These Are the Droids You are Looking For

By February 16, 2020September 17th, 2020Disney
Droid Depot

We usually don’t splurge on souvenirs when we go to Disney. We don’t need all that extra stuff, and those little knick knacks start to add up. The most we usually get is maybe a couple of Disney pins or a Disney sweatshirt because, inevitably, one of us will forget their jacket back at the hotel and we’ll be too lazy to go back and get it.

So, I can honestly say that I surprised myself and my family when I said “yes” to building droids at the Droid Depot in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. I don’t know if it was the excitement of being in the new Galaxy’s Edge or maybe the cocktail I just consumed at Oga’s Cantina, but much to my kids’ delight we ended up in the Droid Depot building custom, remote control droids.

R2 Unit
Droid Depot

The cost to build your own droid is $99.99 + tax. We have two kids, so that means two droids. Now if you are thinking, “One hundred dollars for a robot? Yikes!” I was right there with you. I actually had second thoughts once in line and I saw the price, but at that point I wasn’t going to ruin the excitement clearly visible on my kids’ faces. The price was actually a lot easier to swallow once I found out light sabers start at $199 each… and there was 100% less of a chance the kids would smack each other with a robot. Well, maybe a 99% less of a chance.

Was it worth it? Yes. If you are big Star Wars fans like we are, you will enjoy it. We have had them home now for a couple months and the kids have brought them out a few times to play with the droids… or chase the dogs around the house with them. They are not a souvenir that sits on a shelf.  They are interactive, custom made toys designed and assembled by you.

Droid Depot
Droid Depot

What I really like about the Droid Depot is that it is like everything else in Galaxy’s edge: it’s all about the details and experience. You are not just going into a store and plopping down a hundred bucks for a souvenir. You are entering into a depot in the remote edge of Batuu to build a custom droid companion to accompany you on your space adventures. One of the things Disney has always gotten right is that they know how to spark the imagination. I especially love watching this in my kids.

My son has sensory processing disorder which makes it hard for him to enjoy many of the rides or attractions in the park, so an experience like building a robot is right up his alley… that and the interactive game he played throughout Galaxy’s Edge “hacking” the space ships and space port hardware found there… but perhaps that is a subject for a different post. But going back again to the question of if it is worth it, I would definitely say; “Yes. Absolutely.” Seeing how much he lit up and enjoyed the experience was well worth more than the money.

Droid Depot
Droid Depot
The whole process takes about 30 to 45 minutes or so.  Your first decision is to decide which model you want.  You have two choices: an R2 Unit or a BB8 Unit.  My friend, Alicia, already had the BB8 unit and loved it, but felt it was a little harder to control than the R2 unit.  Coupled with the fact that we are a “Classic” Star Wars family, and after hearing how hard the BB8 is to control I guided both of my kids in the direction of R2.  Honestly, I didn’t want to sign up to deal with any frustrations once we got home.
After choosing your model you head over to a conveyer belt with hundreds of droid pieces rolling on by. Seeing the variety of parts really gets you to determining how you would like your droid to look. Once you have some sort of idea of what you are after, you take the pieces you’ve grabbed and placed into your assembly bin over to the “building station” where you start assembling your droid. Here you’ll snap the various parts together — it really does feel like you are building a robot!
Droid Depot
Each droid comes with a standard personality chip built-in. This chip dictates how the bot will beep, light up, and generally act. As you might have guessed, you can also purchase additional personality chips and other accessories to enhance your droid.  We stuck with the basic and were happy as clams… until, well, we got caught up in the excitement and found ourselves grabbing an additional chip for each kid. You know, just in case. Whatever that means.
When your droid is finally assembled you place it into a docking station and watch it come to life. It is quite a production. A helper comes over, things light up, sounds beep and bloop, it is quite a show! In the end, your new little friend has come to life and is ready for adventure.
Something fun we discovered about these little droids is that they interact with other droids as you walk by them. Further, they also interact with various features within Galaxy’s edge.  The kids got a kick out of listening to them interact with each-other and move around in their droid boxes as we walked around the park.
I should mention that we were incredibly lucky and were able to walk right into the depot and build a droid.  Due to its popularity there is now a reservation process.  You can go online to the Disneyland website and make a reservation.
 All in all, if you love Star Wars, then as I said in the title, “ These are the droids you are looking for!”
Droid
Droid

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