Sunday, June 9, 2019

Star Wars - Galaxy's Edge Black Spire Outpost

After years of waiting, and the loss of our beloved Big Thunder Ranch BBQ, Petting Zoo, and Festival Arena, the replacement is finally open! It's the Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Black Spire Outpost.

Our story begins A long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

See! Told you.

Actually for us it started back on May 2nd around 10am. I was in a 3 hour meeting at work around that time, but I excused myself and started trying to make reservations. I wasn't the only one. Thousands of others were trying to do the same thing, and at times the Disney reservation site seemed to just hang.
After a few minutes of trying, the page finally loaded and I was very happy to see that the first weekend I'd be in town was available!
After only 2 hours, all the reservations from May 31 to June 23rd were taken. Anyone who missed out would either need a hotel reservation, or wait until it opens to the general public on June 24th.

But, here it is June 9th and it's our turn to go inside. Even though it's on the completely opposite side of the park, check-in is inside Tomorrowland at the Star Wars Launch Bay.

After scanning my confirmation and checking the ID of Theresa and I, we were given wristbands for our 2pm-6pm time. It was suggested that if we didn't want to deal with the mad rush at the beginning, we could enter the land closer to 2:20pm and not have to deal with all the craziness. Uh... that's not how we roll.

On the way out, there were plenty of opportunities to buy merchandise. Alli is dressed in a BB-8 shirt and carrying around a smaller version of BB-8. Well hello R2.

I love hats and I was really hoping to have some cool ones available to buy. These helmets are just a little small...

There's three entrances to Galaxy's Edge, which I will probably call Star Wars Land more often than not because that's just easier. Our entry is near Critter Country. The QR codes on our bands are scanned one more time and we're allowed to line up.

Funny that it's this entrance.

It was here, back in August 2018, that we stopped and Ian wanted to know what was behind the big wall.

But today is the day we keep going. Us and the hundreds of other people gathered here.
Not line up until 2:20? Ha! We're here at 1:25pm.
Alright, just a 35 minute wait to get in.

With 10 minutes before they open it up, cast members come around and give us instructions. No running. If you want to go to Oga's Cantina there will be a line on the right side for reservations. Only one person from each party can go in that line. Everyone else go somewhere else.

While I navigated the stroller down the less busy areas, Theresa hopped in line for Oga's.

It took until 2:20 to get to the front of the line, but now she's in a Virtual Queue. She gave them her phone number and they'll text her when she can hop in line. They said they're getting through about 220 parties each time, and she's 189 so she's got a decent chance to make it. There were still a bunch of people in line behind her. Oga's Cantina is really popular. Her estimated return time is 2-2:30 hours, so 4:20-4:50 or so.

Well let's have some other refreshment. The line for the Milk Stand is getting long, but the do have Mobile Ordering.
The import tariffs on this milk must be pretty high. I get that the blue Bantha milk comes all the way from Tatooine, and the green thala-siren milk comes from the planet Ahch-To, but $8 for this little 12 oz cup likely makes this a one-time purchase.

Kids, how do you like it?
Ian - It's not good. The blue one tastes like an old broom.
Uh, I don't get that reference, but okay, not good.
They're both kinda weird flavors. I agreed that it's more weird than tasty. Of the two, we agreed that the green milk was better than the blue, but with the price and the taste, I don't see us getting this again.

One thing that was really cool to see in person was the Millennium Falcon. It's huge!
It's a pretty warm day today. The residents of Batuu (cast members) said there's 3 suns here and to stay hydrated. We've held off quite a bit, but it's finally time to get the kids into their outfits.

You guys look amazing!
Ian is a Rebel Fighter Pilot. His hat is from Tokyo Disneyland.
Alli is dressed as Rey, with a little BB-8 unit that goes wherever she does.
They did get a few compliments on their outfits.

Too adorable.

The line for the one and only ride here (Ian - There's just one ride?), has a 45 minute wait posted and a line that's out the door. We'll be back later. Instead let's go explore.

The kids threw down some fighting poses.

We waved at a few more droids near the Droid Depot. Don't tell them that you can build a small one for $100 if you wait in a 90 minute line.

Nice job bringing Star Wars fruit snacks Theresa.

She's getting such a kick out of showing BB-8 the other droids.

More family photos.

Checking out some of the shops. Daddy take my picture!
For just $6615 this set of StormTrooper armor can be yours.

Around 3:30pm we hopped in a 30 minute line for the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run.

We're inside the repair depot for a bunch of old ships apparently.

The main item in this room is a giant engine is apparently being tested. So many misfires and glitches, it's a wonder that we're all still here.

Right below this engine is a platform which is apparently a magnet for coins. In the short 5 minutes it took us to walk around it, I must have heard a dozen coins fly from people's pockets and land on the top. People surely wouldn't be throwing money on it would they? That would just make it look cheap and tacky and take away from the ambiance.

