can get wooden sandcrawlers filled with “hand-carved” mini Jawas, Ewok drums, packs of Sabaac cards, and even chance cubes!
If you look up in the ceiling of the toy shop, you will see handcrafted mobiles and marionettes depicting:
- Obi-Wan vs Darth Vader, A New Hope
- Millennium Falcon in Asteroids, Empire Strikes Back
- Jabba’s sail barge, The Return of the Jedi
You can also visit Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Ithorian Dok-Ondar deals in rare and unique items and antiquities. This is where you will find kyber crystals and holocrons for building your lightsaber in Savi’s Workshop. In order to make a lightsaber, you should make a reservation 60 days out. Before you leave Dok-Ondar’s shop, though, be sure to look for Jyn Erso’s kyber crystal necklace from Rogue One. If you’re a fan of the First Order, head over to First Order Cargo for all your evil goods. Team Resistance? Head to Resistance Supply and get the good guys’ goods.
We’ve discussed Dining this week, and, of course, the milk stand, and DROIDS!, but let’s talk RIDES!! There are two rides inside Galaxy’s Edge, and for all you Star Tours lovers (LIKE ME!!!), it’s still there, it’s just not in the land. It is in it’s same spot between MuppetVision 3D and Backlot Express. So in Batuu, you will find the LIFE SIZE Millennium Falcon, where you can ride Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
While waiting in line, I encourage you to take advantage of looking out the “windows” and taking in the INSANE amount of detail put into the ship. It truly is incredible and they did us a huge favor by designing the queue around the ship.
The “ship” takes 6 people to fly it, and, I have to be honest, I have no idea if they are mixing parties during COVID times, but I would assume not. There are 2 pilots, 2 gunners, and 2 navigators. This part is something I don’t like, because I was a pilot but I only controlled left and right, not up and down, but Imagineering didn’t ask me, and there you go. It’s an awesome ride, but honestly, the queue and the staging area before you board the Falcon are my favorite spots, mostly because I, like most people, have grown up on these movies and this is like a dream come true: being IN THE MILLENNIUM FALCON!!!!!!
There is also the newest ride Rise of the Resistance, but I haven’t gone on this ride yet and I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers forever now because I had to cancel all my vacations due to COVID. I promise I’ll report back in two weeks, after our trip!!
So now, a wrap up on some of the Easter Eggs around Galaxy’s Edge
- One-eyed dianoga from the trash chute in a tank above the Black Spire drinking fountain
- taxidermic Wampa from Hoth in Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities
- Pod racing engine used to roast the rontos and the smelter droids from Jabba’s palace turning the spits in Ronto Roasters
- mural in Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities showing light vs dark from Palpatine’s office in Revenge of the Sith
- Hondo Ohnaka from Clone Wars and Rebels gives you your mission assignment on Smuggler’s Run
- Nien Nunb, Lando Calrissian’s co-pilot in Return of the Jedi, flies the transport ship in Rise of the Resistance
- Actual R2-D2 tracks were used to make “droid tracks” around the outpost to give it a more authentic look
And don’t forget to buy your souvenir THERMODETONATORS!!!!!
The Star Wars Hotel is set to open in 2022! Contact me today to get on my VIP Waitlist to book this exciting 2-day adventure! Do you need help booking your next vacation? That’s my job! Let me help you out!