Are you hoping to make the stratosphere’s ultimate customizable souvenir from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? We gave birth to our bouncing baby droid this past summer. And, just like any such story, we can’t help but share the pains and the joys with you. At Droid Depot, you too can build your droid in Galaxy’s Edge
Build Your Droid in Galaxy’s Edge
At both Disneyland Park and now at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Droid Depot in Galaxy’s Edge will allow Guests the opportunity to customize one of “these little beauties” in a busy workshop setting.
Unlike any other Disney souvenir experience, (other than the also-new Savi’s Workshop for Handbuilt Lightsabers), this one will allow you to a “Custom Astromech Droid Unit” that you can not only take home, but carry you through the parks. As you step into Droid Depot, you are fully immersed in an industrial warehouse with multiple moving parts. Even though it is a bit frenetic inside, while you are on line for the cashier, take the time to look around. And UP.
At the cashier kiosk, will make your choice of a BB-Series Droid or an R-Series Droid. After payment, you will receive a basket, construction blueprint, and directions to the “conveyor belt.” Due to the tight quarters and stations that seem right on top of one another?, only two persons are permitted per invoice. Of note, one of the two must be 14 years of age or older.
“Having trouble with your droid?” If you remember that line from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, (where Chewbacca is rummaging through a conveyor belt of parts trying to re-assemble his pal C-3PO) you may find the inspiration for this assembly line.
A word of warning, this belt moves quickly. You may also find it difficult finding your part of choice (color, etc.). My son had to change his droid vision based on the available segments. (I bet they change this feature in the future.) For BB-Series, you will need to grab a dome, dome connection plate, body sphere, and motivator unit. For the R-Series, a dome, body, center leg, and pair of side legs. Think droid cafeteria!
Once your basket is full of components, you will need to wait for an opening at the Build Station. The day we visited (granted, this was shortly after Galaxy’s Edge premiered in Disneyland), there seemed to be a shortage of assistance. Folks were cutting the line and jumping into nearly-vacant spots. I assume this will not be the case going forward? When we finally did secure a station, it took equally long to receive attention there as well. Oh well, more time for photos!
Luckily, there were step-by-step instructions on the placemat at the station. An electric power tool was used to attach some of the parts together. Unfortunately, it was also a bit difficult to find accessories to match our adjusted color scheme there too. We waited patiently for a Cast Member to come and “activate” our droid. This process involved placing the assembled droid into a socket, where the lights, bells, and whistles commenced. The remote control was also activated, and our astromech baby was born.
The base cost of each droid is $99.99 plus tax, which comes with the remote control and a cardboard carrying case. There are no Annual Passholder discounts available at present. Add-ons (see below) come at an additional charge. This is certainly not a cheap souvenir, but remember, this is an interactive experience.
Also available at Droid Depot are cute accessories, such as a backpack to carry your droid in style, Light-Up R2-D2 or BB-8 Headbands, and apparel. Most popular is the extra personality chips for purchase. Choose from, First Order, Resistance, or Smuggler; each for $12.99. Unfortunately, to buy any of these items, you need to get back into the kiosk queue once again. I’ll be interested to see if this warped flow is resolved when we test-drive the Walt Disney World version next week.
Once you have gone through the steps to build your droid in Galaxy’s Edge and gotten it fired up, your B-series or R-series astromech is meant to interact (with head spins and whirs) with its environment in the Black Spire Outpost. Via Bluetooth technology, it may respond to other droids or parts of the environment. Our experience was hit and miss- with no apparent rhyme or reason for the reactions we saw or heard. I imagine this capability will expand and become more finely-tuned as time goes on. (Think of this as a built-in character experience!)
The Ups and Downs
Despite a reservation, we waited 45 minutes in line outside the Droid Depot (GREAT opportunity to down some Blue Milk), and then another 15 minutes inside. Though there was no delay getting to the conveyor belt, we waited another 10 minutes to secure a spot at the Build Station. Flow was an issue, especially in this very tight space. Frankly, it was difficult to know what to do and where to go. (Hopefully this post helps!)
Also, we would have appreciated more information on accessories and personality chips. Again, as the crowds dissipate and the system gets awhirlin’, we know this will become a stellar retail experience.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened May 31, 2019, at California’s Disneyland Resort in California and Aug. 29, 2019, at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort. We suggest that all citizens of the planet Batuu make at least one stop at Droid Depot. Just be sure to come armed with some strategy and plenty of “credits” in those pockets!
Top PT Tips
If you are traveling to Batuu with passengers that are sensory-sensitive, you may have to clear additional hurdles to build your Droid in Galaxy’s Edge. This is a small, busy, whirling and beeping environment. I suggest the following strategies:
- Designate a person to stand on the outside line; it may be long and HOT.
- Ask the Cast Member (AKA citizen of Batuu) at the door how long the wait to the inside kiosk will be. Again, designate the wait to someone else.
- Inform the cast members inside that you would like your experience streamlined; they will guide you to exactly the right spot at the right time.
- Do your homework. Watch videos of the entire selection and assembly process so that there are no surprises. Tamp down anxiety and manage expectations before you arrive.
We unfortunately witnessed a meltdown while we were inside droid Depot. It upset the child, the parents, and eventually the Cast Members. Most of the surrounding Guests were understanding, but it could have been avoided.