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AAA World Article

Disney’s Expanding Universe

A galaxy far, far away is coming to Disneyland—and soon to Disney World—with the unveiling of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Video courtesy of Disney Parks

It’s been many years in the making, but for Star Wars fans who’ve eagerly awaited the premiere of Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the waiting is almost over. On May 31, Disney lifts the curtain on the much-anticipated 14-acre land—Disney’s largest and most technologically advanced single-themed land expansion ever—at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. A near-twin land will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, on August 29.

The initial phase of the all-new universe, a collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm Ltd., welcomes Disney visitors to the planet of Batuu, perched on the frontier of Wild Space. Here in the Outer Rim, you’ll discover colorful characters, whimsical shops, unique eateries and two blockbuster attractions.

Star Wars
Inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Disney guests will take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard the fastest ship in the galaxy when Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Resort in California and Aug. 29, 2019, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks

Launching with the land’s opening, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run invites you into the cockpit of a full-size starship as you play the role of a pilot, gunner or flight engineer on this innovative flight simulator. Slated to open later this year, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which uses a trackless vehicle, welcomes you aboard a Star Destroyer and spaceship and thrusts you into the throes of an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance, including a showdown with Kylo Ren.

Not geared for battle? Immerse yourself in the Black Spire Outpost, a cosmic street market frequented by smugglers, traders and swashbucklers as well as a cast of Star Wars characters that could include Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8 and Chewie. Want to build your own droid? You can do just that at Droid Depot. How about craft a lightsaber? Done at Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers. Looking for ancient Jedi artifacts? You’ll find them and more at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.

The market also brims with galactic culinary fare (think meats spit-fired over an old Podracer engine) at food stalls and two casual eateries. The family-friendly gathering spot Oga’s Cantina serves up blue milk, Yub Nub rum punch, Jedi Mind Tricks and other Star Wars-esque nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages while a droid DJ spins tunes.

Star Wars
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and Aug. 29, 2019, at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks

Another Disney park first, Galaxy’s Edge is integrated with the Play Disney Parks mobile app so that visitors can further engage in the land. The app offers interactive features that bring real-world environments and encounters to life, including experiences interacting with droids and ships, translating alien languages, uncovering hidden objects and participating in various missions.

Access to Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland is expected to be in high demand from opening day through June 23. So, along with valid theme-park admission, you’ll need to make a no-cost reservation (subject to availability) to enter the universe during this period. Guests staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel will receive a designated reservation for access during their stay (depending on capacity limitations and other restrictions). After June 23, reservations will no longer be required. To continue to manage demand and provide a great guest experience, Disneyland will offer a virtual queueing system, as needed, to visit the land. Check for updates.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 edition of AAA World. Information on admission to Galaxy’s Edge was updated on April 25, 2019 based on a new announcement from Disneyland.

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