Last Star Wars Weekend set for June 13-15 at Disney Hollywood Studios
Disney’s annual Star Wars Weekends are a must for all diehard fans. Games, shows, celebrity appearances and character sightings galore and there is no telling when you will meet the Dark Side.
Included in the regular park admission the three-day weekends offer fans a galaxy of choices. An absolute must is The Motorcade and Celebrity Welcome parade. Daily at 11:00 a.m. the entire galactic council and all your favorite Star Wars characters parade on Hollywood Boulevard from the main entrance towards the event stage. Make sure to claim a good viewing spot latest by 10:30 a.m.
Symphony in the Stars is the brand new fireworks spectacular shown each night during Star Wars Weekends. Make sure to check the park map and scout out a great viewing location at least 30 minutes prior to the action. The show is a replacement for the popular Hyperspace Hoopla dance party, which while absolutely ridiculous, was super entertaining.
Little tykes can face the Dark Side at the Jedi Training Academy next to Star Tours. There are quite a few sessions throughout the day but if your padawan is set on challenging Vader make sure you sign up upon entering the park. Ask a cast member for directions.
Meeting favorite Star Wars characters and celebrities can be a challenge as lines are long for the character meet and greets and meeting a Star Wars celebrity requires standing in an initial signup line outside the gates of the park in view to obtain a wristband which later enables guests to get a FASTPASS.
After securing celebrity meet and greets true Star War fans will hit Darth Mall to stock up on special events merchandise. Located in the courtyard adjacent to the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, the mall is a shopper’s paradise.
Beyond Star Wars mania: About half of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is set up as a theme park, the other half is off-limits except for the not to be missed behind the scenes tour duped Studio Backlot Tour. There are of course the iconic rides such as the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Staring Aerosmith and the park’s hottest ticket Toy Story Mania!
Beware! All Star Wars Fans will be riding Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. The ride overhauled in 2011, uses 3-D special effects and has over 50 combinations of scenes so each ride is a different experience. The Studios also boosts fabulous shows such as Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and the Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage!
At night make sure not to miss Fantasmic! Relax, sit back and enjoy as Mickey Mouse, as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, puts on a show using pyrotechnics, laser lights, water effects, live actors and music.
The three-day weekend attracts large crowds, so plan ahead and may the force be with you.
Liliane Opsomer is the coauthor of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids and a photographer to The Color Companion: The Unofficial Guide.
She is passionate about travel, Disney, fairies, hobbits and all things magical. Some of her favorite destinations are Orlando, Anaheim, Middle Earth, Belgium, Sydney, Dresden, Patagonia and Hawaii. Liliane lives in Birmingham, Alabama and visits the parks several times a year.