Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser

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Galactic Starcruiser
Photo: Disney

Maybe you’ve heard about the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel that is set to open at the Walt Disney World Resort. Are you ready to actually LIVE Star Wars?

Where is the Starcruiser?

As you leave Hollywood Studios, you can see the outside of the hotel, which is rather bland, by design. You’re supposed to be in space the whole time, aboard a Starcruiser, so it really shouldn’t matter what the outside looks like. The special effects and details and visual effects on the inside should more than make up for all of this!

Inside of Starcruiser cabins

Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle shared this photo of him and Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro on his Instagram, showing a sneak peek of the inside of one of the “cabins” aboard the “ship.” Here’s what he said about it in his post:  “Inside we visited The Atrium and looked out The Bridge windows to what will be a galaxy far, far way. We even checked out the cabins in progress, including their windows to space seen in these renderings.”

More Inside shots of Starcruiser

So far, according to what Disney has said, they will be offering two-night itineraries, where guests will arrive and depart at the same time. This is just like a Disney Cruise and fits the theme of flying away on a space ship. You’ll be “cruising through space,” if you will.

What IS the Starcruiser, anyway?

So this is basically going to be the most expensive role playing game you’ve ever played. Disney is promising to put you smack dab in the center of an interactive intergalactic adventure that you control. You will be 100% fully immersed into the Star Wars Universe. You can see the officially Walt Disney World site here for more information.

Exterior Artist Rendering of Starcruiser
Disney Institute Concept Art

You’re at the Starcruiser, now what?

You will arrive for your two-night adventure, and enter a launch pod, which will jump into hyperspace. Guests will see themselves leaving Florida, jumping into hyperspace (or, as those of us in the snowbelt call it, driving through a snowstorm with your high beams on), and flying to the Halcyon, which is the name of the Galactic Starcruiser that will be your home for the two-night journey.

Interior Artist Rendering of Starcruiser Launch Pod
Launch Pod, Disney Institute Concept Art

Once your pod connects to the Halcyon, you will begin your fully immersive adventure. You will become a character in a true Star Wars story and, like any cruise, there will be an excursion off the ship, where you will travel to Batuu and visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Lightsaber Training Aboard Starcruiser
Disney Institute Concept Art

You will be able to train with a lightsaber, visit lounges and bunkers, and do so many amazing things we don’t even know about. The hotel itself will not resemble a starcruiser. It looks like a bunker. The magic will all be state-of-the-art Disney Imagineering effects.

Opening Date Announced for the Starcruiser

The Starcruiser opens on March 1, 2022, and booking is now open. You will book a 2-day “cruise,” meaning that you will “board” the Starcruiser and embark on a 2-day journey in space, with a stop on Planet Batuu.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Your Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser vacation package includes:

  • 2-night stay in a cabin or suite
  • Ongoing, immersive and interactive entertainment, where choices determine your experience*
  • Food and beverages on the starcruiser (excluding alcoholic and specialty beverages) and a quick-service meal at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo or other select locations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios**
  • Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for your planetary excursion to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • Valet parking
  • Exclusive Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser MagicBand

It’s a real lightsaber, it DOES exist, and will be used as part of this new immersive experience. TAKE ALL MY MONEY!

So how excited are you for this incredible hotel experience?!! Is this a take it or leave it for you?

Interested in booking a voyage aboard the new Starcruiser? How about a free quote for a Walt Disney World Vacation? Contact me today!

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Review: Oga’s Cantina

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It’s time to talk about Oga’s Cantina! Oga’s Cantina, located on the Planet Batuu (in Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park), is one of the galaxy’s most infamous watering holes. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. This bar, modeled after Mos Eisley Cantina from the Star Wars Original Trilogy, is an incredibly popular spot in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. You can make a reservation 60 days in advance and it is HIGHLY recommended that you do so. It is very hard to get in, even two years after opening!

Oga's Cantina on My Disney Experience App

FOOD

Real talk, while you need a reservation to get in, and it is considered a “dining” reservation, this is not a restaurant. The food options are small (like 2 options) and basically bar snacks. You will want to eat before you have this reservation or right afterwards!

But that’s ok, because you’re not coming here for the food! This place is all about the drinks! And the atmosphere.

