Somehow we’re now less than two weeks away from the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. For anybody who’s watched this project develop since the very first rumors broke years ago, it’s startling that the moment is finally almost upon us. It’s like when you’re a kid, and your high school graduation sounds just impossibly far away, and then suddenly you’re walking on stage in a robe and goofy hat as Randy “Macho Man” Savage’s theme music blasts through the auditorium. The future sneaks up on you, and for Star Wars and theme park fans, the future officially begins on May 31, when Galaxy’s Edge opens in Disneyland.
One of the more groundbreaking aspects of Galaxy’s Edge, and one we’ve been covering for months, is how the Play Disney Parks app will interact with the land. Disney shared a lot of information about this with us during a media event back in February, but there was still a lot that wasn’t known at that time. Fortunately Scott Trowbridge, a Creative Executive with Walt Disney Imagineering and the creative lead on Galaxy’s Edge, detailed how the app will work in a new post at the Disney Parks blog today. Based on what he’s revealed, it sounds like you’ll be able to live your dream on either the dark or light side of the Force.
As Trowbridge explains, when you walk into Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll be able to turn the Play Disney Parks app into a Star Wars Datapad, with a new, Star Wars-branded interface. You’ll be able to use this Datapad to complete a few basic activities, helping out either the First Order, the Resistance or the smugglers who make the park’s land of Black Spire Outpost their home.
With the hacking tool you can “hack” into spots throughout Galaxy’s Edge, including panels on buildings and droids at specific locations. If you’re successful, expect some kind of response from your surroundings. There’s also a scanning tool that will reveal what’s inside crates distributed throughout the land, and a translation setting that will let you ride the alien language Aurebesh. And when you see an antenna on a building, or other communications devices throughout the park, you can open up the tuning feature and listen in to their frequencies and broadcasts.
There’s also an ongoing game you can participate in, along with anybody else in Galaxy’s Edge. Outpost Control tasks you with either setting up bugs to spy on Resistance members, or using your app to find and deactivate those bugs. The app will also help you pass the time while in line for the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride, giving you an overview of your mission and the controls of the Falcon, and even letting you practice in advance on your phone.
The Play Disney Parks app is a free download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The new Star Wars: Datapad features will be available in Disneyland when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens on May 31, and in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Disney World when the themed area opens there on August 29. To learn more, read Scott Trowbridge’s post at the Disney Parks blog. And if you already have the Play Disney Parks app downloaded on your device, you can watch a short video preview of Star Wars: Datapad if you enter Disneyland and click on the icon in the Galaxy’s Edge part of the map.
Paste will be visiting Galaxy’s Edge next week, so expect some first-hand thoughts and experiences when the park opens on May 31.