Batuu Boot Camp - What you need to know before your first visit to the Black Spire Outpostby Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Updated 6/2 to include additional details and comments from Disney officials, and tips from our first visits to the land
If you're a Star Wars super fan, you probably know it's been nearly four years since Disney CEO Bob Iger stood onstage at the D23 Expo in Anaheim and announced plans to build Star Wars-themed lands at both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.
You've followed along as Disneyland's Big Thunder Ranch was terraformed into Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and have read all about the Black Spire Outpost, a village on the planet Batuu. And now, after 1,385 days of watching and waiting, you're ready to take your first steps into the physical Star Wars universe that awaits beyond the tracks of the Disneyland Railroad.
In anticipation of the popularity of the new land, the Disneyland Resort has gone to unprecedented lengths to tell fans what to expect for opening day and beyond, even including disclaimers about capacity limits in all related marketing. The resort has also published a series of "Know Before You Go" videos with Disneyland Resort Ambassador Justin Rapp to share policy details.
Still, with opening day now within view, visitors are still seeking more information about exactly where to go and what to do on their first visit to Batuu, so we've assembled this Batuu Boot Camp to put all of the top tips in one place. We're also including the official Disney videos so you can watch them for more information.
#1 – Reservations are required to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Between May 31 and June 23, even if you have a park admission ticket or annual pass to visit Disneyland during this period, you cannot enter Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge itself without a separate reservation for the new land.
Again, you must have a reservation to visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Esge between May 31 and June 23.
Each reservation is valid for a four-hour window of time, and visitors will receive color-coded wristbands that indicate when their preview time is up.
There were two ways to get a reservation: Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel between May 31 and June 23, or make a reservation online via the Disneyland website. The online reservations sold out in just hours, so if you did not get one, that option is now closed.
Disney offered two methods for getting a reservation. The first, to make a reservation online through the Disneyland website, sold out in a few hours, and is no longer available. The other option is to stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel between May 31 and June 23, since bookings include an automatic reservation to Galaxy's Edge. If you aren't already staying at one, you can book a stay. [MousePlanet partner Get Away Today still has a block of rooms at Disneyland Resort Hotels select dates through June 18; book online or call 1-855-GET-AWAY (1-855-438-2929) to check rates and availability.]
#2 – There is no standby line to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
If you don't have a reservation to visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge between May 31 and June 23, there is no point in lurking around the entrance to the land hoping to sweet talk your way in. Disney has repeated this policy so many times that there's no chance park managers will change their mind—it would completely undermine their operation plan, and cause chaos for the rest of the grand opening period.
#3 – How to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge if you have a reservation
If you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel:
You will receive your color-coded wristbands when you check into the hotel. You can not enter Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge without these wristbands.
If you are NOT staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel:
Before you can visit Batuu, your entire party must first check in at the Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland to receive your color-coded wristbands. You can check in up to two hours before your reservation time, and you can't enter Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge until you do.
The person who made the reservation must be present to check in, and the entire party must be together. Check in will go much faster if the person who made the reservation brings their confirmation email with QR code, and all adult members of the party have their government-issued photo ID ready to show.
When your reservation window opens, show your wristband to enter Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge through the designated gate. The entrance nearest Critter Country was the entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge during cast reviews this weekend, with the Big Thunder and Fantasyland paths used only as exits, but that may change for public operation.
If your reservation window begins at 8:00 a.m., you can enter Disneyland as early as 6:00 a.m. to check in at the Star Wars Launch Bay so you're ready to enter Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge as soon as the park and land opens. However, there won't be anything else open inside Disneyland at 6:00 a.m., so there's really no reason to get there quite that early.
Even if you're running late for your reservation window, you must STILL check in at the Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland before you can visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Those who just go straight to the land without checking in will be sent allllll the way back to Tomorrowland, so plan accordingly and leave enough time to check in.
Know Before You Go: Opening Day Questions Answered for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort.
#4 – Do I need to do anything different if I have a 8:00 a.m. reservation on May 31 (opening day)?
On opening day, Disneyland will allow guests to line up as early as 2:00 a.m., but Disneyland will still open at 8:00 a.m. There is no "opening moment" on May 31, nor any sort of giveaway, so there's no need to show up before dawn. However, since there will likely be some number of people lining up early for shopping opportunities, be sure to ask cast members where you should line up if you have a reservation for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
Starting at 6:00 a.m., Disney cast members will lead guests with an 8:00 a.m. reservation for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge into Disneyland so they can check in at the Star Wars Launch Bay and get wristbands. Again, there won't be anything else open inside Disneyland at 6:00 a.m., so be prepared for a wait until the park and the land open at 8:00 a.m.
See the next tip if you want to know more about buying Galaxy's Edge merchandise.
#5 – What if I want to buy merchandise on May 31 (even if I don't have a reservation)?
Opening day merchandise
Disneyland will sell a collection of dated Galaxy's Edge opening day merchandise starting at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning, but it will not be sold inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge itself!
If you really must be the first to shop this collection, you can line up as early as 2:00 a.m. Friday morning, but still can not enter Disneyland park until 8:00 a.m.
Disney says the best selection will be available at the Emporium, the upper level of Star Wars Launch Bay, Star Trader, or Pooh Corner. Expect it to sell out quickly!
Opening season merchandise
If you're looking for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening season (rather than May 31 opening day) merchandise, you can find that at shops around the Disneyland Resort starting Friday, May 31. There's no reason to line up early for this collection.
Finally, a very small assortment of Black Spire Outpost merchandise will be "smuggled off-planet" and available for sale inside the Star Wars Launch Bay for a limited time starting Friday. Again, this store will not open until Disneyland park opens at 8:00 a.m.
