Off to a galaxy far far away…..

One of the most famous theme parks in the world celebrated its sixty-fifth anniversary this year. Opened July 18, 1955, by Walt Disney, Disneyland has grown to nearly 100 different attractions and countless visitors every year. And that’s only Disneyland California.

I’m sure nearly every Star Wars fan knows the name of the company that first began producing Star Wars, named after the man who came up with Star Wars in the first place: LucasFilm. However, only shortly before a new saga was born with the creation of Force Awakens, the rights to Star Wars changed hands from LucasFilm….to Disney. And as the owners of the Star Wars franchise, they’ve opened a new attraction in Disneyland California: Star Wars Land.

Disney’s always been pretty creative in the design of their attractions, but this year, I think they took it next level in the creation of Star Wars Land, also known as Black Spire Outpost, located on the Outer Rim planet of Baatu. Of course, I’m a probably a little biased, since Star Wars is like my favorite movie series ever….but Disney definitely did an awesome job recreating the look and feel of an authentic Star Wars outpost. The only thing that would make it more authentic was if they had “aliens” wandering the outpost.

When you visit Star Wars Land, don’t forget to stop by one of the marketplace stalls and pick up a souvenir. In addition to the usual t-shirts, mugs, and stickers, you can also get a Jedi robe, or a imperial officer’s hat. If you decide on the Jedi robe, complete the outfit with a custom lightsaber, built in the Star Wars Trading Outpost (located in Tomorrowland), and you’ll blend right in!

Even though my favorite place was the marketplace….the coolest part of Star Wars Land? The life-size Millenium Falcon built by the entrance to Smuggler’s Run (the newest ride in Star Wars Land).

Millenium falcon

Unfortunately, you can’t go up into it, but Disney makes up for that by decorating part of the inside of the new ride, Smuggler’s Run, like the Millenium Falcon.

Kaia, Jack, Mom in MF
This is my mom, me, and my brother sitting at the table in the “Millenium Falcon”. Just before you get on the ride, you walk through a room decorated like the main area of the Millenium Falcon.

On the new ride, Smuggler’s Run, you must help Hondo the pirate steal trains of coaxium (valuable and highly explosive fuel) from the Empire. But that’s not even the best part. The ship you are flying as you steal the trains….is the one and only Millenium Falcon. (Cue Star Wars theme music.) The ride seats six people: two pilots who “steer” the ship and push it into hyperspace, two gunners who protect the ship and its occupants from Tie-Fighters, and two engineers who harpoon the coaxium trains and repair the ships.

Despite all the work Disney put into this awesome ride, not everyone had a glowing opinion about the new ride. Some critics called the ride “over-stimulating”, because of so many things happening at once. I think it was awesome, and judging from the long lines curving around the building, I’m not the only one who thinks so.

So the next time you visit Disneyland, make sure to visit Black Spire Outpost. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for Kylo Ren as you wander the marketplace. He’s been spotted marching through the marketplace, probably looking for people to pull onto his First Order Shuttle to question.

Jack, Kaia DL
Here are my brother and I standing in front of the First Order shuttle. Unfortunately, it was raining the entire time we were in Disneyland, but hey, at least it meant the lines were really short.

Note: The wait times for each ride depend on how popular they are at the moment. While we were there, the usual wait time for Smuggler’s Run was about 35-60 minutes, but again, the times can and do vary.

However……here’s a tip to getting on quicker. Go single rider. On most lines, you have a chance on getting on the ride quicker. However, if you don’t like being split up from your group, (single riders are usually used to fill in extra spots) don’t do this. One more note about the single rider lines: they don’t always work. Sometimes the single rider lines are just as long as the normal lines.

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