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Disneyland Article
Inside Ogas Cantina The Star Wars Bar With Coveted Entry

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
ID:
TMS-5369
Source:
SFGate
Author:
Carly Caramanna
Dateline:
October 21, 2023
Posted:
October 25, 2023
Status:
Current
When Disneyland opened its gates in 1955, guests who paid the $1 fee for entry could find a lot of the park staples that are still there today: buttery popcorn, a wild journey with Mr. Toad and the colorful windows of Main Street included. One thing that was notably absent? Alcohol. Walt Disney may not have envisioned this for his family park but Disneyland guests can now throw back a brightly hued cocktail in a Star Wars-themed bar helmed by a droid DJ. Now, that's progress.

Even with this addition, getting drunk can still be relatively hard to do at Disneyland. While the Anaheim resort's second theme park, Disney California Adventure Park, and accompanying Downtown Disney district and Disneyland hotels offer treasure troves of boozy delights, Walt's original kingdom is a bit more dry. Disneyland Park has just five places that serve alcohol, three of which only recently began doing so.

If there's one thing you need to know about me, it's that I'm something of a connoisseur of drinking at Disney parks. If you want an expertly crafted martini — shaken, not stirred — meet me at DCA's Carthay Circle Lounge. How about a well-balanced tropical cocktail? I'll see you at Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar. But when Oga's Cantina opened its doors along with the rest of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in 2019, I was a little apprehensive.

Getting the chance to actually sip that flashy drink while dancing to the tracks spun by the robotic DJ proved to be a feat as difficult as scoring one of Disneyland's $20 hand-pulled candy canes, with reservations almost impossible to come by. Despite my initial concerns, after dozens of visits (and countless dance parties) Oga's Cantina has become a go-to spot during my Disneyland visits.

What's the vibe at Oga's Cantina?

Oga's Cantina is, for all intents and purposes, a bar — but it may be the weirdest one you've ever visited. For one, it's family-friendly. There are no bar stools. You can only order from a set menu of drinks. The wine is blue. Have I mentioned there's a robot working the DJ booth? That droid, R-3X, is the same one that used to pilot a StarSpeeder 3000 in the original Star Tours ride, now repurposed to spin the bar's lively soundtrack (which you can even stream on Spotify).

Located on the fictional Outer Rim planet of Batuu, Oga's Cantina is a dimly lit tavern themed after a local bar from the "Star Wars" canon frequented by the galaxy's bounty hunters, traders and unsavory smugglers. It shares a similar vibe to the Mos Eisley Cantina from the franchise's first film in 1977, which Obi-Wan Kenobi describes deftly as a "wretched hive of scum and villainy." Think industrial piping, muted tones with pops of neon colors, and even a few creatures living in various containers. The detailed venue is centered around a large circular shaped bar. You can stand at the bar, sit at a high-top table or in one of the few cozy booths.

Its dedication to immersing you in the world of "Star Wars" is where Oga's Cantina shines, as the bartenders stay in character and act their part of the story. In this corner of the galaxy, travelers will find tons of Easter eggs referencing various bits of franchise lore. The attention to detail will have you feeling as though you've stepped onto a movie set rather than a bar at a theme park. The temptation to post up in this high-energy space for hours is real but Disneyland puts a stop to this by limiting visits to 45 minutes and drinks to two per person.

What's on the Oga's Cantina menu?

Booze-loving Disneyland parkgoers can breathe a sigh of relief because they will find alcohol here. And, just like the specially designed Coca-Cola bottles that have become famous at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the drinks don't break your immersion.

Creative cocktails are the star of the Oga's Cantina menu, like the Jedi Mind Trick, and most cost $16-$18 (nobody ever said drinking at Disneyland was cheap). The drinks are premade in batches, so you won't find a handcrafted cocktail like you can at the Grand Californian's Hearthstone Lounge or Carthay Circle. The cocktails lean heavily sweet and the alcohol is basically undetectable — a cosmic downer for some, a plus for others. Oga's Cantina also serves a selection of beer, cider and wine.

A favorite drink is blue wine, a crisp white that's been hued a bright teal. One of the bar's most fabled cocktails, the Fuzzy Tauntaun, is topped with a numb-inducing foam that creates a tingling effect in your mouth. There's also an impressive array of inventive mocktails that are as cleverly designed as its hard drinks.

The only people likely to be disappointed by the Oga's Cantina drink menu are those who want something traditional. Orders are confined to the set menu and you can't get basic staples like a gin and tonic because it isn't a full bar. Food is limited to light snacks, and the cantina is known to switch up the menu seasonally and for Star Wars-centric holidays like May the Fourth and Life Day.

How to get a reservation at Oga's Cantina?

Quite frankly, may the force be with you if you are attempting to make a reservation to Oga's Cantina. Disneyland dining reservations open up 60 days in advance, and reservations for Oga's Cantina are scarce and known to quickly fill both because of demand and the bar's limited space. Your best bet is trying to reserve for off-peak times, like early morning or late at night, as Oga's is typically open from 8 a.m. until after park closing. (Don't worry, no one will judge you for pounding back a Bloody Rancor, the "Star Wars" version of a Bloody Mary topped with a rancor bone, first thing in the morning.)

Disneyland's mobile app offers a walk-up function — a great hack for anyone looking to get Disneyland dining spots without a reservation — that allows any nearby guests the ability to join a virtual waitlist for spots that may become available. Like advanced dining reservations, your best chance at scoring a walk-up spot at Oga's Cantina is to take advantage of the feature during off-peak times.

Is Oga's Cantina worth a visit?

If you love "Star Wars" and consider Galaxy's Edge to be the prime reason you're visiting Disneyland, visiting Oga's Cantina is a no-brainer. I'm a very casual fan of the franchise (like, I know who Darth Vadar and Luke Skywalker are, alright?) — but even so, I now consider this bar an absolute must during my trips to the park. Why? It exemplifies everything fans know, love and expect from Disney's brand of immersive storytelling.

I can forgive the batched cocktails because the atmosphere is a masterwork of creative excellence. Oga's Cantina may not be a ride but as a lover of the craft of Imagineering, I think it's every bit as thrilling as a spin on Space Mountain.

Basically, if you're looking for a perfectly made martini in a refined room, keep walking, but if atmosphere and imagination are at the top of your list, stop in. There is no better place to drown your sorrows after realizing you didn't leave enough room in your Disneyland budget to build an astromech droid.



 
Attractions Referenced

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Star Tours

 
Restaurants Referenced

Oga's Cantina

 
Lands Referenced

Main Street U.S.A.

Star Wars Galaxys Edge

 
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