By Carlye Wisel
September 10, 2019

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the in-demand land is a must for any future Walt Disney World vacation. It’s going to be an experience that’s out of this world.

You can wander your way around Galaxy’s Edge letting the force guide you towards dining, entertainment, and shopping — or you can take it from us, your Jedi Masters of Disney travel, to ensure you see, taste, and experience every bit of planet Batuu.

There’s so much to take in while at Galaxy’s Edge, and when Rise of the Resistance opens at Walt Disney World on Dec. 5 (followed by an opening at Disneyland in January 2020), there’s only going to be more to experience.

From delightfully different photo shoots to a breakdown of which toys are worth your money, these are the parts of Disney World’s new Star Wars-themed land that you won’t want to miss:

Pose for out-of-this-world photo opportunities.

Courtesy of Disney

Walt Disney World’s newest land comes with PhotoPass locations befitting of the interstellar locale. One 360-degree photo will put you in the center of Galaxy’s Edge, “magic shots” insert porgs, TIE fighters and Kowakian monkey lizards into your pictures and a superzoomed photo enhances how off-planet Batuu truly is. Only preparing for your trip? There’s even an exclusive Snapchat filter that’ll put you inside a realistic hologram from back home that’s available in certain U.S. regions.

Watch the sun setting over Batuu.

When it comes to a popular new attraction like Avatar Flight of Passage or Toy Story Land, the philosophy is to visit earlier in the day to avoid the crowds and hop in line first thing. However, when it comes to Galaxy’s Edge, the opposite can also be true. Sunsets over Black Spire Outpost are unparalleled swirls of purple-blue and can be absolutely stunning, making the Millennium Falcon stand even taller in stature when juxtaposed against a beautiful Floridian sky. Even better? With the land located towards the back of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’re less likely to get caught in the rain while trying to reach it by visiting into the early evening.

Drink something truly unexpected.

Courtesy of Disney

Everyone’s talked up blue and green milk since Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland back in May, but Walt Disney World’s got a special spin on it: blue milk with rum. Yes, you can spike your neon blue Bantha coconut-rice milk and should, because for some unexpected reason, it’s much better with booze. Not into the idea of a milky frozen fruit drink? Hightail it over to Oga’s Cantina, where the entire menu of space brews entice, but one stands out among the rest. The Fuzzy Tauntaun arrives bright yellow topped with a cloud of foam that, once you take a sip, will cause your lips to tingle with numbness. It’s caused by a “buzz button” extract and is completely safe, but adds a bit of fun. Advanced reservations for Oga’s Cantina are highly recommended.

Splurge on something special.

Courtesy of Disney

Much of Galaxy’s Edge is predicated on special souvenir experiences ideal for Star Wars fans and young padawans alike. Building a $199 lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop — Handbuilt Lightsabers or taking home a customized $99 droid at Droid Depot are both once-in-a-lifetime experiences executed brilliantly within this new Disney themed land. We love the custom droids, made to look like R2-d2 or Bb-8 style units, for their hands-on building lessons and ability to interact with other toy droids and features throughout the land, but fans who have dreamt of yielding the force won’t be disappointed by the high quality sabers and the immersive experience that comes with it. Still, if you’re not so inclined to drop admission-level prices on a take-home toy, we recommend hitting Toydarian Toymaker within the marketplace, where handcrafted-looking plushies honoring familiar characters including Jabba The Hutt, Rey, Chewbacca and Yoda will only set you back about $20.

Try the local space food.

Courtesy of Disney

There are plenty of offerings on Black Spire Outpost (Sweet-spicy popcorn! Fruit milk! Arrowroot noodles!) but the crowd-pleaser of Galaxy’s Edge remains to be the Ronto Wrap. This pork-lined, Portuguese sausage-topped pita comes with a slaw and sauce packed with Szechuan peppercorn, and is already amassing a cult following for the best grab-and-go food in the land. There’s a full menu of intriguing options at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo as well, but if you’re looking for something a little less unusual, order the kid’s menu Fried Endorian Tip-Yip. It’s essentially a big chicken breast nugget atop macaroni and cheese that will please even the pickiest of eaters.

Learn to fly the Falcon like Han Solo.

Courtesy of Disney

It requires a bit of finesse to pilot the fastest ship in the galaxy on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, so study up before you step on board and retrieve your assigned position. Pilots play by video game rules, meaning that the two work in tandem to direct the ship on its mission; the left pilot can move side-to-side, while the right pilot pushes up to drive the ship down, and down to fear the ship upwards. If you’re in the Gunner position, keep a close eye for the option to choose between manual and automatic settings — it’ll appear shortly after you sit down and buckle your seatbelt, but disappears quickly, so move fast.

Be sure to hit the brakes before smashing into the first train holding a shipment and know that your experience will vary, but even stellar flight crews can only seemingly get two containers of coaxium. (It’s practically automatic that each group gets one.) Sometimes, you’ll even reach a bonus level: an asteroid field, where pilots will need to work overtime to avoid crashing into the oversized rocks. But, however you do, remember to open the Play Disney Parks app prior to boarding — by doing so, it’ll track your score and can build a profile for how you perform on the ride.

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