Good Morning Park Journey readers, we hope you had an enjoyable weekend and that those of you that happen to be off today are enjoying another day off.
We had an amazing weekend, not only did we spend Saturday at Disneyland, we were among the chosen few to get on Rise of the Resistance via the boarding group process. And if that wasn't enough, the 49ers won on Sunday!!
But I digress, we wanted to share some tips to help you make the most of your Rise of the Resistance experience, and hopefully improve your odds of experiencing this amazing attraction.
Before we move on, this article contains NO spoilers. So feel free to read on.
Written by Gregg Condon
Tip One: You do NOT need to camp out
Seriously, there is zero need to do this. We got to Toy Story lot at 5:30am for an 8:00am opening, and that was even too early. You only have to be in the park by 8:00am. That said ...
Tip Two: Arrive at the turnstiles 1-hour prior to park opening
This is just to make sure you don't get nervous about getting in. We want to make sure this process is as stress free as possible. You never know when there may be a system issue, you pick a bad line, you have a ticket issue, etc.
Tip Three: Find an area before 8am with not a lot of people
When we got into the park (about an hour and 15 minutes before the park opened) everybody headed straight to Starbucks. Forget that. We went to Jolly Holiday, found a short line and sat and relaxed.
The hub was filled with people, but 5 minutes before park opened they released all of these people into the park.
So we decided to just stay where we were and it worked out.
Tip Four: Build your boarding group party before the park opens
We can't stress this enough. Download the Disneyland App. Make sure all of your groups tickets are linked on the app. On everybody's app. The more people you have trying to get a boarding group the better your chances are.
Tip Five: DO NOT wait for the "Join Boarding Group"
button to turn orange
We think this was the biggest mistake people made. Instead of waiting for the page to refresh, click "My Status" as shown below. Another page will open and allow you to join a group from there.
Many people actually tried to re-start the app because the Join Boarding Group button didn't refresh. And by then, it's too late.
Once one person in your group gets a spot, you all have a spot and the app will lock everybody else out.
Tip Six: You have 2 a two hour window to ride
once your group is called
There's no need to hang out in front of the ride, or worry that you're going to miss it. You have a 2-hour ride window, so go enjoy the parks. If you have a group from 1-30 chances are your group will be called within the first 4 hours of park opening (as long as the ride does not break down). So I'd stay inside Disneyland. Groups past that, feel free to do whatever.
Tip Seven: Reserve about 60-90 minutes for the
entire ride experience
Just because you have a boarding group doesn't mean you are going to get to ride in 5 minutes. We had group 27 on Saturday and we got in to ride about 11:15 (after the ride shut down for about an hour at around 10:15, when our group was originally called). We were done about 12:10.
The queue wait time was probably 30-40 minutes and the entire experience from beginning to end is about 20-25 minutes.
But we have heard of the queue being close to an hour prior to boarding.
Tip Eight: Have SO much fun
Seriously ya'll, this is an experience like no other. Our group of 5 were completely blown away, from beginning to end. There are jaw-dropping moments everywhere.
So what did I think of the ride? You can see my non-spoiler review below.
We hope these tips help you to make the most out of your experience. We've now experienced one day and seen 3 days of the process, so we are pretty sure these tips will be beneficial.
If you've experienced Rise of the Resistance and have any additional tips, feel free to share them below!!
We'll have a general park update posted later today including Lunar New Year fun.
Yesterday we headed out to Disneyland Resort to get use #2 out of our all new Disneyland Flex Annual Pass. Our main goal was to head to DCA to try out some of the holiday food before we had to pick up our son at the airport, so it was awesome that we were able to snag a DCA only reservation about a week prior.
As for the Flex Pass itself, we want to use it a couple of more times before we do a review of it, so stay tuned for that sometime in February.
Written by Gregg Condon
We arrived to the parking structure about 11:30am, which was about 90 minutes before they shut it down. So score on that one.
I will say, the security and tram loading procedures at the park are MUCH better than they used to be. As we mentioned on our social media, there is a LOT of merging going on in the parking structure once you pay for parking. And Californian's absolutely SUCK at that.
It was a beautiful day at DCA
Our first stop after getting Soarin' fastpasses for later in the day was the Alfresco lounge which is now an AP lounge. The wait was about 1 hr 15 min. Which is odd, because for 19 years you could just walk right up here whenever it was open. But put "AP Exclusivity" on it, and well, you get an hour wait.
