Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened on May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and on August 29, 2019, at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
With the exception of Rise of the Resistance, all attractions and experiences were available on opening day. This includes Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Oga’s Cantina, and various shops and restaurants.
Rise of the Resistance opened on December 5, 2019, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and on January 17, 2020, at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California.
From the early planning stages of Star Wars Land to details about the dedication ceremonies, here is everything you need to know about when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at the Disney Parks.
When Did Galaxy’s Edge Open at Disneyland in California?
The Galaxy’s Edge Star Wars land opened at Disneyland in California on May 31, 2019. Disneyland held a dedication ceremony on May 29, 2019. Appearances included Disney CEO Bob Iger, Star Wars creator George Lucas, and actors Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Billy Dee Williams.
Disney live-streamed the Disneyland Galaxy’s Edge dedication on YouTube. The event included interviews with Scott Trowbridge from Walt Disney Imagineering, Kristin Baver from StarWars.com, and a number of other guests from the Disney Parks team.
Due to the popularity of the Star Wars land, Disneyland required guests to have reservations to access the area until June 23, 2019.
When Did Galaxy’s Edge Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World in Florida opened on August 29, 2019.
Bob Chapek, then-Chairman of Disney Parks, dedicated the Star Wars land on August 28, 2019. As with the Disneyland dedication, they also streamed the Disney’s Holywood Studios dedication on YouTube.
Guests included Star Wars characters Hondo Ohnaka, Chewbacca, R2-D2, BB-8, two First Order stormtroopers, and Resistance spy Vi Moradi.
Unlike the Disneyland opening, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studio did not require advanced reservations to enter the land.
What is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a themed land at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World. The land is set in the Star Wars Universe and allows guests to live out their own Star Wars story.
The attractions and experiences take place in the small city Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. It was once a popular refueling and supply hub before the invention of hyperspace travel.
The Resistance has a secret base on the planet, with Rey, Chewbacca, and Vi Moradi living and working in Black Spire. Kylo Ren and the First Order are also on Batuu, seeking out Resistance sympathizers and recruiting new members for the Order.
The pirate Hondo Onhaka now operates a questionably legitimate shipping company from Black Spire. Other locals include Oga Garra, the proprietor of the eponymous Oga’s Cantina, Dok-Ondar, who runs an antique shop, Mubo, the droid specialist, and Savi, who operates a salvage company.
The History of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Although Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened on both coasts in 2019, plans for a Star Wars land at Walt Disney World date back to at least the 2010s.
Early Star Wars Land Plans
Discussion about a Star Wars land at the Disney World Resort began around the time Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas in 2012. The original plan was to set most of the attractions around events and locations from the Original Trilogy.
At least some portion of the area would be themed like Tatooine. The land would incorporate the existing Star Tours attraction. Other plans included Mos Eisley Cantina, a flat-ride based on X-Wings and TIE fighters, and a second ride potentially based around riding a bantha.
The Star Wars Land would have taken over most of the Echo Land area of the park, replacing at least the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and Sounds Dangerous attractions.
However, this plan was canceled in favor of developing a new land around the forthcoming Sequel Trilogy. The opening of the immersive Harry Potter Land at rival Universal Studios may have also been a factor in the cancelation.
Announcing Galaxy’s Edge
Bob Iger announced plans for a new Star Wars land at the D23 Expo on August 15, 2015. The then-unnamed land was an immersive experience set during the sequel era.
Unlike early plans for Walt Disney World, this new announcement included a version at Disneyland Resort in California as well. Imagineers discussed building two separate lands, but they finally settled on two nearly identical versions.
Building the Star Wars Land
At 14 acres, the new Star Wars land was the largest single-land expansion in Disney Parks history. Construction began at both parks on April 14, 2016. As many as 1,100 Disney employees were working on the project at the peak of construction.
Bob Iger confirmed that the new Star Wars lands would open in 2019 during The Walt Disney Company Q1 FY17 Earnings call on February 7, 2017.
Promoting the Land
Imagineer Asa Kalama confirmed that Galaxy’s Edge would be canon within Star Wars during the “Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making” panel at Celebration Orlando on April 13, 2017. The panel also showcased concept art for the new land.
Promotional materials later confirmed Galaxy’d Edge would take place after The Last Jedi within the Star Wars timeline. Disney revealed a detailed model of the Star Wars land during the D23 Expo in 2017.
The Galactic Nights events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on December 16, 2017, featured a sneak peek of the Galaxy’s Edge.
Lucasfilm’s Doug Chiang and Imagineers Chris Beatty, Robin Reardon, and Scott Trowbridge talked about the new land. They promoted details about the marketplace, the Millennium Falcon attraction, and several of the starfighter models throughout the land.
They also announced that Nien Nunb would play a role in the new Star Wars Land. Nunb originally appeared in Return of the Jedi, serving as Lando Calrissian’s co-pilot in the Millenium Falcon.
