Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is the newest and most immersive theme park world ever created. There are so many layers and details to the new Star Wars world that there are many Galaxy’s Edge secrets to uncover. Here are five of my favorites, that you may spot on your visit to planet Batuu.
Dok Ondar Wampa
In Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities you will see a lot of artifacts, some one which are very authentic replicas of what as shown in the films. These include Princess Leia’s necklace from Return of the Jedi and the medals given to Luke Chewy and Han at the end of A New Hope. Imagineers went to great lengths to track down original designers for the molds to make these antiquities. One painstaking element of Dog Ondar’s shop is not for sale. It’s a Wampa you can see on the second floor. It was carefully crafted based on the footage from The Empire Strikes Back.
Dok Ondar Mural
Also in Dok Ondars Den you can find a familiar looking mural. It’s the same Bas-Relief Mural found in Chancellor Palpetines chambers in the prequels. The mural is a depiction of battle which Jedi assumed was a sign of respect from Palpatine. On the contrary it was a statement of his belief that the Sith are superior to Jedi.
Every store has a story. All of the marketplace shops and eateries have a proprietor that contributes to the story of the land. The toy store is no different. You may notice the toys are not what you would expect to find when looking for typical Star Wars Merchandise. instead, everything was thought up as it would make sense in-world. Therefore, the toys in the shop are toys that the children of Black Spire are likely to play with. This includes games such as Dejarik, and Sabacc. There are also toys made to not look mass produced. The toymaker is a Toydarian that you might spot flitting around behind the closed door to her workshop as she busily makes more toys for the children of Batuu and other visiting guests.
The droid tracks on the pavement in Galaxy’s Edge were reverse engineered by imagineering. They used the cast of R2-D2’s feet and manufactured wheels for them. Then set the tracks in the wet cement before it dried. You can find secrets like this in the ground in many areas of Disney Parks.
Ronto Roasters Smelter Droid
8D-JB is the name of the droid roasting Rontos under a pod racer engine. He complains a lot about his job, which you can hear as you wait in line; but it’s hard to imagine things were any better for him before. This is the very same droid found in Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi. Go to Ronto Roasters for one of Galaxy’s Edge’s signature dishes. A Ronto Wrap is made up of sausage and roasted pork on a pita with tang slaw and peppercorn sauce. Ronto Rosters is also open for breakfast.
Really exciting news! Disney released information recently about a brand new Annual Pass for the Disneyland Resort. This new pass will be an active measure to manage the Annual pass holder presence in the parks in a way that benefits everyone. Disney has been steadily prepping for the impending onslaught of park guests when Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens. They have widened pathways, created new policies and even built more dining areas to make room for more people; but now they are implementing a Passholder system that will pass guests based on reservations. The new system is called Flex Pass. It’s a new kind of annual pass with more flexibility.
The first thing about the Flex Pass is that it is the least expensive pas holder option. The cost per year is only $599 and it comes with its share of blockout dates and challenges. However, the reimagined structure of this pass allows for more potential usage because of how flexible it is. In addition to the park passes barring a few select dates, the Flex Passport includes the usual pass holder benefits such as invitations and discounts at exclusive events, plus discounts on food and merchandise.
What makes the Flex Pass work is its total flexibility. There are days when you can visit the Disneyland parks without an issue. Then, there are a few days where you are blocked out. However, the bulk of the year is open to availability. Which means you can make reservations for any of those days within 30 days of the date you choose. You can make as many reservations as you want as long as you have no pending reservations within 30 days of each other and you have no more than 2 no shows within 90 days.
Making reservations is easy and can be done through the Disneyland app or on the My Annual Passports page. You can reserve dates for anyone linked to your account and you can cancel all the way up to 11:59 the night before the date of your reservation.
The great thing about the Flex Pass is the theoretical availability throughout the year. There are very few dates that are actually blocked, which makes it much easier to enjoy festivals and other seasonal occasions. Blockout dates for the coming year are more or less confined to the last week of December, the First week of January and a few days in the middle of November.
If you’re thinking about getting a Flex Pass, May 21st is the day it’s available to purchase. Who’s excited for another year of fun?
Disneyland’s long-awaited revamp of Paradise Pier at California Adventure is finally open to the public. The former California boardwalk and carnival theme are taking a queue from it’s most popular ride Toy Story Midway Mania. Everything on Paradise Pier has a Pixar Makeover. Read on to learn more about Pixar Pier’s 4 new “neighborhoods” and inspiring Lamplight Lounge.
Everything You Need to Know About Disneyland’s Pixar Pier
Pixar Pier formerly known as Paradise Pier is officially opened and ready to explore from the rides, photo ops, food, drink and more. You will find that Pixar Pier is divided up into 4 Neighborhoods based on the movies. They are Incredibles Park, Toy Story Boardwalk, Inside Out Headquarters and Pixar Promenade.
