Blue Milk and Other Exciting Things Learned About Disney’s Star Wars Land This Week
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Many of us grew up acting out scenes between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader (or for those a bit younger, perhaps it was Rey and Kylo). Regardless of the exact names, the iconic struggle of good and evil in Star Wars is timeless — and the fast ships, epic effects and cool costumes didn’t hurt either. The Star Wars franchise is an enduring part of the childhoods of those from multiple generations. How amazing would it have been as a kid to actually go into the physical world of Star Wars rather than just watching the movies on repeat while acting the scenes out with friends and siblings.
Well, we’re about to find out.
As any Star Wars fan worth their weight in Republic Credits already knows, new Star Wars Lands are opening at Disneyland and Disney World this summer and fall 2019, respectively. The lands will represent an unparalleled level of immersive details brought to us mere mortals here on earth from a galaxy far, far away.
These lands aren’t the only new attractions rolling out at Disney in 2019, but they are likely to be the most sought after. Disney has been unbelievably tight-lipped, even by Disney standards, for what to expect from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. That changed a little bit this week as they released a host of details sure to spur excitement and anticipation for the passionate Star Wars fan base.
Disney has launched a series of blog posts on its website that will reveal details of the upcoming attractions, themes, food and shops of Star Wars Land. Building Batuu’s first edition already reveals the insane level of detail Disney’s Imagineers are focusing on to create these experiences. We learn about Ronto Roasters, where a recycled pod racing engine fires up spits of exotic meats.
As the ones footing the bill for starry-eyed kids, the part that scares us the most from the information released was probably Savi’s Workshop, which may end up hurting the pocketbook a bit.
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.
This sounds like Harry Potter wands at Universal Studios on steroids. Of course, it’s hard to put a price on learning from Jedi masters, so we’ll probably just take the hit and build that lightsaber (for the kids, of course).
Following the Tracks of R2-D2. Literally.
An Entertainment Weekly writer got a chance to peek behind the curtain at the Disneyland version of Galaxy’s Edge and found even more detail than you may have imagined. R2-D2 is one of the most beloved Star Wars characters, so it’s reasonable to expect him to appear throughout the land. How did Disney make sure it was authentic? It just went back in time 40 years:
“We got access to one of the original Kenny Baker, A New Hope 1976–1977 era droids, and we took rubbings of the bottom of the droid feet,” says Paul Bailey, a show systems engineer with Imagineering.
He then digitized those treads and turned them into three wheels on a little trolley.
“I’ll set the scene for you,” says Kirstin Makela, art director for Imagineering. “There’s a busy construction site. There are lots of people around, pouring hardscape concrete. All of a sudden, one of them just jumps on this little trolley, and someone else pulls him through the concrete.”
An App to Make the Experience Even More Vibrant
Disney has been pushing as of late to make experiences even more immersive (and to make those longest of wait times seem not quite as long). The Play Disney Parks app has introduced elements to the attractions that you can’t see on your own. It’s a great way to kill some of the time spent waiting in line. One example where the Play Disney Parks app will help Star Wars Land come to life will be the ability to translate the names on some of the X-wing suits, which are written in Aurebesh, or “Star Wars language.”
There’s nothing about this new land that seems “too basic” or “too small.” Disney shrunk the size of some of the stormtroopers a bit to make the massive hangars look even more massive. Look at the scale of the TIE Fighter compared to the two workers gesturing at it.
Eating (and Drinking) at Galaxy’s Edge
Yes, there’s blue milk (though it isn’t actual milk). While it might not have the whimsy of a Dole Whip from Aloha Isle, the cool blue creation first seen in Star Wars: A New Hope should satisfy the thirst when you’re taking a break from fighting the Empire, er, First Order. Disney made this a sweet smoothie-like, plant-based treat because who wants traditional milk in the middle of a theme park afternoon?
We don’t know all of the food choices in Galaxy’s Edge just yet, but our stomachs are getting hungry as we read through the new announcements. We mentioned Ronto Roaster earlier. WDW News Today reports that along with Turkey Jerky (could it be what it sounds like?) there’s also a Ronto Wrap filled with spiced sausage and pork.
Oga’s Cantina will serve more than a dozen specialty beverages and will be the first place you can buy alcohol within Disneyland. If you’re looking to enjoy a drink with a bit of alcohol (we all know Solo would), you can sample the Bespin Fizz, Bloody Rancor, Dagobah Slug Slinger, Fuzzy Tauntaun, Jedi Mind Trick, Jet Juice, The Outer Rim, Spriran Caf, T-16 Skyhopper and Yub Nub.
Satu’li Canteen at Pandora: World of Avatar was a great foray into themed, quality dining at Disney World. The choices in Star Wars Land seem poised to blow that away (we’re hoping to need to update the Best Restaurants at Disney World and Disneyland to make room for some of the new inter-galactic options).
Rumor Mill: FastPasses in Galaxy’s Edge May Cost You
There have been plenty of conversations about the crowds expected at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. We’ve already said we wouldn’t be surprised if the as yet unnamed Star Wars-themed hotel opened with rates greater than $1,000 per night. We imagine Disney has to be worried about the crowds and setting proper expectations for visitors. At the same time, there are whispers that they appear to be leaning toward charging extra to make it through the new Star Wars rides without spending hours (and hours) in line. They’ve already dabbled in that world of selling FastPasses for Club Level guests at Disney World and via MaxPass at Disneyland.
Still, if the paid FastPass rumors are true, this will be a big change for Disney in the US. Once these flood gates for this sort of thing are open, it’s likely to spread quickly to other popular attractions. Universal Studios Florida just down the road from Disney World essentially already does this by selling (quite expensive) Express Passes, though they are not ride specific.
Speaking of rides, to enjoy the Rise of the Resistance ride, your youngest Padawans may need to be 40 inches tall — the same height requirement for rides such as Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Soain’.
We Can’t Wait
In case you can’t tell, we can’t wait. The official opening dates for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge have not yet been announced, but we are looking for clues just as the Jawas look for Bantha tracks. To help you prepare, here are ways to save on Disney tickets, info on if a Disney annual pass might be worth it and how you can save a ton of money on Disney lodging by renting Disney Vacation Club points.
Along those lines, picking up discounted Disney gift cards may be imperative not just for the custom lightsabers, but Disney is also on record saying that the majority of merchandise at Galaxy’s Edge will be designed specifically for the parks. You won’t be able to swing by your local Target or Walmart to pick up these toys (sold by Toydarians), so kick the Disney saving strategies into hyperdrive and we’ll keep you posted as Disney releases additional Star Wars Land secrets from the vault.
Here are some other Walt Disney World trip-planning resources to help you prep for Star Wars Land:
- TPG’s Ultimate Guide to Disney World
- The Best Restaurants in Walt Disney World in 2019
- The Best Points Hotels Near Disney World
- In the Shadow of the Mouse: Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs
- 9 Things Families Should Know Before Visiting Disneyland
- How to Save Money By Renting Disney Vacation Club Points
- The 10 Best Disney Thrill Rides Around the World
- How to Use Points for Disney Tickets
- Disney World Without Kids: 10 Ways to Enjoy an Adult Trip to Disney
- How to Ride Every Disney World Ride in One Day
- How to Eat Healthy at Disney World
- What to Do When it Rains at Disney World
Featured image courtesy of Disney
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