Throughout the month of may there are three Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite events happening at Disneyland. During these special events, the entire park turns into a big celebration of Star Wars. This is appropriate with Star Wars Celebration arriving at the nearby Anaheim Convention Center later this month.
One of the highlights of Star Wars Nite is the people that show up for it. There are a LOT of Star Wars fans and that is awesome! Walking into the park during the mix-in that began at 6:00 PM, countless different outfits could be seen waiting to enter. This included many Jedi, officers from various Star Wars military agencies, bounty hunters, outfits inspired by favorite characters, and of course Star Wars clothing. All this to say, there is a lot of Star Wars outfits of many different types coming into the park.
Once inside the park, this is only magnified as Star Wars fans make their way to their various destinations inside. One of the first destinations I made for was Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This is always one of my favorite destinations in the park. During Star Wars Nite, even more so!
Walking into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge I immediately noticed a person dressed as the Grand Inquisitor near the TIE Echelon in the First Order Camp. There were countless people posing in different outfits with their lightsabers near the ship. The queue for Oga’s was quite long as guests eagerly awaited to start the night at the Cantina. Moving back to the area around the Millennium Falcon there were even more Jedi robes, lightsabers, and other outfits gathered around the ship taking photos. In the Market, more of the same. The Resistance Camp also had many awesome outfits wandering around, taking pictures, and simply enjoying being in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. There was even a family with a Jango and Boba Fett, it was awesome!
As I watched people who looked like they could be in Star Wars films and shows wander around the land that brought these stories to life in a way that we could physically enjoy, I couldn’t help but smile. This is what I imagined Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge would be like from the first day I heard it was going to be built at that D23 Expo in 2015.
What was so special about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during Star Wars Nite was how the land completely came to life. It seemed like a living breathing outpost with visitors from all around the galaxy walking through its streets. Then when Rey, Chewbacca, Vi Moradi, Kylo Ren and his Stormtroopers came along, they were just more visitors (who happened to be more well known) to Batuu. Instead of standing out, they were part of a bigger story with many more players. This became even more true during the lightsaber meetup.
To me, this is what it means when Disney talks of it being “your Star Wars story.” There were stories going on all around. Were all of them of galactic importance? Absolutely not. However, people were interacting and engaging with each other and each of those interactions created some sort of story. This made the land more immersive than ever and that was awesome! It was amazing how it also enhanced what already normally is going on in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It was like the setting for the stories happening at Black Spire Outpost was fully filled in.
I absolutely loved visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite. This is the way it should always be. This is a land that suddenly feels like it could be filled with Resistance spies and First Order sympathizers looking to ally with the Resistance or First Order. The imagination and creativity that was brought into the land by those who visited just helped spur on the imagination and creativity of the experiences for those who were visiting.
Walt Disney once said “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” Sometimes it is easy to leave the imagination component of Disneyland to the Imagineers the magic makers in the parks. Walking through Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during Star Wars Nite was a wonderful reminder that they aren’t the only ones with imagination. There is always a spark of imagination to be had and enjoyed when visiting Disneyland and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I, for one, hope that there are more opportunities like Star Wars Nite (or maybe even just more people who visit more frequently) that bring imagination to life in this land that brings the stories of Star Wars to life so we can have more Star Wars experiences as I experienced at this very special event.