ANAHEIM, Calif. - No doubt that the lines at Disneyland's Galaxy's Edge will be long as the new Star Wars land opens today, but there are still many unique experiences to seek out.
As we wait for the land's second ride to open by year's end, here are 10 of our favorites to track down in Galaxy's Edge that will be sure to delight hardcore Star Wars fans and indoctrinate new ones.
Pilot the Millennium Falcon, twice
Given that it's the only ride currently open in Galaxy's Edge, you're unlikely to miss the opportunity to fly the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. But try to go twice if you can, even if you have to split up your party and take the singles line (there is no MaxPass).
Because you control the outcome of the ride, the first time you pilot the Falcon you may be (as I was) so awed or bewildered by the experience that you crash a lot, which lowers your score.
But the second time, you'll have it down, including that down is up and up is down for the right hand side pilot controller. You'll be able to soak it in and enjoy it more the second time as well. And as a bonus: twice as much time hanging out in the main hold of the iconic ship, which is nearly as exciting as the ride itself.
Hug and talk to a $25,000 R2-D2
In the back of the build-you-own-droid shop you may glimpse everyone's favorite astromech droid and notice it carries a hefty price tag. The reason is because it talks to you, follows you and likes hugs. If he's powered down, wait for a cast member to turn him on.
Everything you can't buy in the antiquities shop
Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities is full of exciting items for sale, including Luke's lightsaber, a General Grievous mask and an Imperial Fighter Helmet. But stand in the middle of the circular shop and make a slow 360-degree turn to notice all the Easter eggs from past Star Wars films displayed like a haphazard museum on the walls and upstairs. These are the items Dok-Ondar won't part with, but it's a still a thrill to spot them.
To get your scavenger hunt started, look for: Han Solo's gun, an OG Imperial stormtrooper helmet, a baby Sarlacc monster pit, a Clone Wars-era clone soldier helmet, a mounted tauntaun head and the helmet of bounty hunter Boushh, worn by Princess Leia to rescue Han in "Return of the Jedi."
Tipsy at the Cantina
There's only one place in Disneyland where you can enjoy an alcoholic beverage and it's in Og's Cantina in Galaxy's Edge. Imbibe responsibly on beer (Bad Motivator IPA and White Wampa Ale among others), hard cider (Spice Runner), wine or a cosmic cocktail such as a rummy tiki Yub Nub, a sweet Fuzzy Tauntaun, an Outer Rim margarita, a botanical Jedi Mind Trick and a cloudy, bubbling pink Bespin Fizz. The Cantina is one of the most fun spots to hang out too as the barkeeps and droid DJ (R3X, a former pilot droid from the old Star Tours ride), like to put on a show.
In the Creature stall you may find another that captures your heart, but I doubt it will be as cute as a Porg. "The Last Jedi" birds have puppet controls that let you flap their wings and make them squawk. Adorbs.
'There's something alive in here.'
In the marketplace area is a water fountain. Above it is a vat of colored water. And in that vat resides a familiar slimy one-eyed water serpent called a dianoga you may recall tried to drown Luke in the Death Star trash compactor scene in "A New Hope." It's just one of the many, many hidden callbacks to films you will delight in finding around the land.
Stop to notice the theme park land's original score by none other than the original Star Wars maestro, John Williams. As you enter Galaxy's Edge, the music swells to induce the feeling that you're about to take center stage in your own Star Wars adventure, which you are.
Exclusive product 'Tie'-in
Before the First Order Stormtroopers tell you to "Move along," take a long gander at something you've never seen before: a TIE echelon ship. With its pointed tips and long Imperial ramp it's a beautiful, sleek and slightly terrifying ship. And you can buy a scale model at the First Order stall next door and bring this exclusive-to-the-park toy home with you.
There are plenty of meaty options available in Galaxy's Edge, but one of them is actually not meat. The Disney chefs give Impossible Foods a run for their money with their juicy, chewy, slightly spicy, plant-based "kefta" meatball served with hummus and pita in the Felucian Garden Spread. Don't miss it.
Galaxy's Edge exists in the current Star Wars' timeline, after "The Force Awakens." RIP Han Solo. But Chewbacca is here. Stuck, actually, as he tries to get the supplies he needs to get out of this Outer Rim spaceport. Look for him, and when you see him don't just take a selfie. Give him a hug; he's lost his best friend.
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