Visiting Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge


It finally happened- I went to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge! I had a great time enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes, and textures of Batuu. While both versions of Batuu are almost exactly identical, I visited Batuu located in Anaheim, California. I'm a hyper-critical Star Wars obsessed theme park enthusiast, so my thoughts may greatly differ from other Disney or Star Wars fans, but nonetheless I wanted to share my overall impressions. In this post I'll be reviewing the food and drink, Smuggler's Run, Oga's Cantina, roaming characters, merchandise, and overall theming of the land.

Food & Drink

There are several food options in Batuu. I didn't have time to try everything, but I was very pleasantly surprised with the snacks, meals, and drinks that I tried throughout the weekend.

I ate lunch in Batuu on Sunday and Monday at Ronto Roasters. The Ronto Wrap was absolutely delicious. It's basically a pita wrap with a grilled sausage, sliced pork chops, cole slaw, and a white sauce with a little bit of heat. This wrap was so filling and easy to eat on the go. On Monday, they were serving the breakfast Ronto Wrap with eggs, cheese, sausage, and the white sauce about two hours past their 10am cutoff time, so I'm not sure if that's normal or not, but my friend Danielle got the breakfast version and she loved it. I also took a bite of the Rising Moons Overnight Oats and it was really good. Sweet, but not too overpowering, and filled to the brim with all sorts of fruit.


There are many specialty drinks in Batuu outside of Oga's Cantina, but the only one I tried was the Moof Juice. I grabbed this at Docking Bay 7 for a refreshing treat and was very happy with it! It's a non-alcoholic blend of orange juice with pineapple juice, fruit punch, and chipotle pineapple. It didn't seem to have any sort of spicy kick from the chipotle pineapple at all, but I was fine with that.

As for the very controversial blue milk and green milk drinks, I tried both and really loved the blue milk. It wasn't as sweet as I had expected and the texture was really nice. It's basically a slushie with a thick non-dairy (coconut and rice milk) base. It watered down a bit once the ice slush had melted, so I'd recommend sipping on it quickly before it gets too melty. The green milk wasn't my favorite. It had a very earthy taste that I can't describe, but I wasn't a fan.


I also tried the new Chocolate Popcorn with Crait Red Salt at Kat Saka's Kettle located in the marketplace. I didn't notice any Crait Red Salt on mine, but the popcorn was amazing. It tastes like hot cocoa! Very mild and not too overpowering which is great if you're not a huge chocoholic. It was more like glazed popcorn rather than having chunks of chocolate mixed in the popcorn.

I never spent more than 30 seconds looking for a table to sit at as well, which is really nice. Most quick-service restaurants at Disneyland seem to have limited seating that is always filled up, but Docking Bay 7 had plenty of tables inside and outside to accommodate everyone with lots of shaded areas. The Coca-Cola bottled products (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Dasani water) were $6.00 each, so I passed on those.


Smuggler's Run

Alright, here's where I'm going to start getting nit-picky. I rode Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run three times total. I had the chance to be a pilot, gunner, and an engineer. Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this ride. It's basically a glorified Star Tours where you have to focus on pushing flashing buttons and you can pilot the ship yourself, which is not easy. We had great pilots on the first ride, but I was so concerned with hitting all the flashing buttons at the right time that I didn't really enjoy the sights of the ride. When I was a pilot and gunner, I got a little motion sickness (very rare for me) during the second half of the ride that made me want to close my eyes and detach from the ride. This definitely won't be something that I'll wait over 20 minutes for and probably not something that I will be eager to ride again in the future. Each time I rode Smuggler's Run, the story and mission were exactly the same. I like how Star Tours at least gives you a lot of variety in the places you can visit and experience so I wish Smuggler's Run had felt the same. Also, as much as I love Hondo Ohnaka from The Clone Wars and Rebels, his character felt extremely out of place in this story. I've been racking my brain to think of someone that could have taken his place here. I think someone from the sequel trilogy or a familiar face like Lando would've been better.




Oga's Cantina

I made reservations for Oga's Cantina two weeks prior to my trip. When I made the reservations, I already had the expectation that I wouldn't absolutely love the experience (I don't drink and really don't like the smell of alcohol), but I wanted to go and see it for myself to check it off the list. The cantina looked really neat inside, but the lack of seating and the super loud music made for a slightly uncomfortable experience. When we first arrived, it smelled pretty strongly of beer too, but that dissipated pretty quickly after the previous guest's drinks were cleared from our table. I ordered the Jabba Juice which is a non-alcoholic blend of orange juice with pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe, and blueberry popping pearls. It was delicious, but it was also $6.50 which is insane for one glass of juice. I tried my friend's Bantha cookie, which was super dry and not very good at all- so that was a huge thumbs down. My other friend Katie ordered the Fuzzy TaunTaun, which I think she enjoyed, but that was also very overpriced and she said she felt like it barely had any alcohol in it, which is what you're mostly paying for. I'm glad I saw the cantina, but again, I probably wouldn't do this again.


