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The Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Positive Review Thread

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  • #21
    It’s great, but needs the droids moving around and more of those action scenes playing out. The Mice Chat article about Rise of the Resistance answered one question in my head, about why the Resistance side seemed so bare and lifeless. The hidden base is the queue.

    So I think we can’t judge it without the whole thing.

    That said, the bad reviews of Smuggler’s Run are crazy. It’s great!

    Comment


    • #22
      I just wanted to post some pictures of some rock work in the land to highlight some of the amazing effort that went into creating a "real" environment:

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      I'm blown away by how great Disney has become at creating rockwork now. This far exceeds anything made previously (including Mount Prometheus at DisneySea)

      Comment


      • #23
        ..it's finally official review time! Sorry it took me so long, I've been busy with other life events lately (Wedding is creeping up fast!).


        Batuu - My Thoughts on the Planet Overall and its Place in the Timeline

        So, the first thing that struck me when I watched videos for Galaxy's Edge was the sense of scale the land has. I have only ever entered from the Critter Country entrance but even the videos of this entry point blew me away so you know it did in person, too. The atmospheric perspective used on the rock work/spires of Batuu had me convinced that the land went on for distances much greater than where the Guest is allowed to roam. I also think that overall, the planet looks really good. I know this point is going to be subjective since some believe it to look desolate and war-torn but I contest that is about as "Star Wars" (emphasis on the word Wars) as one can get. Few mainstream examples exist to provide evidence to the contrary. Naboo comes to mind but for the most part Star Wars normally moves itself between locales like the seedy levels of Coruscant, the volcanic flows of Mustafar, the barren, harsh deserts of Tatooine, the vast emptiness of freezing Hoth or the cold, unfeeling interior of a First Order Star Destroyer.

        In that regard, I understand why some would say that the land feels "out of place" in Disneyland. Especially when moving from something like Fantasyland to Batuu. I have gone on record saying I think it would have been better suited thematically to a third gate or exclusive to Hollywood Studios. But that isn't where we arrived at so I have no choice to review the land on it's own by it's own merits and flaws. "On it's own" feels especially potent here because I feel Disney did a great job of keeping this massive expansion relatively isolated from the rest of the park for those who aren't interested in it or would consider it an affront to everything holy in this universe. For those folks, this land exists effectively outside the berm of the park and in no way forces you through it in an attempt to get somewhere you might be going.

        Regarding Batuu and our adventure's place in time, I like it. The Sequel Trilogy is a point of contention right now but so were the Prequels at the time of their release. I do not love everything about this era of Star Wars (Force Awakens would rank in my bottom 2 films of the franchise) but there are things that I do love too (Last Jedi would probably go somewhere in my top 4). I like that Batuu and the Sequel Trilogy finally have their own sense of identity, again, for better or worse. Batuu is it's own thing and attempts to stand on it's own two legs instead of relying on safer handicaps to help it along. I appreciate the risk they took here by meeting at a sort of middle ground between using established IP/original ideas instead of simply sending over all the Star Wars Weekends costumes from Hollywood Studios and having a cavalcade of random characters from various points in time just walking around like a fan event or 'con. I discussed in another topic what legacy characters I feel make the most sense to appear on Batuu given it's place in time and which ones could come in with a tiny bit of tinkering but that is a whole topic in itself so if you're interested, I encourage you to look it up or ask me to send it to you. No matter what decision was reached regarding the land, someone was going to feel excluded. I think the detractors of this era of Star Wars will come around eventually. Or a healthy amount of them will. That isn't to say that those who don't or don't like this era's opinions are wrong, just that it's something we've seen before with the Prequels. One of the jokes within the Star Wars community is that no one hates Star Wars as much as Star Wars fans. Something new will come out after this for people to hate and when that happens, they will hate what came before it less. We're a passionate bunch same as Disneyland fans, in that way both fandoms have very much in common. At the end of everything let us not lose sight of the fact that these are movies about Space Wizards intended for, as George Lucas himself said, children.

        But there are some flaws in the land, obviously. The first and most apparent to me was the lack of shade. Maybe this is just because we were herded into the land like cattle and told to stand in the sun for half an hour but on the whole, I feel like the land is lacking in that department. The only shaded areas appear to be shops, restaurants and attractions which I have to believe is not on accident. Come on in and spend some money so you don't get a sunburn, is the way it feels right now. I'm sure trees along the Rivers of America will grow in over time but for now, there is just too much exposure to the elements. I will also agree with some that some of the photo ops with the various ships feel a little less organic being placed behind barriers or up on stages, away from us. Others have also pointed out a lack of water features, which I agree adds a sort of soothing energy to any land but I'm not entirely sure it's necessary here. I didn't even consider it until after I had gotten home. It's not much but looking at the map I noticed the queue for Rise of the Resistance appears to feature some sort of waterfall/lagoon element which may help to fill this void, if even only slightly.

