When we visited Disneyland in 2017, they had just started building Galaxy’s Edge. Although it’s open now, there’s only one ride, with the major attraction of “Rise of the Resistance” not scheduled to open in California until January (it’s open in December at Orlando.)
Our first day at Disneyland in 2019 was going to be a slow appraisal. We all had goals and objectives, but the ones I was interested in were going to be busy. I’d have to book an appointment to build a lightsabre at Savi’s Workshop, and the lines for Smuggler’s Run (where you actually pilot the Millennium Falcon) would be long, and there’s no fast pass available.
So, on Monday morning, we strolled.
Disneyland is all dressed up for Hallowe’en – the shops, the decor, the characters – everything is spooky and scary (but not ACTUALLY scary, because kids.) This was fun because a: we like Hallowe’en and b: last time we visited was in March, so this was all new.
We sauntered up Main Street, ignoring the statue of Walt and Mickey (because we took THAT picture two years ago.) We were delighted to stumble across an area dedicated to Coco and the Day of the Dead.
Once we’d taken this picture, Laurel spotted a good flower to photograph, and a hummingbird appeared to improve the picture. Just as we finished that, an osprey started circling the lake.
True to form, the entire Trasler family ignored the attractions of Disneyland to discuss the origins of the osprey, and whether or not there was anything in the lake for it to eat. Took a while for us to get moving again. We couldn’t agree on whether or not to go into the Haunted Mansion, but we could agree that a one hour wait time was more than we wanted to take right then.
Since there was less of a line up for the Jungle Cruise, and none of the party objected, we rode around the gentle river and admired the animatronics.
As always, it’s the dry delivery of the dreadful jokes by the driver that make the trip worthwhile.
Ever alert for more thrills (and because Tiny Weasel is a huge Wind in the Willows fan), the next stop was Mr Toad’s Wild Ride.
It’s very reminiscent of the old Ghost Train rides we used to have in the UK, with sharp turns and doors that snap open at the last second. It’s not wildly scary, but much longer than it looks like it could be from the outside.
It was finally time to go through to Galaxy’s Edge. Even though we weren’t planning to try and get on the Smuggler’s Run ride, it was still a big moment for me. I’d read so much on the web, and watched countless videos on the design, building and finally the opening of the area. This was the closest I was ever going to get to being in the Star Wars Universe.
It was AMAZING!
The look of the place is right out of the movies. Within seconds the tourists look out of place. Everywhere there are tiny details that catch the eye and insist you’re in the Star Wars Universe.
But of course, the centrepiece of the land is the Millennium Falcon, reproduced in 3d, life-size.
It’s weird, seeing this ship that I have known almost all my life, finally here in the real world. It’s so familiar, but looks so strange outside the viewfinder of the phone camera.
Though the second, and biggest, ride is not yet ready, there’s still a lot to do at Galaxy’s Edge. There are many different types of shops, and several places to get food and drink. Oga’s Cantina needs to be booked, so we plumped for eating at Cargo Bay 7. The food is themed, but much better than normal. Last time we were in Disneyland, they had “Star Wars” food that was regular chicken nuggets-style offering with space names. Here in Galaxy’s Edge, the food is Earth native, but with a twist. We ordered the Fried Endorian Tip Yips and the Braised Shaak Roast.
These two dishes were recogniseably earth meats, but they had been cooked or prepared to alter the flavour from the expected (or usual) and they were definitely NOT the standard fast food park fare. The two were enough for the five of us to share, not being too hungry. The bowls they were served in were ceramic, the cutlery was metal, and the tray was metal. Good environmental points all round!
We ran into some familiar faces (or masks) during our first visit too:
Outside Galaxy’s Edge, we even bumped into a famous Bounty Hunter.
We’d seen a ton of stuff, and tired ourselves out, so we repaired to the hotel. I found us a nearby place to eat, and the Weasels attempted to double their bodyweight in pasta before they fell asleep. We turfed them out of the restaurant and back to bed, while Mrs Dim and I went back to the park for the evening firework display. We stood with hundreds (thousands?) of others in Main Street, until 9.30pm arrived and the lights, sound and fireworks came to life.
Tired, but happy, we stumbled back to the hotel. We had intended for the next day to be our “Magic Morning”, where we could enter the park an hour early, but then we found the park opened at 8am, so we’d have to BE there at 7am. Instead, we resolved to be at the park when the gates opened at 8.
We nearly made it.
This was the day to achieve the first set of goals, after all, so we went straight in and through to galaxy’s edge to queue for Smuggler’s Run.
After twenty minutes of queueing through various areas, we reached this huge open backstage part, obviously utilised for large crowds. There were no ropes, just lines on the floor, but the crowds obediently shuffled back and forth, careful not to step over the taped lines. We shuffled on for an hour and a half before we reached the actual ride.
An amazing animatronic of Hondo Ohnaka gives you the introduction to the situation and invites you and your crew to fly the Falcon for him, to grab some Coaxium for the Resistance. Through another set of doors and there were some very familiar surroundings.
I was surprised that we weren’t warned not to film or photograph during the ride, but it turned out that was because you don’t have enough hands! I was Pilot, and Middle Weasel was Copilot, with Tiny and Eldest Weasel being Gunners. Mrs Dim and a loaner crewmember were the Engineers. I could only control left and right, while Middle Weasel was in charge of up and down. The mission lasted longer than I thought it would, but it was still fast and furious and FUN! Definitely worth the wait.
There was going to be quite a wait between coming out of Smuggler’s Run and the appointment I had made at Savi’s Workshop, so we decided to take in another ride. We opted for the Matterhorn.
When we joined the line, there was a sixty minute wait time, but halfway through they made an announcement that there was some kind of issue. Time ticked by, and I began to worry that I might have to rush to catch my appointment after all. But then we were on the ride and ready to go!
The Matterhorn Bobsled ride is fun, with scary Yetis lunging out at the carts as they rocket by. We yelled and waved our arms in the air, then stepped out with half and hour in hand.
I was allowed two guests at the building of the lightsabre, and Eldest Weasel came along to document it with her better camera (and I don’t have her pictures yet!), and Tiny Weasel was press-ganged by the guy standing next to me, who wanted to film his own build, but didn’t have a buddy!
The process is wonderfully theatrical, and it’s helped if you’ve read ‘Black Spire” by Delilah Dawson. I assembled the pieces of my lightsabre, but was embarrassed to find that it didn’t work when tested by the workshop supervisor. She disassembled it, replaced a part, rebuilt it, tested it – nothing! By the time I got “my” lightsabre back, it had been rebuilt three times!
We closed out the day with drifting around the park, through shops, past parades, and getting Mrs Dim a coffee for her to sip watching the people on Main Street.
Tomorrow we head out to Universal Studios for some non-Disney entertainment, before returning for one more day in the Magic Kingdom. I hope we can fit as much into those two days as we managed in the previous two!