back to top

What Every Star Wars Fan Needs To See At Disneyland

The Force is strong at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Posted on
Will Varner and Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

So as any diehard Star Wars fan knows, Disney recently brought the galaxy far, far away to both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studio with its Season of the Force overlay in celebration of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens. So as HUGE Star Wars nerds we recently visited Disneyland to see how strong with the Force the overlay was. These were some of the things that caught our eyes.

1. Star Wars Launch Bay

Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Housed in the former Innovations building, the Launch Bay is the coolest exhibit this side of the galaxy. It gives you an up-close look at authentic replicas of props and costumes used in the films. It's a lot to see and you can easily spend quite a bit of time in there. So lets jump to light speed and let you know some of the highlights from inside.


Upon entering our eyes immediately went to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens props that were divided, appropriately enough, into the light side and the dark side. The light side features not only a model of the Millennium Falcon and Han Solo's blaster (which he shot FIRST), but also Rey's scavenger outfit and a full-scale speeder that she uses on her home planet of Jakku.

The dark side has model replicas of the First Order's (aka the political and military organization that rose from the ashes of the Empire) TIE fighter and command shuttle, as well as a full-scale replica of a Flametrooper and Kylo Ren's very controversial lightsaber -- which looking at up-close was pretty cool and would make even Darth Sidious envious.

Of course the exhibit also features props and models from the original trilogy. One thing we noticed was that aside from a few items, like a model replica of Jango Fett and Darth Maul's lightsaber, there was very little from the prequels (which, depending on how much you hate the prequels, could be a good thing). There is also a dedicated photo space which resembles the Mos Eisley cantina, and while it isn't a wretched hive of scum and villainy, it is a spot where a certain bounty hunter makes an occasional appearance.

Another awesome thing about the Launch Bay is that Disney did what Disney does best and packed as many little details into the space as it can. Little details, like the description of the Launch Bay at the entrance styled after the films' iconic opening crawl, and the lobby that is modeled after the Jedi Archives from Attack of the Clones, really help make it immersive and will bring out your inner-Jedi!

2. The Dark Side and Light Side Photos

OK, so a photo with MOTHER F'ING DARTH VADER was definitely one of the highlights for us! Like LBH, who wouldn't want a picture with the ultimate Sith Lord?! But be aware, our interaction with Vader was slightly intense, so if you're part of the Rebel Alliance or have very young padawans, you might want to stay clear.

If the light side is more your thing, you can also get a picture with everyone's favorite Wookiee, Chewie (plus you don't have to be Han Solo to get a hug from him). Both of the photo areas are located inside the Launch Bay -- and the wait was way better than ones for the Princesses or Mickey.

3. The Galactic Grill

We were a bit surprised by the fact that the overlay also included a complete revamp of the menu at the Tomorrowland Terrace -- along with a new name, The Galactic Grill. The new menu is divided into light side and dark side entrées, and with enough options to entice even the pickiest padawans. All the entrées come with punny names (Han Burger, anyone?). FTR none of them are a play on Jar Jar's name, so you can put your lightsaber down.

Sadly we didn't try everything on the menu, but we did try the appropriately named and very decadent Darth by Chocolate, which is a chocolate parfait layered with dark chocolate, chocolate ganache, red velvet cake, and Oreo cookies, topped with crushed cookies and a Darth Vader chocolate head.

Also, if you're looking for something unique, the popcorn stand located right outside the Galactic Grill offers a pretty awesome popcorn bucket that is designed after a TIE fighter. Which, TBPH, I think we wanted to play with more than eat out of.

4. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

So the ride is pretty much the same it has been since its 2011 reopening, EXCEPT for the fact that a new scene was added from Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The StarSpeeder 1000 now takes a detour through the desert planet of Jakku, along with a transmission from BB-8. The only hardcore nerdy thing we noticed is that it further displaces the time period in which this ride is supposed to take place. Darth Vader and Finn (John Boyega) both appeared during our ride. It didn't take away from the ride for us, but some fans might find it confusing or frustrating.

5. Hyperspace Mountain

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

This overlay is along the same lines as the Ghost Galaxy overlay Space Mountain receives during Halloween. All we can say is WE LOVED IT and it's BADASS. From the music to the ~combat~ the ride is immersive and truly feels like it was built to be a Star Wars rollercoaster. Somehow it even feels faster than the original version of the ride, you feel like you're making Kessel Run in less than twelve parsec.

FYI: This ride overlay is exclusive to Disneyland (the Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain did not receive the overlay).

All we can say is, may the Force be with you when you ride it.


Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!