Galaxy's Edge: a fully immersive Star Wars adventure at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Leave behind your earthly troubles and dive into the adventure of a lifetime, because Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t just a trip to a theme park - it’s a passage to another galaxy.
Galaxy's Edge, Disney's Hollywood Studios. ©2024 Camila Domingues
Galaxy's Edge, Disney's Hollywood Studios. ©2024 Camila Domingues /

Ever wonder what it'd be like to live in the Star Wars universe? Well, you're in luck, because Galaxy’s Edge isn't just a part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios - it's like stepping straight into a world in a galaxy far, far away, and puts you smack in the middle of epic Star Wars action.

Last week, the folks over at Disney graciously flew me down to Walt Disney World to participate in the Disney World Level Up! media event, where we (myself as well as a few other press members and influencers) had the trip of a lifetime. We hopped from park to park and got to experience real Disney magic, the kind of magic that sticks with you long after you're home, unpacked, and planning your next Disney trip. During the event, we took an entire day to stroll around Galaxy's Edge and take in this incredibly immersive experience that I find myself craving as I sit at my desk and revisit these wonderful memories. Thank you, Disney!

When you visit Galaxy's Edge, you're not just visiting a theme park. You're stepping into your own Star Wars story where you can be whoever you want to be - Jedi, Sith, smuggler, or maybe a droid repair tech. The possibilities are as endless as the Outer Rim as you’re free to craft your own narrative. Want to be a rogue bounty hunter with a mysterious past? Go for it. How about a double agent for the Resistance? The storyline is yours to create. As you wander through the bustling streets and shadowy corners of Batuu, you can interact with cast members in character, making alliances or sparking rivalries. Every encounter is a scene, and every scene is a step deeper into your own saga - and it brought me closer and closer to what I'm hoping the upcoming strategy game Star Wars: Outlaws will be like. Actually, I felt like I was in the game and it hasn't even been released yet. Disney magic!

Staff writer Camila Domingues successfully disappoints Din Djarin at Galaxy's Edge, Disney's Hollywood Studios. ©2024 Camila Domingues /

One of my favorite parts of my experience is that the cast members at Galaxy's Edge are not just employees - they’re your co-stars in this grand adventure. They role-play hard. As a veteran LARPer myself (LARP = live-action role-play), I found that making up my own narrative, my own motives for visiting Batuu, and my own reasonings for my purchases (hello, Sith Holocron) didn't just entertain me but also made my entire roleplaying experience with the cast unforgettable. A simple question like "Seen any suspicious activity around?" to a Batuu local might yield vital clues for a mission, or asking a First Order officer "What is the Resistance?" can give you an answer that will stick with you forever. The cast members are incredible and always ready to improvise, making your experience incredibly authentic and engaging.

My favorite cast member? Matt, the most savage First Order officer around, of course.

Landspeeders at Galaxy's Edge, Disney's Hollywood Studios. ©2024 Camila Domingues /

The magic of Batuu

First things first, let's talk about the setting. Galaxy’s Edge is located on the planet Batuu, a remote outpost on the edge of the galaxy, which is buzzing with smugglers, rebels, and all sorts of cosmic creatures. The attention to detail is out of this world: every corner, every turn, and every nook of this land tells a story. The buildings are rugged and weather-beaten, looking like they've seen a few too many galaxy skirmishes. And the best part? There's no sight of the outside world. That's right, no glimpses of roller coasters or gift shops that might snap you back to Earth. You are fully immersed in the Star Wars saga, and it’s spectacular!

The Millennium Falcon at Galaxy's Edge, Disney's Hollywood Studios. ©2024 Camila Domingues /

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Now, let’s get to the juicy part - Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Ever dreamed of piloting the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy? Dream no more: in Smugglers Run, you get to actually control the Millennium Falcon. The ride is a thrilling, interactive experience where your performance as a pilot, gunner, or engineer can affect the outcome of your mission. Dodge asteroids, blast TIE fighters, and zip through the starry expanse, but be careful - your skills will determine if you’re the hero of the Resistance or just another space scoundrel.

While aboard the Falcon itself, it was hard to remember I was in an attraction on planet Earth. Every detail of the ship was immaculate - they even had the famous Dejarik board with the seats for our enjoyment! I think I FaceTimed my Star Wars-loving dad, the reason I am the nerd I am, about 3 times while just in the Millennium Falcon itself because I couldn't get over how real it felt.

Just a friendly game of Dejarik between staff writer Camila Domingues and Nerdist's own Michael Walsh while aboard the Millenium Falcon at Galaxy's Edge, Disney's Hollywood Studios. ©2024 Camila Domingues /

As it was the first time my new best friend, Nerdist staff writer Michael Walsh, and I set foot inside Galaxy's Edge, we were told to sit up front and pilot the Falcon. Michael handled the left-right movements while I, unfortunately for my shipmates, maneuvered the ship up and down, and also got to pull the hyperspace lever twice while screaming Wooooooooooo! in true smuggler spirit.

Smugglers Run was a truly immersive experience, where we felt every hit, every pull, and every maneuver counts towards your end goal (and your pay as a smuggler, apparently).

Staff writer Camila Domingues looks a little too happy next to all those Stormtroopers inside the Rise of the Resistance trackless ride at Galaxy's Edge, Disney's Hollywood Studios. ©2024 Camila Domingues /

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, there she was: Rise of the Resistance. This ride is a complete masterclass in theme park experiences. It’s not just a ride - it's an epic adventure where you’re fighting against (and escaping from) the First Order. From the moment you’re recruited by the Resistance until the final escape, it’s quite literally non-stop action. We were captured by the enemy, broke out of a Star Destroyer, and even faced off against Kylo Ren himself. With life-sized AT-ATs that literally made my hands go up to my face as I squealed in awe and a Star Destroyer hangar full of stormtroopers that brought my Dark Side-loving self to tears in the middle of the attraction, this ride doesn’t just dazzle you, it drops your jaw to the floor!

Staff writer Camila Domingues makes her love for the First Order known in front of the First Order TIE echelon at Galaxy's Edge, Disney's Hollywood Studios. /

At Galaxy’s Edge, every detail, every character, and every ride builds up to one thing: living the Star Wars dream. It’s a place where you can sip on blue milk, wield a custom lightsaber, and chat (or barter) with characters. It’s not just about watching Star Wars - it’s about experiencing it. A visit there only deepens your personal Star Wars story, making you truly feel like a part of this expansive universe.

Perhaps the most magical part of being in Galaxy’s Edge is the sense of community and belonging. Surrounded by fellow fans, some dressed up in character while others wear normie clothes but feel right at home, there’s a camaraderie that’s hard to find elsewhere. You’re part of a tribe, a band of galactic explorers and rebels, united by your love for the story and the thrill of living it out loud. Every turn and every interaction holds potential for unscripted moments that are thrillingly unique. Maybe you’ll defend a fellow visitor against stormtroopers, or trade insider info at Oga’s Cantina. These spontaneous elements make each visit uniquely yours, a story that could only belong to you.

So, if you’ve ever dreamed of stepping into a world where you can live out your grandest Star Wars fantasies, Galaxy’s Edge is waiting for you.

At Galaxy's Edge, you’re not just observing - you’re part of the story. Unleash your inner character, and let the Force guide you to unforgettable adventures. Leave behind your earthly troubles and dive into the adventure of a lifetime, because Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t just a trip to a theme park - it’s a passage to another galaxy.

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