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Disney announces opening date for Star Wars Land

Visitors will ride Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon in the land to be named Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Aug. 29. Rendering courtesy Walt Disney World
Visitors will ride Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon in the land to be named Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Aug. 29. Rendering courtesy Walt Disney World
Published Mar. 8, 2019

At last, the Force is with us. Walt Disney World announced that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open in Orlando on Aug. 29.

But Disneyland in California gets first crack at visiting the Batuu outpost on May 31, a haven for the galaxy's most colorful and notorious characters. Two rides will put visitors aboard the Millennium Falcon and fighting to escape the Star Destroyer. Though both rides might not be open when the park opens. The Rise of the Resistance ride "opens later this year" according to a Disney teaser video.

The opening, one of the most anticipated of the year, was announced Thursday at the Walt Disney Co.'s annual shareholder meeting.

The 14-acre land at Disney's Hollywood Studios is designed as a settlement on a remote planet named Batuu, with full-scale X-wing and A-wing starfighters parked among the bazaar stalls. It is full of round stone buildings and the remains of rock walls, while droids and aliens mix with humans on the footpaths. The name Galaxy's Edge refers to the fact that Batuu is on the Outer Rim of the Star Wars galaxy, a bustling outpost left behind when hyperspace travel shifted trade routes. Now it is frequented by people who want to stay out of sight.

The land will have several themed restaurants and bars:

• Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo: With chef Strono "Cookie" Tuggs who has traveled throughout the galaxy, it brings exotic flavors and unusual dishes.

• Ronto Roasters: A recycled podracing engine fires up a spit of exotic meats, meticulously turned by a former smelter droid, 8D-J8. "Guests can even sample some of the tasty Ronto fare," Disney's parks blog says.

• Milk Stand: Get your farm-fresh blue or green milk, direct from Bubo Wamba Family Farms.

• Kat Saka's Kettle: One of many street market stalls, this grain vendor sells a sweet and salty popcorn snack with a hint of spice called Outpost Mix.

Naturally, there will be plenty of Star Wars merchandise with "rare finds from across the galaxy," with names like Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities, Droid Depot, First Order Cargo and Resistance Supply for uniforms, pins, badges, hats, helmets, jackets and such.

Several shops will include workshops where guests can build their own droids or lightsabers. The Play Disney Parks mobile app will open certain secrets to guests and let them interact with droids in the park.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.