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As Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set to launch at Disney World, new hotels and attractions are also on deck at Orlando empire

2019-08-20

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open Aug. 29 at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. At 14 acres, the themed land will be Disney World's largest single-themed land expansion ever. (Disney World)

The force is strong in Central Florida.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — a themed land based on the epic space franchise — is set to open in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios on Aug. 29.

And as “Star Wars” fans and theme park enthusiasts anxiously await the launch, Disney’s Orlando empire has plenty more up its sleeve.

The all-new Riviera Resort is on deck to open in December, the NBA Experience recently debuted at Disney Springs, and Epcot’s longtime nighttime show will take its final bow and give way to a new one.

But nothing’s quite as thrilling as the 14-acre Galaxy’s Edge, which the brand behind Mickey Mouse is calling “the largest and most technologically advanced single-themed land expansion ever in a Disney park.”

A similarly-sized Galaxy’s Edge already opened at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in May. But when the land premieres at Hollywood Studios — one of four Disney World theme parks in the Orlando area — East Coast geeks will have a shorter trip to a galaxy far, far away.

The new land will be based on the franchise’s fictional planet of Batuu, specifically its Black Spire Outpost, a port for smugglers, traders and adventurers.

The landscape will be lined with towering structures meant to mimic the spires, or petrified trees, found on Batuu. And almost every detail, from the attractions to the food, drinks and shops, will be themed.

Two major attractions are the main draw, with “Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run” debuting on opening day and “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” taking flight Dec 5.

“Smugglers Run” is a motion simulator ride that puts guests in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. Guests will be in one of three different roles — pilots, gunners and flight engineers — as they take the controls of the starship.

Once “Rise of the Resistance” launches, guests will be set in the middle of the Rebellion and fight against the First Order, the dictatorship introduced in the 2015 Star Wars film, “The Force Awakens.” Riders will ultimately face off against Kylo Ren, the son of original “Star Wars” characters Han Solo and Princess Leia.

There will be no shortage of spots to snag “Star Wars”-worthy food and drinks. Kids will likely go crazy for the plant-based Blue Milk and Green Milk, both sold at the Milk Stand. Blue Milk was seen in “Star Wars: A New Hope,” while Green Milk was first seen in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

For more adult beverages, head to Oga's Cantina, where cocktails include The Outer Rim, a $17 mix of Patrón Silver Tequila, Cedilla Açaí Liqueur, lime juice, and pure cane sugar with black salt and exotic fruit purée.

If you need a snack to fuel your long waits in lines for attractions, head to Kat Saka's Kettle and grab some Outpost Mix, a colorful sweet and savory popcorn blend. For more substantial grub, try Ronto Roasters for grilled meat treats.

Interactive gift shop options for souvenirs include Savi’s Workshop, where you can build a custom lightsaber, and Droid Depot, where guests can design and assemble their own robot.

While a “Star Wars”-themed hotel is being built near Hollywood Studios, the opening is a long way off. But the soon-to-open Riviera Resort is now taking reservations for its December opening. Inspired by the Rivieras of France and Italy, expect European-influenced food and Mediterranean-themed pools

Rooms will range from tiny Tower Studios that fit up to two guests, to 3-Bedroom Grand Villas.

Single-day park tickets to Hollywood Studios, which include entry to Galaxy’s Edge, start at $109 per person (plus tax) for guests 10 and older. Pricing can go up on more in-demand days, or down if you’re buying tickets for multiple days.

Visit disneyworld.disney.go.com for more info on Disney World theme parks, attractions and hotels.