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    Star Wars California Park: Disneyland's New Planet!

    Who I am
    Joel Fulleda
    @joelfulleda
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    All fans of Star Wars know that, after being a 20th Century Fox monopoly for 35 years, since 2012 the rights to one of the most famous sagas of all time have been in the hands of Disney. Starting from that epochal date for the world of cinema, two of the three films planned have hit the box office: Star Wars - The Force Awakens (2015) and Star Wars - The Last Jedi (2017) and the spin-offs of Star Wars Anthology (Solo and Rogue One). As is well known, however, the Disney universe is not limited to producing films, but creates an enormous expectation among fans on every commercial side; in particular, their theme parks in the USA (and beyond) are immediately put in the spotlight waiting for more and more futuristic and spectacular attractions to be revealed. Today I want to tell you how a new planet of the Star Wars galaxy opened its doors in California!



    Index

    • Star Wars and Disneyland: this is how a planet is born!
    • The city of Batuu
    • The wrinkles
      • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
      • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
    • The shows and the encounter with the characters
    • Shopping in shops and do-it-yourself shops
    • Bars and restaurants
    • Where is Galaxy's Edge located?
    • tickets

    Star Wars and Disneyland: this is how a planet is born!

    It must be said that Disneyland Los Angeles e Disney World Orlando they waited for a while: limiting ourselves to the Californian park for the moment, we certainly couldn't be satisfied with the two Star Tours attractions - The Adventures Continue and Star Wars Launch Bay, inaugurated in the Tomorrowland section respectively in 2011 and 2015. A little 'like Harry Potter for Universal Studios (in fact this was the real, feared competitor to compete with), the Star Wars world it deserved more than two rides: it was expected an entire section of the park who faithfully recreated that imagination, in full Disney style.



    Finally in 2015, the year of the opening of Star Wars Launch Bay, the creation of a Star Wars themed area of ​​14 acres was also announced: it took a while but finally here we are! From June 2019 to Disneyland Los Angeles it's open Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, a new area of ​​the park that hosts Batuu, a remote frontier city on a planet on the outer edge of the galaxy: a place totally unreleased in the films published so far and destined to become a mecca for all lovers of the saga!

    The city of Batuu

    You enter the town of Batuu via the Resistance Forest, which is the place where the other planned attraction will arise: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. After crossing the forest, you arrive in the heart of the town of Batuu: the market of Black Spire Outpost. Built and set up in the classic Moroccan-oriental style, this incredible space allows you to totally immerse yourself in a realistic Star Wars experience, made even more suggestive by the presence of costumed characters. You can enter the restaurants and small clubs that animate the market enjoying the incredible details and trying to resist the temptation to buy all the themed gadgets of the shops available (which I will list shortly).

    The wrinkles

    Le laughs at Galaxy's Edge they are not the only reason, but they are certainly the main one, the one for which tens of thousands of people have already stormed the planet of Batuu in the early opening times. The expectation was so great that at Disneyland they had to limit visits through a booking system active from May 31st to June 23rd 2019 (then admission is free). As anticipated, the attractions of this area are two:  Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run e Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.



    Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

    If like me you were impatient to see what they would have invented at Disney, you will surely have seen some preview photos that portrayed the Life-size Millennium Falcon, parked at the foot of some buildings clinging to high cliffs overlooking what we later discovered to be the planet Batuu. The attraction involves you piloting Han Solo, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian's unforgettable spaceship during a super-secret mission in hyperspace, responding to the call of Hondo Ohnaka who is desperate for personnel (even inexperienced) to an adventure: carrying important merchandise through the galaxy's most dangerous areas.

    If you want some technical data, I can tell you that it is a interactive dark ride which looks more like a great video game than a classic 3D attraction: it will be you and you alone who will guide the spacecraft, playing one of the roles that will be assigned to you during the presentation of the ride: pilot, engineer and gunner. It goes without saying that the duration and type of mission will change each time, depending on your skill on board. Obviously, in full Disney style, all the interiors of the spacecraft in the passage and waiting areas are set up with obsessive care and offer the opportunity to see remarkable details of the Millenium Falcon from multiple perspectives.

    Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

    This is Galaxy's Edge's second attraction. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance allows visitors to witness a highly technological battle of the Resistance against the First Order. The war is to the death, but a secret team of Resistance fighters, including Rey and BB-8, will help you.


    Star Wars in California We really like to go and research the scenarios that have been the background to Star Wars movie: if the planet Batuu has tempted you to see with your own eyes also the locations where the other films were actually shot, take a look at our article dedicated to Star Wars in California.

    The shows and the encounter with the characters


    Wandering inside Galaxy's Edge, you will also find the reconstruction of the shuttle TIE Echelon: this is the stage for a show that has as its main actor one of the most discussed and important protagonists of the saga in its Disney phase, Kylo Ren. Every 60 minutes you will see a short show in which Ren announces that he has landed on Batuu in the shuttle to look for Rey. After the performance, stormtroopers, generals and the supreme leader of the First Order descend among us for photos and close encounters.

