Star Wars Land Brings Big Changes To Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Star Wars Land Brings Big Changes To Disney’s Hollywood Studios

With all the news about this being the final Holiday Season of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and rumors of Star Wars Land breaking ground in early 2016, I thought now would be a good chance to look at what Star Wars Land is going to bring to the Park.

Last month at the D23 Expo, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger was announced the 14 acre expansion coming to Walt Disney World.

Star Wars Land Expansion - Bob Iger
Photo: Disney

We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance,” said Iger.

The Story of Star Wars Land

Star Wars Land Expansion from a distance
Photo: Disney

When you walk into Star Wars Land you will be walking into a whole new and never seen before gateway planet located in the Outer Rim that if filled with new and familiar characters and locations based on stories from a galaxy far, far away.

The inhabitants of this last frontier will offer every guest an authentic and immersive experience where every single detail is in story. From the restaurants to the storefronts, each experience will be ‘out of this world’ and appeal to all of your senses…even smell.

Star Wars Land will come to life on both coasts with updates to existing attractions and entertainment, new experiences and celebrations, but most importantly new attractions, restaurants, and shops.

Star Wars Land Attractions & Event Details We Know About

  • Star Tours: Later this year, the Star Tours attraction will receive an update that will include a new destination from Episode VII and encounters with new characters.

  • Jedi Training Academy: Later this year, the Jedi Training Experience will be enhanced with new designs, characters, and a new story.

  • Star Wars Launch Bay: The Star Wars Launch Bay, currently under construction in the former Magic of Disney Animation, will be where guests can explore exhibits, interact with characters, view exclusive content, and even try the newest Star Wars games from Disney Interactive.

Star Wars Launch Bay
Photo: Disney
  • Star Wars Season of the Force: Expanding on the successful Star Wars Weekends, this new Limited Time Season Event will be arriving in Early 2016 on both coasts with enhanced character experiences, special food and beverage options, limited merchandise events, and will conclude with an all new fireworks spectacular set to the epic John Williams score.

Star Wars Land Attractions & Event Details We Don’t Really Know About

Star Wars Land - Millenium Falcon
Photo: Disney

  • Star Wars Land Entrance: We know that the entrance to Star Wars Land will include an experience that immerses you in land completely. Will it be entering through a forest? Or will you enter through a loading bay?

  • Millennium Falcon Attraction: We know we will have the chance to fly a mission on the iconic Millennium Falcon where we find ourselves in the middle of an epic battle, and I can only guess that this will be a simulator experience similar to Star Tours.

  • Cantina Experience: We know that a ‘Cantina Experience’ will be a part of the Star Wars Land Expansion, but will this be based on Mos Eisley Cantina or will we find a new Cantina for galactic libations?

  • Star Wars Land Entertainment: We know that the new Star Wars Land will feature some great new entertainment, but will this be a ‘nightclub’ setting? Characters Roaming the Land? A new show?

  • Star Wars Land Storefronts and Restaurants: We know that we will be able to experience new Star Wars Restaurants and Stores, but what will they sell? Will they take a special currency?

  • Star Wars Land Inhabitants: We know that all of the inhabitants of this ‘last frontier gateway planet’ are welcoming us with open arms, but how will we communicate? Will they sport a new name badges like the ones you can purchase during Star Wars Weekends?

Star Wars Land Flying Millenium Falcon
Photo: Disney

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Frozen Summer Fun Has Arrived At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

There’s a chill in the air at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, because until September 7, 2015 the park is playing host to “Frozen” Summer Fun.

This year’s “Frozen” Summer Fun Celebration has some great new additions that include an enhanced parade, a super-cute Olaf stage show, the opportunity to catch ‘Frozen Fever’, fun Photopass settings, an improved Hyperion Theater, DJ Chill on the 1’s and 2’s, and a fireworks finale that is truly spectacular.

The Frozen Summer Fun LIVE! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios line-up is full of fun activities and here are some tips for making the most of each:

Frozen” Royal Welcome (10:30 am and 1:30 pm) – Hollywood Boulevard

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

The “Frozen” Royal Welcome is your chance to see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, and their friends as they make their way into Hollywoodland to join the “Frozen” Summer Fun Festivities.

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

 

The parade begins near the entrance of the park as Royal Arendelle Flag Corps lead the procession as Princess Anna arrives in a horse-drawn sleigh, Kristoff and his ice cutters follow, before skiers clear a path for Olaf to visit, and then a flurry of skaters show Queen Elsa down Hollywood Boulevard.

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

 

The entire procession pauses twice along the route as guests in Hollywoodland are invited to join in singing “Let It Go!”

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

 

You will want to grab a spot on the early side if you want to have a prime spot near one of the two parade stops. The best “Frozen” Royal Welcome Spots are near the large screen along Hollywood Boulevard (for the best Olaf views) or near the sound tent for Center Stage (for the best Elsa views).

