First look inside Disney’s new Star Wars attraction before it opens to the public tomorrow

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I’VE downed a cup of Luke Skywalker’s favourite blue milk, learnt how to build my own droid, translated secret messages from an alien culture and piloted the Millennium Falcon.

My day at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland California was a mad romp around a new world of immersive storytelling.

Jacob at the new Disney Star Wars attraction before it opens
Jacob at the new Disney Star Wars attraction before it opens

The 14 acre attraction, which opens tomorrow (Friday 31) is Disney’s largest themed land – or it will be until Disney World Florida’s identical land welcomes its first guests on August 29.

Set on the planet of Batuu, the excitement builds the moment I arrive to a stirring soundtrack written especially by John Williams, and peaks as I round a corner to see the Millenium Falcon parked below the jagged cliffs of Blackspire Outpost.

The attention to detail in Blackspire Outpost is staggering.

From blaster fire-ridden walls, to the alien language on cola bottles, everything has been created to make visitors feel as if they really have landed in a galaxy far far away.

Entrance to Black Spire Outpost, the village in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Entrance to Black Spire Outpost, the village in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
The Smugglers Run ride will let guests skip the queues with FastPass
The Smugglers Run ride will let guests skip the queues with FastPass
Up to six guests can go on the Smuggler's Run ride
Up to six guests can go on the Smuggler’s Run ride
Jacob in the driving seat of the ride
Jacob in the driving seat of the ride

It doesn’t take long for me to get lost and stumble into the First Order stronghold in east end of town, where a stormtrooper fires me a warning: “The First Order will be watching you.”

Having heard that Kylo Ren often makes an appearance here, I scurry back the way I came and bump into a street cleaner.

“Bright Suns,” smiles the girl – a phrase I quickly gather is a universal greeting on Batuu, a planet with three suns.

Rachel tells me how she just recently moved to Blackspire Outpost from Serobar, a nearby mountain city.

The first ride to open is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
The first ride to open is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is just one of the nine lands at Disneyland
disney

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is just one of the nine lands at Disneyland[/caption]

 

Staff or ‘cast members’ as Disney calls them are encouraged to flesh out their own back stories as well as customise their outfits, all of which adds to the unprecedented level of immersion.

The first ride to have opened here is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, in which six guests team up on a secret mission, working as either pilots gunners or flight engineers.

I can barely control my excitement as I sit in Han Solo’s cockpit seat for the ride of my life.

My job is to control the up and down movement of the ship, plus the iconic hyperspace lever.

The Marketplace will have all the merchandise fans could want
�2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc./Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. For editorial news use

The Marketplace will have all the merchandise fans could want[/caption]

At the Droid Depot you will be able to build your own Astromech Unit
�2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc./Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. For editorial news use

At the Droid Depot you will be able to build your own Astromech Unit[/caption]

Jacob with one of the droids
Jacob with one of the droids

You can also build your own lightsaber at Savi's Workshop
�2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc./Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. For editorial news use

You can also build your own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop[/caption]

Get all your plush toys at Toydarian Toymaker
� 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For editorial news use only.

Get all your plush toys at Toydarian Toymaker[/caption]

Expect plenty of family arguments as groups bark orders to one another to avoid crashing the famous “hunk of junk” and land a half decent final score.

A second attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open later this year, but until
then there are hours of entertainment to be had just exploring this vast world.

After downloading the Play Disney Parks app, my smartphone is transformed into a hacking device, alien language translator and more.

Guests can chose to take on jobs and challenges, to earn in-game “credits” from either the Resistance or First Order.

I hack a droid by playing a simple mini game, causing it to light up and start moving around.

While another task involves waving my phone in a precise pattern to sync it with the data tower in front of me, allowing me to download a piece of a secret rebel conversation.

Guests will need the Disneyland app to get the most out of the parks
Guests will need the Disneyland app to get the most out of the parks
Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks
The app will help you translate Kowakian
The app will help you translate Kowakian

Next, I start obsessively translating every piece of alien script I can find, from the mundane, “Trash can sector 7”; to the strange, “Cantina Code of Conduct. No Kowakian monkey-lizards. No fighting, burying or ripping off of limbs. Wookiee – Two drink maximum. No exceptions.”

I didn’t have a Kowokian Monkey Lizard – although Disney doesn’t miss a trick and will flog you one in the nearby marketplace – so I stroll on in to Oga’s Cantina.

The venue is wild, with a robot DJ on the decks and all sorts of bright and bubbly potions on sale behind the bar.

The huge drinks menu features plenty of intergalactic hooch including a Jedi Mind Trick, Fuzzy Tauntaun, Gold Squadron Lager and White Wampa Ale.

The Outpost Mix at Kat Saka's Kettle
�2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc./Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. For editorial news use

The Outpost Mix at Kat Saka’s Kettle[/caption]

Guests will discover innovative and creative concoctions from around the galaxy at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. From left to right, alcoholic beverages: The Outer Rim, Bespin Fizz, Yub Nub, and Fuzzy Tauntaun can be found at Oga's Cantina. (Kent Phillips/Disney Parks)
Some of the unusual concoctions at Oga’s Cantina
Kent Phillips/Disney Parks
Guests will discover innovative and creative eats from around the galaxy at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Pictured here, left to right, are the Meiloorun Juice, the Nuna Turkey Jerky and the Ronto Wrap filled with roasted pork, grilled sausage, peppercorn sauce and tangy slaw wrapped in pita found at Ronto Roasters, located in the Black Spire Outpost market. (Kent Phillips/Disney Parks)
The Nuna Turkey Jerky and the Ronto Wrap at Ronto Roasters
Kent Phillips/Disney Parks

Around the corner at Droid Depot I find people building their very own droids.

Parts come out on conveyor belt like a sushi restaurant, as guests grab pieces to build their new sidekicks.

Take your droid out to the land and it’ll interact with things and chat to other droids.

For example, if you added a personality chip that is First Order it’ll freak out when it’s near Resistance technology.

At $50 (£39.53) a go and short on time, I give it a pass, the same goes for the custom lightsaber building experience at Savi’s Workshop, which will set you back a tidy $200 (£158.15) each.

Cheaper exclusive Star Wars merch is available at the lively Marketplace where in one shop, Creature Stall, they’ve pumped in what can only described as a wet wookiee smell for a more authentic experience.

FORCE FEEDING

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge offers out of this world dining experiences but prices are yet to be revealed and don’t expect it to come cheap.

Try Smoked Kaadu Ribs (similar to earth pork) or the delicious Yobshrimp Noodle Salad, at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo.

Or Nuna Turkey Jerky, grilled on a repurposed podracer engine, at Ronto Roasters.

Star Wars nerds can finally discover what Luke Skywalker’s Blue Milk from A New Hope (frozen drink made from non-dairy milk) and Green Milk from The Last Jedi (fruit juice) tastes like – both are delicious.

My only criticism? Spit-roast Porg is not on the menu. Sorry Chewy.


Brits can experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge from August 29 in Disney World Florida.

Virgin Holidays are offering seven nights’ room-only at Disney’s All Star Resort, from £899pp based on four sharing, including 14 day park access and flights departing November 20. See virginholidays.com.

Guests who are hoping to visit the Disneyland California Star Wars attraction will need to pre-register for tickets until June 23.

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