Unquestionably the most anticipated Disney theme park addition in decades, the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (aka Star wars Land) at Walt Disney World and Disneyland is sure to be a monster draw for the resorts in 2019 and beyond.
While the official open of the new land is still about a year away. we do know quite a bit about it already. The following is a rundown of what we currently know and, as always, I will be updating this post as new details are revealed….
When Does Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Open?
It had been widely speculated for some time that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge would open in 2019. This was confirmed at the D23 fan expo in July 2017 when Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Rob Chapek announced that Galaxy’s Edge at both Disneyland and Disney World would open before the next D23. D23 is a bi-annual event with the next one scheduled for Summer 2019.
The time frame was further narrowed down in May 2018 when Disney announced the ‘seasons’ Galaxy’s Edge would open in. As it stands now, after that announcement, the Disneyland version will open in ‘summer 2019’ and the Disney World one a bit later in ‘late fall 2019.’
Update 3/7/19: Bob Iger just announced that Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland on May 31, 2019 and at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 29th!
Where Will it be Located?
In Disneyland, Galaxy’s Edge will be located in Disneyland Park, in a previously unoccupied section behind Frontierland and abutting Fantasyland and Mickey’s Toontown.
In Walt Disney World, the new land will be located in Disney Hollywood Studios in the back left corner of the park. It will border the new Toy Story Land and Grand Avenue sections of the park.
Here is a quick look at the massive construction site:
What Will it be Like?
Star Wars Land will be a fully-immersive park area. Disney’s Imagineers are hard at work combining hardscapes, visuals and the latest technology to give visitors the feeling that they are really in a star wars movie setting. The land is being constructed to resemble a village called Black Spire Outpost. Of course, as with all Disney Park attractions, Black Spire Outpost has a very detailed backstory. Here is how Disney recently described the village:
The largest settlement on the planet Batuu, Black Spire Outpost is an infamous stop for traders, adventurers, and smugglers traveling around the Outer Rim and Wild Space. Off the beaten path, this outpost has become a haven for the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters. Widely known for the petrified remains of its once towering ancient trees, the spires now stand guard across the river valleys and plains and have long captured the imagination of travelers to this planet. To the first settlers, these petrified spires became more than just landmarks; they became the heart of the outpost itself.
And here are a couple of videos showing the conceptual models of the land:
Here is an amazing new behind-the-scenes look at the land which was aired during the 2018 Disney Christmas Day Parade:
What Rides Will it Have?
We are still light on ride details, but we do know the two attractions will be Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Disney has described Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run as follows:
One of the land’s two signature attractions will put you in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, piloting the ship, shooting blasters or preparing for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. But how you perform on the mission holds even bigger stakes: perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina. (source)
Disney has described Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance as follows:
This attraction, “built on a scale we’ve never done before,” will make guests feel like they’re inside a hangar bay in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. (source)
What Characters Will it Have?
It has been confirmed that our old Rebel friend Nien Numb, who first appeared in Return of the Jedi, will play a key role in the new land. Rex, the pilot from Star Tours will also play a role. What those roles are have yet to be announced.
We also know that everyone’s favorite pirate from The Clone Wars and Rebels, Hondo Ohnaka will live in the new land in the form of a very advanced audio-animatronic.
One can safely assume that the many Star Wars characters already setting up shop in Hollywood Studios and Disneyland will find their way to the new world as well. This includes BB-8, Chewbacca, and many more.
What Restaurants Will it Have?
Of course, no Star Wars land is complete without a cantina and in Galaxy’s Edge, we will have an interesting place called Oga’s Cantina.
While we don’t know a great deal about the planned cantina for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, we do know two things. 1) It will be fully immersive and somehow technologically connected to the Millennium Falcon ride; and 2) It will serve Luke Skywalker’s favorite refreshment: blue milk. Presumably, this cantina will have some resemblance of Mos Eisley. There is a rumor that the previously mentioned Rex will be the DJ in the cantina.
Please visit my separate post about Oga’s Cantina for more information about the restaurant along with concept art
There will also be a number of quick service restaurants and carts that will be serving up some unique (to say the least) food and drink items. Here is a rundown of these spots and the a quick description of each from Disney Parks:
- Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo – Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs has traveled throughout the galaxy following his longtime gig as the chef at Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana and brings exotic flavors and unusual dishes to his traveling diner “Tuggs’ Grub.”
- Ronto Roasters – A recycled podracing engine fires up a spit of exotic meats, meticulously turned by a former smelter droid, 8D-J8. Guests can even sample some of the tasty Ronto fare.
- Milk Stand – The place to go to get your farm-fresh blue milk or green milk, direct from Bubo Wamba Family Farms.
- Kat Saka’s Kettle – One of the many street market stalls, this grain vendor sells the ever-popular Outpost Mix (sweet and salty popcorn snack with a hint of spice).
What Shops and Merchandise Will it Have?
Disney recently announced the names and descriptions of gift shops. Here is a quick rundown:
- Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities – For those in the know, Dok-Ondar is the Ithorian you seek for selling and buying rare and uniquely-valued items from across the galaxy and spanning all eras.
- Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers – Guests come to the workshop to meet with the Gatherers – a secretive group of people who have dedicated their lives to restoring balance in the galaxy by passing on their knowledge of Jedi lore and the Force. The workshop Master guides guests to customize and build their own unique lightsabers, and instructs them on the ways of the Jedi.
- Droid Depot – Visitors to Mubo’s workshop can choose parts and construct their own individual astromech droids to accompany them on their journey, and then take them home with them.
- First Order Cargo – A spaceport hangar bay serves as the temporary base and landing spot for the First Order. First Order officers have brought in crates of gear, uniforms and other supplies to win the hearts and minds of locals and visitors to Black Spire Outpost.
- Resistance Supply – Resistance members and local sympathizers oversee a makeshift stall that supplies Resistance uniforms, pins, badges, hats, helmets, jackets, maps, tools, training supplies, food rations and other items.
No doubt you will be able to buy the new adoptable Loth-Cat (sort of) stuffed animals at many of these new merchandise spots. From the looks of it, they appear to be very similar to the banshees you can buy at Pandora.
Earlier this year, the Disney Parks Blog gave us a glimpse at some of the other ‘Toydarian’ merchandise that will be found in Galaxy’s Edge shops and a very brief description of the experience:
Guests will also be able to explore a street market run by a Toydarian, a character first introduced in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” Among his wares will be handcrafted toys made by local artisans, like those seen above.
Earlier this year, Disney released the first wave of Galaxy’s Edge merchandise, which will be found in these marketplaces in the future. Here is a post I wrote about that launch along with pictures of the new merchandise.
New Area Star Wars Music:
At Destination D in November 2018, we found out that legendary Star Wars conductor John Williams is hard at work on a new score specifically for the new land. Here is a quick peek at the maestro at work:
Star Wars Hotel:
It is worth noting here that there is a fully-immersive Star Wars hotel in the works in Walt Disney World. This new hotel will likely be connected technologically, if not physically, to Galaxy’s Edge. According to Oh My Disney, the resort will be” a fully immersive, multi-day Star Wars adventure aboard a luxury starship.”
It will most certainly not be open in time for the launch of Galaxy’s Edge. I am tracking progress on that project in a separate post here.