Olaf’s Summer Cool Down (11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm, and 5:30 pm) – Center Stage

Having always dreamed of being in “snow business,” Olaf is joined by some of his summery friends to sing his famed number, “In Summer,” inviting the audience to join in. Then, Olaf sends a flurry from his personal snow cloud out over the audience in an icy blast.

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

 

Since this show is performed on Center Stage, there is little to no shade so my best tip is to stand as long as you can and then catch the rest of the show as you pass by during the day.

I definitely wouldn’t skip it, but if it is blazing hot I won’t judge you for catching the show in bits and pieces.

For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration (Several Times a Day with FP+ Availability) – Hyperion Theater

While the Royal Historians of Arendelle host this fun and comedic retelling of the unique story of their kingdom is unchanged, the all-new in-theater effects and special appearances by Anna, Elsa and Kristoff are outstanding.

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

 

If you can grab a FastPass+, do so! You won’t regret catching the show again for the new effects, and the AC is an especially nice treat.

Frozen Fever (Continuous loop) – ABC Sound Studio

Twice each hour beginning at 10 a.m. daily, guests also can view a showing of the new animated short, “Frozen Fever,” which debuted in theaters with Disney’s live-action “Cinderella,” and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film inside the ABC Sound Studio.

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

Again, this is a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the park in the cool air.

Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party (5:45 – 9:30 pm) – Center Stage

Once the sun goes down, DJ Chill and some favorite Disney Characters take to the stage to host the “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party.

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

What I super love about this year’s Dance Party, is that there are characters in the crowd dancing with the guests.

Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular (9:30 pm) – Center Stage

As the night comes to a close, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf come together at the Event Stage for a grand finale to the day’s festivities, kicking off an awe-inspiring “Frozen” Fireworks display set to the music of “Frozen” and, of course, a flurry of snow!

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

I usually try to watch the show from as far back as possible, however these fireworks are woven pretty tightly with the stage show so being close has some great perks.

Frozen” Themed Photopass Spots

There are two new “Frozen” themed Photopass spots, and they are both a lot of fun.

Located just outside of the entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will find a “Frozen” Summer Fun Sand Sculpture.

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

Then just along the banks of Echo Lake, there is a Photopass spot that ‘Rocks’…don’t believe the Trolls it’s not a bit of a fixer-upper.

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

There is also a “Frozen” Summer Fun Premium Package option for guests to purchase at an additional cost that includes reserved viewing for the Frozen Royal Welcome complete with regal refreshments of water, soft drinks, and ice cream; reserved seating for a showing of For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration; and Frozen Fireworks viewing paired with a Frozen-themed dessert party complete with specialty desserts, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. Cost is $69 for adults and $39 for children ages 3-9 (tax and gratuity included). Reservations can be made online at DisneyWorld.com or by calling 407-939-3463.

Frozen Summer Fun 2015 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

 

I had a great day of “Frozen” Summer Fun, and I can’t wait to go back again!

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Star Wars Weekends: Week 1 Highlights

Stormtroopers welcome visitors to Star Wars Weekends

On May 15, Star Wars Weekends 2015 began. I look forward to this event every year and usually attend it a few times over the course of the five weeks it’s held. Saturday, May 16 I went with my mom and nephew to celebrate my nephew’s 16th birthday. Our schedule was largely determined by what he was interested in so I didn’t get to experience everything. This post will focus on highlights of what I did experience.

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I didn’t actually get to go inside Darth’s Mall because every time we went by the line was pretty long and my nephew was much more interested in riding rides. I did want to mention it though because it’s in a new location this year and split up into different shops depending on what you’re looking for. I will definitely be visiting at some point before the event is over!

Star Wars Weekends 2015 Darth's Mall

IMG_4473If you’ve been to Star Wars Weekends in the past, then you know what to expect with the motorcade. It doesn’t change other than the visiting celebrities for that week. But that doesn’t mean it’s boring! I love watching it every year and never get tired of seeing the Star Wars versions of my favorite characters and of course the awesome 501st Legion. One difference from last year….Goofy is missing his boxers!

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The character meets are always a ton of fun, even if you just stand and watch them for a few minutes. I especially love the wandering characters like the stormtroopers and gamorrean guard. This year I noticed that the stormtroopers were meeting with a couple of imperial officers. A few other characters were also in different locations than they had been in the past. Darth Vader was meeting in the old Backlot Tour building this year and Darth Maul had moved to his old spot across from Superstar Catering. Ewok Chip and Dale had moved to an area next to One Man’s Dream.

Chip and Dale new location
Chip and Dale new location

One thing I’m really excited to talk about is the new Rebel’s Hangar Lounge. I made reservations when they first announced it and was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was. In the evenings, half of the Backlot Express restaurant turns into the Rebel Hangar

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Entrance
Entrance
Centerpiece
Centerpiece
Cantina Band
Cantina Band

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Graffiti

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Pommes Frites
Pommes Frites
Lightsaber Bites
Lightsaber Bites
Jawas were eager to trade
Jawas were eager to trade
Greedo
Greedo
Decorations
Decorations

And then our night ended with a Symphony in the Stars.

