This morning, Renée braved the crowds and the weather at Disney's Hollywood Studios to experience the all new Rise of the Resistance that just opened in Galaxy's Edge.
How did she fare? And more importantly, what are the changes you need to be made aware of if you want to experience Rise of the Resistance any time soon?
Written by Renée Girard
It’s currently 5:25am and I’m here with just a few others at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
CMs are saying that park will open at 7am and that we may be entering the park before then but cannot join the virtual queue for RotR till 7am. Has that always been the case? From what I’ve seen, people have joined the virtual queue before 7?
30 minutes later at 5:55am and the line behind me is huge.
Cast Compliment to all the cast members at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that are up and working before the sun is up and managing the insane crowds. May The Force be with you this holiday season.
6:35am, it’s raining. Gates are open!
6:48am and I’m in the park but can’t join a boarding group yet. And Starbucks has quite the line!
6:53am. Nothing to do but wait and keep check for boarding groups to open, go shopping, or get Starbucks.
People are not happy that they got here early and can’t get a boarding pass yet. We’ll see how the app handles everyone trying to get one at 7am.
While I wait for my boarding group... let’s ride!
No boarding groups have been called for RotR yet, so wait times for other rides are starting to climb.
“How about some boarding passes?”.
Even with boarding groups opening at 7am, they are still gone before 8am.
Not a bad score for so early in the morning!
Breakfast at Oga’s and then it’s time to join the resistance.
My group got called about 8:30am while I was at Oga’s.
I’m going in! No spoilers, I promise!
The queue has a Flight of Passage feel to me so far. Pretty sure the key word here is immersive.
Heading in to get our assignment from BB8 and Rey.
Just got off Rise of the Resistance. Absolutely incredible! There wasn’t any down time at all while I was in there. Lives up to all of the hype.
I’m exhausted and going to nap now but once again, Rise of the Resistance is amazing. If the virtual queue bookings are going to continue to open at 7, I’d still get there early - they were already gone before 8. I was off the ride just before 10. Totally worth it.
We're back with more of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, but this time on a coast far, far away (well, 2,501 miles) from the other Galaxy's Edge.
Excited to see how Galaxy's Edge is received in Florida, so far reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Let's head in and see what Renée was up to on her birthday!!
Written by Renée Girard
Bright suns! Rising moons! Afternoon thunderstorms! The east coast Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is up and running for WDW cast member this month and we got to experience it
I hate to admit it, but where you’re seated on Smuggler’s Run does make a difference. On our first ride, we were the engineers, and weren’t impressed at all with the ride itself (the queue and entire building is phenomenal). But going on two more times as pilots was such a blast!
The Droid Depot was totally worth doing. I loved putting it together and then making it come to life. Very cool!
Really enjoyed our meal at Docking Bay 7. We got the vegetarian option, plus the chocolate cake. The cake was fine, but the garden spread was delicious!
There are still so many details I haven’t even seen yet, but I do think I spotted a Hidden Mickey on board the Millennium Falcon.
Oga’s Cantina is such a fun and well themed bar. So glad Rex made a comeback as a DJ! The drinks are quite pricey but we split all of the different beers. White Wampa Ale was the best!
I liked having no formal character meet and greets for a change. Towards the end of the evening, we were just walking around and Rey invited me to participate in a droid race!
Since the time slot we had for the preview was later in the day, we got to see the land transition into night.
Don’t know when I’ll be back yet, and I’m sure it’ll be much busier next time, but I really enjoyed my first visit to the Hollywood Studios SW:GE.
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.