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Here's What REALLY Happened Inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge on Opening Day in Walt Disney World

You have to try Star Wars Datapad

Console on wall for interacting with datapad app

Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

Our favorite pastime for the day was definitely the Star Wars Datapad. Once again, this really made Galaxy’s Edge feel like a live action MMORPG. For those unfamiliar, Star Wars Datapad is a game on the Play Disney Parks app that turns your phone into a functioning Star Wars Datapad that can hack/slice terminals, tune into frequencies, translate Aurebesh and alien speech, or scan the contents of crates. While you can use these functions at random throughout the land gaining achievements and digital gear as you go, the best part of the app is the “Jobs” function.

The jobs feature acts kind of like a Star Wars version of gig-economy apps. You can fulfill missions throughout The Black Spire Outpost to gain in-game credits or reputation with various factions in the land. Pay attention to who you are working for! If you just randomly accept every job, you might end up working for General Hux!

The jobs usually entail using the app’s four functions to do specific tasks in specific places. The app also includes a cool chat-bot feature that allows you to chat with locals, including famous Star Wars characters like Rose Tico, Hondo Ohnaka, or the aforementioned General. We got really into it and found ourselves hacking every terminal we could find, tuning into frequencies left and right, and scanning every crate we could locate. Do note that one or two of these crates are in spots that guests inexplicably like taking pictures in, so just have fun with it if people look at you like you’re a weirdo for standing in line just to scan a crate.

In theory, your actions in the app are linked to your My Disney Experience account, which is in-turn linked to your MagicBand. The park was so busy that we didn’t get quite as much cast member interaction as we wanted, but in theory, Disney has already suggested that your in-world “reputation” will affect your experiences in the park. We are very excited to see where this goes, as well as if Disney might introduce in-world rewards for guests who complete lots of Datapad missions. If you will be trying out Star Wars Datapad, make sure you have a way to charge your phone, most likely with a power pack since there are currently no Fuel Rod stations in Galaxy’s Edge.

The merchandise is out of this world—literally

Thermal Detonator Coke with Batuu in background

Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

We were extremely impressed by the quality of merch available in Galaxy’s Edge, specifically in how Disney took things you could use in real life and made them feel like they belonged in Star Wars. Even the t-shirts look like they belong in their respective hubs. Similar to the banshees in Pandora, you will regularly see people walk through Galaxy’s Edge with in-world pets like a shoulder-mounted Kowakian Monkey Lizard or Porg. We also loved seeing the droids that people created, and it’s fascinating to watch how they interact with elements in the land, including trembling when Stormtroopers are near. We had a great conversation with two kids on Smuggler’s Run who told us the entire backstory of their droids!

As mentioned previously, we waited around two hours for Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. While I don’t know if I would do that again, Dok Ondar’s is a must-stop location if you want some top-quality merch, and it’s a blasted fun place for Star Wars fans thanks to the myriad Easter eggs lining its shelves. There is a lot to find in this shop, but some of the highlights include legacy lightsabers of spectacular quality, impressive artwork, and in-world jewelry like Leia’s Resistance ring or Rey’s necklace. Dok Ondar’s collection of available wares also includes Jedi and Sith holocrons that can open, relay messages, and interact with different kyber crystals that you can purchase. As an extra bonus, the animatronic for Dok Ondar himself is amazingly realistic, down to moving gills on his face.

Dok Ondar up close

Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

Our biggest complaint about Dok Ondar’s was that the lines and checkout system ended up being unnecessarily slow and confusing. The Den has two checkout counters—one where the legacy lightsabers are and one on the right side of the room. No matter the length of the line, you will be better off going to the one away from the lightsabers. We thought the lines looked equal length, so we chose the main counter line only to realize that A) the line curves in a strange Z pattern, B) because of this, people cut in more than once, and C) there is only one register at the very end of the line close to Dok Ondar himself—don’t assume there’s one on the left because there isn’t. People take a long time with the lightsabers, so this line moved at snail pace. We eventually switched to the other line which went a hair faster but was still very slow.

The “role play” factor adds to the experience (but is pretty subtle)

Delightfully smirky Batuu native cast member

Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

One of our favorite aspects of Galaxy’s Edge was how guests are invited to participate in the world of Batuu as characters. My husband and I have some experience with settings like this: along with building characters and stories in MMORPG’s, we also have both been actors and worked for a Renaissance Festival. Thanks to this, we felt right at home in Galaxy’s Edge.

Guests who chose to Disneybound really added something fun to the atmosphere. For those unfamiliar, Disneybounding is the practice of using modern or vintage clothing to produce fashion looks that aren’t-quite-cosplay but definitely pay homage to Disney characters. Guests over the age of 14 are not allowed to wear costumes, but Disney gave the land a pretty reasonable dress-up policy: guests are welcome to Disneybound in outfits that pay homage to known Star Wars characters. You can also dress as a Batuu local, wearing layers, natural fabrics, and earth-tones. Jedi robes and clothes that drag, full cosplay outfits, military gear, and blasters are not allowed. This was fine as Jedi robes honestly would have been a detracting element for the land’s story being the Jedi are nearly extinct at this stage in the story.

Chewbacca watches as mechanic recruits from crowd

Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

We were a little nervous to try out Disneybounding for Galaxy’s Edge after we read reports that some guests were bounced at Disneyland by security for trying too hard to dress as Batuu locals—one man reported he even copied a costume Disney had posted as “approved” and was denied entry. We did not run into this issue at Walt Disney World. The security guards and cast members were wonderfully chill. My outfit wasn’t anything elaborate—just jeans with Han Solo stripes, a belt with some leather pouches, a vest over a tank top, a cowl, goggles, and fingerless gloves. People had some pretty elaborate Disneybound outfits that looked extremely similar to what cast members wore, but no one blinked an eye about it. We saw some impressive outfits based on Rey, a really great tribute to Padme’s summer dress (complete with gold ear buns), and even one fellow in a very intricate earth-tones mechanic's outfit.

I will say that I was a little bummed we didn’t get more chances to interact with cast members in character during our visit. We think this mostly had to do with the massive crowds, so we are hopeful to do more of this on future visits. For guests who are intimidated by the role-playing elements of Galaxy’s Edge, don’t worry. It was extremely subtle, and you can just have fun with it like you’d have with any costumed character. One or two cast members asked what planet we were from, and they will almost always will say they have never heard of your answer—most of the Batuu locals play characters who have never travelled. Die hard Star Wars fans, don’t expect them to know what you’re talking about if you start dropping lore references. I watched one or two interactions where guests got annoyed with cast members giving in-world answers to real-life questions, but the Batuuans knew how to handle these situation in stride and explain things without breaking character.

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