By Carlye Wisel
Updated: June 03, 2019
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is, in a way, its very own theme park. The 14-acre land, which just opened at Disneyland Park in Anaheim and opens at Walt Disney World in August, is far unlike anything Disney has ever created.

With so much Star Wars lore built into planet Batuu’s design, though, this new themed land doesn’t just look like an old trade outpost caught in the middle of a clash between the First Order and Resistance. It actually functions like one. Unlike Disneyland’s layout, which offers clear indicators towards attractions, shopping and dining, nearly everything within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge feels off the beaten path. (Case in point: the most-hyped souvenir — a $199 customizable lightsaber — is completely hidden, with no sign or signifier, save for the line snaking out front.)

You’ll likely find yourself preoccupied with eating every Ronto Wrap and throwing back drinks at the very first bar in Disneyland while visiting Black Spire Outpost, but there’s plenty more going on inside the first-ever Star Wars theme park land you’ll want to be prepared for.

From holocron secrets and IG-Series droids to Aurebesh translation devices, so much of it is real, unusual and unfathomably Star Wars. And, with Galaxy’s Edge proving to be massively popular already, having a heads up on the blue milk tricks, semi-free souvenirs and hidden dianoga beasts can make your visit to planet Batuu that much better.

Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

From food ordering hacks to finding the Dianoga, here’s a cheat-sheet for every Star Wars tip, Millennium Falcon trick and imperial probe droid lying just below the surface:

Plan ahead for mealtime

All dining locations — Docking Bay 7, Ronto Roasters and the Milk Stand — offer mobile order through the Disneyland App, but you could be shut out of immediate time slots if you wait until when you actually want to eat. Instead, pre-order each meal in the morning for a larger availability of time slots, and don’t worry about your Smoked Kaadu Ribs getting cold. It won’t even be served until you arrive to pick it up.

There are surprises hiding around every turn

Look up and you might find a light fixture repurposed from an R2-series droid; peer inside a crate to discover Boba Fett’s jetpack. The detailing throughout Galaxy’s Edge references Star Wars stories both famed and less familiar, so don’t let your eyes just gaze over the crumbling stone buildings and towering petrified trees. Take a closer look everywhere — including the water tank above the fountain inside the marketplace — and you’ll be in for a treat.

Some sabers are more powerful than others

Because there’s a secret hiding among the red kyber crystals. 1 in every 50 is an obsidian black — a nod to the Sith shrine. Another hidden gem? Each colored kyber crystal, which is sold at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities and included with Savi’s Workshop lightsabers, has one of four different messages that will display within holocrons, so be sure to swap with others to listen to them all.

Some of the best souvenirs aren’t even sold in shops

The souvenir mugs at Oga’s Cantina are whimsical take-homes that can’t be found anywhere else. Order the beer flight and it’ll be served in Rancor teeth lodged within a collectible tray; opt for a Cliff Dweller and prepare for it to arrive in a delightful (yet pricey) Tiki-style Porg mug. Whichever drink you choose, be sure to swipe the colorful cantina coasters. With hidden messages in their symbolic font, these well-designed complementary discs are fun to translate and even better as keepsakes.

You have the power to affect things inside the land with just your smartphone.

By utilizing the Play Disney Parks app within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, guests can hack into radio towers to trigger sound effects or “break into” door panels. There’s also a low-key game happening all day pinning Resistance factions against First Order ones; scores are wiped at the end of the day and winners are given virtual “equipment”, like digital weapons and cargo, as a reward.

Everybody here is “in character”

Shopkeepers readily refer to money as credits, call Star Wars Land a planet and say greetings like “bright suns!” and “rising moons!” in lieu of good morning and good night. If you’re not into it, your body language will probably give it away and they’ll break a bit, but Star Wars obsessives who have waited their whole lives to haggle within a shop filled with lightsaber hilts and wall-mounted Tauntaun head will be euphoric.

English is not the first language here

It’s Aurebesh, the language honed in Star Wars films and television shows over the past forty-two years. You’ll still be able to find your way towards food and shopping, but expect all signs and posted placards to be in Batuu’s native tongue. Want to read them yourself? Translate posted signs and etched messages by scanning them within the Star Wars Datapad (within the free Play Disney Parks app) for a below-the-surface scavenger hunt even kids will enjoy.

