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Disneyland’s new Star Wars land is open. Here’s how to get the most out of your trip

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Go behind the scenes of Disney's Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The new "Star Wars"-themed attraction will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, on May 31, 2019, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on August 29, 2019.
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Go behind the scenes of Disney's Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The new "Star Wars"-themed attraction will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, on May 31, 2019, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on August 29, 2019.

Pack your bags, space travelers — it’s time for a long-anticipated journey to a galaxy far, far away.

Disneyland’s newest attraction, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opened May 31 to droves of excited visitors anxious to be among the first to check out the biggest expansion in the Anaheim park’s 64-year history.

For the following month, you’ll have to have snagged a coveted reservation to get in, but come June 24, the new land will be open for everyone. (This is all before the new Star Wars land is expected to open at Walt Disney World in Florida on Aug. 29, of course.)

A media preview on May 29 revealed that the land is jam-packed with interactive experiences, character interactions, photo opportunities and unique souvenirs — everything an ardent “Star Wars” fan could wish for.

As Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, here’s everything we know about the new land and how to experience it.

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Welcome to Batuu

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge takes visitors to the fictional planet of Batuu, described by Disney as a remote outpost on the galaxy’s Outer Rim, on the frontier of Wild Space. (That’s the uncharted region past all known star systems.)

Think the Wild West — but in space.

Disney describes the planet as “home to Black Spire Outpost, an infamous port for smugglers, traders and adventurers wishing to avoid any unnecessary ... entanglements with the First Order.”

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An artist’s rendering shows Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opens May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and Aug. 29, 2019, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Disney Parks

If you’re trying to remember when Batuu popped up in any previous “Star Wars” movies, stop right there.

Before Disney announced the creation of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2015, the planet had never made an appearance anywhere. Since then, it’s been melded into the comic books, novels and TV series that help make up the canonical “Star Wars” universe, but it’s still mostly uncharted territory for fans of the film franchise.

As for the time period, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set sometime after the events of 2017’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” It’s unclear how “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which opens in theaters Dec. 20, might play a role in the land’s later attractions.

The 14-acre land is physically located at the northwestern edge of Disneyland, near Frontierland and Fantasyland.

What will I find in the new land?

Everything a Star Wars fan could dream of. No, seriously — there’s a lot.

A cantina serving alcohol to the public for the first time in Disneyland history? Check. Encounters with characters such as Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron and Chewbacca? Check. The Millennium Falcon itself? Check, check and check.

Visitors will essentially be dropped into the Black Spire Outpost to enjoy all the shopping, eating, flying and lightsaber battles they could want.

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Inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Disney guests will take the controls aboard the fastest ship in the galaxy when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Resort in California and Aug. 29, 2019, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Disney Parks

The biggest draw on opening day of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is no doubt the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride.

The ride puts visitors in the cockpit of that iconic “hunk of junk” in one of three roles: pilot, gunner and flight engineer. Each visitor will be asked to perform actions critical to the success of the mission as the ship hurtles through space.

Though it won’t be ready for opening day, the land’s second ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, is being hyped by Disney as “the most ambitious, immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined.”

Confirmed details on the ride are scant at the moment, but Disney has said that it will put visitors in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance, with adventures aboard a Star Destroyer.

The Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride hasn’t been given a specific opening date, but it is expected to be ready sometime later this year. (For more on the rides, check out our guide here.)

Is there Blue Milk? Lightsabers?

Because Disneyland’s new Star Wars land is set up like a street market, the park is providing a plethora of food and shopping options for weary space travelers.

Vendors will offer special popcorn from Kat Saka’s Kettle, while Oga’s Cantina will offer a place for visitors to sit and enjoy “exotic beverages served in unique vessels” while taking in the sight of the blaster-bolt scorched dive bar. (Keep an eye out here for an appearance from Rex, the original pilot droid from the Star Tours ride over in Tomorrowland.)

Disney's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is serving up out-of-this-world food, drinks and snacks. The new "Star Wars"-themed attraction will open at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on May 31, 2019, and at Walt Disney World in Florida on Aug. 29, 2019.