        Overall, I think the land looks great. Sure there is a lack of shade but it feels expansive and looks very "Star Wars". That can be either a good or bad thing depending on your perspective. It goes without saying that the level of detail here is phenomenal and I love how the spires of rock feel inspired by Walt's Petrified Tree over in Frontierland. I also like the creative direction they took regarding it's place in time and the Star Wars Universe as a whole.

        Attraction(s) - Lets talk about the Fastest Hunk of Junk in the Galaxy

        As it stands there is just the one; Smuggler's Run. I like the attraction, even if I don't believe it is "melt your face off" levels of good. I prefer it to Star Tours because I dislike the canonical discrepancies Star Tours presents. Smuggler's Run has some in regards to the Falcon's design but overall there are far less of them and I was much too engaged in the actual attraction to really notice them. I like that there is no 3D gimmick requiring me to wear glasses and take me out of my suspension of disbelief. I don't think the attraction is as intense as Star Tours but I think it makes up for it with it's interactivity. I have tried all three positions and I think they offer up something different for each kind of rider. For example, someone who wants to be more involved has the option of pilot while someone who may just want to ride more passively should aim for the gunner position where you can just set the controls to automatic and push the same button over and over again without taking your eyes off the screen. The Engineer has an interesting position because their attention is going to be the most distracted from what is happening in screen since they need to hit their buttons in a specific light up order when the ship takes damage. As an Engineer you could have less to do if your pilots are really good but more than likely you'll be tasked with hitting something eventually. I could see this position being good for someone who has motion sickness (since you don't even need to watch the screen to perform this role successfully) but still wants to ride or for someone who wants to feel like they are really helping the team out, since all other team functions suffer if the Engineer doesn't do their job properly. Side note, if you are a Single Rider, you will most likely end up in this position.

        One thing that surprised me was just how efficient the attraction is. Before we knew it, BAM, we were loaded. This may due to a lack of Fastpass option but I also think the Cast Members and ride system were very good at turning people over. I also really enjoyed that the attraction encouraged me to actually seek interaction with total strangers/other human beings in general. Nowadays this element can feel lost, folks don't ask others to take their photos so much when they know how to take a selfie. But on this attraction, I actually approached and spoke to everyone in our boarding party at least once, it felt like we were a team and not just strangers sitting next to each other who had been told "Row 2, please".

        I don't have much in the way of complaints here. I will say that the queue is a 50/50 split, the first half feeling a bit too much like the original Test Track queue for my taste but it does offer some nice views of the Falcon that really shows off the level of detail Disney went through to re-create it and the queue improves significantly once you finally reach Hondo. I never waited long though, so I can't say it was too much of a bother. I will also say that extra missions will be greatly appreciated as time goes on.

        I also want to touch briefly on Rise of the Resistance. I feel like Smuggler's Run "suffers" from this other attraction not being open because it is now forced to shoulder the burden of hype this new land had placed on it. Smuggler's Run is a fine attraction but it is by no means going to revolutionize the theme park industry so I feel Guests might have some mixed reactions of the land having only walked away with this experience when they were expecting more. I obviously have not been on Rise of the Resistance yet but if it is even half as good as what I am hearing or have read, it should be that "melt your face off" type of experience that everyone was wanting from Galaxy's Edge.

        Merchandise - Or Lack Thereof

        I love to shop. Plain and simple. Money burns a hole in my pocket in an unhealthy way. I love to collect things. I also love Star Wars. Do you see how this could be a recipe for disaster where my financial future is concerned?

        Turns out I ended up saving a lot of money. Not for lack of trying to spend, mind you. Not because I didn't want to buy anything but more because I couldn't. Some posters would have you believe that merchandise in Galaxy's Edge was suffering and while it's true that I saw one or two objects that seemed untouched, the majority of items were either flying off shelves or missing completely. A lot of things I wanted, too. I have heard that it has only gotten worse since then (Porgs now being sold out and replaced with the generic kind from Tomorrowland). This is another 50/50 split for me. On one hand, Disney really dropped the ball with their merchandise but not because it was bad, because it's so good that they didn't order enough of it. It frustrated me greatly because I wanted to throw my hard earned money in their faces but it was almost like they wouldn't let me.

