Eleven Ways to Geek Out on Star Wars Outside the Theater

By Eliana Dockterman |

© Jeff Krause

This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres December 18, with four more Star Wars sequels and spin-offs slated to hit the big screen in the next five years. Star Wars fever, it seems, has far from hit its peak.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways for Star Wars fans to fully immerse themselves in—ahem—a galaxy far, far away. From the film locations to Jedi training facilities to the much-anticipated Star Wars Land at the Disney theme parks, here are the best Star Wars adventures in the works.

Star Wars Land at Disney Parks

Location: Coming to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California
When to Go: The parks are estimated to open in 2019
Price: $97 for one-day park entry in Orlando, $99 in Anaheim

Star Wars is primed to stoke the $55 billion theme park industry with two new parks, each spreading across 14 acres. Though the plans for Star Wars Land are being carefully kept under wraps, Disney CEO Bob Iger did reveal that visitors will be able to experience a never-before-seen planet filled with characters and creatures from the films. He also touted two new rides: one will focus on the battle between the First Order and the Resistance, the opposing forces in the new trilogy, and the second will put fans behind the controls of the legendary Millennium Falcon, flown in the films by Harrison Ford’s Han Solo. Beware: Lines will likely exceed two hours when the park first opens. May the force be with you.

Star Tours at Disney Parks

Location: Disney World in Orlando; Disneyland in Anaheim; Disneyland in Tokyo, Japan; Disneyland in Paris
When to Go: Now
Price: $97 for one-day park entry in Orlando, $99 in Anaheim

Fans who can’t wait four years to indulge their inner Jedi can still visit the Star Wars ride that has lived in Disneyland since 1987: Star Tours. Originally built for $32 million—almost double what Disneyland itself cost to build in the 1950s—the ride has been replicated at all of Disney’s parks and has received a technological and thematic upgrade at the locations in California, Florida, and Japan. Star Tours ushers intergalactic tourists onto a flight simulator for an exploration of the galaxy. But as the ship takes off, the audience is quickly caught up in hectic battles from the film. The ride offers 54 different experiences, so even the most die-hard fans can occupy themselves until the expanded land opens.

New York Jedi

Location: New York City
When to Go: Now
Price: $10

Sound engineer and self-described sci-fi nerd Flynn Michael runs a Jedi academy in midtown Manhattan where he combines the lessons of dance, martial arts, sword-fighting, and Tibetan Buddhism to teach his wards how to use the force in modern-day life. Though no materials are required for the class, the most dedicated students can BYO lightsaber. (That’s no small thing: the most high-tech versions of the weapon cost a whopping $5,000.)

The Season of the Force at Disney Parks’ Tomorrowland

Location: Tomorrowland in Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim
When to Go: Begins Nov. 16 in Disneyland and January 8 in Disney World
Price: $105 for one-day park entry in Orlando, $99 in Anaheim

Capitalizing on the Force Awakens frenzy, the Tomorrowland section of both American Disney parks will get a Star Wars makeover this winter. The beloved indoor Space Mountain ride will transform into Hyperspace Mountain, where audiences can witness X-wing battles while zooming through the star-studded ride. Star Tours will add a new scene from Force Awakens. The Innovations building will be revamped into Star Wars Launch Bay with exhibits and props from the film, and the Captain EO Theater will screen clips from the J.J. Abrams movie. And of course, Star Wars characters like Darth Vader and Chewbacca will grace fans with their presence.

Rancho Obi-Wan

Location: Sonoma, California
When to Go: Now
Price: $60 each with two-ticket minimum (kids under 12 are free)

After amassing over 300,000 themed pieces, superfan and collector Steve Sansweet opened Rancho Obi-Wan, the largest privately ownedStar Wars collection in the galaxy, in 1998. Just an hour north of San Francisco, the 9,000-square-foot museum contains everything from lightsabers used in the films to R2-D2 soda coolers to Star Wars–themed tubes of toothpaste. The not-insignificant price of admission earns visitors a personal three-hour tour from Sansweet, during which he regales tourists with stories of how he acquired his most precious items.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Location: Chicago
When to Go: Estimated for 2018
Price: TBD

Star Wars creator and godfather, George Lucas, plans to open a $300-million museum of cinematic art designed by Chinese architect Ma Yansong on the lakefront in Chicago within the next two years. The fanboy mecca will be filled with Star Wars props, memorabilia, and digital art along with Lucas’ personal art collection of cartoons, pin-up art, and classic pieces from the likes of Norman Rockwell.

Star Wars Tours in Tunisia

Star Wars Attractions
Photo Credit: Dennis G. Jarvis

Location: Tunisia
When to Go: Now
Price: $12 per night

In an effort to boost tourism following the country’s 2011 revolution, Tunisia has launched a campaign to attract Star Wars fans who want to see the real-life Tatooine. (The tourism bureau even recruited stormtroopers to march through Tunisia’s capital for a promotional video.) Five of the six already-released Star Wars movies were all partially filmed on location in Tunisia, and many of the sets still stand. Fans can stay in Luke Skywalker’s home, now a hotel, in the Berber-speaking town of Matmata for just $12 per night, where they can also see the pod-racing arena and the houses of Mos Espa, Anakin Skywalker’s hometown.

Star Wars: Identities Exhibit

Location: Cologne, Germany, and Vienna, Austria
When to Go: Now through Nov. 17 in Germany; Dec. 18-April 16 in Austria
Price: €21.95 or $24.72

Though the traveling exhibit only includes about 200 original costumes and props, its interactive component sets it apart from the many other collections on this list. Each visitor is given a smart bracelet and prompted to answer a series of questions throughout the exhibit to determine their Star Wars identity—from bounty hunter to Jedi—before being presented with their very own unique character at the end of the tour.

Letterman Digital Arts Center

Location: San Francisco
When to Go: Now
Price: Free

Lucasfilm Ltd. makes its home at this 17-acre park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge that’s open to the public. Visitors are greeted by the famed Yoda statue. Though the production company does not offer public tours, tourists can enter the lobby to find vintage movie memorabilia, including a life-size Darth Vader and Boba Fett.

Star Wars Miniland at Legoland

Location: Legoland in Carlsbad, California
When to Go: Now
Price: $78

Those already planning a trip to Legoland can explore the park’s miniature Star Wars world built entirely of Legos. The expansive model includes an underwater scene in Naboo and a Jawa sandcrawler on Tatooine. Visitors can also snap selfies next to life-size Lego versions of Darth Maul, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader, among other characters.

ANA Japanese airline

Location: Flying from Japan to Vancouver, San Jose, and San Diego, among other destinations
When to Go: Now
Price: Varies by flight

For those not yet ready to commit to a whole Star Wars vacation but looking for a small intergalactic experience, Japan’s largest airline, ANA, will be launching two Star Wars–themed planes on October 18, with a third planned to take flight before the movie hits theaters. Two planes are painted to look like the fan favorite R2-D2; the other resembles a droid from the new film named BB-8. The planes offer all six films as part of the in-flight entertainment—which, when binged, last even longer than the flight from Canada to Japan—as well as film-themed cups, napkins, and headrest covers.

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