Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge altered Disneyland as we knew it the moment it opened on May 31. Not only is the brand-new 14-acre land totally immersive, it also brought along one huge change to the 63-year-old theme park: It serves alcohol. While the members-only private lounge Club 33 in Disneyland's New Orleans Square has been serving booze for years, Oga's Cantina marks the first time the average Disneyland guest can get their drink on between piloting the Millennium Falcon and building their very own lightsaber. But is this bar a place worth visiting? And is it family-friendly?
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The Daily Meal had the chance to check out the watering hole on Batuu during a media preview of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Like the rest of the brand-new land, Oga's Cantina is immaculately themed. The bar is grungy and seemingly seedy like any great dive bar, though it's all purposeful (and actually very, very clean). Bullet holes and cracks litter the walls; lore has it that Darth Vader himself once visited the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu and got into a tiff while visiting Oga's Cantina.
The most marvelous part of Oga's Cantina's dÃ©cor and atmosphere is the droid, DJ R-3X. Disney fans will remember him from long ago when he piloted the Star Tours attraction. But now, the perky little robot is back, playing hip tunes from the Star Wars galaxy. The music is lively and thumping, and while none of the songs are recognizable, they all have a party element that reminds you of something that you maybe heard once before. From time to time, DJ R-3X will malfunction and start his Star Tours spiel. But in a matter of moments, the cantina employees will whip out a hammer and bang on some pipes, and the party starts all over again.
The atmosphere is worth a visit all on its own. Indeed, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is a land that's more about an experience than it is about rides or merchandise. But how are the drinks at this much-hyped cantina?
First off, know you don't need to be 21 or a drinker to enter or enjoy Oga's Cantina. While parents will have to leave strollers outside of the bar (to conserve space), Star Wars fans of all ages can sip on sweet libations. In addition to the alcoholic offerings, Oga's Cantina has a lengthy list of nonalcoholic mocktails. Highlights of the nonalcoholic menu include Oga's Obsession, a cotton candy-flavored lemonade that's served in a Petri dish full of blueberry popping pearls, and the Blue Bantha, which is the land's signature blue milk topped with a sugar cookie.
As for the cocktails, we tried the Outer Rim and the Jedi Mind Trick. The former seemed to be among the most popular menu offerings, and the tequila-based cocktail with acai liqueur, lime juice and a black salt and sugar rim was well-balanced. The "exotic fruit puree" (which really just tasted like a mango whipped cream) rounded out the Outer Rim well and was quite refreshing. The Jedi Mind Trick was lightsaber bright blue, making for a fun presentation despite a lack of garnish. While some cocktails made with blue curacao can be sickeningly sweet, we also found this drink to be nicely balanced, thanks to the tart flavors of the grapefruit and rose vodka as well as a few dashes of grapefruit bitters.
You're not likely to get anything more than mildly tipsy at Oga's Cantina. The bar has some pretty strict rules about how you can experience it. Visits to Oga's Cantina are limited to 45 minutes per person, and there's a two-drink maximum per "certification" (that's ID, in Earth terms). And while both of the cocktails we sampled packed a punch, they weren't noticeably alcohol-heavy.
Whether or not it was necessary for Disneyland to buck tradition and start serving alcohol at Oga's Cantina is up for debate, but what isn't debatable is that this rollicking cantina is a highlight of a new land full of highlights. The atmosphere is fun and inviting and the drinks are really solid.
Oga's Cantina and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge are open now at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. And while the first few weeks of this land require reservations from guests, the world of Batuu will be totally and completely open to the public starting June 24. And if you didn't know that, then you probably need to know these other facts about the new Star Wars land.