Trip Report: Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Annual Pass holder Preview Saturday August 17, 2019 part 2

Okay, I’m going to try and complete my trip report during my lunch break.

First, before I go back into details, I would like to give my overall impression of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, Black Spire Outpost, Batuu, etc, etc, etc.

It is an extremely well-done area, and it does not feel like you are at a WDW park. It is very similar to the Pandora section of Animal Kingdom, where the look and feel very much creates another world atmosphere. It does not look cheap, there is a lot of attention to detail. There is a lot of space in the walkways and they are not crowded.

The shops, however, are small and very segmented. That makes them get crowded very easily. The shops are specialized and only carry specific merchandise. You will not see the same item over and over.

Back to our visit. After looking at and photographing the Millennium Falcon, we completed our circuit of the Black Spire Outpost, passing by Oga’s Cantina, which continuously had a line of people waiting to get in, and the Milk Stand, finally ending at the Tie Echelon ship sitting in the corner of the area. Next to the TIE ship is a store selling First Order merchandise.

It was getting close to our time to build our lightsaber at Savi’s, so we got blue milk and green milk at the Milk Stand before we went in. There was a bit of line but it moved quickly. Later in the day, when we passed by there was little to no wait. We got the non-alcohol versions; they were $8 each. The drinks are fruit-flavored smoothies. The blue one was sweeter and had a smoother taste. The green one was more tropical fruit-flavored. We all tried the two and agreed that the blue had a better taste but it was a one and done experience. Not anything we’ll have again.

We got to Savi’s and there is a courtyard waiting area that had 20-30 people waiting, and a register area where you check-in, order and pay for the lightsaber. At this point you choose from four different styles:
Peace and Justice
Power and Control
Elemental Nature
Protection and Defense

After you pay and select, you are given a pin to wear that show what style you selected and a card for your group. The group that went in consisted of those who had that timeslot reserved along with several walk-up guests who waited for the next available open timeslot. We went past a gate into a second waiting area. One CM saw DD drinking blue milk and came up to her to tell her she couldn’t have it here but it quickly became obvious he was just teasing her, He was the lead Junker who later instructed in constructing our lightsaber. He did an incredible job leading us and it was extremely entertaining. CM was great all around.

WDWNT posted a youtube video of a lightsaber build and it is almost identical to our experience. It features the CM who I mentioned earlier.

https://wdwnt.com/2019/08/photos-video-review-savis-workshop-lightsaber-building-experience-is-stronger-with-the-force-in-star-wars-galaxys-edge-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/

After finishing up, it was just about 1 PM, we headed back to the Millennium Falcon. When we passed by earlier the standby wait time was 35 minutes and now it was 45 minutes. The line now was extending past the entrance and into the docking bay courtyard area. In addition, the skies were clouding up and rain looked imminent We figured let’s get in line and wait out the rain under the cover of the ride queue.

Just before we got undercover, the skies opened up and the rain started. Fortunately, we had umbrellas ready. Once you get past the entrance sign almost all of the waiting area is undercover except for one small part as you pass the backside of the Falcon. Half of the extending queue winds back and forth at the edge of the docking bay. You get a decent opportunity to look at and take pictures of the Falcon. It looks great, just like it is in the most recent movies. (Rectangular Radar Dish).

Once the queue winds inside, you get to see the inside of Hondo Ohnaka’s transport company. There are dozens and dozens of Star Wars items on display and you hear him and his employees discussing operations. As you walk up the ramps, you pass a spaceship engine that is being repaired, every few minutes they try to start up and it sounds like it’s going to explode. Eventually, you come to the top level of the queue and you then are looking down onto the Falcon. Again, every few minutes, they try to start the engines on the Falcon, the exhaust vents glow blue, engines roar and the building shakes a little before the engines fail and shut down. Just past this point, you are reaching the “start” of the attraction, where guests are split into two groups and we meet Hondo, who explains why we are there and what he needs us to do.

Except the Audio-Animatronic Hondo wasn’t working when we there, it was covered by a large crate and a tarp. We got to see him on two video screens. After his brief speech, doors in front of us opened and we proceeded onto the Falcon. Guests are given one of six color-coded cards, two pilots, two gunners, and two engineers. The crews of each ride are differentiated by the colors.

Walking in it looks a lot like you are in the movies, boarding the Falcon, you walk the corridors of the ship till you reach the main crew area of the ship complete with the chessboard table. It here that you wait the last few minutes for your turn. This almost goes too quickly; I would like to just hang out here for a while and soak it all in.

