With the announcement last week of the dates for Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios in 2015, I figured some of you may be considering this for your favorite Jedi and I wanted to share a few things everyone should know before taking on the “force” known as Star Wars weekends.
5. First of all, if you want to enjoy any of the special themed Star Wars character meals, book now. These just started last year and book up quickly. We did the character dinner at Hollywood and Vine and had a stellar time. It does cost a little more than regular character meals, but it was worth it to see all our favorite Disney characters dressed in their best Star Wars attire. The kids had many interactions with the characters and left with a signed paper light saber. Even the food on the buffet had clever galactic names and the desserts were themed with both sides of the force. There is also a breakfast at the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater with characters from the Dark Side. So just make sure you know who you are going to see at each one before booking.
4. The special Star Wars parades are fun to watch. They have everything from Disney characters dressed in Star Wars costumes to fan groups that dress up as well. Disney does a great job of covering all the aspects of Star Wars in the parade and throughout the park and the parade is no exception. If you are visiting during one of the weekends for Star Wars, make sure to plan the parade in your schedule. If you forget, just wait until you hear the theme song from Star Wars Episode One playing over the speakers and follow the crowd.
3. There are more character meet and greets than you can imagine, or even try to fit in, in one of these weekends. There are characters from all the episodes of Star Wars, Clone Wars, and some actors who either played those characters or voiced them in an animated movie. As soon as you get there, make sure to get a daily schedule and map to see who will be there, where they will be, and what time they are scheduled to appear. The maps also have Star Wars symbols on them to identify where the “good” and the “bad” characters are located in the park.
2. Like with all things Disney, they even have special Star Wars weekends merchandise. You may find a few things in some of the shops in Hollywood Studios, but the last few years we have been, Disney has set up a special store just for these items. We learned to hit this area first because you may pick up an item or two that you want signed by a special character. And believe me, you won’t want to go back and stand in those lines again. They also have specially designed t-shirts, pins, and stuffed animals. Who doesn’t love a Goofy dressed like Darth Vader?
1. Be prepared for crowds. It is summer time at Disney and these weekends continue to grow in popularity; which is probably why Disney continues to have them year after year. Regardless of the crowds, it is truly a fun time to visit Disney. There are special shows during the day, carts selling food from both sides of the force, passes that provide access to see an actor or allow participation in Jedi training (passes are handed out first thing in the morning), and a very good chance of spotting your favorite Star Wars character up close and personal.
If you do decide to visit, plan to be there when the park opens. One of our favorite things is the Storm Troopers standing above the entrance pointing out certain guests and interacting with the crowds. The list of stars attending this year isn’t out yet, but I would assume it will include characters from Disney’s new Star Wars TV show “Star Wars Rebels” and from the new Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens”. Be sure to plan ahead if you visit so you can make the most of your journey and “may the force be with you.”
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