This is the location for the new Incredi Coaster. According to the story, The Incredibles are honored their own coaster and are going to ride it for the first time, Jack Jack and Edna Mode stay behind because they don’t meet the height requirement, Jack Jack gets loose and the coaster becomes a mad dash to catch him.
Toy Story Boardwalk
This is an expansion of Toy Story Midway Mania and it includes a Carousel called Jesse’s Critter Carousel. The carousel is still on “preorder” from Al’s Toy Barn for 2019. The critters on the carousel are those featured as “prizes” at the end of Mania.
The best thing about this neighborhood is all of the funny food stops with references to the Toy Story movies. My favorite is Senior Buzz Churros, a recall to the Spanish setting on the Buzz Lightyear figure displayed in Toy Story 3.
The space formerly occupied by midway games now has midway games themed to Pixar. Bullseye Stallion Stampede is still there, along with new games Heimlich’s Candy Corn Toss, Wall-E Space Race, and La Luna Star Catcher, based on one of my favorite Pixar shorts. The prizes are all unique to the Pixar Property the games represent.
The Promenade is also home to the Pixar Pal-Around. While guests outside the pier will still recognize it as Mickey’s Fun Wheel. a closer look reveals new character painted gondolas that are all Pixar.
Inside Out Headquarters
While the Whirlwind of Emotions will not be open until next year. concept art reveals that it will be the exact same ride as Flick’s Fliers in Flik’s Fun Fair. Until then you can get good and angry about it and have a hot dog over at Angry Dogs. I guess Anger is done with pizza after the broccoli incident.
You won’t have to wait too long for more Inside Out, because Later this Summer Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff opens in the neighborhood.
Food & Drink
Throughout the pier are food carts and sit down restaurants themed to the movies we love such as Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums, The Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats and more, but the greatest place to eat and relax is the Lamplight Lounge.
This is a big, open, indoor space with plenty of covered outdoor seating overlooking the bay. It’s welcoming and has a very inspirational vibe for story lovers. The whole lounge is decked with tons of Pixar art and memorabilia.
Lamplight Lounge was Formerly Ariel’s Grotto and it’s new look is the most drastic change to the pier next to the Incredi Coaster loading station. The menu includes bites, bigger bites, donuts and a menu for “budding artists” (kids). The menu also features beer, cocktails, cocktails, and signature non-alcoholic beverages.
If you remember Toy Story Toons, Poultry Place may look familiar to you. Not only is this location have an Instagram Worthy photo ops but you can chow down on a Jumbo Turkey Leg, or a Chicken Drumstick Box with coleslaw.
Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums
Right inside the Incredibles park, you will spot a kiosk of Jack-Jack’s favorite snack. They serve warm chocolate chip cookies and a variety of flavored milk. There is also a gluten-free option that is a shortbread cookie.
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats
The best place to cool off is at Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats. My favorite is the Pixar Pier Frozen Parfait which consists of non-dairy lemon soft serve and blue raspberry slushie. But you can also get soft serve ice cream on a cone in chocolate, vanilla and dole-whip style non-dairy lemon.
Based on the emotion angry from Inside Out, you can pick up a hot dog at this food stand and get angry about it if you want to but I find that hard to believe you will since you are in the most magical place ever.
Senor Buzz Churros
You cannot leave Disneyland without picking up a churro, it is a much-needed staple when you visit. But these churros served at Senor Buzz Churros are not any like any other ordinary churro. In fact, they are a bit spicy, hence the Spanish name. At this food stand, you will find Spicy Caliente and Cinnamon Sugar Galaxy Churros.
Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff Confectionery
And finally, stock up on candy before you leave the park at Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff Confectionery. You can also find slushies, and other Disney candy shop and Pixar themed items. And don’t forget to snap a photo of Bing Bong on the wall in the shop.
Instagram-Worthy Photo Spots at Pixar Pier
Poultry Palace Juice Box
WALL•E and EVE wall
Bing Bong Purple wall
Incredibles character wall
Color-blocked wall in Incredibles Park
Lamplight Lounge Cars table
Lamplight Lounge entrance
Adventure is out there awing
Pixar Pier entrance sign
Buzz Light Year wings
Luxo Ball water fountain
Angry Dogs sign
Al’s Toy Barn sign
Finding Dory Keep our Pier Clean sign
The Adventure is Down There sign
Pixar Pier Gate
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats
Luxo Ball Wall
Pixar Balloon Wall
And while you’re there be sure to check out Pixar Fest running through September 3rd! There are plenty of things to do from trying delicious treats, drinks, attractions, Pixar Play Parade, Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular and so much more.
Every time I hear the word “Disney” it seems so magical to me. It’s a place where I can be a kid again no matter what age I am. My very first visit to Disneyland was 25 years ago when I was in junior high. I still remember parts of what it looked like back then. I recently visited Disneyland for my second time this past week for their Diamond Celebration. Although the park has changed quite a bit there were still bits and pieces of the park that was the same and that I remembered as a kid.
