Disney World in Florida has been busy prepping for the holiday season (during an ongoing pandemic). This comes as the California Attractions and Parks Association urges Governor Gavin Newsom to reopen Disneyland (even though the state is facing one of the worst fire seasons in history). Clearly, neither of these parks are a good idea for my family. The Sims might just be the next best thing.
I’ve been playing The Sims 4 Star Wars: Journey to Batuu ever since it arrived earlier this month. I originally planned to turn my main character, Bethie Mysterie, into a Millennium Falcon-riding Scoundrel badass — but then she aged into a senior citizen and I didn’t feel comfortable risking her declining health for a covert mission. Instead, I created a new Sim in my likeness and gave her a roommate that conspicuously looks and acts just like my husband. Within a week, they were married and having a baby. Ta-da, idea forming: We’ll go on a family vacation to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! What could possibly go wrong?
Spoilers: A lot of things.
It’s the two kids in a trenchcoat of Star Wars. And I love it.Read more
Here’s a diary I kept, as vacation planner extraordinaire Jainomo Coolbody, detailing our perfect three-day family vacation to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. Just assume this takes place in a world where covid-19 doesn’t exist anymore and we can just hang out and have fun. After all, there’s no way in hell I’d go to a theme park otherwise.
Without further ado: The Super Awesome, Family-Friendly, and Not Child-Endangering Vacation Diary of One Jainomo Coolbody (Dictated but Not Read)
Hi there, Jainomo here! So excited for our family vacation. For the first day, I thought it would be fun to not set any kind of schedule and just see where the day took us (author translation: I let the Sims do whatever they wanted and did not interfere). There are so many amazing places to explore in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, from Oga’s Cantina to Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. How can you possibly choose? Here’s what I and my darling family did during our spontaneous first day in Batuu:
10 a.m. — We arrive at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. The excitement is palpable. We’re all so ready for our space adventure! I wanted to get there right as the park opened, but you know how it is when you have a toddler.
10:30 a.m. — Geena is already hungry, so Timmy dumped her at a nearby building so she wouldn’t disturb us.
11 a.m. — I suppose the “guilt” finally got to Timmy because he went to go take care of Geena. I left to check out Oga’s Cantina and shoot the shit with some strangers. Ah, I’m child-free for one blessed hour…maybe more, if I’m lucky. I haven’t tried one of the famous drinks yet, but I’ve still got two more days. Can’t waste all the fun in the first day!
12 p.m. — Geena took a massive shit in her diaper, right next to a Scoundrel cast member named Jiinan — who did not break character, even as the smell trail wafted right by him. Geena, surprise no surprise, is not having very much fun. Meanwhile, I’m having the time of my life.
1 p.m. — Timmy already lost the baby.
2 p.m. — Geena is wandering alone near Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, right next to the mysterious Jedi Priestess statue. She’s such a little explorer! Timmy and I are chatting it up with some strangers at the opposite end of the park. That’s what Disneyland is all about, right, making new friends?
3:30 p.m. — Geena is crying now but no one is stopping to check on her. Kind of rude, if you ask me. So much for customer service.
4:30 p.m. — Timmy ran off to the bathroom and I haven’t seen him for hours.
5 p.m. — My “very sad” child found me to ask me to read her a book. She’s becoming so resourceful! Wow! Very proud of my toddler. I haven’t been at it long but I’ve definitely mastered this parenting thing.
5:30 p.m. — I selflessly agree to read Geena a book, because I am a good mother. Then I ran off without her and forgot all about it.
7:30 p.m. — It only took nine hours but the family’s all back together.
8 p.m. — Geena is starving and exhausted. Time for flash cards!
9 p.m. — The child passed out on the ground. Must be from all the fun.
11 p.m. — My child is starving to death and has pooped in her diaper yet again. She’s now throwing a temper tantrum. I’ve grabbed myself some Outpost Popcorn. It’s free. Can’t beat the deals in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!
Midnight — Heading home. Day one of family vacation is done, a success.
The fun continues! Timmy had to work (it’s hard business being a secret agent), so I invited Santa to join the two of us at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Today was a day for some mother-daughter bonding over our mutual love of Star Wars, so I set out to do as many activities as we could together (author translation: I gave my Sim avatar some parental tasks and waited to see how often she’d fail at doing them).
10:30 a.m. — I’ve arrived at the park with Geena and Santa. It’s a little later than I would’ve liked, but you know toddlers.
11 a.m. — Since Timmy’s off at work, I’m determined to have some quality mother-daughter time, so we’re going to start with the greatest bonding exercise of all: makeovers! Santa immediately sought out to become a scoundrel with Hondo Ohnaka. Still not sure where he ended up.
11:30 a.m. — I was feeling a bit gross so I had to freshen up and take a shower before our totally awesome makeovers, so naturally I left my daughter outside alone. I’m not worried, she proved yesterday she can take care of herself.
12:30 p.m. — For some reason, I couldn’t get Geena to agree to a makeover (between you and me I think she’s just being a little shit), so I got one for myself instead. I kinda went for pre-Dark Side Anakin circa Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and I look fabulous. Geena looks fine.
1:30 p.m. — I tried to take my daughter to get some lunch but it was too hard, so I just ran off to get some Outpost Popcorn for myself. Geena’s cool, she’s heading to Oga’s Cantina. I’m assuming Santa’s there, time for him to do his fair share of child watching. After all, I’m totally on his nice list.
