We did not plan our trip to correspond with the opening of Rise of the Resistance – it was just a lucky coincidence! For those who don’t know, Rise of the Resistance is the epic, trackless Star Wars ride that first opened at Disney World, before opening a short while later at Disneyland. We had been watching vlogs and podcasts about how amazing it was for 6 weeks leading up to our visit.
We woke up super early to get to the park by 7:15 AM, 45 minutes before rope drop. Getting into the queue can be a little tricky. You have to enter the park before it officially opens, because as soon as 8 AM strikes, everyone who has crossed the park threshold gets the opportunity to get into the virtual ride queue for RotR and the spots fill up in less than a minute. The people in line who were in front of us were absolutely freaking out about whether they would get into Disneyland in time to get into the virtual queue. We were trying to play it cool, so we wouldn’t be too disappointed if we didn’t get to ride, but we were totally kidding ourselves. We WANTED it.
We did manage to get through the gates of Disneyland with plenty of to spare before 8 AM, but that was still no guarantee we’d get onto the ride. We still had to make it into the queue. It was tense all around us as everyone had their cellphones out, waiting for 8 AM to roll around. As soon as it struck, everyone started swiping.
All around us, people started to cheer as they got into boarding groups. And we started cheering too. Not only did we get in, but we got Boarding Group 11! It guaranteed we’d get on the ride and likely get to go earlier in the morning. Adam started to roll his cellphone camera to capture the excitement of everyone on Main Street (and some disappointed folks who unfortunately didn’t manage to get in the queue). It was a GREAT way to start the day… well, for us. Not for those poor folks who didn’t get on the ride.
Galaxy’s Edge has two rides: Smuggler’s Run and Rise of the Resistance. Click the links to read our thoughts on each of the rides. Spoiler alert: Rise of the Resistance is beyond our wildest dreams amazing. The entire ride was so INCREDIBLE that suddenly we wanted to immerse ourselves in the whole Star Wars experience (aside from paying for any more over-priced, underwhelming food).
About 2 minutes after we got off Rise of the Resistance, I booked myself an appointment to make a droid and Adam an appointment to build a Lightsaber. We were literally like, “Take all of our money, Disney!” They had invested so much into Rise of the Resistance, that we were willing to invest even more into Galaxy’s Edge. And boy was it worth it! We had such a blast that day and made a lot of special memories. For instance, Adam was basically geeking out the entire time – he was even too starstruck to take a proper picture with R2-D2 (the handler did inform Adam that R2 liked his WALL-E hoodie).
Speaking of R2-D2, I built my own droid at Droid Depot. The base cost to build a droid is $99.99, plus tax and any add-ons you want. It is a working droid that can move around and speak (something I didn’t realize until he was activated). For that price tag, I wanted to make sure the whole experience was worth it… which added an extra layer of stress. I was so paranoid that I would build an ugly droid, I was almost paralyzed picking out the pieces. Plus, I am not quite cut out to be a mechanic. You can check out a video of the process below.
I was so stressed during the process of building of the droid – it didn’t help that the cast-members were a little pushy about streamlining the efficiency to get everyone through the line (despite the fact that it was not overly busy in there). I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was a kid not aware of the price tag. With that said, looking back at it, I am really glad that I did it even if it wasn’t in my comfort zone. Plus, we got an amazing souvenir that we love to play with at home, especially when our 3-year-old nieces and nephew are over. I would definitely recommend this experience overall!
After we were done building the droid, we had some time to kill before building Adam’s Lightsaber. We found a fun Photopass photographer and did a silly photoshoot with our new, little droid – R3-R or Arthur, as I like to call it.
Building a Lightsaber costs around $200 and if you have a Star Wars mega-fan, we absolutely recommend doing this! Savi’s Workshop offers four models to pick from (and then several options within those models): Peace & Justice, Elemental Nature, Power & Control, and Protection & Defense. Adam selected the Peace & Justice model to build and they gave him a nifty little badge to identify his choice.
It has been Adam’s dream to build a Lightsaber since he was younger – he even once built a hilt out of plumbing supplies from Home Depot. Watching Adam build his Lightsaber was a blast! You could see him get swept up into the atmosphere and he had a look of pure excitement when he held his completed Lightsaber into the air. Check it out below.
After he was finished, we walked outside to where we had taken the droid photos, hoping a Photopass photographer would still be there. We were in for the most magical surprise. The area was basically empty and there was no line for photographs, so the photographer took her time with Adam. Suddenly, fireworks started shooting out from beyond Galaxy’s Edge. It was the most amazing view and the photographer kept taking pictures with the fireworks behind Adam.
Once she had gotten the shot, Adam and I sat on a bench a stone’s throw from the Millennium Falcon and watched the fireworks practically by ourselves. It was so empty around us, it felt almost like a private show. It was stunning and an unbelievable moment in an already perfect day.
After that, we spent the rest of the evening wondering around Galaxy’s Edge just taking in the detail. It was quiet at night, which was wonderful. Adam ended up buying a Legacy Lightsaber from Black Spire Outfitters. He got Luke Skywalker’s Return of the Jedi blade. All in all, though we weren’t expecting to immerse ourselves, the experience at Galaxy’s Edge was far in excess of what we had expected. It was expensive, but it also gave us some of our favorite memories from that vacation. We never regretted the money we spent, especially with 2020 as hindsight. We can’t wait to go back!