Disneyland’s largest park expansion in history is the galactic-sized Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which features 14 acres of full throttle, outer space immersion that transports you to a planet named Batuu, where Resistance fighters and the evil First Order all come together at the edge of the galaxy. The centerpiece of Galaxy’s Edge is a replica Millennium Falcon that stretches 100 feet with its massive wingspan, and leads into a truly epic virtual reality ride, Smuggler’s Run, where you’re either in the pilot, gunner, or engineer seat as you soar through hyperspace. You’ll also discover astromech droids, fascinating new foods, characters including Chewbacca and Kylo Ren, and plenty of opportunities to purchase exclusive memorabilia.
You’ll have to buy a Disneyland ticket to launch into the Star Wars universe, but, after that, it’s up to you whether you want to save, spring, or splurge on your visit to outer space at Galaxy’s Edge. (For the summer, prices are $150 for a one day ticket, $112 per day for a two-day ticket, and $100 per day if you stay for three days, going down from there.)
Once you hit Batuu, there’s actually a surprising amount you can do without opening your wallet. You can spend days exploring the spectacular theming; every tread mark on the ground and dusty container have a backstory, and much of the details can be delved into by downloading the free Play Disney Parks mobile app. The app will transform your mobile device into a Star Wars data pad that allows you to interact with droids, translate Aurebesh (the language of the Star Wars galaxy), scan cargo crates and other containers to collect virtual items, and even gain points for your piloting skills on Smugglers Run. It will amp up your fun and costs nothing to use (except data and power, so make sure you’re on wifi and have an extra power bank with you).
While you’re at it, download the official free Disneyland mobile app to check the wait time at Smugglers Run, locate character encounters, and access a map of the land.
Souvenirs of your intergalactic visit are a big part of your visit, and there are plenty of chances to spend big, especially around the Black Spire Outpost, which is filled with fascinating shops offering everything from $200 lightsabers (more on that later on) to adorable Porg pets ($25). However, you don’t need to go broke to acquire special merchandise here. In fact, one of the coolest things we saw was also one of the cheapest: An orb-shaped Coke bottle with a resealable, gear-like cap and weathered label in Aurabesh. They're only $4.99 (there are Diet Coke and Sprite options as well), and make for great and affordable take-home mementos.
There are free souvenirs, too, but only if you know where to look. Luckily we worked some Jedi mind tricks on the costumed members of the Resistance and discovered that if you greet them with a secret message —“Let the Wookie win” — you’ll be rewarded with a free card with a piece of map on the back. Keep collecting them, and you’ll eventually puzzle out an entire map and unveil a secret mission.
Part of the fun of Galaxy’s Edge is tasting the wide range of exotic flavors imbued into the multihued food and drinks developed for Batuu.
Head to Oga’s Cantina for real cocktails (a first in Disneyland) in an interstellar bar, where a robot DJ spins tunes from around the universe, and drinks include the foamy peach vodka Fuzzy Tauntaun ($15) and non-alcoholic smoking Carbon Freeze ($7.50; there are also complimentary, cool souvenir coasters served with your beverage, too). Beers brewed just for Disney are on offer for $12, a relative bargain — as long as you don’t get the sampler served in collectible beer tasters shaped like teeth, which will set you back a whopping $75.
For more tastes of the galaxy, Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo resembles a spaceship hangar and offers up plenty of cool seating to go with its Fried Endorian Yip Yip (crispy chicken with green herb gravy, $15.49), Ithorian Garden Loaf (veggie “meatloaf” with mashed potatoes, $14.99), and Smoked Kaadu Ribs (pork ribs and blueberry corn bread, $16.99). Don’t miss the Oi-Oi Puff for dessert (a raspberry cream puff with passionfruit mousse $6.49).
Due to its huge popularity, access to Galaxy’s Edge through June 23 is limited to those who had made a reservation in the spring, or to anyone staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel. Therefore, if you want to experience the immersive wonders of Star Wars early this summer, it pays to stay on property. There are three options: Grand Californian Hotel and Spa (from $555 per night), Disneyland Hotel (from $445 per night), and Paradise Pier Hotel (from $339 per night).
Want to totally immerse yourself in the Galaxy’s Edge universe? The best way is through the unique shopping activities, especially at Savi’s Workshop. The only way to enter this special shop for hand-built lightsabers is with a reservation and $200. If your dream has always been to construct a space-age lightsaber, then this unique spot might be the reason to crack open your piggy bank. You choose your theme (Peace and Justice, Power and Control, Elemental Nature, or Protection and Defense), and then add custom hand controls, special colored kyber crystals, and personalized details before you activate your lightsaber in a ceremony that ends with a crackle of sound and light and Yoda’s reassurance that the force is with you. It’s the ultimate souvenir for Star Wars fans.
Another place to spend big is Droid Depot. Here, you can piece together your own droid with parts from a moving conveyer belt before bringing them to life via remote control, all starting at $100. That will feel like a bargain when you see the ultimate splurge: A customized R2D2 for $25,000.