4 p.m. — After losing each other for a few hours (it’s a big park!), Geena and I are listening to some music together at Oga’s Cantina. Santa is nowhere to be found, I’m guessing he’s off doing some kind of secret mission or something. Way to dodge his responsibilities.
5:30 p.m. — Geena could’ve asked me about princesses but instead, she’s talking about Jedi and Sith. She certainly takes after me, I’m so proud of her!
6 p.m. — Ugh scratch that. She started talking about princesses, so I walked away.
7 p.m. — “Mummy’s busy eating some more Outpost Popcorn, sweetie, why don’t you talk to the nice criminal over there?”
8 p.m. — Geena asked me for a snuggle, parenting complete.
9 p.m. — Heading home, mother-daughter bonding day was so much fun. It brought us closer together than ever before. On an unrelated note, got a weird message that my daughter is at risk of being taken away by the state. Stupid spam callers.
It’s the last day! Sad but also relieved. Having fun is tiring! Timmy surprised me by taking the day off and hiring a nanny so we could enjoy the park as a couple (author translation: I arranged all of that because taking a Sims toddler to Batuu is exhausting). It might seem kind of rude to leave our child at home for the third day of our promised family vacation, but she’s really young she’ll forget all about it later. The only memories she’ll have will be the pleasant ones! Now it’s time to enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge the way it was meant to be enjoyed: as adults. Cocktails, lightsabers, and “woohoo” galore.
11 a.m. — We’ve arrived at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Normally I’d blame the toddler for our tardiness but this time it was all me. Timmy went to go get a new Star Wars outfit (that looks conspicuously like Luke Skywalker’s in Episode IV: A New Hope), I went and treated myself to a Mustafarian Lava Roll at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. Strono “Cookie” Tuggs gave me a slight nod of approval for finally having some time to myself — or at least maybe I imagined that. It’s so peaceful here.
12 p.m. — Timmy and I are so in sync on our couples vacation; both of us separately ended up at Oga’s Cantina so we could dance to DJ R-3X’s jams.
1 p.m. — We’re having a deep conversation about Wookiees. I’ve never felt so close to him in my life.
2 p.m. — I mean, obviously. (see above)
2:30 p.m. — You’d think having sex at Disneyland would get you kicked out, but instead our “woohoo”-ing was serenaded by a quiet rendition of the Star Wars theme as fireworks rained down from above. (PS: Got a Sims happiness bonus for having sex at Batuu. Happiest Place on Earth indeed.)
4 p.m. — Timmy wanted to order the braised shank roast at 19 credits but was worried it was too expensive. I told him to treat himself. After all, this money isn’t good outside of the park anyway. Meanwhile, I went browsing at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities and spent most of our credits to buy Geena a Plush Porg. That’ll make up for leaving her at home, right?
4:30 p.m. — Having the time of our lives together, been nothing but happy all day. It’s almost as if bringing a child to Disneyland ruins the experience.
5 p.m. — Time for more dancing!
6 p.m. — Engaging in a little harmless flirting with the bartender Lorn Ravenlocke. I appreciate his dedication to staying in character, so much so that he didn’t get weird that I was hitting on him in front of my husband. What can I do, I’m feeling flirty…I had sex in a theme park!
7 p.m. — Bartender was talking shit about me to Hondo behind my back I rescind all my compliments.
9 p.m. — Decided to close out the day with a little lightsaber challenge, in hopes of winning a little money and bragging rights. Oh shoot, can’t do that without a lightsaber…which I don’t own. I just had to get that porg plushie for my child.
10 p.m. — Went home, what a wonderful way to end our perfect family vacation.
- The Sims 4 Star Wars: Journey to Batuu is a fun vacation expansion pack, and gives players a lot of options for what they want to do with their time. If you want to get involved in a top-secret mission for the Resistance, go ahead! Want to fight “Rebel Scum” for the First Order? Fire away! I prefer to get drunk and dance (mostly because those aren’t activities I can do right now anyway, because of the whole “growing a person” in real life thing).
- That said, Journey to Batuu was not designed with Sims families in mind. For some reason, many of the command options involving “taking care of the child” didn’t work, which meant the Sims kept abandoning the kid in favour of entertaining themselves. Maybe it’s a little easier with older Sims children, who can feed and clean themselves when needed, but it just goes to show: Never bring a toddler to Disneyland.
- Another downside to Journey to Batuu is the size. What’s great about The Sims is you’re mostly working in a limited space — whether it’s your home, a restaurant, or a karaoke bar — which makes it easy to track your Sims and have fun with them. But the Batuu areas are huge. It’s really easy for your Sims to get lost as you struggle to find where you want them to go because all the buildings look similar and are spread far apart from each other. I know it’s weird to complain that a video game area is too big, but size doesn’t always work in The Sims’ favour. No, that wasn’t a “woohoo” joke…as far as you know.
- I also visited the First Order and Resistance areas, but neither of them were as entertaining as Black Spire Outpost. I think it’s because that’s the one that looks most like Galaxy’s Edge. Plus it has way more to do, like building lightsabers and getting drunk at Oga’s Cantina. Mostly the “getting drunk” part. Did I mention how fun that is and how much I miss it?
- Don’t take Santa on vacation. He’ll just abandon you.
Video games have the ability to take us to the furthest reaches of our imagination, telling award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories (or just turning us into giant blobs that fight each other). Given how terrible the real world has been lately, you’d think the best escape would be...Read more