How to Plan for Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios
Before you get to Batuu, here is some information about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge to help you plan your Star Wars land Walt Disney World trip.
We’ve been anxiously awaiting the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World since the Disney 1Q17 quarterly earnings call. The wait to visit a galaxy far, far away is over as the official opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is August 29.
I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek and early visit to the planet of Batuu during an annual pass holder preview weekend. Before you make the long journey to Batuu, here is what you need to know to plan your trip to Batuu.
“At the edge of the galaxy so far away, black was the spire that called me to stay, a beacon for drifters forgotten and lost, the spire summoned those broken and tossed, come stay here forever or just pass on through, the spirit of the black spire will forever change you” – Old Batuuan poem
How to Plan for a Visit to the Black Spire Outpost at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, Hollywood Studios
What is the Black Spire Outpost?
The Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu is the location of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. This outpost is where the Millennium Falcon landed after escaping the Battle of Crait thanks to one of Hondo Ohnaka's endeavors. While Star Wars movie fans have yet to see Black Spire Outpost in a movie, there is a possibility we’ll see it in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Black Spire Outpost, sometimes simply called Black Spire or BSO, is an outpost on the planet Batuu on the edge of the Outer Rim Territories. It is one of the last stops before Wild Space and the Unknown Regions. The Black Spire draws its name from the giant petrified black trees that tower in it.
The outpost consists of a spaceport, a cantina, and a market.
“Thrawn Alliances” is the first time we see Black Spire Outpost mentioned in Star Wars canon.
Be Prepared to Enter a Fully Immersive Themed Land
When you cross a threshold from Hollywood Studios to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, you see a gradual shift in landscape from Disney-esque theme park to what looks like a new landscape, another galaxy. Cast member greetings will change from hello and welcome to “Bright Suns” (or “Rising Moons” if it’s evening time), if you make a purchase you pay in “credits,” phones becoming “datapads,” and goodbye becomes “til the spire.”
One side of Black Spire Outpost is home to a Resistance camp while the other side is home to the First Order, both sides fighting for control of the Outpost. The Outpost features themes shopping, dining, activities, and attractions.
Attractions at Black Spire Outpost, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Currently, there is only one ride open at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge—Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Star Wars fans will jump at the chance to pilot the iconic Millennium Falcon.
Whether you are a pilot, gunner, or engineer, riding in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon takes working together as a team, and the success of the mission depends on your maneuvers. Jump into hyperspace towards adventure.
Rise of the Resistance
Slated to be the most significant attraction in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, Rise of the Resistance opens in Hollywood Studios on December 5. This ride will feature both a daytime and nighttime version of the attraction in Black Spire and the cockpit controls will affect the motion simulator in real-time.
Rise of the Resistance will put you in the middle of an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Join the Resistance as you depart from Batuu in a transport ship to meet General Leia Organa at a secret rendezvous point. However, you'll be captured by a First Order Star Destroyer along the way and you have to escape the clutches of Kylo Ren and the First Order with the help of some Resistance heroes. We can’t wait for this ride.
For visitors to Batuu in Disneyland, Rise of the Resistance opens January 17, 2020.
Pro Tip: Add more fun to your visit with the Play Disney Parks App
Looking for some added fun while you are in the parks? Whitney from Simplifying Family suggests downloading the Play Disney Parks App, free in the App Store and Google Play for both Apple iOS and Android platforms.
Play Disney Parks App includes a couple of wait time games at each of the parks. For example, guests waiting in the queue for Space Mountain at Disneyland or Disney World's Magic Kingdom can design their own rocket ships.
In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the Play App opens a Data Pad and you can experience things like on-the-job training provided for Smuggler’s Run! Never flown a starship before? Hondo Ohnaka is looking for discreet flight crews to deliver a backlog of hard-to-find items to particular clientele—no experience necessary! Play the app through the Smuggler’s Run queue and earn credits in the app. Read more from Whitney on the Best Apps for Disney here.
Managing Crowds at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
While Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios is nearly identical to the one in Disneyland, it’s not identical. The entrances are different, for a start, and Disneyland doesn’t serve versions of drinks with alcohol at the Milk Stand or Ronto Roasters.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios is about 14 acres in size. For an optimal experience, the land can’t be too crowded. At the opening and first few months, Disneyland took several measures to ensure their version of Batuu wasn’t overcrowded. At the moment, Hollywood Studios has not issued any blackout dates or created a reservation-only system yet.
Make Reservations for Key Activities
Several key attractions and activities at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are expected to be particularly limited and reservations are highly recommended, and in some cases, required.
Savi’s Workshop—Handbuilt Lightsabers Reservations
Meet one of Savi’s Gatherers outside the Workshop and be guided through selecting unique parts from the galaxy to assemble your own lightsaber, while ensuring the secrecy of the shop to protect it from The First Order.
Savi’s Workshop—Handbuilt Lightsabers is incredibly popular and subject to availability. Reservations for Savi's Workshop—Handbuilt Lightsabers are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days in advance.