    Another funny show has it as a protagonist Chewbacca: You will see him trying to restart the X-Wing fighter. Again there will be the opportunity to get close to him and take a picture, as in the case of King which, although somewhat difficult to find, is actually located in Batuu, as Kylo Ren claimed!

    Shopping in shops and do-it-yourself shops

    Droid Depot

    There is no shortage of "traditional" souvenir and gift shops, set up in Star Wars style and with attention to every single detail:

    • Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities is a mysterious and dark shop that sells antiquities, old more or less precious objects from different planets and dating back to different eras.
    • Black Spire Outfitters: clothing store for those who want to dress in Batuu fashion or simply for those who want a casual Star Wars-style garment to show off on the way home.
    • First Order Cargo: clothing and souvenir shop, designed for those who cannot hide their fascination with the dark side.
    • Resistance Supply: for those who feel ready to join the Resistance and want suitable clothing and paraphernalia. You will find this shop near the Resistance Forest.
    • Creature Stall: young and old, who have always been fascinated by the bizarre and monstrous creatures that populate the galaxy, go to this toy shop: they will find something for their teeth.
    • Toydarian Toymaker: another bazaar that sells toys, miniatures and handcrafted souvenirs. Designed for those who do not want to leave Batuu without having purchased a small Wookiee plush.

    In addition to browsing the shelves of these shops, you will have the opportunity to have a truly new experience. You ever thought you could assemble a droid or a lightsaber with your own hands? Those of Disneyland have seen fit to make this dream come true:

    • Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers: if having a lightsaber all to yourself is not enough for you, perhaps it is because you would like a personalized one and above all you would like the blessing of Yoda. Well, enter Savi's top secret laboratory, where you'll find some busy "Gatherers" who will help you assemble your lightsaber, available for purchase no earlier than Yoda's pass. Please note:: this shop experience requires a reservation. The queues are long!
    • Droid Depot: it wouldn't be bad to have a droid at your service! If you've thought so at least once, when you find yourself in Batuu all you have to do is follow the tracks of a droid on the ground: they will lead you to the Droid Depot, a workshop where the shelves and conveyor belts are full of spare parts. They are all at your disposal for you to build your own droid and bring it home!

    Bars and restaurants

    Not just spacecraft, space bases, deserts and alien forests - Star Wars lovers love too the most shady settings, like the taverns and cellars where gangsters, bounty hunters and criminals usually gather to drink and guzzle. Most of the places to eat in Star Wars Galaxy's Edge are just this type, and you can't leave Disneyland without trying at least one:

    • Oga's Cantina: it is not advisable to go out of your way in the cellar of Oga, because the public is not really among the most recommendable. Those who were waiting for nothing but sitting at the filthy counter of a Star Wars cellar come here for a drink to refresh themselves during the raids in the galaxy, letting themselves be carried away by the songs selected by the DJ-droid R-3X.
    • Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo: walking through the streets of Batuu it is difficult not to notice a cargo ship (with the dates of the first films in the saga written on it) on top of a building: it is Docking Bay 7, which houses the main fast food restaurant in the area.
    • Milk Stand: those who are not afraid of sugary US-style drinks can go and taste the colored milk of the Milk Stand. There are two types of drink: Green Milk and Blue Milk, both of a fairly creamy consistency, differently from the more liquid one seen in the films "A New Hope" and "The Last Jedi".
    • Ronto Roasters: also in Batuu meat is a strong dish. Ronto is a native Tatooine creature who spends the day grilling sausages and steaks - try one if you want to recharge your batteries after driving the Falcon.
    • Kat Saka's Kettle: in this eclectic place you can buy food for a walk, especially sweet popcorn with unlikely fruity tastes. The bottles of Coke and water are authentic collector's items!

    Where is Galaxy's Edge located?

    Star Wars: Galaxy Edge is located within Disneyland Park, in the northwest area of ​​the park, so you will not be able to see it if you have chosen to visit Disney California Adventure Park (the other of the 2 Disney parks). Map in hand, accessible from Critter Country, Frontierland or Fantasyland. I recommend you to enter the Star Wars area coming from Critter Country, to gradually enter Batuu passing first through a forest with ancient ruins.

    tickets

    As an integral part of Disneyland Park, there is no need to purchase separate tickets to visit Galaxy's Edge. Furthermore, as already specified, starting from June 2019 it will no longer be necessary to book, but access will be free for everyone - except for the attractions that require it (such as Savi's Workshop).

    To find out what are the various types of tickets available and to find out which are the sites where you can buy them at a discount, read my in-depth information on Disneyland tickets.

    Where to buy tickets

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