(KUTV) — The experience of the newest Disneyland expansion, Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, was built with fans in mind, including placing lots of details, hidden gems and nuggets from a galaxy far, far away — hidden in mostly plain sight.
Like any of the lands at Disney, you can eat, drink, shop and ride. The new 14-acre area is also interactive with your smart phone, making the environment itself part of a daily game between the Resistance and the First Order. But a big part of the joy for Star Wars fans will be discovery and the attention to detail that sits in the park.
Some parts of the park are pretty obvious, like the life-size replica of the Millennium Falcon that you would say does everything but fly — until you experience the ride that lets you say it does that too. And there are at least five other spacecraft on the world of Batuu, but those are the obvious things. Disney's didn't take a filmed part of the galaxy but went to the outer rim, where The Falcon, over 100 feet long, is parked at the Black Spire Outpost.
Batuu is full of familiar things but hopefully in a new way. Disney said it used pre-1980 materials whenever possible to develop props and decor for the land. The creative team also visited George Lucas' private archives to study original concept artwork.
Here are a few things — some obvious, some not — to keep an eye out for when you visit Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, some featured in the photo gallery with this story:
- Dok-Ondar: This Ithorian (a species originally sold as Hammerhead as a Kenner action figure after "Star Wars: A New Hope") in mentioned in the Han Solo movie. He has his own shop, where you can shop.
- Oga's Cantina: This is mentioned in Star Wars novel "Thrawn: Alliances" and it's going to be crowded at Disneyland because patrons aren't going to want to leave.
- The trash compactor creature, the dianoga, is in a tank above a drinking fountain
- You can buy a mynock toy parasite, but there is some rock mynock art near the Millennium Falcon
- A stuffed wampa from Hoth
- A trophy hunter's tauntaun
- A podracing engine used to cook food (not really) that you can buy
- A droid from "Star Wars: Phantom Menance" that also "cooks" that food
- A mural from Palpatine's office in "Revenge of the Sith"
- Character Hono Ohnaka from two animated TV series — and his animatronics are quite good
- Droid tracks and other markings in the ground, so look up and look down
- Three crates in a group that are numbered with the years of the release of the original Star Wars movie trilogy: 77, 80, 83
- An infant sarlacc, giving visitors an idea of what the underground portion of the creature looks like; This specimen was smuggled by Han Solo, though that isn't clear just from a park visit (see photo gallery)
- A Toydarian, in the market near a toy shop, named Zabaka but looks just like Watto. Look for Zabaka's silhouette in the window
- For sale is a replica of Pincess Leia's "Star Wars: A New Hope" necklace, but you don't have to buy it to look at it and word is, the original European designer still had the mold, so it's as authentic as it gets
- Luke's ration kit from "The Empire Strikes Back"
- Jedi robes and tunics, these are obvious and for sale, seemingly styled after a young Obi-Wan Kenobi's and Anakin Skywalker's
- Petrified tree trunks, including the trunk that gives Black Spire Outpost its name
- Stone art that seems to be homage to Ithorians, possibly Dok-Ondar himself
- Take a walk under the Millennium Falcon, the details are all you hope they are
- Jedi temple mask
- The Coke, Dasani water bottle and other soft drink containers are pretty cool and although they are plastic, many will take them home
- The scout droid of the type Han Solo and Chewbacca shot on Hoth
- Even the bathrooms are done Batuu style
- Someone asked about changing tables in our Facebook live from the park and yes, there is one
- Swamp slug - look for a tank
- Lots of other creatures
- Droids, lots and lots of familiar droids
- Drink the blue milk (green milk also offered, choose blue)
The park has tried to give fans plenty of moments of joy and discovery. The only ride open, piloting the Millennium Falcon, will leave visitors plenty of time to find them. Even the lines to get to the ride are highlighted by cool things. A second ride is scheduled to open before the close of 2019.
The Play Disney app reportedly brings the environments to interactive life. Press materials say it tells visitors what is inside hidden crates or containers and allows translation of galactic languages.
The park is by reservation only in California through June 23. Online reservations are closed, guests staying at a Disney hotel can get reservations. It opens in Florida on Aug. 29. Costumes for patrons over 14 are not allowed.