Scavenger: A Day in the Life

Hi, my name is Lisa, and I’m a scavenger (sometimes known as a smuggler) in Galaxy’s Edge. 

What does a scavenger do, might you ask? Well, there are many people from around the world who can’t make it to the planet of Batuu to pick up their Galaxy’s Edge exclusive merchandise. That’s where I come in. One day a week, I pay a visit to my favorite planet and I round up everyone’s treasures from Droid Depot, Dok Ondars, The Marketplace, First Order Cargo, and Resistance Supply. Sometimes I adopt Loth Cats, build lightsabers, or find something to help you show your allegiance to theFirst Order. 

I discovered scavenging by accident, back in Summer of 2020. I had joined a Facebook group called Galaxy’s Edge Trading Post in April of 2020 looking for a very specific item from Galaxy’s Edge. I was informed by a kind member that due to the park being closed, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, that item would be nearly impossible to get, but once the parks reopened, he’d be happy to help. This is where the gears started turning. I had moved to Florida only a month prior (the day after the Disney Parks closed, to be exact). This was my first indication that there may be a market for merchandise pickups. It was announced that, in July, the Disney Parks in Florida would reopen. This was my time to shine. I offered to do Galaxy’s Edge merchandise pickups on the day that the Disney Parks reopened– but I had no idea what I was getting into or the world this would open for me. I took 21 orders, both domestic and international, from strangers who trusted another complete stranger to pick up their most wanted items.  On July 15, 2020, Hollywood Studios reopened to guests and I was one of the first guests who visited the reopened park. You may remember the article I wrote for Project Stardust back in July about reopening.

My first day of scavenging was filled with hiccups, hiccups that I ultimately learned from as I continued going back for more. This became a weekly trip for me, each visit becoming more organized and me becoming more confident in my abilities. Reviews from satisfied customers started flooding the Galaxy’s Edge Trading Post group, so I expanded my little side hustle to more Galaxy’s Edge focused Facebook groups, including the Galaxy’s Edge Discord and my personal Instagram. As of this writing, I have fulfilled over 900 orders. I’ve had many repeat customers over the past few months, as well as welcomed new friends in my journey. I’ve made many new friends, both from fellow smugglers and customers from all over the world. Their kindness, energy, and love of Star Wars is what keeps me going back week after week.  

You might be curious about how the whole process of smuggling all works. Follow along with me while I tell you about what it’s like to scavenge on Batuu!

Tuesday, 6:18 PM: My week starts on Tuesday. I visit my favorite Facebook groups to let stranded, off-world travelers know that I’m paying a visit to Batuu and I’m willing to pick up goods and wares. At this point, I already have 13 orders lined up since my last visit, but this is a good chance for people new to the group to find a scavenger like me. Here’s what my post looks like: 

I like to let people early on know what stock levels look like (to the best of my knowledge) and, of course, throw in a little bit of in-world humor.

I also always add a photo to my post, usually one I took the prior week during a Galaxy’s Edge visit. Here’s what I added this week (my Ahsoka Nuimo, in front of the Millennium Falcon): 

Now, I sit back and let the messages roll in, adding them to my orders note where I keep track of everyone and their requests. This will continue throughout the next day and a half, until I’m in the park. Customers can ask me for a variety of things, but to this day, the most popular selling items are the Legacy Character Replica Lightsaber hilts, a series of hilts modeled after your favorite characters’ lightsabers from throughout the Star Wars saga. Some people buy them for display; others add a blade and duel with them. In the end, everyone wants one. 

Wednesday, 8:22 AM: On Wednesday, I start to work on my spreadsheet. I’ve kept a list in my notes all week of people who showed interest and people who have finalized orders. My spreadsheet shows a summary of ordered items, a merchandise total separated from shipping total, as well as who has paid and who I’m waiting on. During this time, I reach out to anyone who hasn’t paid yet to confirm they are still interested and to advise them their total and how to pay.

Wednesday, 8:56 AM: In between sips of coffee that has now gone cold, I work on my second spreadsheet. This is the spreadsheet I will actually be using to shop. Each individual item has their own line where I can see quantity, total price, and the store it’s available in. This helps me organize my day while I’m scavenging in the park, makes sure I’ve gotten the correct quantity of each item, and makes sure I have spent the correct amount of money. 

Wednesday, 10:30 am: I leave for my “real job.” It’s likely that orders will continue to come into my inbox while I’m there. Usually, I just give anyone who inquires a quick message to let them know I got the message and will get back later with a price quote 

Wednesday 9:00 PM: I arrive home after the “real job” work is done.. At this point, I’ve received all payments from my customers and have confirmed their orders. I take this time to formulate my day, and finalize my list of what I will pick up in each store in order so I’m completely prepared for tomorrow. I usually make two trips into the Galaxy’s Edge, due to how much I have to carry. In addition to Galaxy’s Edge, I’ll be making a visit to Disney Springs and Epcot tomorrow as well, so I get those lists ready too. I finish up and turn in for an early night. 

Thursday, 6:30 AM: My alarm goes off, I hit snooze…

Thursday 6:40 AM: I force myself out of bed. Two last minute orders have come in overnight, so I respond to those customers with price quotes while I get ready.