Can you believe that Disneyland has been creating magical smiles throughout the world for 60 years? I would have love to sit down with Walt Disney on that very same bench that he sat on and talk with him about the park to learn more.
Since Walt could not be with us, we had some knowledgeable guides take us on a tour of the park with some valuable information.
Throughout the park you will find diamonds everywhere from our lunch containers, decorations in the park, and over 500 special Diamond Celebration items in the gift shops.
While we were having lunch some special guests arrived for a photo opp that I could not resist having fun with. Dressed up in their Diamond Celebration Attire was Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy.
Even though I am not a talented artist myself, I could watch one draw all day. This lovely lady was drawing some famous characters to raffle off during our lunch.
We first stopped at the Tomorrowland ride that was created from the movie Tomorrowland featuring George Clooney, Thomas Robinson, and Raffey Cassidy. This ride is a retro rocket ride that spins you around the orbs of the solar system in Tomorrowland.
Do you remember the part in the movie where Thomas Robinson goes on “It’s a Small World” ride? We got a chance to take a photo opp in the very same boat he sat in for the film. And after the photo opp we took a ride on “It’s a Small World”. The ride has changed since I have been there as they have added some Disney characters such as The Little Mermaid, Buzz, Woody, Lilo, Stitch, and more singing “It’s a Small World” of course.
The rest of the day we enjoyed rides throughout the park as it was a perfect day. The park was decked out in Halloween decorations along with the diamonds. Several rides I went on were Radiator Springs Racer, Soarin’, Indiana Jones, Astro Blasters, Haunted Mansion, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds just to name a few.
Be sure to check out The Haunted Mansion as it is decked out for the Holidays through January.
At the end of the night you cannot leave without seeing the “Paint the Night” LED parade that goes down Main Street and the fireworks above the castle. There are more than 1.5 million lights displayed at the parade on the floats. You will find your favorite characters from Frozen, Monsters Inc., Cars, and more.
During the fireworks show you will see projections on the castle along with characters flying around it. The fireworks and music tell a story with different scenes from different Disney movies. These 2 shows are ones you don’t want to miss!
Don’t forget to grab some ice cream before these 2 shows at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street. It is a real trip to eat ice cream while watching the shows and their ice cream is delicious.
Did you follow all the latest Disney news over the weekend from #D23Expo? I am fascinated with all the new changes happening in the future from Disney. I wanted to give you a recap of everything that was announced in case you missed it.
-Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. (date TBA)
-Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida will be getting an all new Toy Story Land which will feature two new rides plus one “re-imagined” favorite. (date TBA)
-Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando will open the already under construction Pandora – The World of Avatar which will feature new experiences, attractions and transform the park at night.
-At Epcot Walt Disney World in Florida and Disney California Adventure Park in California will get the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes it’s U.S. debut. (date TBA)
-Hong Kong Disneyland will house the first Marvel attraction at any park called the Iron Man Experience that is set to open in 2016.
-Shanghai Disneyland will have a Pirates-themed land—Treasure Cove—and an e-ticket attraction called Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at the end of 2015.
-Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6, 2016 featuring Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie.
-Orlando Bloom will feature in Pirates of the Caribbean “Dead Men Tell No Tales” in theaters July 7, 2017.
-Inside Out: Riley’s First Date, a new Pixar short film will be included with the Inside Out Blu-ray and DVD, debuting November 2.
-Moana, set for release on November 23, 2016 featuring Dwayne Johnson.
-Disney’s new animated film Gigantic (a Jack and the bean stalk themed movie), is set for release in 2018.
-Disney is in the making for Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4.
-Finding Dory swims into theaters June 17, 2016.
-Marvel’s Doctor Strange with Mr Benedict Cumberbatch coming to the big screen October 26, 2016.
-Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” opens nationwide March 4, 2016 with songs performed by Shakira.
-Writer-director Colin Trevorrow will direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set for release in 2019.
-“Rogue One,” which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star is set for a December 16, 2016 release.
-“The Finest Hours” storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman and the screenplay is by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson.
-“Look for the Bare Necessities” as “The Jungle Book” hits theaters on April 15, 2016.
-“Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
-Disney Infinity 3.0 EditionPlay is set to launch on August 30th.
-Disney Rewards credit card will be offering new card designs featuring Darth Vader, Yoda or R2-D2 with C-3PO.1. Plus, have access to the exclusive Star Wars Imperial Meet ‘N’ Greets.
-New mobile game called Disney Magic Kingdoms for Smartphones and Tablets will let players build their dream Disney Park. (date TBA)
-On November 17, fans will be able to purchase two very special limited-edition Darth Vader-inspired PlayStation®4 Star Wars bundles: Star Wars: Battlefront and Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars.
-KINGDOM HEARTS III video game for PlayStation4 and Xbox One will let players interactive with characters from Big Hero 6. (date TBA)
-Plus, new apparel, accessories, household items, and more coming throughout the year to a Disney store near you.
This is exciting news for Disney! What are you most excited about?