Roaming Characters

There are a handful of characters that rotate and freely roam in Batuu. Rey, Chewbacca, Kylo, First Order Stormtroopers, and Vi Moradi are all in rotation. I had the chance to see all of these characters, but Vi was the only one I decided to approach. She was fantastic! If you haven't read Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire, you might be unfamiliar with her character. I didn't see too many people approaching or talking to Vi, which makes me think maybe the majority of guests didn't even realize she was a character from the Star Wars universe. Kylo, the Stormtroopers, and Chewbacca all had great interactions with guests. I watched Rey approach a few kids who were dressed up like Jedi which was sweet, but I wasn't super impressed with her interactions. This area of the park definitely needs more roaming characters including droids and aliens to make it feel more immersive.



Merchandise

This was another huge miss for me. In the entirety of Black Spire Outpost, I only purchased two things- a pair of earrings that were really subtle and a T-shirt out of necessity because I didn't pack properly for the next day. I would've passed on the shirt had I packed a comfortable outfit for the next day. The collectible items are way too overpriced. I have several pieces of high-quality replica jewelry, lightsabers, and costumes that cost a mere fraction of their selling price in Batuu. I know people will pay for these items, but nothing made me feel like it was worth the price tag, other than the droid earrings that were only $14.99. I didn't feel compelled to drop $100 on a droid that I would never use or $200 lightsaber that would just sit in my closet. If you're into those experiences, that's great and I'm sure they're fun, but neither of those things appealed to me.

The apparel was very bland. I hope in the future they will offer more character inspired apparel pieces rather than straight up costume staples like the Jedi robes or bland T-shirts that are covered in Aurebesh writing. I think apparel inspired by the residents of Batuu would have appealed to me more- like a printed wrap scarf, a textured vest, or something of that nature. I'm sure that would appeal to fewer people, but that's just what I prefer. Almost all of the shirts were covered in some sort of IP, which is a huge turn off for me as a Star Wars fan and seemed to distract from the "immersive" stance that everyone has been buzzing about. Either way, I'm totally fine with not being into the merchandise, because I didn't want to spend several hundred dollars on merch anyways, but I was surprised to not walk away with more impulse purchases.



Environmental Sights/Sounds

The environmental sights and sounds were by far the greatest aspect of Batuu. I teared up when I rounded the corner and laid eyes on the Millennium Falcon for the first time. It was breath-taking, even with several hundred other people roaming around. There are so many incredible details within the area. I could have spent several hours just looking closely at everything. The scale of the buildings and landscapes is absolutely perfect. The new music that John Williams created for Batuu is a little jarring at first because it sounds unfamiliar, but it quickly grew on me and blended in with the surroundings. My favorite part of being in Black Spire Outpost was hearing noises of ships taking off every so often. Each time it tricked me! I kept looking up in the sky to see what was there, only to realize that it was a theming effect and not an actual ship taking off. All of the buildings are so beautifully textured and everything is lit very well at night.

As far as the Batuu residents (cast members) adding to the "immersive" effect, only two out of the couple dozen cast members I interacted with over the weekend greeted me with the signature phrase, "Bright Suns". I was a little underwhelmed with the lack of in-universe lingo that was being used, but I also completely understand why cast members might be fatigued by non-Star Wars fanatic guests being confused by certain phrases or terms.

Many of my friends and family members that have been to Galaxy's Edge speak highly of the immersive experience. I'm not entirely sure if I can agree with this. As I said before, the visuals of the land were perfect. However, when I look back at my photos of the park, several things stand out to me in an awkward way. For example, the trash cans. Yes, I'm complaining about trash cans- I know I'm crazy! The trash cans were the same basic design as seen throughout Disneyland, but they were painted and weathered a little differently. This didn't lessen my good experience in Batuu at all, but I don't think some of the things necessary to have the land function properly were themed very well. That's a super hardcore nit-pick though.

All of those really critical notes aside, there is no denying that the people who worked on the architecture, props, and weathering of the land are true artistic geniuses. I really can't speak highly enough of how stunningly beautiful everything looked. Hats off to the various teams and Imagineers who worked on this part of the theming.




Overall, I'd give Galaxy's Edge a thumbs up. I didn't have exceedingly high expectations going in, so it met my expectations and the aspects of the theming that I really wanted to enjoy. I look forward to eventually riding Rise of the Resistance once that is open and seeing future phases of the land move forward with time. I didn't have time to use the Disney Play app and interact with the land through my datapad, so I'll have to do that on my next visit.

I personally don't think there is enough in Batuu to keep you busy for an entire day or even several days. However, if you are a Disney fan like me and loves Star Wars, you can absolutely enjoy all of Batuu while still soaking up the rest of the park. I even enjoyed sitting in a corner in the outpost people-watching and observing all of the meticulous details from ground to sky.

Enjoy a few more photos from this weekend below. 'Til the Spire!







Comments

  1. I'm also not into paying $200 for a lightsaber only for it to sit around. The only reason I would drop that much is if I would use it for a cosplay.

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