Browse the stores — not just the merchandise

Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks

Marketplace shops are packed with small references to the films that are easy to miss at first glance. Creature Stall, where park goers can take home stuffed Porgs and Wampas in cardboard “crates”, has an animated Loth Cat on display front and center, but the hidden animals up above are even more of a surprise. Toydarian Toymaker is packed with references as well, including a marionette battle between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi like in Star Wars: A New Hope. Still, the biggest treasure trove of easter eggs is at Dok-Ondar’s Den Of Antiquities. Enter past carved vignettes modeled after the kind inside Palpatine’s office in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith to reach a two-story shop filled with luxury items. You’ll surely be preoccupied with never-before-sold merchandise or a “living” baby Sarlacc or even the massive Ithorian owner’s presence, but look up past the wall of mounted heads of Star Wars creatures to a second floor rich with hidden secrets, like a taxidermied Wampa or a golden bust of Jar-Jar Binks.

Oga’s Cantina is so much more than a bar

It’s an interactive watering hole modeled after the ones seen in Star Wars films paired with the theatrics of Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar at Disneyland Hotel. When Hyperdrive power drops the lights, staffers have to regenerate juice by banging it with a mallet to get things back up and running; at last call each night, things get similarly rowdy. Even the cantina DJ himself is a throwback to Disneyland’s original Star Tours attraction, whose Captain R-3X has taken on a new gig on the ones and twos.

Prepare to interact with — not just meet — beloved Star Wars characters

You can hug Chewbacca and snap a picture, but he’ll also play along in character, tightening the bolts on a stroller or stepping away to help “repair” a real, full-size X-Wing. Discussing the struggle against the First Order with Rey as though Batuu is a real planet she’s visiting is wildly different than the photo ops most Disney characters have, and it makes Galaxy’s Edge feel more real — especially during unexpected moments, like Savi’s Workshop halting lightsaber sales when Stormtroopers and Kylo Ren pass by.

Splurge for a Batuu gift card

With a $100 minimum, these bronzed chips — which work as gift cards throughout the entirety of Disneyland — make for a free and nifty keepsake.

Milk Stand isn’t the only place to find Blue Milk

Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

It’s also listed on the non-alcoholic drink menu at Oga’s Cantina, but is served differently there. Blue Milk out by the stand comes frozen like a slushy, but at the cantina is served room-temperature — a less-preferred option that at least comes paired with an enticing Bantha-shaped cookie.

There’s a secret Millennium Falcon video game mode

And it’s incredibly easy to miss. The cockpit loading process on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is lickety-split, so take note beforehand that gunners — who reside in the middle position —have a split-second to choose between manual and automatic modes once they get settled in their seats. Manual mode will only offer a blinking button for riders to push aimlessly while automatic actually lets passengers use some skill, a must for teens and adults on board the most famous Star Wars ship to ever exist.

Want to know every hidden gem throughout the land?

Disney’s own fan club has the cheat sheet you are looking for. With videos highlighting every reference and recreation from the actual films, each one offers a hit list of cool cinematic references. The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run’s queue, for example, is packed with a Sabacc game from Solo: A Star Wars Story, training remote and blast helmet from A New Hope and even porg nests, which preoccupied guests might stroll right past. (Don’t miss the Wookie bed, either!)

There’s nothing normal about the drinks at Disneyland’s first bar.

There are no liquor bottles, custom blends or vodka-sodas here on Batuu, but plenty of tucked-away delights within Oga’s Cantina, including a encased Worrt, whose “eggs” are used in a cocktail. (Don’t worry, they’re edible boba-like balls.) All the drinks are batched cocktails, which means they’re pre-mixed and made but include bizarre toppings like a meringue Rancor “bone” atop a bloody mary and a szechuan peppercorn-infused foam that’s already been known to make guests’ lips go numb. A colorful drink with a secret to it? Now that’s the kind of Star Wars cantina drama we’re after.

Advertisement