As Walt Disney World resort guests we took advantage of the "Extra, Extra Magic Hours" and entered Hollywood Studios at 6am to experience Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge for the first time in the middle of September, 2019. I'd like to preface and say I've been a big Star Wars fan for most of my life and was really looking forward to Disney opening a Star Wars themed land at one of my favourite places in the world.
The first thing we did when we entered the land was head to Smugglers Run. It was still dark so I couldn't really see and appreciate the land fully, but turning the corner and seeing the Millennium Falcon for the first time was an incredible moment. When you get up close to it, the detail on the ship is nothing short of breathtaking. The ship also randomly "comes alive" with sound and steam effects, which creates a really realistic atmosphere.
As for the attraction itself, it was a lot of fun. It is a little overwhelming, and even though I looked up ahead of time what the attraction entailed, it still doesn't quite prepare you for what's in store. The waiting area once again is full of incredible details, and it was amazing to see parts of the Star Wars movies come to life. I have read other people say that being the pilot is the best, and we were given the role of pilot.
Overall the ride was fun. I didn't find it fully clear when I should be controlling the ship and when I shouldn't, as sometimes the ship would respond to my actions and other times it wouldn't. (This might be made clear after riding it more, but this is a first impressions article based on one ride.) I couldn't tell you what actually happened or what was really going on on-screen because I was fixated on what I should be doing.
The ride experience does rely (at least a little) on your ship-mates. We were put with 4 - most likely locals - who knew what they were doing and were really into doing well. Obviously we didn't do all that well and it's sort of a downer that they might have been frustrated to be dragged down by us, whether it really bothered them or not. I hope the future isn't completely interactive attractions, as after thinking about the attraction, I just wish there was a way I could experience it as a spectator.
Docking Bay 7 Breakfast
After Smugglers Run, we went and had breakfast at Docking Bay 7. We tried the Bright Suns Morning with Moof Juice.
The breakfast included cheesy eggs, sausage, purple potato hash, and a lava roll. There were some onions in there, too. It was a little strange, but it was pretty good and quite different from what you'd usually find in Disney parks. The Moof juice was a nice refreshing fruity drink.
All the cast members in here were in character just like the rest of the land. They asked what was on our head (Mickey ears), we were a little confused and thrown off-guard, but I suppose the staff on the planet Batuu don't know of Disney or Mickey Mouse.
Early in the afternoon it was time to enjoy a beverage at Oga's Cantina. There was quite a big line, and even with a reservation, there was still quite a queue. Thankfully, the queue went down quite quickly. The cantina didn't give me the chills like seeing the Falcon did, but it was a fun little room and seeing DJ Rex bounce his head to the beats was a lot of fun. The drinks are very pricey, but they're unique and tasty. They didn't taste very strong (like drinks at most Disney bars) but they were certainly weird.
On the negative side, the bar is just too small. Perhaps Disney think demand will slowly decrease as the novelty wears offs and people won't pay those prices and a bigger space wouldn't be needed. But for now, it's very cramped. You're designated a standing space, and it really is a tiny space. You're told not to move off the space because a cast member will designate it to someone else. You get 45 minutes and 2 drinks per person, and then you're out. It was expensive, rushed, and cramped.
It was time to try both the green and blue milks. It's really hard to pinpoint what either of them really are. The blue is almost like mouthwash, and the green has a strange texture and almost fruity. Either way, they're both not nice.
At $8 each, it's a no from me. Thankfully, I didnt pay for them, I used snack credits. But after trying them, I want my snack credits back.
The land overall is incredible. The attention to detail is second-to-none. I'm so glad Disney allowed the imagineers to go all-out. It feels bigger than the land actually is, and some of the force perspective is really well done. No photo does the land justice, and the buildings really appear much taller than they look in pictures.
My general criticism of the land is the shopping area is too small. It wasn't particularly crowded, but trying to navigate around the stores was really taxing.
The transition into the land - going through the tunnel - is really good. However, the transition out of the land into Toy Story land is really badly done. Walking towards the exit, you can see the massive Buzz Lightyear from Batuu.
With only one attraction open, the land does give off the feeling that the majority of things to do there is to spend more money. Even though the land setup is similar to Pandora - The World Of Avatar in terms of offerings, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge has a more "spend more money" feel which stood out to me.
Little things across the land, like droids lighting up and making sounds, random sound effects, along with stormtroopers and characters walking around every so often does give the land a unique feel.
It's pretty hard to put my feelings into words, but overall, it doesn't feel much of what I know and love about Star Wars has been brought to life here. I can see what they're going for creating a new separate planet within the Star Wars universe, but that's also the downside. I am not a huge Harry Potter fan at all, but seeing Diagon Alley brought to life was much more mesmerising, even though I don't care for it all that much.
I am looking forward to the opening of Rise Of Resistance and being able to experience this land as a complete package. I will also be visiting Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge several more times over the next couple weeks, and it will be interesting to see how my feelings change on this new land.
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