Thursday: 7:00 AM: I check for my keys, phone charger, wallet, and reusable bags, then grab my water and head out the door. I have an hour long drive to Orlando, so I snack on a pop tart and listen to my favorite Star Wars podcast along the way. Much to my dismay, I hit some traffic

Thursday: 8:24 AM: I pull into the parking lot at Hollywood Studios, pay for parking, and park my car. I take one last look over my list, mask up, head through temperature check and security screening, before heading straight for The Marketplace in Batuu. The Marketplace is a collection of four stores and I have something to get in each one of them. The line for The Marketplace fills up fast, so I always visit there first. Luckily, due to arriving so early, no lines for me. I even have time to chat with my favorite citizens of Batuu, which is a great little bonus for myself. Next, I head to Dok Ondar’s, definitely my favorite store in the land. It’s filled with all kinds of relics from the galaxy. Today, I’m picking up board game pieces, Kyber crystals, and a few lightsabers. Next, to the Resistance Supply carts outside of Rise of the Resistance to gather some pins and trinkets. After leaving the last store, I organize my merchandise into my reusable bags and backpack for easier carrying.

Thursday 9:30 AM: I head back to my car with my first haul- this is significantly earlier than a usual day. Two more same day orders have come in, so I get the customers price quotes on my walk back to the car. I drop off my first haul and I head back in. 

Thursday, 9:52 AM: The park has now become more crowded. I head toward Droid Depot, but they aren’t taking walk-ins, so I make an appointment for 11:45. I head to First Order Cargo for some trinkets, but I find it’s closed, so I stop for a selfie:

I instead head back to the front of the park for some off-world items that have been requested. One customer requested I put together a mystery box for her, so I start scoping out items within her price range and grab the extras I need.

Thursday, 10:45 AM: I’m still an hour away from my droid appointment, so I stop for lunch: Pizza and Pizzarizzo. Usually, I rush through lunch, but today I take my time. While eating lunch, I spend some time going over what items are left to pick up. 

Thursday, 11:20 AM: I finish up lunch, and head back to First Order Cargo. They’re open now, but I have to wait in line… at least I got to hang out with Kylo Ren and some Stormtroopers while I’m waiting: 

 I grab my haul inside the store and head toward Droid Depot.

Thursday, 11:45 AM: It’s finally time to build my droid! My customer chose an R-Unit with a black body, and a purple R2 head: 

He also requested a variety of droid accessories, which I pick up as well.

Thursday, 12:15 PM: I now have everything I need from inside Galaxy’s Edge, I head back to my car for a second time, though I have to stop several times on my way out of the park due to the weight of my bags. Once I get to my car, I load everything up and I drive to Disney Springs.

Thursday, 1:00 PM: I arrive at Disney Springs. I’m the first person in the Lime Parking Garage. I park and head straight to World of Disney to acquire more mystery box items and some other off-world goods. I visit the Co-Op next, for a few more non-Star Wars related items. Once I gather up everything there, my next stop is the Galaxy’s Edge Trading Post, where they have a collection of Galaxy’s Edge merchandise. I pick up a few more small items and legacy lightsabers there, then head out.

Thursday, 2:00 PM: I visit my final destination of the day, Epcot. On my drive over here, I got one more last minute order for a variety of Flower and Garden Festival merchandise. I get the customer a price quote and head out to find those items. But first, a snack: 

I then gather up the last of my merchandise… and find a few things for myself.

Thursday 3:40 PM: I’m finally headed to my car and I’m ready for my hour drive home. I sit in traffic and listen to my favorite Star Wars podcast to stay awake.

Thursday: 5:30 PM: I arrive home. I unload my bags into my house, put my feet up, order dinner, and open a White Claw to wind down. My work for today is done. 

Friday, 7:15 AM: I wake up. Get out of bed, make coffee, and watch my favorite TV show.

Friday 8:30 AM: Time to start packing. Right now, all the merchandise I picked up waits in several bags in my dining room. I start going down my list and I collect the merch for each box, add a business card and thank you card, then pack, seal, and label.

Friday, 10:30 AM: I send my husband on an errand to buy two boxes and pickup breakfast. I had two very large orders and, while I have boxes on hand that can fit 99% of my orders, these two had items that were just too big.

Friday, 11:00 AM: I finish my breakfast and finish packing. The next hour is spent buying and attaching shipping labels. I do one last check over the manifest of each box, then label each box, and stage everything near the door for my mail carrier to pick up.

Friday, 11:45 AM: I inventory my shipping and packing supplies, then place orders for boxes, packing paper, and other items that need to be replenished for shipping. I tidy up my receipts:  

Then I place the receipts in my receipt bag for safe keeping. I also update my spreadsheet of this week’s expenses, which will be important come tax time next year.

Friday: 2:43 PM: My mail carrier knocks on my door and I hand off 22 packages to her: 

With that, I bid farewell to another week of scavenging. 

Thanks to scavenging, each and every week I get the privilege of helping and chatting with Star Wars fans from all over the world. I’ve always wanted to feel like I’m a part of the Star Wars fan community in some way, like I needed to find my place in some way, and scavenging in Galaxy’s Edge has made that happen. I feel like I have found the space where I belong. I have found my own way to contribute to the amazing group of people who make up the Star Wars fan community, who all share love of the same amazing Galaxy Far Far Away. As I continue on my journey in scavenging, I look forward to the new people I will get to meet each week and the new treasures I’ll find for them. Through me, people around the world get to experience the joy of Batuu and Star Wars. Bringing people this joy drives me to continue going back each week. I take great pride in my work and I take such joy in the happiness it brings. 

Thanks for coming along with me!