From the 2nd level we can see the top of the Falcon.

Apparently Hondo Ohnaka is borrowing the Falcon from Chewbacca to steal some cargo filled with Coaxium fuel. And being the brand new explorers to this planet, apparently it's a good idea to let us newbies pilot the Millennium Falcon and try to steal it.

We were led into the Falcon's rec room, and got to sit at the Dejarik (holo-chess) table.

Soon it was our time to board.

Both the kids wanted to be pilots. T and I were both gunners. Even though it holds 6, we were the only guests on-board.

Alli, take us out of here!

And even though this ride is interactive, if you're 42" tall, it's difficult to reach the levers and knobs that actually make you do things.

T braved it out, even though it's fairly similar to Star Tours with the jerky/jolting motion.

Ian steering us through.

Let's make the jump to Light Speed! Ian, go!

Afterwards we relaxed in the shade of the Falcon.

And grabbed a few more photos.

Some wandering Batuu residents gave their staffs to Alli and Ian for a photo.

It's around 4:15pm, so we're mostly just hanging out until we get notified that we can line up for Oga's Cantina. So we checked out the meat that's being cooked at Ronto's Roasters. Everything is being heated by a giant thruster. Ian wanted to know if it the pit was the center of the earth because it was glowing red.

Please can we get a Porg?
{checks price} Yikes! $45! No, no Porgs today.

They have a lever inside that opens their mouth and flaps their wings. This particular porg kept wanting to bite Alli's finger.

Almost got it too.

After wandering through many shops, we decided to take a seat in the shade and relax.

Just watching people go by as we wait to hear back about Oga's Cantina. I didn't want to hop in another 30 minute line for the 1 ride and not make it back in time, so we just waited. I didn't want to go to any of the other food places since we'll be getting something from Oga's soon.

Ah, looks like it's 5pm and the next group is coming in. Disney overlaps each of the reservation times by 1 hour, so for your 4 hour time slot, you're pretty crowded for the first hour and the last hour.

It's starting to get towards the end of our time here and we still haven't heard anything about returning. Time to be proactive and see what's going on.

At 5:30 we found a cast member at the Oga's Cantina return and asked about the status. She said if we didn't get a text already then they weren't sending any more out for the 2pm-6pm group. And that they actually closed the line for the 2-6 group about a half hour ago.
Grr. It sure would have been nice of them to send a text saying that they couldn't accommodate us instead of us just wasting all that time.
With the big influx of people from the next group, the wait time for everything just jumped up again. Smuggler's Run is 55 minutes. The food lines are all backed up too. D'oh.

Well I guess then that it's time to leave.

With all that, I left Star Wars Land, excuse me, Galaxy's Edge Black Spire Outpost, a bit underwhelmed.

Does the land look cool? Yes. But it would be so much better if it was from something I actually recognized. Why is Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studios amazing? Because you've seen it in the movies and know all about it and want to see it up close. Why was the Star Trek Experience in Vegas so awesome? Because you got to be on the bridge of the Enterprise and sit in Quark's bar. This Star Wars land doesn't connect to me like that right now.

Why not Mos Eisley Cantina? Why can't Chewbacca or Rey be the lead for Smuggler's Run? I didn't watch the extended universe of The Clone Wars, so I don't know who Hondo Ohnaka is.

I liked seeing the wandering First Order Stormtroopers, but I really wished I saw more characters that I knew. Rey, Chewbacca, Lando, General Leia. Anyone from the movies really.
And it would be even better if it was set during the original trilogy with the Empire instead of the current First Order time frame. I want my Star Wars Land to have Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader, Yoda, C-3P0, Ewoks, and all those other characters I know and love.

And yes, I know I could upped the experience factor by building a droid ($100) or assembling my own lightsaber ($200). That's just not my style. Hats, yes. Those things, no.

I really wanted to be amazed from a nostalgia point of view, and I just didn't get it.
Oh well. I still love the rest of Disneyland. And while all the crowds are piled in to Star Wars Land, me, T, and the kids will hopefully be enjoying an empty park for the rest of the summer!

At bedtime, we had to read a Star Wars story.


  1. So sad and disappointing to hear how SWGE left you underwhelmed...your sentiments have been echoed by many other posters, too (same thing w/ the blue & green milk...either you liked it or you didn't..."old broom" (lol)). Did T feel the same way? At least Ian and Alli got a chance to briefly show off their really cute outfits...saw the turned heads in that one photo where they displayed their "fighting poses." Well, on the bright side as you offered, hopefully the rest of Disneyland is "empty" while everyone flocks to SWGE. EOM

    1. T (shockingly) isn't a fan of Star Wars in general. She was there for the kids and I. And yes, she didn't care for the milk either. 0 for 4 means you should go back to the drawing board for taste.
      Definitely looking forward to lighter parks this summer.