Note: Disney has placed a purchase limit of one item per person on all merchandise items sold inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. This limit may also apply to Opening Day and Opening Season merchandise.
Know Before You Go: Opening Day Merchandise for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort.
#6 – The parking plan for May 31 and beyond
The Disneyland parking lots will open at midnight on May 31 for those who absolutely, positively cannot wait until dawn to arrive at Disneyland. However, be prepared to spend an hour or two in your car after you arrive, because you may not start lining up until 2:00 a.m.
Bus and tram service will run continuously through the night, so you won't have to walk from Mickey and Friends or the Toy Story parking lot.
This is the part where we want to make sure you know that there is no reason to get in line at 2:00 a.m. We know that overnight line-ups are something of a tradition among Star Wars fans, and that there is definitely a community aspect of such a gathering—but there is no practical reason to hang out in the Esplanade for hours on end.
However, for those who are going to ignore this advice and show up at midnight anyway, just make sure to leave all prohibited items in your car, because you will pass through Disney's security checkpoint before joining the line outside the park. This includes folding chairs, tents, sleeping bags, wagons, and coolers.
Once in the esplanade, look to the cast members to guide you to the proper lineup—there will be one line for guests with reservations for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and another line for those just wanting to shop.
Starting June 1, the Disneyland parking lots will open at 5:30 a.m. each morning to accommodate those with 8:00 a.m. reservations for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
Disney will revisit the whole overnight line-up plan again on June 24, when Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens without reservations. We'll share details of those plans closer to that date.
Know Before You Go: Parking During Your Visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort
#7 – What do I do if the parking lots are full when I arrive at the Disneyland Resort?
To be honest, this is the point around which we have the most anxiety regarding Friday's grand opening. For peace of mind, we recommend heading to Anaheim as early in the day as is practical for you – but NOT at 2:00 a.m. Again, there's no need for that. You should probably aim to arrive 2-3 hours before your Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge reservation window opens, just to give yourself enough time to drive, park, check in and relax.
This past Monday, the Disneyland Resort parking lots did reach capacity due to Memorial Day crowds and cast member previews of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and it took parking managers about 30 minutes to begin redirecting arriving guests to the Anaheim Convention Center parking lot. With the new parking structure not quite yet ready to open, it's definitely possible that Disneyland's parking lots could again reach capacity on Friday.
That said, we hope Monday was a fluke, and expect that parking managers have made contingency plans to use all available local overflow lots, including the Pumba lot, the Anaheim Convention Center and the Anaheim Garden Walk. Those who don't plan to drive to the Resort until later in the day need to watch the official Disneyland social media accounts (and, of course, the MousePlanet Twitter account), to keep tabs on the parking situation.
If parking reaches capacity, and you either live close to the Disneyland Resort or have a safe place to park your car offsite, you can always look to services like Uber or Lyft to get you to the Disneyland Resort. The rideshare dropoff lot is in Downtown Disney. However, we really do not recommend just parking your car on a random Anaheim street.
#8 – What happens if Disneyland reaches capacity before my reservation window?
Even if Disneyland park reaches attendance capacity on Friday, Disney officials have assured us that visitors who have a reservation to visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and valid theme park admission will still be allowed to enter the park. However, we very strongly recommend that you purchase your admission before you reach the Disneyland Resort to save yourself time and hassle once you arrive.
(If you still need to buy your admission tickets, MousePlanet partner Get Away Today just announced a new ticket deal offering Adults at Kids Prices on 3-day or longer tickets purchased before June 7, 2019.)
#9 – Where should I go first once I'm inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge?
Most people head right for the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run attraction as soon as they step foot onto Batuu. We completely understand the lure, but if you can resist the siren song of piloting the Millennium Falcon, we have a different suggestion.
First, realize you can't do everything in one visit, and so you need to prioritize. Here is our recommended order for hitting the highlights:
1) If you want to build a custom lightsaber during your visit, your first stop must be Savi's Workshop, where you will stand in line to pre-pay for your $200 souvenir and receive a return time to come back and actually participate in the experience. Note that only the builder and one guest can enter Savi's, so the rest of your party will have 20-30 minutes to wander while you build your lightsaber.
2) If your party also plans to visit Oga's Cantina, then while you wait in line at Savi's, send one member of your group to put their name in at Oga's. The cantina rolled out a text-based reservation system on Sunday to help cut down on the long lines reported on Friday and Saturday. However, you'll only have 15 minutes to return to the bar once it's your turn, so be prepared to have to leave another store or line when you get the call.
3) If Savi's isn't on your agenda for the day, this is a good time to build your Droid at the Droid Depot.
4) While you're waiting to return Oga's, you can spend some time sightseeing in the marketplace, getting photos in front of the Falcon or browsing Dok Ondor's Den of Antiquities.
5) After your visit to Oga's Cantina, or about 2 hours into your reservation period, head to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run. This should be the best time to ride one or more times before the next group of visitors arrives an hour before your reservation period ends.
6) If your hungry by this point and really want to try some Batuu cuisine, be sure to use Mobile Order to skip the line at Docking Bay 7 or Ronto's Roasters. You can even pre-order some Blue Milk.
Disney has posted a merchant and food guide for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and it's definitely worth scanning the map before your reservation prioritize your stops and make the most of your first visit.
#10 – Follow the dedication and opening-day festivities online
The Disney Parks Blog also plans to live-stream the dedication ceremony on Wednesday, May 29 starting at 8:20 p.m. (PDT).