        But in all, after 2 visits I ended up with a Porg, Savi's Workshop Lightsaber, Porg Mug from Oga's Cantina, Plush Porg from Toydarian Toymaker (did I mention that I love Porgs yet?), Lightsaber stand and a Lightsaber belt clip. Some things I wanted but didn't have access to were a deck of Sabacc Cards, the Build a Droid (waited in line only to find out they were out of the parts I wanted!) a Jedi Tunic (they were out of XL at the time), the Batuu gift card, Shoulder Porg from Tomorrowland.. the list can go on. I did end getting to actually build a droid for my future Mother-in-Law, though, which was fun.

        The merchandise in general is unique and high quality. I love the puppet Porg in particular. Everything I purchased I felt was absolutely worth the price but I want to talk about the Lightsaber and Build a Droid in particular. Custom Lightsabers online go for much more and generally offer much less for the price point that you are getting in Disneyland. Overall, I think it is definitely worth the money. For $200 you get all the custom parts, a pin, carrying case and of course the building experience. This was literally so much fun that I am fighting to tell myself not to go in and do it again. I spent a great deal of time and effort researching the history of each Lightsaber part and their colors and ended up with something that I felt was distinctly me and am hoping not to ruin that by going in and just doing it again to collect as many parts as I can. It was that good.

        Not to say that there aren't some QC issues, though. While building mine, a plastic piece that is super-glued to one of the parts I could choose from fell off. I brought it to the attention of the Cast Member and they happily got me a new one. This is to date, the only QC issue I have have experienced with any merchandise from Galaxy's Edge but even though it is rare, I would double check your parts while building. Disney also offers up individual parts for sale at $19.99 each but only if you ask for it specifically and only as a kind of a "replacement service" to replace parts on your saber that you may have damaged. For example, if I were to drop my Lightsaber two weeks from now, the fault being my own and crack a certain piece completely, I could return to the park and purchase that piece specifically without having to drop another $200 to go through the entire experience again.

        The Build a Droid was very, very fun. I will definitely return to build one for myself once they have the parts I want in stock. Totally worth the price point, too. I can't speak to the BB units since I only built an R Series but the R Series is great. It feels sturdy and offers a lot of functionality in the base package. I think the sturdiness and price point may be important for parents looking for a nicer gift for their kids but who don't want to drop $200 on a Lightsaber that they can barely carry. They are also up-gradable and these upgrades look fantastic! They snap on easily and add some real character to your droid. They were out of personality chips at the time of building one but I am told they allow your droid to interact and know which parts of the land they are in. The upgrades are also relatively cheap by Disney standards. A USB chip that offers the functionality to interact with the land I thought would run me around $30 but turns out they sell them for $12.99. Most upgrades float around this price point, which is great. The experience of grabbing the parts off the conveyor belt and bringing the Droid to life using power tools was admittedly hectic but also a ton of fun.

        Food and Drink - A Taste of Far, Far Away

        I haven't tried everything yet, obviously. What I did try was great, overall. A few misses here and there, though. I'm just going to go ahead and rapid fire them off.

        Blue and Green Milk - Tried them both, thinking I prefer the Green. It feels less heavy and more "crisp" than the Blue, which admittedly still tastes good. I feel like Green milk is a better choice for walking around on a hot day. If you're interested in the Blue Milk, I could recommend the chilled Oga's Cantina variation since you get a bit more of it and a cookie comes included.

        Ronto Roasters - Didn't try the wrap, I'm not a coleslaw fan but the breakfast version looks good and I am looking forward to trying it. I did try the spicy/sweet Jerky and a Sour Sarlacc and can say that the Sour Sarlacc was my favorite of the specialty drinks offered between this location and Docking Bay 7. I think the sweet jerky was a waste of time but the Spicy one was good. Nothing overly special about it though, just spicy jerky.

        Kat Saka's Kettle - It was good but not mind blowing. Like others have said this feels like the Fruity Pebbles popcorn. It's supposed to be sweet/spicy but it was more sweet and only once while eating it did I say, oh wow, spicy! Is it worth the price point? Probably not but then again, is the regular popcorn on Main Street worth the price they charge? No harm, no foul here, I guess.

        Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo - Loved it! The Braised Shaak Roast was so tender it was sliding off my fork. The meal felt light and delicious, though it was a little watery towards the bottom of my bowl. Expensive too. I also tried the Ithorian Garden Loaf which I thought was good but not as good as the roast. My brother had the Fried Endorian Tip-Yip which he said was "on point" and ate the whole thing, something he does not normally do with meals. Finally, I tried the Phattro specialty drink from this location and felt like it was nothing to write home about. Much prefer a Sour Sarlacc.