Atmosphere

Oga's Cantina bar

The atmosphere is outta this world. Ok, now that I’ve got that out of my system….

The check in area is completely outside, so there is no sneak peak involved. You do not see the space until you enter…through one of Star Wars’ iconic self-opening doors. Yes, we’ve had automatic doors for decades, but this one just hits different. Because on the other side of that door is the Cantina that you have waited most of your life to step into.

Oga's Cantina booth

There are many different types of seating, from booths carved into the cave (Han shot first), to high-top bar tables, to tables directly at the bar. If you want to wander around and take in all the amazing, immersive details, I recommend you do so on your way out of the bar. Also, there is a 2-drink maximum, so that people don’t loiter all day long.

Oga's Cantina DJ R-3X

Enjoy the sick beats of DJ R-3X, known as Rex, as he spins tunes for the bar. Maybe you’ll even hear a familiar tune or two. Speaking of familiar, you may recognize Rex. He was the original pilot of Star Tours!

Drinks

Oga's Cantina Yub Nub
Yub Nub
Oga's Cantina Bespin Fizz
Bespin Fizz
Oga's Cantina T-16 Skyhopper
T-16 Skyhopper
Oga's Cantina Jedi Mind Trick
Jedi Mind Trick
Oga's Cantina Fuzzy TaunTaun

The drinks are uniquely themed and super delicious. There are alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic drinks, beers, ciders, and wines on tap, and fountain drinks.

You’ll definitely want to try the Fuzzy Tauntaun, just to experience the numbing agent! It is Ciroc Peach Vodka, Bols Peach Schnapps, Simply Orange with Tangerine, Pure Cane Sugar, and “Buzz Button Tingling” Foam.

The Yub Nub, once you get over the sticker shock (yes, it’s really $45), is delicious and you get the COOLEST souvenir mug, depicting the Battle of Endor. You get your drink in the mug but they give you a brand new, CLEAN mug to take with you. And our bartender also gave us a huge stack of coasters to bring home, too! This Ewok-inspired drink is Malibu Pineapple Rum, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Citrus Juices, and Passion Fruit served in a Souvenir Endor Mug. The Jedi Mind Trick is a simple, fruity concoction that consists of Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit and Rose Vodka, John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, Bols Blue Curaçao, White Grape Juice, Lime Juice, and Grapefruit Bitters.

Oga's Cantina Blue Bantha

The Blue Bantha is one of the few non-alcoholic drinks that is worth trying, and it consists of blue milk, that somehow tastes better than what you get from the milk bar, and a bantha-inspired vanilla cookie.

Final Thoughts on Oga’s Cantina

We had a fabulous time at Oga’s Cantina, and I highly recommend it! And not just for Star Wars fans. It’s not somewhere you go for a good, stiff drink, it’s somewhere that you go for an immersive experience. You’re not likely to run into a Mandalorian Bounty Hunter, or a Scoundrel Smuggler, or even a Wookiee, but there’s amazing details everywhere you look. Have you visited Oga’s Cantina? What do you think?!

Oga's Cantina Bar Seating
Our bill at Oga's Cantina

Are you ready to book your next vacation? Contact me today for your free quote!

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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

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Take a Deep Dive into the Story and Details of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World!

My favorite part of all Disney Theme Parks are the stories and the details, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is FULL of them. It is such an immersive space, and right next to Toy Story Land, ANOTHER totally immersive land. Located on the back edge of Hollywood Studios, Galaxy’s Edge is all of your childhood dreams coming true at once. (Likewise, at Disneyland Park, Galaxy’s Edge is on the back edge of the park). While you’re here, you’re truly in a galaxy far, far away.

How do I get to Batuu?

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. As you should with every land in every Disney Park, pay attention to how the landscaping, the sounds, and even the smells slowly transition you into this new world. In addition to the buildings and spaceships and speeders, explore the foiliage and even the droid and creature tracks in the ground.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Black Spire Outpost: Galaxy’s Edge

Black Spire Outpost

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Once on the planet Batuu, you’ll be 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. This Outpost was named after the petrified spires located throughout the Outpost, which used to be ancient trees lining the rivers and plains of Batuu. As such, the whole place is a story, and everyone and everything is a character. Likewise, every detail is a story. Visitors will be able to find Rey and Chewbacca wandering around the Speeder Garage or the Millennium Falcon. They may even greet you after you return from Rise of the Resistance! And keep an eye out for Vi Moradi, a Resistance spy. She has blue hair and an orange jacket. BUT REMEMBER: she is a spy.

