This weekend marked the first of four Star Wars Weekends happening at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The event takes place every weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) through June 13th. At Star Wars Weekends, guests will find an entire saga’s worth of characters and more celebrities than ever before on hand for autographs, pictures, motorcades, Q & A sessions, and more! The event is included with general park admission and with your purchase of Discount Disney Tickets.
Orlando Sentinel’s Dewayne Bevil has posted some insider tips and information that will help you make the most of your galactic vacation!
As seen in the picture above, the Stormtroopers are perched on the roof, signaling that something extraordinary is happening inside the park. The troopers are remote controlled, yet manage to be interactive with the crowd. They are stationed up there from 8:15 a.m. to 11 a.m., and this year they’re joined early on (until about 8:45) by Boba Fett, a bounty hunter who debuted in Empire Strikes Back. Another interesting tid bit – this is the first year Boba Fett has been featured in the event logo’s concept art and on merchandise.
Get a guide
There’s a galaxy of extra activities going on at the park durnig this event, including trivia contests, talk shows, autograph sessions and parades. To keep track of it all and to make sure you don’t miss anything, pick up a guide map at the entrance or at the special Star Wars Weekends Information Depot, right in front of the Sounds Dangerous theater (between Star Tours and American Idol Experience.)
There will be 50 characters in the park, but two characters will be making Disney World debuts: Asajj Ventress and Commander Cody from the Cartoon Network series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Also making its first appearance will be R2-MK, which is the “astromech droid” of Jedi Mickey. (R2-MK even sports personalized mouse ears.)
For Star Wars Weekends only, there’s a change for the Jedi Training Academy attraction. Kids who want to participate in the sessions should line up in front of the nearby Sounds Dangerous theater. Space is limited, and it stands to reason that it’s even more popular during Star Wars Weekends, so queue up early.
Autograph opportunities generally require FastPasses. Distribution begins each day at 8:45 a.m., and it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis. Disney reps are claiming there will be signage out front and that there will be more celebrities to choose from this year.
Characters will be spread across the park, some stationed, some roaming. The daily guide maps will direct as to where find specific characters at what times. But one big, collective group shot is available at the end of the “Legends of the Force” parade. Characters and actors strike poses on the Star Tours stage.
Shop til you Ewok
Shopping for merchandise has been moved and split into two locations. The Dark Side Depot will be near the entrance of the Backlot Tour and sell Star Wars merch. Boba’s Bounty will set up within the AFI Showcase exhibit (the end of Backlot Tour) and feature event-specific goods, including a Star Wars Weekend throw. (Warning: This piece sold out the first weekend last year.)
Finale, Part 1
The day ends with the Hyperspace Hoopla, Star Wars characters behaving in a stage show as you’ve never seen them. Bevil warns that if you’re a purist, you might have doubts. This year’s theme remains secretive, but the ’80s seem to be in the air.
Attractions Magazine has posted some video footage of the Hyperspace Hoopla. Check it out!
Finale, Part 2
This will be the last Star Wars Weekend for the current incarnation of the Star Tours ride. It will close for refurbishment and updating on Sept. 8. It’s scheduled to reopen as a 3-D experience in 2011.
Take these helpful hints and tips and use them wisely, young Jedi, as you experience the Power of the Force during Star Wars Weekends! For more information, or to purchase Discount Disney Tickets, please visit our website or Kissimmee Location, The Official Ticket Center. You may also call 1-877-406-4836.