Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disneyland Park
For those looking to live your own Star Wars adventure, you don’t actually have to travel to a galaxy far, far away.
The Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park is set to open on Friday at Disneyland Park in California.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for about 42 years. I’m a huge Star Wars fan,” said Walt Disney Imagineering’s John Dennis.
“As a 12-year-old kid going to see those films, it inspired me to want to dream bigger about the galaxies.”
The land spans more than 14 acres making this the largest single-themed land in Disney Parks history. And to make it feel like the movie, the land combines thousands of props, ancient-looking spires and more than 200,000 square feet of rock work and about 260,000 square feet of themed plaster.
Guests will be transported to the planet Batuu, the newest location in a story that began in 1977 with the first Star Wars film.
Even the smallest details like the garbage cans, washrooms and droid tracks on the ground all combine to achieve the look of the Black Spire Outpost.
The main attraction, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, is no “piece of junk” or “bucket of bolts.” This famous spacecraft measures more than 100 feet long.
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The Falcon Chess Room (part of the queue area) sets the stage for what guests will experience during the four-minute long ride. Visitors strap themselves into the cockpit in groups of six. Each person is assigned one of the three roles to complete the mission: pilots, gunners or flight engineers. Then, the Millennium Falcon jumps to light speed twice — complete with daring drops and tight turns.
“You’re not merely a passenger along for a ride, but rather the protagonist of the adventure. The story unfolds around you and responds to the way you engage it,” said Asa Kalama, executive creative director with Walt Disney Imagineering.
This is the first time a full-size, 100-per-cent-complete Millennium Falcon has ever been built.
Visitors looking to take a piece of the Star Wars galaxy home with them can visit the “Droid Depot,” where guests can construct their own droid by picking pieces and parts off a conveyor belt. These droids then interact with elements throughout the land.
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“You would actually use this screwdriver here to screw the legs in. You would actually pick some of the pieces here to customize your droid and then we bring your droid to life,” said Cody Hampton, senior merchandiser with Walt Disney World.
But if it’s a sword-like weapon you seek, guests can feel the force as they build their own lightsaber.
When it comes to food and drink, Disney thought intergalactic and included blue and green milk and other exotic beverages and foods.
“This is an extremely immersive experience for our guests and I know that we are taking them on this journey to Batuu, another planet in the galaxy, and we want the food to represent that,” said Brian Piasecki, culinary director with Walt Disney World.
For those who prefer the east coast, Disney’s Hollywood studios in Florida will open its Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on Aug. 29.
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