Back in January, I took a trip to Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World. Not only do I miss it, but the memory of it will never leave me. If you’re a Star Wars fan like myself, Galaxy’s Edge is a must-see if you want to literally be transported to a galaxy far, far away. Now I want to share my experience with you! Let’s take a ride to the planet of Batuu!
Rise of the Resistance
Located at Hollywood Studios, Galaxy’s Edge has become the star attraction there. However, the star attraction inside Galaxy’s Edge is easily Rise of the Resistance. With popularity comes great sacrifice on the part of the guest. If you want a chance to get a ride on this Star Wars monolith, you must join a boarding group. Joining a boarding group can be found on the My Disney Experience app. As shown below, here is where you’ll have the opportunity to join a boarding group:
The kicker here is that if you’re not in line at the park gate at least two hours before it opens, you won’t get your reservation. So, if you want to make the sacrifice of sleep worthwhile, get there on time. If you’re living on Disney property, buy an Uber because the park shuttles won’t get you there on time. It wasn’t expensive, and it was worth the small amount of cash to make sure you start the day off right.
Once you arrive at the gates of Hollywood Studios, enter the park through the gates on the right-hand side. I don’t know why, but crowds shift left and if you want to get into the park sooner, stay to your right. Choose the right way and be happy!
The park will open before you’re able to reserve your reservations on the My Disney Experience app. Once the reservations are open, you’ll hear a public announcement that reiterates that. However, have your app open a minimum of TWO minutes before the announcement is given. On the snapshot shown above, pull down on the page to refresh the page. Refresh every few seconds a couple minutes before the announcement is given because I’ve heard from some locals that sometimes the park accidentally opens the reservations a little early. Once you’ve gotten your reservation, you’ll be assigned to a boarding group. Once you know your boarding group, make sure to check your app throughout the day to know what boarding groups are being called. You only have ONE hour from the time they announce your boarding group on the app to get there. In other words, I suggest you don’t do any park-hopping on the day you’re going to Rise of the Resistance. Plan accordingly.
Now, this is where the fun begins.
The Rise of the Resistance is the most fun ride I’ve ever been on. However, it’s not just any ride, it’s an experience. I don’t want to spoil the whole experience, but I will give you a basic summary of it. From entrance to exit, you become a full-fledged member of the Resistance. You board a Resistance shuttle and are quickly taken captive by the First Order. Once captured, you must go through processing and interrogation. You are assigned color codes. Remember what color you are because it will make your experience later on much better. Anyhow, this is what you behold when you first enter the realms of the First Order:
After your go through processing, you are rescued by the Resistance. You are told to board each shuttle that designates the color you were given earlier on. Once boarded, the rest is full of fun and adventure! Believe me, the whole ride and experience gets better and better the more it progresses. The rest, you’ll have to find out on your own.
Overall, Rise of the Resistance was the most immersive ride I’ve ever been on. The experience isn’t something that can be written down. It’s something you must experience for yourself. If you’re a huge Star Wars fan like myself, or if you’ve only seen the movies once or none at all, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this ride. A huge shout out to the Imagineers who designed it. It’s fun, immersive, and has heart- just like the movies have.
Experience Score: 10/10
Who wouldn’t want a chance to fly the Millennium Falcon? It might look like a piece of junk on the outside, but inside of it lies history, adventure, and exploration.
“It’s got it where it counts, kid.’
Unlike Rise of the Resistance, you don’t need an app to pilot the Falcon on Smuggler’s Run. In all honesty, I was disappointed in how long the wait was for the ride, but it was unavoidable due to the overall popularity of Galaxy’s Edge and the recent opening of Rise of the Resistance. Just a month ago, they made Fastpass an available option for Smuggler’s Run, so, if you have a shot at getting a Fastpass for Smuggler’s Run, do it!
Once I finally got through the incredibly long line, I got a brief overview from my good pal, Hondo Ohnaka. He gave a briefing of how he came into possession of the Falcon and tells you what your job is. After that, I was given a card that assigned me a role. The role you’re given, whether it be pilot, gunner, or engineer, you need to fulfill to the best of your ability because if one person slacks off, the whole experience won’t be as fun as you thought it could be. The ride is pretty bumpy and much more treacherous than Rise of the Resistance. So, if you get sick easily, I suggest you sit out of this one. During my experience, I was assigned as the pilot. It wasn’t as easy as it looked. The pilots have the hardest jobs because they have to work together in unison, or you’ll find yourself having a pretty bumpy ride. My favorite part was jumping into hyperspace and hearing Hondo Ohnaka giving his somewhat constructive criticism.