The First Order – Kylo Ren

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, and they are all part of the story. As such, if you ask them how to get to the Rock n Roller Coaster, they might look at you funny. But if you 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

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Shopping – Batuu Marketplace

Disney Imagineers visited marketplaces in Istanbul and Marrakesh for inspiration for Batuu, and drew on those experiences to design the marketplace at Black Spire Outpost. In many cases, audio animatronics serve as the shopkeepers, 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. 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.

CREATURES AND YOUNGLING SOUVENIRS
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

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. While over 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 even 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
FROM THE ANCIENTS

You can also visit Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Ithorian Dok-Ondar deals in rare and unique items and antiquities, and here 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. For fans 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.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Jabba's Barge

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

We’ve discussed Dining, and, of course, the milk stand, and DROIDS!, but let’s talk RIDES!! There are two rides inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and for all you Star Tours lovers (LIKE ME!!!), it’s still there, it’s just not in the land. You will find it in it’s same spot between MuppetVision 3D and Backlot Express. But while 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. Find yourself shocked that they came in that hunk of junk!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Millennium Falcon

The “ship” takes 6 people to fly it, so if your party is not 6, be prepared to make new friends. Guests will become 2 pilots, 2 gunners, and 2 engineers. 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!!!!!!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge the Millennium Falcon

Rise of the Resistance

I usually do not condone waiting in long lines for rides, but if you happen to not be able to get an Individual Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance, just wait. It’s worth it. You can also get in line just before the park closes, and you will get on the ride. What can I say about this ride? It’s the most incredible ride I’ve ever ridden. Truly. The First Order Troopers, the First Order Officers that take you for interrogation, the Resistance fighters, Poe Dameron’s ship, all of it. When in your life have you been shot at by Troopers surrounded by AT-AT Walkers? Even if you’re not a Star Wars Fan, this is a ride you need to experience.

Rise of the Resistance

Easter Eggs around Star Wars: 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 Galactic Starcruiser is now OPEN! Contact me today to book your next vacation? That’s my job! Let me help you out!

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Galaxy’s Edge Dining

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You’ve traveled a long way to get to Batuu, and now, you’re starving. Let’s look at the dining options available at Black Spire Outpost, shall we? First things first, you will not be able to enter with just a dining or attraction reservation. All guests are required to have both a valid park admission ticket AND a park reservation to enter Galaxy’s Edge. Now, Galaxy’s Edge Dining!

Oga’s Cantina – Drinks and Snacks

Galaxy's Edge Dining
Oga’s Cantina

You can have a drink at a real space port! Oga’s Cantina is the local cantina, where you can find smugglers, bounty hunters, and more, all gathered to eat (well, snack), drink, and be merry. While only offering Star Wars-themed cocktails, beers, non-alcoholic concoctions, and 2 food items (snacky treats), reservations are STRONGLY recommended, especially now with limited capacity. Please bear in mind, this is not a restaurant. It is a bar. You will not fill up on charcuterie here. It is more of an experience than anything else. And what an AMAZING experience it is!

Galaxy's Edge Dining
DJ R-3X

You may check in up to 15 minutes before your reservation time, and all members of your party must be present when you check in. Enjoy the sick beats of DJ R-3X, a droid that used to be a star pilot. There are rules, but this cantina…you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Remain cautious.

There are both non-alcoholic and alcoholic concoctions made from locally sourced ingredients, and by locally, I mean galaxy-wide, but if you wish to partake in alcoholic concoctions, they will need to see your identification. You cannot simply Jedi mind trick your way out of this. Oga’s follows Walt Disney World’s strict age rules. There is a 2-drink maximum, so don’t think you’ll be able to get a seat first thing in the morning and stay all day long. You could get into trouble that way. You don’t want to draw attention to yourself.

Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo

Next, you’ll want to take out your communicator device, and order some lunch or dinner at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. You’ll be able to follow mobile ordering procedures to procure your food here. This location features both indoor and outdoor seating, currently following distancing and safety protocols.

