Planning the Perfect Galaxy's Edge Evening and Other Planning Advice

I am starting to solidify some plans for my December trip and I wanted your input on a crucial detail - Galax’s Edge. First a few details:

We are headed down the day after Christmas and staying until New Year’s Day. I am expecting crazy crowds, so I am planning a lot at park opening and park closing. We will be at HS for the morning of our 2nd day, and for the afternoon/evening of our 5th day.

This trip will have a number of firsts. First time at WDW at Christmas, first time staying at DVC as a family (my DD and I did a “use it or lose it” three night trip this summer while my husband was out of town) and our first time seeing Galaxy’s Edge.

The Galaxy’s Edge component is particularly important. I am the Disney fan in my family and I have converted my daughter. My husband is Disney neutral, but has been nothing but supportive as long as we balance where we go on vacation. But, on this trip, he has one request: he wants to build a light saber.

I know I will be able to get him a Savi’s reservation. But I see this desire as an invitation to bring the magic. He loves Star Wars. And I want to bring the magic and plan the perfect evening. I pride myself on planning things for my family to magically stumble upon, have an amazing experience and never know how much thought went into it. And I would love your insight on how to do this for my husband and Galaxy’s Edge.

I am suspecting that the best way to maximize the GE experience in the midst of crazy crowds, is to spend a chunk of time there in the evening and after park closing. So the day 5 evening is my target date. I saw there are Savi’s reservations for as late as 1 hour after park closing, and I know there are Oga’s reservations after park close. If I need to, I will buy a ROTR IAS (this time and this time only) and Genie+ in order to make a perfect evening.

So my questions are these:

  1. if you could create the perfect evening for a Star Wars lover who has never been to GE - what would you do in GE and in what order, including post-park closing reservations for Oga’s and/or Savi’s.

  2. should we use any of our Day 2 HS time at GE or save it all for Day 5? That is my only rope drop day at HS and we really enjoy the other rides in HS. I want to use RD and Genie+ to really get to the other rides. We will need a mid-day break because we are doing Epcot extra hours that evening so time is limited. I don’t want to make the introduction to GE be a crazy RD or so crowded it is not a pleasant experience.

  3. what were the most impactful moments for you? Favorite things that might be less known or out of the way?

Thanks everyone!

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Our SWGE evening could not have been more perfect.
Arrived at roughly1630
Took some photos
(epic secret watching revealed)
Had milk from the milk stand and wandered around toward MFSR
Took more photos with photopass photog
Rode MFSR
ADR at Ogas for ~1845
Dinner at Docking Bay 7 at 1915
Rise by VQBG at 1945 (this will be your big wild card)
Exited rise at 2030
Wandered empty Black Spire Outpost
Checked in for 2100 ressie at Savi’s
Photos in empty SWGE 2120
Photos in empty Sunset Blvd 2130
Exited park 2145 (published close 2000)

It was absolutely perfect. If you can replicate it I would highly recommend

If you were to add droids, I might arrive a little earlier and insert droids around 4:30

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I like your plan to have one morning and one evening at HS. I think you should see SWGE by daylight (before seeing it after dark), either on Day 2 or 5, possibly as just a walk-through from the Muppets end if you are pinched for time that morning of Day 2. That’s the entry point with the best “wow” moment for first sight of the Millennium Falcon.

I think Savi’s should be done before park closing, so you have plenty of time to use/pose with the lightsaber, and to get PhotoPass pictures if you want any. Oga’s can be after park closing.

SWGE after dark is really neat. There are a lot of panels you don’t always notice during the day, but they light up at night. Some of those are interactive with their app as described on https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/hollywood-studios/star-wars-galaxys-edge-play-app/.

Being at HS at Christmas, be sure to save some time after dark to see the Sunset Blvd section. “Sunset Seasons Greetings” has that street decorated for Christmas, complete with fake snow, and projection effects on Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel.

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I like this idea in theory but there’s no way you’re going to get a fan to do only a walk through

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Thank you for all of that! We won’t be doing Droids, so I am good there.

Something I have to figure out is food. I am not sure my family would like any of the food options. But the park closes one hour later so I thought we might have an early dinner before we go in.

So in your time table, this would still work if we had a quick dinner and got there around 5:30. But my thought to try for a 5:00 Sci Fi first, would not work as we would get to GE too late. Sci Fi is much less important so that idea can be sent to the trash compactor.

