Fly Me to Batuu for Disneyland Holidays During #TheLastJediEvent

♫ There’s no place like Batuuuuu for the holidays… ♫ Thinking of a Disneyland Holidays visit? Oh sure, you can do that, but how about including a trip to Batuu as well?  Batuu?  You haven’t heard of it?  It’s a lovely planet, and I just got back.  Plus, if you’re checking out Disneyland Holidays, it’s just a short hop on a Star Tours StarSpeeder to Batuu.  Only problem… when I went, I got some rookie pilot C-3P…something who didn’t know what he was doing, and flew us smack into a battle between First Order TIE Fighters and the Resistance.  You heard it right, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue took us into the middle of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, and you can find it at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.  Continue reading for photos from my recent trip to the Disneyland Resort for Disneyland Holidays complete with an excursion to the distant worlds of Crait and Batuu.

Star Tours - The Adventures Continue Crait Scene

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue Crait Scene inspired by the upcoming film, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ (Illustration: Disney Enterprises, Inc./Lucasfilm Ltd.)

DISCLOSURE:  I was hosted by Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., and ABC Television on an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles, California including airfare, hotel accommodations, transportation, and meals to attend the global media days and learn more about STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.  All opinions expressed are those of the author.

Right now, the only way to visit Batuu is via the Disney Parks attraction Star Tours – The Adventures Continue which recently added scenes direct from STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.  However, in typical Star Tours fashion, what starts as an innocent leisurely flight through space goes terribly wrong as Kylo Ren confronts our craft, and upon fleeing we end up on Crait with its red soil and crystal fox-like creatures.

Star Tours - The Adventures Continue Crait Scene

Star Tours reveals Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge planet name as Batuu (Disney Enterprises, Inc./Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Ace Resistance Pilot Poe Dameron helps guide us through the conflict, and General Hux barks orders at the screen.  It’s a thrilling ride into STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, but a little nerve-jangling as well.  And that’s when we descend upon Batuu, a tranquil planet on the far reaches of the outer-rim, where we can settle our nerves.  Batuu is far from the watchful eye of the First Order.  Or is it?  This remote outpost of Batuu will be the setting for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – the Star Wars themed land opening at Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 2019.  Once our detours to Crait and Batuu was complete, we headed to Star Wars Launch Bay where we grappled once again with Kylo Ren (boy, that guy demands attention) before transferring back to Earth to explore Disneyland Holidays.

Disneyland Kylo Ren

Channeling the Force with Kylo Ren at Disneyland, photo by Dave Parfitt

Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland

Supermoon over Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland. Wait, that’s no moon! Photo by Dave Parfitt

There are so many additions to Disneyland Holidays, where traditional attractions transform into holiday editions of themselves.  The classic boat ride, “it’s a small world,” adds a dazzling light display to its outdoor façade, and the inside is re-decorated with holiday wishes, songs, and music.

"it's a small world" Holiday at Disneyland

“it’s a small world” Holiday at Disneyland, photo by Dave Parfitt

"it's a small world" Holiday at Disneyland

“it’s a small world” Holiday at Disneyland. Photo by Dave Parfitt

Haunted Mansion is slightly more sinister as Jack Skellington, his pal Zero, Sally, Oogie Boogie and more take over the house and grounds for Haunted Mansion Holiday.  Like, “it’s a small world holiday,” Haunted Mansion Holiday is an extensive re-imagining of the venerable attraction, transforming it into a vastly different experience – complete with a massive scary/merry gingerbread house in the center of the ballroom you smell before you see.

Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland

Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland, photo by Dave Parfitt

Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland

Sandy Claws greets guests inside Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland, photo by Dave Parfitt

Over at Disney California Adventure, it’s a Festival of Holidays with decorations, concerts, live music, and special season food celebrating traditions around the world.  Cars Land is decorated with automotive themed Christmas decorations throughout Radiator Springs, Santa Mater’s on hand to greet families, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters becomes Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Jingle Jamboree.

Disney California Adventure Disneyland Holidays

Cartha Circle Theater decorated for the holidays at Disney California Adventure, photo by Dave Parfitt

Star Wars isn’t the only inter-galactic presence at the Disneyland Resort.  GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Mission BREAKOUT opened at Disney California Adventure this summer, and I couldn’t wait to check out the new attraction.  I couldn’t help but laugh and scream as we rocked and dropped to Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” What a great attraction and addition to the park.  I loved seeing all the Guardians of the Galaxy stars especially Rocket running around as part of the pre-show.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Mission BREAKOUT

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Mission BREAKOUT at Disney California Adventure, photo by Dave Parfitt

It may sound cliché, but the Disneyland Resort is a magical place during the holiday season.

Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle

Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle during Disneyland Holidays, photo by Dave Parfitt

Disneyland Holidays

A 60-foot Christmas tree with nearly 1,800 ornaments welcomes guests to Main Street, U.S.A., photo by Dave Parfitt

If you’re looking for a Christmas getaway for the family, check out Disneyland Holidays and ♫ Fly me to Batuu… Let me play among the stars. ♫  Until December 15, the ONLY place you can see footage from STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is via Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.  On December 15, you can watch all of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI in theaters everywhere.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.