        Oga's Cantina - This atmosphere definitely felt strange knowing I was inside Disneyland in the back of my mind. My Father said he certainly didn't feel like he was in Disneyland anymore, haha. Something that may jump out at purists (aside from the sale of alcohol) is when we were told by the Cast Members on the way in that "although we were used to being treated nice by Mickey Mouse, things worked a little differently here at Oga's Cantina". They were obviously trying to set us up for the bar atmosphere that we were about to enter and yeah, things work a little differently in those kinds of places. You need to make your presence known at times in order to get a drink and even when you do, there's no guarantee a bartender will have a smile on their face about it. I had the pleasure of enjoying Oga's twice, the first time we stood at the bar and it was a little more cutthroat and the second time we were seated in a booth and had our orders taken/brought out to us more like a traditional restaurant.

        Before I talk food, let me talk Cast. While my interactions with them weren't as "magical" as other establishments, they were still efficient and unoffensive. It's not like they were mean to me. But it was obvious that the work they were doing required a great deal more of concentration and stress given the crowd levels/atmosphere. The first time, we had to flag the bartender down in order to order/check out but in all cases he was efficient in doing so. The second time when we were seated, however, things went a bit slower. We shared a table with another party and you could tell the Cast Member working was being worked to the bone. From start to finish we spent probably about an hour in the Cantina on our second visit from time of sitting, to ordering, to enjoying our drinks and then finally leaving. Despite the Cast Member this second time not going out of his way to be "magical" and being under a ton of obvious stress (seriously, poor guy kept running around bagging up people's Rancor Beer Flights and bringing them out all while also having orders barked at him from like half the bar) he was still very nice. I give him and the other Cast Members props for being able to maintain their composure, which is about all I think we can expect from anyone working there.

        -and before I talk drinks, let me say that I don't actually like to drink alcohol. No, I don't think it's the devil's brew or anything like that, I just don't like the taste. So everything I tried was non-alcoholic. Blue Bantha? Good. Chilled version of Blue Milk with a cookie on top. Word of warning, the cookie breaks apart easily so don't drop half of it on the ground like me. Hyperdrive (Punch It!) was disappointing. It tasted like a watered down Powerade, don't waste your time with it. Jabba Juice was good but tasted more like it should be a breakfast drink (mostly orange juice). Finally, we have the Cliff Dweller. This was my favorite drink of the bunch and it kind of breaks my heart. I ordered it simply for the Porg mug, thinking I wouldn't care much for the drink but I really, really did and wanted another one. Turns out, if you order it again, you need to pay full price and get a second mug, which I obviously didn't need. So while this drink was great, I don't know if I'll ever get to order it again because I can't just pay $32 dollars every time I want a drink, especially one without alcohol in it. The price is just too steep. I also had a bit of the Oga's Obsession snack, which was like a lemonade/cotton candy flavored Jell-O with popping boba balls inside. It was good but very sweet, there's no way I'd be able to eat the whole thing alone.

        Entertainment and Interactivity?

        I understand the complaint by some fans that the land feels devoid of some life, especially when something like droids would be so easily implemented. -and I agree, for the most part. The land doesn't feel "dead" to me but it could certainly feel more "lived in" with a bit of added streetmosphere (alien citizens, droids, etc). Rey, Chewie, Vi, Kylo and his Stormtroopers are all fine, their interactions with Guests feel organic and meaningful but there could certainly be more. It's adorable to see a little girl dressed like Rey getting tips from her but it would be equally as entertaining and funny to see someone dressed like a nosy alien peeking too closely over your shoulder at what you're buying while browsing the Toydarian Toymaker. The good news here is that this would be a simple fix for Disney, should they choose to implement it. This is the kind of interactivity that doesn't require you to download an app. Speaking of which..

        The app and the lands interactivity! I know this was a big selling point Disney used for the land. However, I did not partake in any of the interactive land elements (outside of Smuggler's Run) so I don't really feel qualified to speak about them. I will say that it does seem like folks will miss out on this sort of thing without the app (which was too large for my current phone) since I've been noticing pictures popping up online of Cast Member registers with Bluetooth readers that are meant to read the results from the Guests around them. With this interface, Cast Members can see your scores, where you've been and done, etc. But it appears if you don't have access to the app, you won't get the kind of interactive treatment that Disney advertised. Make of that what you will.