This is why I think I am going to buy IAS just this once.

It sounds like you would recommend “one epic evening” and not watering it down by going in our first HS day?

For your purposes, for this one day, it makes sense.

We enjoyed doing the night we did. We went back a second time and did more wandering and a second ride on Rise and visit to Ogas; that time we did droids too. Arriving when we did allowed us to see things in the daylight, at dusk, and after dark.

Depending on what time the park is scheduled to close, I wouldn’t plan on getting there much after 1630. We got all those things in but by the skin of our teeth. Another hour would have been even more ideal. We never got into Dok Ondars for instance.

Agreed. But I meant to at least save the time-consuming things (rides, food, Savi’s) for later.

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Ah gotcha

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Maybe that happens at the beginning of epic night while it is still daytime?

I did not know this crucial detail! Thank you.

Shit. Forgot the reason I want to be there! Christmas decorations. Full stop. Hmmmm, I might have to make an HS stop in the evening of Day 2 before we go to Epcot for extra hours. If we take the boat, my family should allow it.

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Sunset is just after 5:30 pm during your trip.

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Here’s what I would suggest:

  • Need at least 4 hours
  • Dinner at DB7 at whatever time you prefer
  • Start with Rise of the Resistance to make sure you get on
  • Millennium Falcon
  • Shopping in the marketplace
  • Make an Oga’s reservation either 45 min before or directly after your Savi’s reservation; one of them or both should be post-park close
  • Cap off with lightsaber experience at Savi’s; photos in an empty Batuu

If Oga’s is a priority, you might want that last so you can close the park down. If you’d rather be focused on Savi’s, do Oga’s first.

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Okay, I just saw there is fried chicken with Mac and cheese. We can make dinner in GE work. So combining the advice, we get there by 4:00 (edited to account for sunset time) at the latest, (assuming a 9:00 close) to wander during the daytime and help.give enough time.

BUT, if we don’t get to everything that is my dangle for DLR, spring break 2023.

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This is the ultimate part right?

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Just know that if the park is closed they will not let you back by the MF

So if you want those shots like @Jeff_AZ had in his report (which were epic), be sure to do that so that you’re done after dark but before close, and then time Ogas to 15 mins later. If sunset is 530pm then, I would aim to have your Savi’s around 6, out around 6:20pm, and set Oga’s for 6:45ish

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This is definitely crucial information. I would have been super disappointed.

Are the shops in GE open at all after park closing? Or just the ones on Hollywood Blvd?

Yeah that was the one “regret” I had. But we’ll get 'em next time.

Shops are not open after close (droid depot was still allowing shopping but we were already in for our droid appointment before close and once we were out that was it). That’s why Black Spire Outpost was empty. That area we could walk through but literally nobody was around. Which was neat, except not for shopping.

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I agree with others that night time touring is the way to go. I was there in July and it was so crowded in the morning. We went back later and the park was practically empty. It was nice to be able to leisurely walk around and look at the shops and take pictures.

My only concern would be ROTR which is the best ride I’ve ever been on and is a must for a Star Wars fan. During our trip, it broke twice while we were on the ride (once after we had to return hours after our boarding group because it was offline). I’m not sure if they have fixed some of the ride stability issues, but I would try to do it on your first HS day to be safe.

I read the GE comic books, so Dok Ondor’s was a particularly amazing place. I could spend hours looking at all the items there.

I bought the Black Spire novel to get the back story!

That"s an excellent point about ROTR and reliability. It is tempting to work it into our first day and just stay on that fringe without going the rest of the way in. Plus adding that to the morning gives me a better excuse to go back to HS to see the lights on my first day

Now I am thinking my overall schedule looks like this:

Day 2: RD during early hours - SDD, ROTR

Ride TSM, ASS, MMRR, Muppets with stand by and Genie+

Take a break -

Come back after dark for TOT, RNRC with Genie+ and see the Christmas lights, head to Epcot for evening hours.

Day 5: Arrive at HS in early afternoon to reride MMRR and other family choice

Head to GE at 4:00 for the evening of fun.

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Definitely recommend a post-park close Oga’s reservation. We did this on our last night and it was a great end to the trip! They also will let you take a drink to go so we leisurely strolled out while finishing our drinks :slight_smile:

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Following. I’ll be there in December with my daughter. While she’s not a SW fan I think you are creating a great HS evening!

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