Galaxy's Edge and Rise of the Resistance: Is it Worth It?
There has been much written and debated over Galaxy's Edge and the Rise of the Resistance attraction opened in December in Orlando and scheduled to open next week in Anaheim; some have been honest, many have been overly optimistic or pessimistic.
Here are some basic truths about the new themed land and it's attractions.
THE LAND ITSELF
The land itself is amazing. I've been personally to the one at Disney's Hollywood Studios at night and during daylight and, much like those who have been to Batuu, thought it was amazing. The land is full of easter eggs and you can walk through 1000 times and find something different each and every visit to Batuu.
CAST MEMBERS: THE BATUUANS
Cast members are extremely well-trained and do their best to keep the immersion alive. One morning when I was there, a network issue slowed down the cash register warm-up and the cast member said, "the First Order has intercepted our transmissions, Dok won't be happy about this".
I went on Smuggler's Run in September (my last visit) which was within the first few weeks of operation and experienced only one downtime. It happened near park closing and it was disappointing as we were not really told what was happening and simply told to exit out of the attraction. The ride itself though is amazing and well worth the wait to ride the
RISE OF THE RESISTANCE
The attraction was not operational on my visit to Batuu and so my only experience is through videos of the ride. That said, there are going to breakdowns on this ride, especially in the first year of operation. With so many animatronic and other show elements, there are going to be breakdowns. It's going to be frustrating for guests who get to the park at the crack of dawn to ride the attraction and it isn't fully operational, but it will have issues for sure.
On a personal note, I think it would be better to add it to FastPass and get rid of the boarding passes with low numbers issued because the boarding pass system doesn't seem to be working, with angry guests missing out after waking up really early to get there, or waiting for a boarding group where parts of the attraction aren't operational.
Oga's is definitely one of the best parts of Batuu. It's too good. There are consistently large crowds and although the cast members try their best not to rush you through, your time in Oga's goes extremely fast and they really pack guests in to such a confined space.
DROID DEPOT / SAVI'S WORKSHOP
The Droid Depot is fun (especially if you're making a droid!). It gets busy since there is the droid building area and a shopping room for other droid-related merchandise (with R2D2 greeting guests).
Savi's was an amazing experience and will improve when the crowds go down. It is definitely a little rushed (there was an issue with lightsaber and they took it out of my hands, tried to fix it, and ultimately told me to go outside where they took it again and tried to fix it after the experience and it really still isn't right). This is supposed to be a less crowded attraction and once sales slow down, it will better than it is when the lines are long.
Dok Ondar's is definitely a must-visit for anyone who loves Star Wars. It's full of references, legacy lightsabers, and fun things to purchase (at all price levels, but mainly at the higher end). For most of the guests to the land, seeing Dok and the theming of the shop will be enough and they won't make many purchases. For those that love Star Wars, your wish list will be very long when you leave.
I personally ate multiple times at Ronto Roasters and drank the blue milk and loved it. The food is terrific and good value for your hard earned credits. I didn't try the popcorn or buy the special Cokre bottles as those prices were highly inflated, choosing instead to drink a coffee in the early morning or the local Batuuan water or blue milk (blue milk was virtually the same price as a small Coke bottle).
So, is Batuu worth it? Definitely. My only advice is to pack your patience in the early days of the land (i.e. the first year of operation) as they work out all of the kinks. New lands and attractions, regardless of the testing in advance, will have issues once real crowds enter and they'll fix what's not working and after a year, will have the experience they need to run the land efficiently and with minimal downtime.