The ride was short, but the important thing was that it felt like I was piloting the Falcon. Chewie…punch it!
Experience Score: 8.5/10
Who knew that building a lightsaber could be so fun? I mean, it’s always something I dreamed of, but what made Savi’s Workshop different from just going online and customizing your own, was the experience.
Remember the Clone Wars episode, The Gathering? My experience of building my lightsaber was basically that. Although I didn’t have to risk my life finding my own kyber crystal, luckily, I was able to build one without those kinds of risks.
Now, let’s get down into the nitty gritty of what you’re getting yourself into, besides forking over $200 bucks to your local gatherer on Batuu. But before I begin, I suggest booking your reservation a few months in advance through the My Disney Experience app. I didn’t do this and was grateful that someone else canceled the day of. Which, by the way, NEVER cancel the day of because you will be charged the full amount. If you need to cancel, you must cancel the day before to avoid any imperial entanglements.
When you arrive at Savi’s, you inform them of your appointment and are told to pick what style of lightsaber you’d like to choose. You are given a sheet that explains the differences and shows what available combinations are allowed for each style. There are four different styles to choose from: Peace and Justice, Power and Control, Elemental Nature, and Protection and Defense.
While you’re choosing what styles there are, Savi’s also has a hand’s on display chest of each style so you can see what you’re getting yourself into. Personally, I chose Elemental Nature. And just a note, you cannot mix and match between multiple styles. Once you’ve chosen a style, you’re limited to those pieces specific to that style. Hopefully, they’ll expand the customization options in the near future.
Once you’ve chosen the style you want to build, you head over to the front desk to pay. With tax, I paid around $215 when it was all said and done.
After you pay, you’re given a metal pin with an insignia that represents the style you chose and a neat little credit-styled card that represents where you’ll be building your lightsaber.
Once that is all set and done, you meet in a waiting area for a fellow gatherer to give you a summary of what you’re about to do. Savi’s Workshop is supposed to be secret and hidden from the knowledge of the First Order, so don’t be a stool pigeon if Kylo Ren asks you later on where you got the lightsaber from. Keep it secret, keep it safe!
Upon entering Savi’s Workshop, you get the feeling that something amazing is about to happen. It feels like the Force is all around you! Believe me, I almost teared up at points during the experience.
After I went to my assigned builder’s table, a presentation began from one of the fellow gatherers. To prevent major spoilers, I will bypass this side of the experience. All I can say is that I lied earlier on. I didn’t just tear up once… I teared up a few times because of how immersive the experience was. You truly felt one with the Force.
Later on, you’ll choose what color kyber crystal you want. Personally, I chose green. Once you’ve chosen your kyber crystal and it’s time to build, a fellow gatherer will give you the material and direction you need to make sure it’s built correctly. All in all, it was quite simple to build. And since I already knew exactly what I wanted it to look like, it took me only a couple minutes to finish. The only tricky part was fitting the kyber crystal into the hilt. It takes some getting used to. Also, do not over-screw the pieces together. Besides that, it’s a pretty painless experience. The material is made of HEAVY metal and is much more durable than the lighter aluminum they use to make the legacy sabers that are sold at Dock Andar’s Den of Antiquities.
Finally, once you’ve completed your build, it’s time to test out your newly built saber!
The Savi’s Workshop experience felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s something that every Star Wars fan needs to experience. Although it’s lacking more customizable build options, I was more than happy with the saber I built. To this day, I rarely go a day without turning on my lightsaber to remember the experience I had. If you want something more than just a souvenir, head to Savi’s Workshop and experience “The Gathering.”
Experience Score: 9.5/10
Galaxy’s Edge is nearly everything a Star Wars fan could want and more! After spending a couple days there just soaking it all in, there is still so much more to explore and appreciate. It truly was built for the fans. Even if you don’t know much about Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge is a great place to begin at and start learning. At the heart of it, lies what every Star Wars fan appreciates. No matter how old I’ll get, the kid inside of me will always be there because of Star Wars. Galaxy’s Edge makes me feel like a kid again. This is what George Lucas always wanted and is the heart and soul of what Star Wars is all about.
Overall Experience Score: 9/10