Galaxy's Edge Dining - Docking Bay 7

You can nosh on some Endorian Fried Chicken Tip Yip, or Batuuan Beef Pot Roast. Younglings can have Endorian Fried Chicken Yip Tip with macaroni and cheese. So try your authentic Space Cuisine today at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo!!

Ronto Roasters

Galaxy's Edge Dining - Ronto Roasters
Ronto Roasters

You can also head over to Ronto Roasters for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This location also has mobile ordering, so you’ll need your communicator device again! Located in the marketplace, a pod racing engine is used to roast the ronto, while a droid pit master turns it, so that it cooks evenly. You can’t miss these mouthwatering scents as you shop in Black Spire Outpost. They’ve brought these massive rontos here all the way from Tatooine just to make sure you could fuel yourselves for your journeys, so you may as well enjoy them.

They have 2 different wraps for breakfast, the Ronto Morning Wrap and the plant based Triple Suns Breakfast Wrap. You can also get Rising Moons Overnight Oats. Lunch and dinner offer the Ronto Wrap or the plant based Zuchii Wrap. There are also alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options available.

Milk Stand

And finally, don’t forget to head over to the milk stand to get your blue or green milk. Also available via mobile ordering and available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic variations!

Galaxy’s Edge Dining options are not numerous, by far. But there are options that are out of this world! And the atmosphere is completely unique! Have you dined in Galaxy’s Edge before? What is your favorite alien dish?

Ready to book your next vacation? Interested in the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser? I can help with all of that! Contact me today for more information!!

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Droid Depot at Galaxy’s Edge

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So you have always wanted your own, personal R2-D2 in your house. Well now you can, by visiting the Droid Depot at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! This experience is available on both coasts, and reservations are STRONGLY recommended. Reservations can be made 60 days out, as available at the Droid Depot. A separate park ticket AND park reservation to Hollywood Studios are both required. You cannot get in just using a Droid Depot reservation, so plan accordingly. Due to COVID restrictions, space is limited to accommodate physical distancing. Same-day reservations are currently unavailable and walk-ins are not always taken, though in rare occasions, they are possible, I just wouldn’t bank on that.

When you arrive at your reservation time, you will get in line to order the droid style you want and to pay. Droids are $99.99 plus tax, and are not eligible for annual pass or any other form of discount. They are also not returnable, so be very sure this is what you want before you purchase! You will receive a cardboard box to carry your droid around, or you can purchase a cute backpack to store it in and carry it MUCH easier than in the boxes, which will break. You can check in no sooner than 15 minutes before your reservation time. The reservation will be for 2 people: 1 person who will build the droid and 1 person that can watch and take pictures and videos.

You will tell them whether you want a BB Unit or an R2 unit, and they will tell you which pieces you need to pick out for each unit. At that time, you take your basket to the massive conveyor belt of droid parts and pick out all the pieces you need for your unit in whatever colors you want. My daughter chose a BB Unit and, as her favorite color is pink and they didn’t have that, she chose purple. Her name is Gypsy, we love her. You choose all the pieces you want and then wait for one of the cast members to tell you which work station you will be building at. They are numbered stations and there are numbers on the floor that correspond to the work stations. Super easy for anyone to find, so no worries there!

Now this is where the fun begins. Each workstation has instructions for each unit, and they are also picture guides, so all you have to do is take your time and go step by step. There is help available if anyone needs it, but they truly made this experience incredibly simple so that all Younglings could easily follow along and build their droids. Once your droid is all put together, it is time to bring it to life. I’m telling you, they pull out all the stops here. In true Disney Imagineer fashion, they did not skimp on the details. I would say it’s worth the $100 price tag just to make it. Seriously. It is so cool!

Once you have brought your droid to life, you are given the remote control to test it out. Then it’s all yours to take and enjoy. You are not allowed to use the remote control while in the theme parks, and you are required to carry it, but bear in mind, it uses bluetooth technology and will interact with other droids and at various spots around both Galaxy’s Edge and the rest of the theme parks. Honestly, I forgot ALL ABOUT this fact, and so, when Gypsy started rolling around and beeping in her box, I almost had a heart attack. It is such an incredible experience!! Oh, and you never know who you might roll into at the Droid Depot! Get your reservation today!!

Photos are all pre-COVID and do not represent current safety protocols. Masks are still required on property unless actively eating or drinking.

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