You are brought down a corridor to the cockpit, but first Hondo gives you last-minute instructions on exactly what you will need to do to complete your mission. Your mission is to steal supplies from a First Order train (like the scene from Solo). Pilots sit up front, gunners in the middle and engineers in the back. The ride is not too jerky or rough. It looks just like you are looking out the windows of the Falcon at the video screens. The video quality is quite good but it is not a very large image.

I got to ride it three times, twice as a pilot, once as the gunner. The cockpit is fairly realistic and there are a lot of flashing lights and buttons to push. Most don’t do anything except at certain points. The left pilot controls left and right movements while the right one controls up and down. The left pilot has to press a boost button and a brake button once while the right pilot gets to make the jump to hyperspace twice.

Gunners shoot down tie fighters while the engineers have to press buttons to activate harpoons to grab the cargo off the train. You make two runs at the train to get two different loads. There are different experiences based on your performance. Once we were only able to steal one of the two loads off the train. The other two times we grabbed both loads, there are displays on your screens at the end of the ride to let you know your score.

As you leave the attraction, you walk through hallways that feel very similar to the final hallways at Flights of Passage.

Okay, that was Smugglers Run and Savi’s. I got to get back to work but I’ll post one more trip report about shopping and eating lunch at Docking Bay Seven.

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Hmm. This is what worries me about the philosophy of SWGE — the compulsory audience participation. Not something I’m comfortable with at all.

Would you recommend the whole experience now that you’ve done it?

thanks for the detailed report! :grinning:

First, would I recommend Savi? It depends on two things.

Number One, can you afford the cost, I always allow myself personally $100 for souvenirs when I visit WDW. So it double my usual limit but I’ve view this as a once in a lifetime purchase because of…

Number Two, How big of a Star Wars fan are you? I am a big Star Wars fan, When A New Hope first came out, I was 12 years old and I went to see that movie six times that summer. Star Wars is my favorite entertainment series of all time.

That said , the light saber you build is very good recreation of the ones shown in the movies. It is a solid, sturdy item that lights up and sounds like the movie light sabers. Every day after dinner, I take it out and tell my wife I have to have my light saber practice.

Also the experience of building it was very entertaining and unique. The main “junker” leading our build was an excellent actor who made it feel completely real.

Finally, since very people actually get in and build a light saber, I felt like I was part of a special group.

For me and big Star Wars fan like me, I would recommend it. If you’re not a huge Star Wars fan, save the $200.

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Could you give the ride a motion sickness rating or equate it to another ride?

Next about the audience participation. You have a legitimate concern but I do not think in the long run it will be a problem. They will probably have to tone it down,

Some of it is simple and harmless, similar to asking a Dinsey princess a question with a modern reference, they just feign confusion. It’s a little annoying when you are asking for the location of the bathroom. One Photopass photographer asked DD(who was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt), why do so many guests seem to think the stars are at war with each other.

I don’t know how much of CM staying in character will last long term. For the most part it was not a big deal. It seemed like the CM were mostly staying to a set script they were given. I think it was okay for the AP preview, most guests were big fans (half were wearing Star Wars clothing). Let’s see how it works with the general public. My wife (not a Star Wars fan) expressed her dislike of the terms and phrasing used.

One small incident she witnessed makes me think that there will have to be some moderation in the way CM go about their interactions with guests. There were two First Order Stormtroopers walking around questioning guests. They came up to two toddlers and started asking them who was in charge and who was their leader? The toddlers broke out into tears. Several minutes later, a member of WDW management was there talking to the parents, trying to calm the situation down. I’m sure some anytime FP were distributed at the minimum.

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It is not a rough ride. It is very similar to Star Tours but probably less extreme. You sit in a bucket seat and have a seat belt just like the ones for Dinosaur or Star Tours. There is less actual motion than those rides. There is no special place to store bags or purses, you just put them on the floor next to your seat.

Most of the sense of motion comes from watching the screen but it is similar to Star Tours no where as dramatic as FOP.

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So you’re saying I should start crying if I don’t like the interactions?

(Great feedback, btw — thanks!)

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Isn’t that a generally solid rule for life? Cry if you don’t like something?

I don’t mind occasional fun interactions with CMs…but I do not like when you joke about rules. I like rules, don’t joke about whether I can or can not do something. I will not be amused.

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