Oga’s Cantina Reservations
Oga’s Cantina is the notorious local watering hole in Black Spire, inspired by the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars: A New Hope. The bar has minimal seating and a two-drink/item maximum per person, 45-minute time limit is instituted to keep guests moving through. All cocktails and mocktails are premixed, poured from a still, and can’t be customized; wine, beer, and ciders are also on tap.
While they state it’s a 45-minute time limit, I’ve been in Oga’s 3 times now between East Coast and West Coast Batuus and that time limit was not imposed at all, in part because the servers could not take orders and deliver drinks and checks fast enough. All 3 times it was between 60 and 90 minutes total. But who knows what will happen going forward.
While you’re at Oga’s Cantina, enjoy some bold musical entertainment courtesy of droid DJ R-3X, a former Starspeeder 3000 pilot. You’ll even hear a familiar cantina tune during your visit.
While reservations are required, I was able to squeak in as a single person during a fairly slow moment even though there were not technically any more reservations available. 9 pm on a Sunday and politeness during a quiet spell can go a long way.
Droid Depot Reservations
Build your own Custom Astromech Unit at Black Spire Outpost’s industrial depot.
Visit a workshop stocked with parts, chips, manuals, and other tech items useful for constructing your very own droid, one of the galaxy’s most indispensable sidekicks. Chose from the BB-series unit or R-series unit.
Whether heading to the far corners of Wild Space or wandering around Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, be sure to bring your droid since it’s the ultimate travel companion for all your Outer Rim adventures! You can customize your new friend with a personality chip and depending on which chip you choose, your droid will interact throughout Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with the First Order or the Resistance.
Reservations for Droid Depot are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days in advance. Droid Depot may also accommodate walk-ins each day, subject to availability.
Dining at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios offers several snack dining options for travelers to Batuu. Oga’s Cantina is the only one that requires reservations, but it is mainly a place for beverages as there are only two snacks on the menu. The rest of the dining options in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are snack stands and quick-service dining locations.
One thing to note is that while they offer allergy options in dining locations, most everything on Batuu is fairly spicy, so depending on your allergy, your options may be limited. As an example, I have a friend allergic to capsaicin, so she can’t eat anything pepper, spicy, etc. Her dining options were extremely limited in Batuu. If you have unique food allergies, consider checking the menu before you travel. Check out this allergy guide for Batuu from my friend Lindsey at Redhead Baby Mama.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
This restaurant, housed in a working hangar bay, offers a variety of dishes prepared with ingredients from across the galaxy Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs has docked a food freighter loaded with fresh supplies, and he’s ready to satisfy the appetites of visitors and locals alike with an array of exotic offerings. His planet-hopping travels allow him to prepare fare with unusual flavors that delight customers. Ask for the allergy menu, which had several great gluten-free options.
Fan favorites: Smoked Kaadu Ribs and Yobshrimp Noodle Salad
Wander through the market and follow the scent of grilled meat from the pitmaster droid turning the mechanical spit, grilling a large side of ronto—a massive beast native to the planet Tatooine. Ronto Roasters is a favorite stop for crews prepping for their next mission. Inside, spot the hanging podracer engine heating up a spit of meats.
Fan favorites: Ronto Wrap and Rising Moons Overnight Oats
Kat Saka’s Kettle
This colorful snack shop is the market is where grains from all over the galaxy are on display. Here you can order the popular sweet and savory local specialty popcorn and enjoy it as you explore Black Spire Outpost. Refreshing beverages are also available here.
Fan favorite: Outpost Mix
There’s been such controversy I’ve seen all over the internet surrounding the taste and texture of the Blue and Green Milk. Personally, we like both, with a slight preference toward the Blue Milk.
Fan favorites: Blue Milk
While there aren't many food options at Oga's, there are a couple of snacks to enjoy while you enjoy your beverages.
Fan favorites: Cliff Dweller, Hyperdrive (Punch It!), and Oga's Obsession
Libations at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios
In Batuu Disneyland, Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, is the only place where alcohol is served. In Hollywood Studios, it's just one of several places for libations. Oga’s offers a variety of unique themed alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
Fan favorites: Yup Nub, The Outer Rim, and Dagobah Slug Slinger
The Milk Stand at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios offers the traditional nonalcoholic Blue and Green Milk as well as Blue Milk with rum and Green Milk with Tequila.
Fan favorites: Blue Milk with Rum
This quick-service dining stand offers two alcoholic beverages: the Coruscant Cooler (bourbon based) and Trandoshan Ale—Concrete Beach Brewery (spiced wheat ale).
Fan favorite: Coruscant Cooler
Visit Soon for Extra Extra Magic
From September 1—November 2, Hollywood Studios will offer Walt Disney World resort guests Extra Extra Magic Hours. This daily opportunity creates access to the park from 6 a.m.—9 a.m. before the park officially opens to the public.
Til the spire, friends!
Are you planning a trip to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios? What are you looking forward to?