        The Cast Members themselves have been great though. Everyone I've spoken to (with the exception of one incredibly stressed out and angry Droid Shop Cast Member) seemed delighted to be there and stayed in character. They handled comments and questions about areas in other lands well too, it was never annoying. For example, I really wanted a Shoulder Porg but they were sold out in Downtown Disney when I went to check. When this came up casually in a conversation with the Cast while waiting to build my Lightsaber, they told me that they'd heard rumor that they were being sold off-world in a place called the Launch Bay in Tomorrowland. They ended up being sold out there too but I was easily able to piece together what they were saying without getting frustrated. The Cast Members working this land deserve an absolute A+ for their hard work and dedication, if any of them are reading this, then thank you!

        Final Verdict

        I think Galaxy's Edge is going to be a success in the long term for Disneyland. I really enjoyed what was there currently despite my frustrations with the merchandise, lack of shade and my belief that they should have waited for Rise of the Resistance to open alongside the new land. Assuming everything were open and in stock, I have very little doubt in my mind that the land would be about a 9 out of 10. But since that is not the case, I need to be more objective and fair. I am pleased to reward Galaxy's Edge a strong 7.5 out of 10 in it's current state, knowing full well that number will go up over time (it jumps right to an 8 the second they get their merchandise stock figured out).
        Last edited by Blurr; 07-11-2019, 01:38 PM. Reason: Grammar
        First of all, the name's not "Zippy"! As a matter of fact, I don't believe I've ever met another bot named Zippy, so one can only assume that you came up with "Zippy" in reference to my speed, which may be technically accurate, but lacks a certain creativity!

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        • #24
          We love the new area. We spend a couple hours there each time we visit. So far that's 6 times since it's opened. What is even better is there's still the rest of DLR to enjoy. SWGE is an addition we love and also know it will improve. So we have the same Disneyland but with more in our house we love it!!!
          These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

          DL 55th BDAY trip report
          My company had a special night at the park
          WdW trip report with WWoHP
          NYE 2011 trip report
          Mice Chat 7th anniversary
          Leap year 24 hour report
          New DCA trip report
          NYE 2012
          HKDL trip report

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          • #25
            I've been three times so far, including just this past weekend and the land is still utterly amazing! I have been with a total of 10 people so far (including my family) and with the exception of one, everyone seems to be totally impressed with it. I definitely get why some don't like it but for me this represents imagineering at its best. This is TDS level of theming. Batuu is basically what the entire park of TDS is like and why I love that place so much. To even even have a bit of that in DL is a dream come true for me.

            But I won't lie, I just love after all these decades DL finally got a real expansion and its still pretty cool having a new land to explore and hang out in no matter what it would've been To be something on this level is crazy. And I do love that the place isn't the zoo so many were predicting. I thought I would maybe do it once or twice and then not bother until things calmed down. But now its nice to be able to go whenever you want, enjoy being in Batuu and not feel like you can't breath.

            I'm still giddy to know we have it and now with ROTR announced opening it will be something to look forward to for sure.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by MrLiver View Post
              I just wanted to post some pictures of some rock work in the land to highlight some of the amazing effort that went into creating a "real" environment:

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              I'm blown away by how great Disney has become at creating rockwork now. This far exceeds anything made previously (including Mount Prometheus at DisneySea)
              Thank for these pica! I also love we now have another 'mountain' in DLR. I'm just s sucker for rockwork but I guess most of us are lol. I love being on the Mark Twain and seeing the spires rise as you turn the river bend. And to think we have both this and the Cadillac Range in CL. Just incredible!

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              • #27
                i sat at dusk
                against the city gates
                listening to
                gurgling pipes
                and the roar of ships.

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                • #28
                  My family and I have enjoyed SW:GE the couple of times we've been there and we still haven't even ridden Smuggler's Run. With two young kids, it is difficult for my wife and I to get on "adult" rides, so we enjoy walking the shops and seeing the sights. Disney Imagineers have done a job in themeing this area. Once you emerge from the tunnels into Batuu, you truly feel you've been transported to another land. We ate at Docking Bay 7 for the first time for dinner and was very impressed by the taste of the food (a little on the salty end, but still good). My little ones loved the offerings at the Milk Stand and I actually bought both the blue and green milk on request from my wife. If there is anything that I would like to see change for the area, it would be that I wish Disney did something more on the "Resistance side" of the area. I understand that the RotR is the big ticket item on that end, but it would've been cool to see some actual store fronts and food offerings on that end.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by MrLiver View Post
                    I just wanted to post some pictures of some rock work in the land to highlight some of the amazing effort that went into creating a "real" environment:

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                    I'm blown away by how great Disney has become at creating rockwork now. This far exceeds anything made previously (including Mount Prometheus at DisneySea)
                    I know.....I would enjoy the Rock Formation's......
                    I think that be the
                    highlight , of seeing SW/GE......creating a "real" environment !
                    Soaring like an EAGLE !

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