The bonus of that "exclusivity" however is that the former "kind of AP Lounge", the Lamplighter, was about a 5 minute wait!!
It was a warm day (for me) so a nice refreshing drink was in order.
Lobster Nachos FTW!
Since we hadn't been AP's since 2012 and our visit in December was kind of a whirlwind, we spent a lot of the day visiting attractions we hadn't done yet. Like this one!!
We thought it was really cute.
Nice to see Flik's Flyers still around. Still wish they'd kept this Bugs as it's my favorite Pixar movie.
Alright, let's get to the food. Stuffing Mac and Cheese and some Cookie something or other Beer thing. Both were awesome.
It was busy, we knew it would be.
While waiting in line for the pork belly, got some pics and video of Avengers Campus. They've really improved the way they block construction for the bloggers. Thanks Disney. =)
Mmm, Pork Belly. I love salty food. LOVE it. But this was almost too salty for me. Almost.
The path from Cars Land to Hollywood is closed.
We walked all the way around to sit in the Animation lobby and relax a bit. Still want this set up in my living room.
We love Superstar Limo, err, Monsters Inc.
Please, Disney, make Harryhausen's an actual eatery.
Roz demands it.
Heading back to try more food, this thing kept stalking us. So we stopped to watch.
Paradise Pier as seen from the Little Mermaid Queue.
We absolutely love this area of the park. (click any of the pics to see a larger version)
After using our Soarin' fastpasses we headed back over to try some more food and drink. This is the Blood Orange Ale from SLOBrew. It was amazing. If you're ever in San Luis Obispo, be sure to go to their actual brewery. It's amazing.
This was from our visit there last year.
We then took on Radiator Springs Racers single rider line. We love it so!!
The last bit of Christmas.
After having a yummy dinner at Flo's we decided to walk through Downtown Disney on the way back to the car. We really like the new walkway and bridge. Like even more that it's a nice gentle slope. =)
That's gonna wrap it up for this quick update, we'll be back at the park on the 18th for Rise of the Resistance!! Can't wait.
It's time for part two of our Galaxy's Edge Overview with Chris. Today we'll be concentrating on the merchandising, merchandising, merchandising of Galaxy's Edge.
Let's head in and take a look at the Marketplace, Savi's Workshop, Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities and the Droid Depot.
If you missed part one of the update, you can check it out here.
Written by Chris Moghtaderi
The marketplace turned out to be one of my favorite locations on Batuu. With the help of forced perspective, the building appears quite looming as you enter the land from the west but is beautiful and picturesque at night.
While many of the shops in the marketplace are functional places to buy merchandise, some are just decorative locations. These may be used for cast or app interactions at a later date but stood without cast members at the time of our visit.
If you watched the video above, you can see the integration of the shops into the scenery. This was a much better experience than the merch booths as you enter/exit the land on the western entrance. As cool as the shops were, they did fall flat on one level, carrying a hodgepodge of merchandise (with the exception of the costume shop). It would have been nice to see them more purposefully or thematically grouped like the Mad Hatter’s in Disneyland.
As you spend time in the land, be sure to look all around, including up and down. A couple of the little Easter Eggs in this area include miniatures acting out scenes like the battle of Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader from Episode IV and the Escape of the Millennium Falcon into the asteroid field from Episode V.
Plus and Minus
+ The integration of the shops into the area is so well done along with the level of care to all the details makes this part of the land unique.
+The picturesque view of the marketplace at night is quite a sight.
- The shops could have been more purposefully or thematically divided.
Savi’s workshop is meant to look like nothing special on the outside but on the inside, it is something more. This is where a group known as the “Gatherers” work to find unusual parts and pieces collected from the far reaches of the galaxy and bring them here, where you can construct your very own one of a kind lightsaber. Cast members (the “Gatherers”) will not admit that you can build a lightsaber here so you have to ask about getting your hands on some “scrap.”
Once you’ve entered this area and request to collect scrap (at a cost of $200) you have the opportunity (if you get a timeslot) to enter the workshop and begin this experience. First you will need to pick the style of lightsaber you would like to construct.
There are 4 types of lightsabers:
Because you have to choose your lightsaber prior to entering the workshop, I recommend going online and seeing the style pieces prior to arrival, so you have an idea of what pieces you may get and how you want the final product to look. In the waiting area, you will likely interact with some of the Gatherers who are there to answer most of your questions.
