travel

Review | Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Attitude's travel editor heads to Disneyland Anaheim to crew the first all-gay Millennium Falcon run in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

2019-06-07

Words: Markus Bidaux

I was in Anaheim, California this week for the IPW Travel Conference, during the day we worked hard, but at night we played hard.

And that is easy to do in Anaheim, one of the 88 cities that make up the Greater Los Angeles Area, because it is the home of Disneyland.

On the first night of the conference, Disney closed the park to the public so the 7000 travel delegates could have free range of the park. Disneyland without any pesky kids, this may actually be the happiest place on Earth.

As soon as the gates were open to us the race was on to get to the brand new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge park, which had opened only two days before. In fact, Disney sped up the completion of the park so it would be ready in time for the conference.

Running is not allowed in at Disneyland, so there was hundreds of adults speed walking to Star Wars land as dozens of Disney staff lined the paths castigating anyone who dared get their jog on.

As we entered the new park hidden speakers played an orchestral of alien chirping and laser noises instantly familiar to anyone who has seen a Star Wars movie.

Everything from the rubbish bins to the lamp posts looked like they were plucked straight off of Tatoonie. The new 14-acre land is set in the Black Spire Outpost village on the Star Wars planet Batuu.

With towering buildings and cliffs making up the skyline, it really feels like you have left Disney, and Earth, behind.

Stormtroopers were interrogating everyone looking for Resistance Fighters, there were shops where you could build your own lightsaber or remote control droid, and even in the toilets the speakers played commentary on pod races.

The first stop had to be the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride, a six-person experience with each member of our crew given a role of pilot, gunner, or engineer.

My crew was made up of two German tour operators, the editor of Spartacus magazine and the bloggers 'Couple of Men' - we are convinced we were the first all-gay crew to man the fastest ship in galaxy.

We each sat in our assigned seats in the cockpit of the Falcon, buckled up, and before we knew it an alien voice was instructing us on what to do as the whole ship rumbled to a start and we are tossed and turned as we start chasing other ships in an effort to help the Resistance.

Seeing the ship make a jump through hyperspace we could not help but gasp. The impressive ride really takes you to a galaxy far, far away.

After the ride, we all sat down in Oga's Cantina, which is similar to the one in the first Star Wars film, though instead of an alien band playing instruments, music is provided by a RX-24 droid manning the DJ both.

Behind the bar are bartenders who are the first to serve alcohol to the general public in Disneyland's 63-year history.

The bad news, only people with pre-registered tickets can visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge for the first six weeks - and they are all sold out.

The good news, from 23 June everyone with a general admission ticket can explore the new park and a second ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, where you take on AT-ATs and Kylo Ren, will be opening later this year - if you can wait. 

disneyparks.disney.go.com/star-wars-galaxys-edge/