Happening exclusively at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland now through Jan. 9, 2022, Life Day is celebrated throughout Batuu with seasonal food and drink offerings.
By Carly Caramanna
Life Day originates on Chewbacca’s home world of Kashyyyk and first appeared in the Star Wars universe during the 1978 “The Stars Wars Holiday Special.” It would later be celebrated with a 2019 unofficial fan event in Disneyland park and then 2020’s “The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special” released on Disney+. Meant to embrace family, joy, and harmony through unification, Life Day is officially celebrated in Star Wars lore on Nov. 17.
Eloquently described by Yoda as “A time of joy, this is. Of friendship. Of family,” Wookie culture honors the holiday with singing, décor, and of course, a feast. Naturally, the fictional holiday is brought to life on Batuu through an impressive array of food and beverages.
I ventured to the Black Spire Outpost on the first day of festivities to try some of these new items.
The popular popcorn stand, Kat Saka’s Kettle, is offering a potato hand pie that is described as tikka masala-spiced and served with mint-cilantro yogurt sauce for $6.79. With inspiration from South Asian flavors, this was the star of the Life Day specialties and something I can’t wait to get again. The pastry was fresh and flaky, similar to a samosa, giving way to a tikka masala-spiced potato filling that packed a welcome spice level. Quite often, Disney misses the mark when advertising something as spicy — likely to avoid potential guest backlash — but I am happy to report that this was not the case here. The mint-cilantro yogurt sauce worked perfectly with the hand pie and offered a welcome cool down. This makes for a delicious, appropriately priced, and filling snack that also happens to be vegetarian.
They are also offering a black sesame macaron that is described as a toasted macaron with passionfruit buttercream and sesame praline, priced $5.49. This was a fairly large macaron that could be easily shared and featured a perfectly crisp exterior that gave way to a soft and creamy interior filling. The flavors worked well together, bringing levels of sweet from the sesame praline that were balanced out by a bit of tartness from the passionfruit buttercream. It is an overall interesting flavor profile and a nice departure from the standard flavors you often encounter with the traditional French treat.
Oga’s Cantina is adding ‘spirit’ to the festivities with the Tarkenian NightFlower cocktail. Priced at $18, it is described as a blend of gin and elderflower liqueur with ginger and huckleberry and is garnished with an edible sweet hibiscus flower. Meant to be a twist on the classic gin & tonic, this was refreshing and not overly sweet like some of the park’s other batched cocktails on tap. I think this could be improved upon if they held back on the syrup because it thickened it up just a bit too much for my liking. The alcoholic drink stems from “Rebel Dawn,” a 1998 Han Solo-based novel from the trilogy by A.C. Crispin.
The Cantina is also serving the Kaadu pork belly slider skewer, priced at $15. The dish features two bao buns with za’atar spice-seasoned pork belly, zucchini sauce, and Calabrian chili compote. Two generous portions of pork belly were situated inside two pillowy soft bao buns. The star of this dish were the sauces, which worked in tandem bringing smoky, spicy, and sweet flavors that complimented the natural saltiness of pork belly. As legend has it, the pork comes from the meat of Kaadus, who met their unlikely fate with Jar Jar Binks and the Gungans in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” Kaadu meat is also on the menu at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo at Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in the form of smoked ribs.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is featuring a noodle-based dish as their Life Day offering. Priced at $15.40, their pork broth noodles bowl features angel hair pasta with bok choy, mushrooms, roasted pork and yuzu-tomato compote in a pesto-tonkotsu broth. A chef mentioned that part of the fun in designing these menus was that they had the benefit of being able to draw from a number of diverse cultures. This noodle dish is meant to be a fun twist by fusing popular Asian and Italian dishes.
The Life Day offerings proved to be a stellar addition to the already standout and interesting food options in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. We spoke with both a manager and chef in the land and they teased that there could be more fun to come as this is a test to see how seasonal items would be publicly received in the land.
Life Day will be celebrated now through Jan. 9, 2022 exclusively at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland park.