The workshop is small, holding 14 workstations with room for one guest per builder. An oval workbench is in the center of the room with various decorative pieces and plenty of Easter Eggs along the walls of the room. This large workbench is where the 14 workstations are located. Your next step in this process will to select your Kyber Crystal. You will have four options, Blue, Violet, Green, and Red. A brief presentation takes you through the various colors and their history and some of the wielders of that color. Once you’ve selected your Kyber Crystal, you will place it on the table and begin the construction process. After a ceremony where you activate your lightsaber for the first time, you will hear a brief word of encouragement from a Jedi ghost.
The workshop is very well themed and quite a unique and fun experience. Cast members play the part well when it comes to the “secrecy” of the workshop. While I enjoyed the concept of the hidden nature of the workshop my wife did not. From her perspective, which is quite valid, she felt frustration when trying to meet up with us there. Since she didn’t know the name of the location or had access to the map, she asked cast members about the “lightsaber building workshop” to which many cast members stayed in character, not divulging its secrecy.
Plus and Minus
+ The experience is magical and immersive and the materials used to create the lightsaber are sturdy.
- The price is a bit high and if you have multiple kids, this experience can get expensive.
- While the cast members tried, the level of acting required is higher than most other attractions. Some of the lines were delivered quite awkwardly and their dialogue was pretty rough. Some lines were a bit cheesy.
- While the materials are study they are still not quite as sturdy as comparably priced battle-ready lightsabers. This includes the replicas sold on Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities which are actually cheaper.
Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities
Located just next to Savi’s workshop is Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. This store is packed with various merchandise from Kyber Crystals, to holocrons, to replica lightsabers. As you walk in you are greeted with an Easter Egg (you can see this in the extra photos) that I will leave you to figure out with a small hint: Emperor Palpatine.
The store is a circular room packed with merchandise and Easter Eggs ranging from a bust of Yoda’s head, and stuffed creatures from various episodes. You will also find Dok Ondar himself overlooking his entire collection. One such item is an ancient human relic from Biblical times, once recovered by Indiana Jones himself. If you look closely, you will find it in the pictures.
Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities is the place where you can buy replica lightsabers, including Kylo Ren’s (pictured below), Obi Wan Kenobi’s, Luke Skywalker’s, Rey’s, Darth Vader’s, The Temple Guard’s, Darth Maul’s, Asajj Ventress’s, Ahsoka Tano’s, and Mace Windu’s.
They managed the crowd by only allowing a certain number of people in at a time. Even with this crowd management, it was packed pretty tightly and uncomfortably busy at first. Eventually, the crowd subsided and it was much more manageable.
Plus and Minus
+ This is one of the best shops with plenty of Easter Eggs
+ Fun and appropriate merchandise.
- The space is small and doesn’t allow for a large crowd at a time. I have a feeling that this shop may be overly packed when Star Wars Land no longer requires reservations.
The Droid depot is the spot to build your BB or R unit style droid for just under $100. Again, keep a close eye out for Easter Eggs (such as the medical droid from Episode 5). Get here quickly as the line can get long if this is an experience you want to participate in.
Some of Easter Eggs include a Buzz Lightyear BB-8, a BB-8 and R-2 Unit sporting each other’s colors, and of course, a dismembered C-3PO, red arm and all. The moving conveyer overhead as well as the conveyer where droid parts are picked for construction, offer a wonderful energy to the space.
Additionally, if you are feeling like you want to mortgage your house, or sell your firstborn, there is a life-sized R2-D2 unit that will set you back $25,000 + and $800 delivery fee (sorry, no passholder discounts on this one). As of our visit on June 11, the shop had sold 3 of these units
As a side note, the droids that you build here cannot be used in the park with their remotes. You are allowed to carry the unit around however which is something you will likely want to do. These droids will interact with the scenery and other droids they may encounter in the park. It is also my understanding that the personality chips in these droids will affect these interactions. There are three personality types:
1.Rebellion (not sure why the Rebellion symbol was used instead of the Resistance)
Plus and Minus
+ The theming, again, is fantastic.
+ The Easter Eggs here require a little more attention and thought.
- While we didn’t participate in the experience, we had heard that the lines were quite long.
- This was another spot that we felt Disney underestimated popularity and the small number of workstations will cause long waits.