What to see, drink and do at the brand new land from a PEOPLE editor who got a sneak peek

By Shay Spence
August 29, 2019 11:12 AM
Gerardo Mora/Getty

Walt Disney World’s most ambitious expansion in decades has finally arrived.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge officially opened to the public at 6 a.m. on Thursday, with crowds lining up overnight to be among the first to experience the largest single-themed land in Disney park history.

It’s the latest addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, also home to the resort’s last major debut, Toy Story Land, which opened in summer 2018.

Whether you’re casually intrigued or a diehard Star Wars obsessive, you’re going to want to come in with a game plan before embarking on a trip to the planet Batuu. Here are five things you need to know if you plan on heading to Galaxy’s Edge (or if you’re just dreaming about it).

RELATED: TSA Bans Galaxy’s Edge Souvenir Soda Bottles Because They Look like ‘Explosives’

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1. It’s almost exactly the same as the Disneyland version

If this news sounds like déjà vu, it’s because Disney already opened Galaxy’s Edge at their original Disneyland park in Anaheim in June. And while there are some minor differences in the layout of the land, the attractions, shops, and food offerings are essentially identical on both coasts. So if it’s easier for you to get to California, you’ll be able to experience the land with much smaller crowds.

One slight difference that might get you excited, though? The Blue Milk and Green Milk beverages at Walt Disney World’s version can be spiked with alcohol. The former comes with a rum-based option while the latter can be spiked with tequila. (For what it’s worth, we preferred the blue version, but that’s a personal decision you can make for yourself.)

Shay Spence

2. You don’t need a special reservation to get in

Unlike the California version, guests will not need a reservation to enter the land. (This was initially a requirement at Disneyland in order to control crowds, but the land has since become open to all park-goers.) In Orlando, any guest with tickets to Disney’s Hollywood Studios can enter Galaxy’s Edge—but if past Walt Disney World launches are any indication, expect big crowds, especially in these early days.

If you’re there when attendance is particularly high, you’ll need to get a boarding group number through the My Disney Experience app. You have to be inside Hollywood Studios park to get a group number, and the app will alert you when your time to enter the Galaxy’s Edge land comes. After receiving the alert, you’ll have two hours to enter the land. If all of that sounds confusing, go talk to a cast member! They will be happy to help.

RELATED: What to Eat and Drink—and What to Skip—at Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

If you’re visiting in the coming months and want to ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run—the only ride currently open in the land—expect to wait a while. There is currently no FastPass line, though there will likely be one in the future.

3. Oga’s Cantina is worth checking out—but you will need a reservation

One of the biggest attractions that’s been drawing crowds at Disneyland is Oga’s Cantina, a lively bar that serves a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It has a near-exact replica at the Orlando location, and it absolutely delivers on the fun. But don’t expect to just walk in.

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Just as with any other on-property restaurant, Cantina’s reservations can be made via the My Disney Experience app up to 180 days in advance for guests who are staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel.

Disneyland has been opening some additional reservations at 7 a.m. each day, but it’s unclear if the same will happen at Disney World. If you can’t get a reservation, you can try your luck at walking up to the host stand when you arrive—just expect a long wait, if you get in at all.

Once inside, be sure to order the Fuzzy Tauntaun…and wait for your mouth to become mysteriously numb.

4. Some of the immersive experiences come at an additional expense

Galaxy’s Edge is a Star Wars fan’s fantasy come to life, and Disney’s Imagineers overlooked no detail in making you feel like you’re truly on Black Spire Outpost. And while merely walking in to the land is enough to give even the most casual fan goosebumps, there are certain hefty costs you should plan for if you intend to experience everything it has to offer.

To build a droid at the Droid Depot, for example, will cost you $99.99. Making a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop will set you back even further, with a $200 price tag. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it, though: Each of these is not merely a souvenir, but a truly immersive attraction. Just be sure to budget accordingly.

Note that these experiences are also bound to be incredibly popular, and reservations—which can be made 180 days in advance for Disney resort guests—are highly recommended.

5. Its landmark attraction isn’t open quite yet

As of now, the only true ride in Galaxy’s Edge is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, an interactive virtual flight simulation in which groups of six passengers work together, with each rider playing a distinct role in a flight mission on the iconic space ship. It’s fun! (You should try to be the pilot.)

RELATED: Everything to Know about the Second Ride Coming to Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in December

But the main attraction of the land will be Rise of the Resistance, which does not open until Dec. 5. Disney has released few details about the project so far, but it promises to be their most ambitious to date, with multiple ride experiences combined into one attraction.

A fully immersive Star Wars hotel adjacent to Galaxy’s Edge is also in the works, though an opening date has not been announced yet.

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