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Here's How to Get the MOST out of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland

Make strategic use of the single rider line.

 Smuggler's Run

Image: Ashley Varela

Of all the advantages you receive while traveling alone within the Disney Parks, making liberal use of the single rider line is by far the best one. When things are running smoothly, a two-hour wait for Splash Mountain can be cut down to 15 minutes, while attractions with greater capacities (Space Mountain and Indiana Jones Adventure among them) move at an even faster clip.

At Black Spire Outpost, Smuggler’s Run is the latest attraction to incorporate a single rider option, but beware: there are definite pros and cons to using the shorter queue. Think of it this way—if it’s your first time experiencing the land, opt for the lengthier standby line so you can soak up every last little bit of theming. The standby line is also the only avenue that allows you to watch the preshow spiel with Audio-Animatronic Hondo Ohnaka, which then sets up the storyline for the entire attraction.

Unfortunately, not only does the standby queue come with longer wait times, but it also squeezes all of the preshow participants into a very narrow corridor before they’re broken up into groups of six and shuffled onto the Falcon itself. It’s not ideal for those who may experience claustrophobia when packed into a confined space.

Assuming, however, that you’re making a repeat visit to the Outpost, there’s no reason to pick the standby line again (unless you really want another close-up glimpse of Hondo in action). The single rider entrance will lead you up several flights of stairs and bring you into the pre-boarding area, though those who need wheelchair access to the attraction will have to take the elevator to a different area of the attraction.

 Smuggler's Run

Image: Disney

There are several things to keep in mind here. First, you will be voluntarily skipping the pre-show spiel and avoiding the claustrophobia-inducing corridor; second, you will have relatively little space to wait at the top of the stairs; third, you will likely be placed at the end of a group. Here’s why that third point matters: there are six potential roles you can play during the attraction—left pilot (controls side-to-side motion), right pilot (controls up-and-down motion), left and right gunners, and left and right engineers. Pilots sit in the front of the cockpit, gunners in the middle, and engineers in the back. The further forward you are placed, the greater your responsibility and impact on the attraction’s storyline will be.

You’re welcome to switch roles with your fellow passengers prior to loading into the cockpit, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the role you want. Personally, as someone who finds public attention anxiety-inducing at times, it felt very stressful to step into the pilot’s role and control the movement of the Falcon. For me, utilizing the single rider line was a great way to ensure that I would be placed as a gunner or engineer, thereby taking off some of the pressure to perform well. If, on the other hand, you prefer to step into a more significant role during the course of the attraction, it may be worth waiting in standby in the hopes that you’ll make it to the front of a group.

Save your shopping for the end of your visit.

Porg carving

Image: Cory Doctorow, Flickr (license)

From custom crafted droids to beautifully-carved Dejarik Holochess sets, Black Spire Outpost has some truly gorgeous merchandise on display in its marketplace and shops. It’s difficult to walk through the land without stopping to marvel over a trinket or covet a brand-new lightsaber.

But, as tempting as that merchandise may look, trust me on this: without someone to help you lug those items around the land—and, more importantly, without any nearby lockers to store large boxes, bags, and faux weapons (think about that life-sized lightsaber!)—you’ll have a harder time navigating the land with ease. Smuggler’s Run, in particular, has a very fast load time and very small baggage areas that can’t accommodate anything larger than a fanny pack or small purse.

Don’t fret: Galaxy’s Edge isn’t likely to run out of its unique items anytime soon, especially with a strict one item per person, per day rule in effect to prevent would-be resellers from stocking up on some of its more coveted items. Once you’ve completed your coaxium run for Hondo, chatted with the local First Order law enforcement, and imbibed a Bloody Rancor or two at Oga’s Cantina, you should have plenty of time to get to your reservation with Savi’s Gatherers or brave that hour-and-a-half line at the Droid Depot.

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Have you tackled Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge by yourself this summer? What tips did you find useful for navigating the land?

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