Guests got a series of trading cards that confirmed a number of other details. Most notably, cards confirmed that the character R3x was the RX-24 pilot droid from the original Star Tours ride. The cards also highlighted a number of locations in the land, including Black Spire Station, Docking Bay 7, and Merchant Row.
Sections of the detailed model of Galaxy’s Edge from the 2017 D23 Expo debuted in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2018. Disneyland added pieces from the model to the Star Wars Launch Bay on January 11, 2018.
Tie-ins With Other Media
Batuu and Black Spire Outpost appear in a number of other canon stories within the Star Wars Universe.
Black Spire is first mentioned in the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story. L3-37 says to Lando Calrissian, “You couldn’t get from here to Black Spire without me, now you’re going to make the Kessel Run? Ha!”
Black Spire Outpost first appeared in Timothy Zahn’s novel Thrawn: Alliances, the second in his 2017 Thrawn Trilogy. Released on July 24, 2018, the story has Thrawn, Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, and Padmé Amidala visiting the planet at two different points on the Star Wars timeline.
Marvel Comics published a five-book miniseries called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The first book came out on April 24, 2019, a month before Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland in California.
Subsequent comics came out each month through August. The final book was released on August 28, 2019, the day before Galaxy’s Edge opened at Walt Disney World in Florida.
The young-adult novel A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Córdova and the short stories collection Myths & Fables by George Mann were both published on August 6, 2019.
Published on August 27, 2019, Delilah S. Dawson’s novel Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire details how Resistance spy Vi Moradi came to Batuu.
The comic series and the novels by Córdova, Dawson, and Mann expand the background of the Star Wars Land. They include additional details about people and places you can encounter.
Galaxy’s Edge Score
John Williams composed a symphonic suite for Galaxy’s Edge, with William Ross conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Disney released a two-minute version in November 2018 before releasing a five-minute version in May 2019.
Williams won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020.
What Are the Main Attractions and Experiences at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge features interactive experiences that allow guests to immerse themselves in the world of Star Wars. In the land, you can pilot the Millennium Falcon on Smuggler’s Run, escape the First Order aboard Rise of the Resistance, make a droid at Droid Depot, build a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop, take home a unique souvenir at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, or relax with a beverage or two at Oga’s Cantina.
Spoiler Warning: The remainder of this article includes spoilers related to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including details about the attractions and experiences.
Here are the main attractions and experiences inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge:
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – Smugglers Run is a motion simulator that allows guests to fly the iconic Millennium Falcon. Guests are assigned different roles on the ship, such as pilot, gunner, or engineer. You must work together to complete a mission for the former pirate Hondo Ohnaka.
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Guests are recruited to join the Resistance and must navigate their way through the ship to escape the clutches of the First Order. The ride features multiple scenes and experiences, including an encounter with Kylo Ren. Rise of the Resistance opened in December 2019 at Walt Disney World and in January 2020 at Disneyland.
- Oga’s Cantina – This is a themed bar located within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The cantina features a variety of unique drinks and snacks, including a wide range of non-alcoholic options. The interior looks like a seedy watering hole in the Star Wars universe, and features music played by DJ R-3X.
- Savi’s Workshop – This experience allows you to build your own custom lightsabers. Choose each component for your lightsaber, including the hilt, kyber crystal, and blade color. A Gatherer then guides you through the process and provides insight into the history and lore of the lightsabers.
- Droid Depot – In this experience, you build your own custom astromech droids. You pick your droid type and choose from several different colors and components. After assembling your droid, you can explore Galaxy’s Edge and they will interact with the environment.
- Character interactions – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge features a variety of characters from the Star Wars universe. The characters you can meet in Galaxy’s Edge include Rey, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Vi Moradi, and the First Order stormtroopers, among others. Unlike other interactions at Disney Parks, the Galaxy’s Edge characters remain in character and create an immersive experience for guests.
Other experiences include the Docking Bay 7 and Ronto Roasters restaurants, Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, the Milk Stand, Kat Saka’s Kettle popcorn stand, and a number of other stores.
Rooks is an SEO strategist, writer, and content editor that occasionally masquerades as a designer, photographer, and cook.
A lifelong Star Wars geek, his earliest memories are playing with Kenner action figures while watching the Original Trilogy on VHS. Aside from keeping up with the latest Star Wars movies, shows, books, and comics, he enjoys living out his own Star Wars story at Galaxy’s Edge East.
Aside from Star Wars, his fandoms include the MCU, Harry Potter, Battlestar Galactica, and the Lord of the Rings. Other hobbies include traveling, craft brewing, and beat-matching.
Rooks is passionate about cooking and loves discussing and occasionally writing about food, beer, and cocktails. You can usually find him hamming out words at a local coffee shop or brewery, eating around Orlando with his wife, and doing anything to avoid folding the laundry.