You No Longer Need A Reservation For Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge -- Prepare Yourself
You've seen the photos on social media since late May. They're all like "Oh hey! Look at me! I'm at the edge of the galaxy! Lalalalalala I'm light years ahead of you!" And you've looked on longingly, cursing the fates that you didn't land one of the coveted reservations required to get into the new Star Wars land during its soft open.
Well, let your jealousy burn no longer. Starting Monday! Today! June 24! Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is open -- without reservations -- for anyone who wants to travel to a galaxy far, far away.
You can read more about what you'll find there in the LAist guide to the land, but like -- is going worth it? And what are the pro tips to make the experience as good as it can be?
Here's everything else you need to know.
WHAT WILL THE CROWDS BE LIKE?
So far, it's been a soft opening, with crowds limited and kept within four-hour time windows before being kicked out for another group. What about when every fan with a lightsaber in their hearts can make the journey?
There are some bright spots for those of you quaking with crowd-related anxiety. First off, several levels of annual passes are now blocked out until September -- that's likely why Disney waited until now to remove restrictions on the new area.
Second, the most hardcore fans have already had their chances to check out Galaxy's Edge through the soft open thanks to both the standard reservations and those that came with a night at a Disney hotel.
The land's also surprisingly large in person. The 14-acre area features a big space around the Millennium Falcon for you to look on with joy and wonder, as well as other vehicles with large open areas. Of course, that means a lot of people will want to just stand and stare at all the detail around them.
That leads us to...
WILL I HAVE TO WAIT TO GET IN?
They're also working to keep the area from getting too overcrowded -- they have a virtual queue system planned, so if the land hits the capacity the park has set, you'll have to use the Disneyland app to get assigned to a later time to enter Galaxy's Edge.
Pro tip: Given the hit-and-miss nature of wireless connections, you'll want to download the Disneyland app before getting to the park. We also recommend picking up the Play Disney Parks app -- more on that below.
This graphic explains how the virtual queue works:
You can also watch this video explanation:
HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED TO EXPERIENCE GALAXY'S EDGE?
Those who were in the soft opening reservation groups generally seemed to spend all four hours they were allowed in Galaxy's Edge, but what do you do when you're able to be there all day?
Some hardcore fans may want to spend that day living out their Star Wars dreams (albeit without full Star Wars costumes, as adult guests aren't allowed to wear costumes at Disneyland, it's a thing, sorry). Four hours felt like enough in the soft launch, but bigger crowds could mean you'll want more time to be able to squeeze past those crowds and experience things.
Still, we expect most of you will still find time to enjoy some other Disney magic in a full day at the park. I hear Dumbo is lovely this time of year. You should all go check it out right now.
WHAT DO I WANT TO DO THE MOST?
You will need to set some priorities. The hardest attractions to get into are the Cantina, and the lightsaber workshop. Disney's giving you the chance to make reservations for these spots -- you can sign up via the Disneyland app or online, starting at 7 a.m. the day of your visit.
Unfortunately for those eager to fly the Millennium Falcon, there won't be any Fastpass options for the Smugglers Run attraction. However, there is a single rider line to allow you to skip ahead -- though be warned that we hear single riders are almost always given the job of "engineer," which is basically the worst of the three options (the others are pilot and gunner). But it's a nice way to get on board quickly.
LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES
Look, we're all human. Here's how to avoid our woes.
Making it through a day at Disneyland can be hard on a mobile phone, between spotty connections, using your MaxPass to get Fastpasses for rides, taking photos of all the amazing cool things, and more.
We didn't remember a cable, which meant we couldn't charge our phone -- so we didn't get to enjoy the Star Wars integrations with the Play Disney Parks app as much as we would have liked. That app turns your phone into a Star Wars Datapad, allowing you to take on missions, hack control panels for either the Resistance or the First Order, and much more.
Even if you aren't interested in all the fun and games at Galaxy's Edge, there's another key feature -- translating all the signs. Almost all of the signs are written in Star Wars language Aurebesh, so if you want to know where you're going without studying your map so, so closely, bring some extra juice for your phone and download the app.
HOW MUCH MONEY DO I WANT TO SPEND?
We strongly recommend setting a budget. It's a land with a total of one actual ride. You can look around at all of the other cool stuff, but actually engaging with most of it costs money.
The headline attraction that wants to distance you from your wallet is Savi's Workshop, where you can make your very own lightsaber over the course of around 15 minutes. The location itself is slightly secretive, playing up the idea that they're hiding out on an evil First Order outpost. You'll need to pony up 200 dollars (or Galactic Credits, if you will) before heading in and walking out with your own customized lightsaber. The experience guides you through making a lightsaber, with 120,000 (!) potential combinations of parts.
You can watch what the full workshop experience is like here, if you don't mind spoilers/want to save the cash:
For 100 dollars, you can make your own droid -- and there are 280,000 (!!) different potential combinations here. This is one where you can go in and check out the process without a reservation, ogling the merchandise, so it's less of a secret club than that lightsaber opportunity.
Plus, this is your chance to try space food. From Blue Milk to Ronto Wraps, not to mention the huge selection of space alcohol in the Cantina. But expect to pay intergalactic prices.
There's also so much exclusive Star Wars merch -- Kyber crystals! Holocrons! Porg puppets!
So please, set a budget, or you'll walk away feeling like a blaster just shot a hole in your pocket.
HOW DO I RETURN TO NORMAL LIFE AFTER EXPERIENCING GALAXY'S EDGE?
That's what a lot of fans are now left to figure out, with more changed souls to come. The land is impressive and expansive, despite not having a ton of attractions yet -- besides, you know, the chance to live in Star Wars.
But what keeps us going is anticipation. Their second ride, Rise of the Resistance, appears to be an incredibly epic addition -- it's set to take off later this year. You can watch the trailer here:
We expect Galaxy's Edge will also have more special events come the holidays. Plus, they recently started moving forward on the Marvel Land that's set for California Adventure, set to open next year, so more sci-fi/fantasy adventure awaits.
So is it worth it? If you've ever been caught up in a Star Wars movie, the answer's probably yes. But you'll need to watch yourself to keep your spending from going out of this world.