California is the ultimate Star Wars location, with Skywalker Ranch and Lucasfilm in Northern California, and Disneyland featuring awesome Star Wars attractions in Southern California. Check out this guide to all things Star Wars at Disneyland to help you plan your “must see and do” Star Wars shows, rides and character encounters.

Star Wars at Disneyland - Visit the Launch Bay!

Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Guide to All Things Star Wars at Disneyland

While Skywalk Ranch is not open to the public and public access is limited to the lobby and Yoda fountain at Lucasfilm, Disneyland has made it convenient for all fans to geek out over amazing Star Wars experiences all in one location. Simply head to Tomorrowland to catch everything A-to-Z Star Wars – from Admiral Ackbar sightings at Star Tours to playing Zeb Orrelios in the Disney Infinity lounge.

Rogue One artifacts in Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland

Rogue One artifacts in Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Star Wars Launch Bay

Star Wars Launch Bay is the epicenter of Star Wars fun at the Disneyland Resort. It’s located in the former Inventions building in Tomorrowland. Check out movie props, costumes and concept art. You’ll even find artifacts from the latest Star Wars movie, Rogue One.

The kids will love the video game lounge, featuring Disney Infinity and Star Wars Angry Birds. It’s also a great place to take a break from bad weather or rest your weary feet while the kiddos game their hearts out. You can also catch a 10-minute film celebrating the creation of the Star Wars saga. The film includes exclusive interviews with the directors, writers, and producers.

In addition, there are several Star Wars Meet & Greet opportunities, which are usually the most popular features at the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Chewbacca Meet & Greet at Star Wars Launch Bay

Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Dark Side and Light Side Character Encounters

Whether you align with the light side or dark side, there is a meet and greet character encounter for everyone. Both Dark Vader and Chewbacca are available to greet your little padawans. The Star Wars character encounters quite popular. If meeting a character is important to your family, I suggest arriving early in the day or later in the evening. Keep in mind that Chewbacca and Darth Vader remain in character and only know of their own Star Wars Universe. They don’t sign autograph books or know anything about Mickey Mouse. Also remember that, while Chewbacca is a friendly guy who will give hugs, Darth Vader is not. Darth’s attempt to intimidate had us in nervous giggles; I don’t think he appreciated our insolence.

Disney Visa Star Wars Meet and Greet at Disneyland

Disney Visa Star Wars Meet & Greet at Disneyland Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

If you have a Disney Visa credit card, check out the exclusive Star Wars Meet ‘N’ Greet hidden away in the Star Wars Launch Bay. They don’t advertise which character is scheduled, but it’s typically Darth Vader. This line will likely be significantly shorter than the regular character encounters. Plus you receive a free download of all photos taken during this exclusive meet & greet. Currently, the Disney Visa Meet N’ Greet is available from 4-8 p.m. each day and only for Disney Visa credit card holders, not debit card holders.

Ready to battle a Sith Lord, give Chewy a hug or engage a star destroyer? Don't miss the Season of the Force and all things Star Wars at Disneyland.

Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Mos Eisley Cantina

Unfortunately, there is no Jawa trading at Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland. You need to head to the Launch Bay at Walt Disney World for that adventure. Disneyland does have a Mos Eisley Cantina inspired area where you can take fun pictures. If you get really lucky, you might encounter Boba Fett, who makes limited appearances in the Cantina. If meeting Boba Fett is important to your family, I recommend checking out the Disneyland app to see if he is scheduled to appear that day.

Patrol With Stormtroopers

You will find stormtroopers periodically patrolling between Star Traders and Star Tours. You can usually grab a quick selfie if they aren’t too busy protecting the Empire. If they suspect you are a rebel, then you may get even more interaction with them!

Ready to battle a Sith Lord, give Chewy a hug or engage a star destroyer? Don't miss the Season of the Force and all things Star Wars at Disneyland.

Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Star Tours – The Adventure Continues

Star Tours has been flying guests through the Star Wars galaxy for 30 years. This 3D adventure offers 96 different ride combinations including a new adventure featuring Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Your ride sequence is random and could include a visit to Coruscant, Hoth, Jakku, Kashyyyk, Naboo, Tatooine or the Death Star. Wherever your shuttle goes, the point of the ride is to deliver a Rebel Spy to safety!

Star Wars at Disneyland: Hyperspace Mountain at Disneyland

Hyperspace Mountain at Disneyland Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Hyperspace Mountain

Disneyland’s classic Space Mountain received an amazing Star Wars overlay featuring animated projection, lasers and a new soundtrack featuring scores by John Williams. It effectively transports riders into a Star Wars battle where their goal is to engage a star destroyer! This is a must do for any Star Wars fan that loves thrill rides.

Star Wars Shows

Star Wars at Disneyland: Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.

Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Jedi Training: Trials Of The Temple

Jedi Training is an interactive show for kids 4-12 who want to train to be a Jedi. Following their training, they will test their skills and take on the dark side. The younglings will battle Darth Vader or Darth Maul while wearing Jedi robes and wielding light sabers. Kylo Ren also makes an appearance at the end of the show. Even if you don’t wish to participate, I recommend grabbing food at the Galatic Grill and watching this fun show at least once.

In order to participate, kids must register at the kiosk near the exit of Star Wars Launch Bay. They no longer pick volunteers from the audience prior to each show. Registration begins when the park opens and because this is a very popular attraction, plan on registering as soon as you arrive.  There are shows scheduled all day long but the slots fill up fast. If you don’t arrive early enough to register, they do offer standby opportunities for kids to fill in for no-shows. We’ve been successful using the standby option at Walt Disney World and did notice a few standby kids were included during my sons’ recent Jedi Training experience at Disneyland last month.

Star Wars: Path of the Jedi

Head over to the Tomorrowland theater (next to the entrance of Hyperspace Mountain) and watch a 10-minute retelling of the blockbuster Star Wars saga and get a peek at the future of the galaxy.

Ready to battle a Sith Lord, give Chewy a hug or engage a star destroyer? Don't miss the Season of the Force and all things Star Wars at Disneyland.

Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Star Wars Shopping

Star Trader is the main location for Star Wars retail therapy. It’s located near the Star Tours ride and Star Tour guests will exit through this gift shop once their ride is over. You will also find plenty of Star Wars merchandise at The Star Wars Launch Bay including more expensive collector’s items.

Star Wars Dining

Both Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port and the Galactic Grill (formerly the Tomorrowland Terrace) feature Star Wars-themed food including a Cheese-3PO Burger, Chopper Salad, BB-8 Droid Crisped Rice Treat and Forest of Endor (salad).

The new Star Wars-themed land expansion does not open in 2019. Until then, the expanded Star Wars offerings in Tomorrowland should keep most Star Wars fans happy. My only request is that a few Jawas migrate over to Disneyland. West coast visitors would love to trade with Jawas too!

Don't miss the Season of the Force and all things Star Wars at Disneyland. Be ready to battle a Sith Lord, give Chewy a hug or engage a star destroyer!