If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own Star Wars droid, you may want to drop into the Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot at Hollywood Studios. While this review is focused on our experience at Disney World, you can do the same thing at Disneyland. Here in our Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot review, we’ll tell you all about our experience building these droids, whether we think it is worth the cost, and there is even an epilogue on what Anna and Else have done with the droids since we returned home.
There are actually several fun experiences like this in Galaxy’s Edge. If droids aren’t your thing, you can also build a Lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop. I had the chance to do that particular experience, and we’ll have a post on it in the coming weeks.
Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot Basics
Before we get into the review portion of our Droid Depot experience at Galaxy’s Edge, we wanted to cover some of the basics of the shop. We’ll do that real quick and then cover the experience itself.
What does Droid Depot Cost?
The base cost at Droid Depot is $99.99 (plus tax) per droid. However, there are add-ons to the basic droid build that cost extra. The two upgrades you can buy are:
- backpack to carry your droid ($49.99, plus tax)
- custom personality chip ($14.99 plus tax)
We should note that these prices were as of the fall of 2019. Depending on when you read this post, they could be different.
The backpack was handy for us as we stayed in the park for a while after Anna and Elsa built their droids. If you don’t get the backpack, then your droid will come in a white box with a handle. You can see what the droid depot backpack looks like in the picture above. That’s Anna and Elsa carrying their droids in the backpack.
We should note that the backpacks are not cheap little sacks. They are made of quality material with a foam insert to nestle the droid in the backpack. This makes sure the droid isn’t moving all over the place in the pack. It also has a flap that you can fold down that allows you to display your droid while you walk throughout Hollywood Studios. There is even a clip that makes sure your BB-Series droid doesn’t lose its head.
Each droid that you build at Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot comes with a basic personality chip. The way the cast member described it to us, the basic chip gives them a generic droid personality. The custom personality chip allows you to choose from either a resistance, first order, or scoundrel droid. If you aren’t familiar with Star Wars, think of the resistance as the good guys and the first order as the bad guys. Scoundrels can go either way, depending on what is in their own self-interest.
If you’re interested in more than one personality chip, you can buy more in the retail shop section of Droid Depot.
While the droid itself is not eligible for the Annual Passholder discount, the backpack and personality chip are.
Do You Need a Reservation for Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot?
The short answer is no, but you do so at your own peril. Availability is often booked up well in advance and guests who try to walk up are left without the ability to build a droid. If you don’t have a reservation, you should be prepared to wait. Make your life easier and book a reservation for Droid Depot. You can make those reservations in the My Disney Experience app on your mobile phone or by going to the Droid Depot website.
Whether you make a reservation for Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot or not, there are some general rules you should know. They are as follows:
- Only the droid builder and one other person can be in the builder area. If you have other people in your group, they will have to wait in the retail section of the shop
- One person in the builder area must be at least 14 years of age
- Droids are nonrefundable
- If you are late for your reservation time, they may not honor it
What types of droids can you build at Droid Depot?
Currently, there are two different types of droids available at Droid Depot. There is the classic R-Series unit, which is what R2-D2 based upon. Then there is the BB-Series, which is the basis for BB-8. You might think there are three different droids when you are at Droid Depot. That is because there are two heads or domes as they call them) that give the BB-Series two very distinct looks.
Okay, I think that covers all the basics of Droid Depot. I guess we can get to the review portion of our Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot review!
Our Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot Experience
When we arrived at Droid Depot, we were asked if we had a reservation. Since we did, we were allowed to enter the building and join the queue. It probably took 15 minutes for us to get through the line and up to the register. While in the queue, there are droid parts on the wall in these small cages. They serve as a display where you can see all the options available. Below is a picture of what one of the displays looks like.
The register is where you make your droid selections and any add-ons for the Droid Depot backpack or custom personality chip.
As a point of reference, Anna decided to build a BB-Series droid, while Elsa went with the R-Series.
Once you have made your selections and are all paid up, you will be given a basket that is specific to your droid type. The basket serves two purposes. First, it is a receptacle to collect your droid parts, which, while useful, is not terribly important. The essential function it fills is providing a diagram of your droid, which shows you the parts you need to collect. You can see what a diagram looks like in the picture above.
With basket in hand, you’ll make your way to the droid part selection area. I say “area,” but it is really a conveyor that is continuously moving. Here you’ll find a wide array of parts and colors that you can mix and match. If you want to build exact replicas of R2-D2 or BB-8, the pieces are there. If you’re going to mix and match colors, you can do that too! We’d encourage you to watch the convey go by for a few minutes before you select any parts. This will give you an idea of the various options that are available. I should note that there were some options in the display area that we couldn’t find on the parts conveyor. I asked a cast member about this, and she said that they were just out of them at that time.
The conveyor is a place where having an adult with Anna and Elsa was helpful. As the parts passed by, it was clear the conveyor was too deep for the kids to reach all the way to the back. Carla and I helped pull a few parts for the girls when they couldn’t reach them.
After picking out their droid parts, Anna and Elsa took the baskets over to the droid building area. The assembly process was relatively easy for both of the droids that the girls built. All of the pieces snap together, with the exception of the legs on the R-Series droid and a headpiece on the BB-Series droid. We did have to use a small drill to screw those parts together. The cast members are there to help you and explain how everything goes together.
Once the droids are assembled, they have to be activated. After that, you’re all done! From start to finish, the process took all of 20 minutes. That doesn’t include the wait time in the queue.
After the girls finished building their droids, they took them outside to the droid testing ground. That’s not really the official name; rather, it is my name for it. It’s this brown matted area, where you can put down your droid and let try it out. It’s also interesting to see all the droids interacting here. They’ll beep and chirp at each other while running around (and into) each other.
All in all, Anna and Elsa really enjoyed the droid building experience at Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot. They kept the droids close throughout our entire stay, but I was curious to see if they would continue playing with the droids once we got home.
The reality was that Anna put her BB-8 unit on the floor and didn’t touch it for the better part of two months. Elsa put her R4 droid (her name for it) on the floor and played with it the first week we were home, but then didn’t touch it. They regained interest in them after our last trip to Disney World when we went to Galaxy’s Edge and saw the Droid Depot building. That said, the girls like their droids, but they aren’t something they are playing with on a daily or even weekly basis.
Was Droid Depot Worth It?
This is a tough one. If you were to ask Anna and Elsa, they would both say that it was worth it, but they aren’t thinking about it from a cost perspective. They are only focused on if it was a good time.
From my view, if I was the one building the droid, I would have enjoyed it, but it would be nothing more than a $100 paperweight. It probably isn’t something I would recommend unless you know that you would play with and use the droid at home.
The actual experience of building the droid was okay in my view, but it isn’t something that makes you feel like you are part of the Star Wars universe. Instead, it feels like you are building a toy. That’s fine if I’m building a lightsaber over at Tatooine Traders, but at this price, I expect a certain depth to the experience. It just wasn’t there. The shop theming does a great job of building depth to the experience, but the assembly line and building stations felt like it was mass-produced droids, just like a McDonald’s food prep line.
From my perspective, the droids and controllers feel a little cheap to me. They aren’t nearly as substantial as the Sphero droids that we also own. Can you tell we are Star Wars fans? But Sphero doesn’t make those droids anymore, so it is a bit irrelevant.
Wrapping up Our Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot Review
We hope you found our Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot review helpful. It was a good time, but I’m not sure it is worth the price. If you’re a kid, you will likely have a different view.
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