Long ago (actually the 1970s), we were introduced to a new level of movie-making. I can remember standing in line waiting to view a newly released film, named Star Wars. We had no idea what to expect, but an entire generation was introduced to intergalactic entertainment. The use of CGI helped transport us to distant planets where we cheered on the rebellion in their stand against the Galactic Empire. Over the subsequent movies, the storylines developed to incorporate many characters that we’ve grown to love. The franchise has continued to roll, but to be honest, we have fallen off from keeping up with each new story. Even with our diminished interest, we still had an urge to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, during a visit to Disney World Orlando.
Setting the Scene
After spending the prior three days exploring Universal Studios, we were hoping that this park would be just as immersive. After making our way into the Hollywood Studios park, we made a beeline for the Star Wars section. Since opening in August 2019, this portion of the park has seen a seemingly endless throng of visitors. Even a midweek February visit didn’t curtail the crowds. We were on a mission and resolved to see as much as possible. The lines for the rides were already turning long, so we decided to just enjoy the immersive design.
Walking around this section of the park, we kept our eyes open for details. This is what takes the fun to the next level. We have visited plenty of parks that have fun rides or character interactions, but many fall short of creating an entirely riveting experience. We found parts and pieces collecting rust, just as we would expect to see on some distant planet. Various droids stood motionless waiting to be added to the scrap heap. Mysterious devices were affixed to the walls, waiting for a local shopkeeper to use them in their daily activities. What was happening was that we were being transported to a galaxy far, far away.
Blasts from the Past
Many of the decorations suggested places we visited during our time watching the movies. As we walked through the Tatooine section, we found ourselves at Endor and the Ewok village. We anticipated the appearance of these teddy bear-type creatures but found the displays to be static. Even with a lack of furry creatures, our imaginations were easily able to fill in the details. This proved to us just how much of an impact the Star Wars franchise has had in our lifetime.
While any spotting of Ewoks was off the table, it didn’t mean that the park was devoid of characters. In fact, in more than one place we found ourselves under the watchful eye of stormtroopers. It was strange that even though we knew these characters were fictional, we still were wary of drawing their gaze. The best part of spotting them was watching them interact with the crowd. When they weren’t posing for photos, they spent their time involved in crowd control. The familiar canned sounds of their voices barked out commands meant to keep visitors in check. This was intergalactic entertainment that we could have watched all day.
The stormtroopers were entertaining, but there were even larger draws. It hadn’t escaped us that the Star Wars section of Hollywood Studios is made up of smaller exhibits. While we had fun watching the revolving crowds interact with the local military establishment, the announcement of an upcoming character show was a game changer. It was like they opened a spigot and the crowd flowed out of our area into the next. With our interest piqued, we followed along to see what was about to happen. As we entered this area, we spotted the docked Millennium Falcon. Making our way closer, some familiar faces appeared from underneath the ship. We watched Chewbacca, Rey, and Vi Moradi interact for a while, before yielding our spots to other park guests.
Let’s be real, we wouldn’t think of visiting such a faraway land without sampling some of the local cuisines. Even with our bellies full of our morning meal, we still found room to share bites of a Ronto Morning Wrap. It’s made up of an extra-long smoked sausage, fluffy scrambled eggs, and shredded Cheddar cheese all packed inside of a pita wrap. The peppercorn sauce helped add a little kick to the dish. To wash it down, we decided to pick up a cup of Batuu’s legendary Blue Milk. The creamy mix of coconut and rice milk offered a delectably smooth flavor. While standing in line, we discovered that you can also order an adult version that is spiked with rum. Since it was early in the day, we opted to pass on that one.
Our time spent in a galaxy far, far away had immersed us in the world of Star Wars. With so much intergalactic entertainment, we were already wondering if we should plan a return. Perhaps the newness will wear off and there will come a time of somewhat smaller crowds. This is probably not likely, since the Star Wars franchise has fans in every corner of the globe. I suppose we will just have to face the reality of it being extremely popular and mingle with the rest of the Resistance. May the force be with us!