Meanwhile, diners can grab some grub from Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo or Ronto Roasters. Or they can make like Luke Skywalker and enjoy some blue milk from the Milk Stand — a beverage that made its first onscreen appearance in 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

For the collectors, several “Star Wars”-themed shops will be open.

You can build your own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop, and construct a droid at Droid Depot.

Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities will sell “Star Wars” memorabilia and treats like “ancient Jedi and Sith artifacts,” Disney says, while Resistance Supply and First Order Cargo stores will give visitors the chance to buy clothing and pins for whichever cause they support.

There will also be limited edition Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge merchandise available throughout the Disneyland Resort, from the Disneyland Hotel to Disney’s California Adventure Park and of course, Disneyland itself.

When does it open to the public?

At the moment, you’ll need a reservation for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — and there’s both good and bad news on that front.

First, the bad news. General reservations to enter the new land during its first month went on sale May 2 — and sold out in less than two hours.

Visitors to Disneyland won’t be able to wait in a standby line to enter the land from May 31 through June 23, either. Only guests with reservations for four-hour time slots will be allowed in.

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An artist’s rendering shows Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opens May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and Aug. 29, 2019, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Disney Parks

Now the good news: You can still get in to see the park during its opening month by staying at any of the Disneyland Resort’s three hotels.

Stays at the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa during that time span all come with complimentary four-hour time slots to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

According to a Disney Resort FAQ, rooms are still available and can be booked by calling 714-520-5060 or visiting disneyland.disney.go.com/hotels

After June 23, Disney says visitors won’t need a reservation to check out the new land. You’ll just need a valid theme park admission to Disneyland.

From that point on, entrance into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be subject to capacity and will involve a “virtual queueing system” that has not yet been revealed, according to the FAQ.

How to prepare for your trip across the galaxy

If you were lucky enough to snag a reservation, or if you’re planning a visit after the initial opening month, there are a couple of things you’ll want to do to prepare, Disney says.

This includes downloading Disneyland’s two apps, the official Disneyland mobile app and the Play Disney Parks mobile app.

The Disneyland app allows park visitors to check attraction wait times, find out where characters are going to be and order food for mobile pickup. (Bonus: The app works throughout the entire Disneyland park as well as Disney California Adventure Park.)

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Star Wars: GalaxyÕs Edge will open May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and August 29, 2019, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. At 14 acres each, Star Wars: GalaxyÕs Edge will be Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever, transporting guests to live their own Star Wars adventures in Black Spire Outpost, a village on the remote planet of Batuu, full of unique sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Guests can become part of the story as they sample galactic food and beverages, explore an intriguing collection of merchant shops and take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. (Disney Parks)

The Play Disney Parks app, meanwhile, will add an extra layer of engagement to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney says. It will give visitors the chance to interact with the land by talking with droids and translating signs written in the planet’s native language, Aurebesh, as well as scanning cargo crates for goodies and collecting virtual items, according to a Disney news release.

The app will also give you the opportunity to join the Resistance, sign up with a gang of smugglers or pledge your loyalty to the First Order.

I want to dress up as a character — can I?

Although licensed “Star Wars” costumes for children and adults will be for sale at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney policy at all its parks prohibits visitors 14 years or older from wearing full costumes.

That doesn’t mean you can’t show your Star Wars fandom, though. Consider taking part in a popular tradition at the parks called Disneybounding, in which visitors sport outfits inspired by their favorite characters.

Want to build your own lightsaber? Disney's Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will offer plenty of cool merchandise for sale, including toys and collector’s items. The new "Star Wars"-themed attraction opens at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, on May 31, 2019.

Feel free to channel your inner Han Solo with a vest and white T-shirt, but leave the blaster at home. And avoid the Chewie mask all together; masks are a big no-no at Disney parks due to safety concerns.

For more information on the park’s costume policy, go to disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/disneyland-resort-costume-guidelines.

Here’s where to get more info

Disney routinely updates an online blog with details of all the changes at its parks, including Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

You can check it out at disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/destinations/disneyland-resort.

Hey, Star Wars fans: We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about Disneyland’s opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. What do you want to know about the new section of Disneyland? Send your questions, tips, praise and gripes to kleslie@thetribunenews.com.

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Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.
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