The One Secret You Need to Know to See Star Wars Land This Summer

Are you a Star Wars superfan? Have you ever dreamed of flying the Millennium Falcon or joining the Resistance? Or maybe you've always wanted to explore your villainous Dark Side. You can do it all at Disneyland's new billion-dollar expansion (the largest in its history), the completely immersive Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, but only if you know the insider tip to gain access this summer.

Star wars land disneyCourtesy Melissa Klurman

Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California is expecting an out-of-this-world surge of popularity for the deeply themed Star Wars land known as Galaxy’s Edge—14 acres of soaring spires, hovering spacecraft, working droids, and an incredible opportunity to fly the Millennium Falcon—which lets you create and live your own Star Wars story.

To counter the crowds, Disneyland created a lottery for fans to book timed tickets this past spring for the opening. They were gone in hours. Don’t worry though, if you’re making plans now to visit now it’s not too late to grab your lightsabers, if you know this one secret: Staying at a Disney hotel will automatically grant you access.

Star wars land disneyCourtesy Melissa Klurman

From now until June 23, unless you already have timed tickets, the only way to gain access to this dazzling world of intergalactic innovation is to stay at one of the three on-property hotels: Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian, or Paradise Pier. You’ll receive special wristbands that grant you access for a four-hour time span (note, you still need to purchase Disneyland park passes for about $100 a day).

Star wars land disneyCourtesy Disney

Currently, Galaxy’s Edge is not available as part of the Extra Magic Hour that allows hotel guests to enter the park an hour early as part of their stay. However, by entering Disneyland during the early access period and making your way to the entrance to Galaxy’s Edge, you can still beat the general admission crowds, making it worth it to stay on Disney property even after June 23.

Star wars land disneyCourtesy Melissa Klurman

Staying at a resort hotel also means you’re just a few minutes walk from the entrance to Disneyland. From here, to reach Galaxy’s Edge, head to the back left corner of the park (traverse Frontierland for the quickest path). In addition to the high-flying Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride that lets you pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the universe—a truly thrilling ride that lets you operate the controls as a pilot, gunner, or engineer—here are a few more of the many highlights you won’t want to miss, including: Oga’s Cantina, a space-age bar with a robot DJ and smoking, bubbling, cosmically colored cocktail concoctions, both alcoholic and non; Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, filled with items and detailing that makes it feel like a Middle Eastern bazaar transported to another galaxy, including a wall of space creature heads, all overseen by the Dok-Ondar, an intergalactic bartering alien; and Savi’s Workshop to create a custom lightsaber that looks, feels, and sounds like you’ve truly become one with the Force. Be sure to download the free Play Disney Parks mobile app that allows you to unlock a hidden world of insights, including seeing what’s inside holding containers, translating intergalactic signs, and unlocking extra parts of the Galaxy’s Edge story.

By the end of the calendar year, a second ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, will open in Disneyland, and later this summer, another Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will open at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Here’s a more in-depth behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

Melissa Klurman
Melissa is an intrepid explorer and award-winning travel journalist with more than 25 years of experience. She covers topics ranging from family travel and Disney to honeymoons and romantic beaches, and everything in between.