Saturday, June 01, 2019

Friday at Disneyland: Opening Day of Galaxy's Edge, Part 2

Time for Part 2 of our visit on Opening Day of Disneyland's Galaxy's Edge!

In Part 1 I shared our check-in process and arrival at Galaxy's Edge. Here's one more photo of Cast Members and execs lining the walkway to greet the first official visitors to Disneyland's new land. (Click on any photo to enlarge it for a closer look.)

And then we entered Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu in the Outer Rim Territories. Batuu has been described as "one of the last stops before Wild Space," and as such is a gathering place for all sorts of people hoping to evade the Empire, including rebels, while storm troopers from the First Order watch everyone with suspicion. It truly feels like walking into another world. (And incidentally, John Williams composed new music which is heard while you're on Batuu.)

So many cameras raised to capture the moment as we entered!

A bit of walking and suddenly there she is, everyone's favorite "bucket of bolts," the Millennium Falcon!

The entire land is visually impressive, but it's the Millennium Falcon which is the stunning centerpiece; seeing it is also the emotional high point for many -- particularly, I suspect, those of us who fell in love with the original movies as they were released.

The well-worn Falcon shows why Princess Leia exclaimed upon first seeing it, "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought!"

The Falcon seen from more angles:

The entrance to the Smugglers Run simulator ride is to the left of the Falcon.

The back of the Falcon as seen from the line for Smugglers Run. There are interesting things to look at throughout the queue area, and our daughter tried out a game designed to play on your phone while waiting in the line.

When it's almost time to ride, crews are brought into the Millennium Falcon in groups of six, with each person given a designated crew position.

Then you walk inside the Falcon. The interior is absolute perfection! At this point there is no longer a line and visitors are free to look around or pose for pictures around the table where Chewie and C-3PO played the well-remembered "Let the Wookiee win" game. Crews are called for their turns by the color on the loading card.

It's hard to get a good photo inside the Falcon cockpit but this captures a bit of the feel. It's a simulator ride but to me felt light years (couldn't resist) ahead of Star Tours -- which as a matter of fact I can no longer ride since it went to 3D, I tried it but it left me feeling queasy.

The first time we rode Smugglers Run I was the pilot responsible for moving up and down, and I was quite proud we didn't crash (grin). The second time I was the engineer, responsible for pushing any button that lit up on my console. The two pilots have the most challenging jobs, with the second pilot navigating left to right, but the plus to being a pilot is it allows you to see more of what's going on; as engineer I was so busy watching for lights and pushing buttons that I didn't look forward very often. (The benefit to that is while I felt the slightest bit woozy as pilot, I didn't feel a thing sitting in back as engineer.) The "up-down" pilot also has the job of making the jump to hyperspace, and let me tell you, it's quite thrilling. Everyone on our crew cheered!

More signs of the wear and tear on the Falcon:

Odds and ends seen around Black Spire Outpost. At the drinking fountains I liked a separate fountain specifically meant to refill water bottles.

Even the bathroom interiors were impressively themed to fit in at the rough-looking outpost:

The thermal detonator Coke products were musts. I wouldn't spend the extra money on every visit, but as a first-visit splurge, yes, I was definitely going to get a Diet Coke!

Disney "suits" were in evidence watching closely during our entire visit:

Disneyland President Josh D'Amaro was visible the entire morning, taking it all in and interacting with guests. We had a chance to speak with him as we left and thank him for a great day.

Coming soon: Part 3 of my four-part series, with a look inside some of the shops and Ronto Roasters, plus a special visit with Rey!

Update: In addition to Part 3, linked in the previous paragraph, Part 4 is now available.


Blogger DKoren said...

Smugglers Run sounds very fun. How neat that it's interactive and you can control things like that. Glad to hear it's better than Star Tours, cuz I've also hit that point where I get too queasy on Star Tours these days, so I don't ride that one anymore.

Oh man, the Falcon looks amazing, both exterior and interior. So neat!

Really cool pics!

5:21 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I saw on Twitter that someone crashed during Smuggler's Run on purpose and when they got off there were red lights flashing and intercome calls for a repair crew LOL.

I really wish they would take Star Tours back to 2D, I never had a problem with that or something like Soarin' -- which you might be interested to know is the original Soarin' Over California version in June. I hope it stays permanently! I have never liked the new version because there's so much fakery in it it dilutes the thrill.

The Millennium Falcon is beyond superb!!

Thanks, Deb! More coming Monday morning. :)

Best wishes,

10:03 PM  
Blogger Hamlette (Rachel) said...


2:36 PM  

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