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Wordless Wednesday: Our First Hat Picture

Wordless Wednesday – January 7, 2015

Wordless Wednesday Hat Disney's Hollywood Studios

It was a gloomy day when this picture was taken, but this was Zoe and my parent’s first visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios so of course we had to have our picture taken in front of “Bi Hattttttt” as Zoe said.

I am excited to see this sucker go, but I can’t help but smile as I see everyone posting pictures!

I know this is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday…but I couldn’t help myself!

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Frozen Summer Fun Live! First Impressions

Frozen Summer FunFrozen is a phenomenon that seems to have taken the world by storm. Disney’s Hollywood Studios introduced a new summer event that started this past Saturday and runs through September 1st. The special event is called Frozen Summer Fun Live! and has different entertainment and shopping opportunities throughout the day. Please note that there will not be fireworks the evening of August 23rd since that is the night of the special hard ticket event Villains Unleashed. All other aspects of the Frozen Summer Fun Live! should take place as scheduled on that date.

Being that this was the first day and a holiday weekend, I thought it best to make good use of the fact that I was staying at Port Orleans French Quarter and took advantage of Extra Magic Hours. The first scheduled event for Frozen didn’t take place until 11am, however I had a feeling the lines for merchandise might get a bit out of hand the later into the day it got. So, arriving at the park before EMH at 8am wasn’t exactly fun, but ended up being the right call. When Shelley and I arrived, we were greeted (okay, along with all the other guests) by snow on Hollywood Blvd, which was a nice touch.

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After stopping for a few pictures along the way, we arrived at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post at 8:10am. The line was already a couple of switchbacks deep at this point. Thankfully, we made it inside to check out all of the Frozen merchandise with only about a 15 minute wait. Later in the day this time soared to several hours, so if you are going on a weekend especially and staying on property, get in early for EMH and get out of the trading post. I’d like to note that the procedures changed throughout the day (keep in mind it was the first day of an event that seems to have come together relatively quickly as events go in the parks). At one point, when we arrived, there were separate lines for the Trading Post and for Oaken’s Frozen Funland, but when we returned later they were combined lines. We decided to skip the Funland for now and returned later when the line subsided some.

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Once we grabbed breakfast after finishing our shopping, we decided it was getting close to 10am, so we should probably find a spot for the first event of Frozen Summer Fun at 11. Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome starts near the front of the park and proceeds up Hollywood Blvd to make a stop at the Sorcerer’s Hat stage. After a brief singalong to Let It Go, most of the processional returns to their floats and continues along the parade route in front of American Idol, ending by the Jedi Training Academy stage. This was a short processional, but a nice way to see the characters, and was the debut of Kristoff. Some guests may recognize familiar elements borrowed from the Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade featured during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.  Shelley watched the parade from Hollywood Blvd near the intersection of Sunset Blvd and I watched from the benches across from the restrooms near Backlot Express. I think for a first timer, it is a better experience on Hollywood with the snow and then being able to follow up to the stage for the singalong. As far as we could tell, the only thing I missed out on from my location was the small group of young Frozen fans included in the parade. For repeat viewing though, I loved my spot on the benches with nobody allowed to stand in front as it is close to where the floats come.

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We learned while we were waiting for the parade that tickets were required for the next event, the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at 12:30pm. This is why I ended up splitting from Shelley before the parade started. Tickets are handed out back at the corner of San Francisco Street by the Premiere Theater from park opening (not EMH). Each guest in your party should be present to collect the ticket for whichever time of the show you’d like to attend. There are several shows each day, usually about an hour apart starting in the afternoon. I got there around 10:25am and there were still several hundred tickets left for the first show. On the ticket, a return time is listed to queue up near the extended queue for Muppetvision, which is often used during Star Wars Weekends for shows in the same theater.

859294531For me, the singalong was what I was most looking forward to, but it even ended up exceeding my expectations. Since this was the first day of Frozen Summer Fun, we didn’t have a lot of information or really know what to expect beyond what was in the times guide. The approximately 30 minute show featured stage performers, primarily Eric and Aria, the Royal Historians of Arendelle, as well as Princess Anna, Queen Elsa and Kristoff.  The historians help tell the story of Frozen and lead guests along in a singalong of most of the songs from the movie where one can follow the bouncing snowflake on the video screen along with clips from the film. The performers were fantastic and added so much more humor to the story and what could have been your usual old singalong. For us, this was absolutely the highlight of the day and Frozen Summer Fun! I’ve even included a video below of some of the highlights, but left out the surprise ending.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5116pm6T6A&list=UUxhza5Nkv4ukqKmIFLE9dgA&feature=share&index=2

Later in the day, we made our way back to Oaken’s Frozen Funland to check out the indoor ice skating. Since I’ve got a bum knee and aversion to most things cold, I opted to simply watch the fun unfold. For those who have been in Sound Stage 1 before for things like Darth’s Mall during Star Wars Weekend, I will say they have made an amazing transformation of the same space. It was absolutely incredible how you felt transported to Arendelle! I loved that there were some Magic Shots created just for this event and Photopass photographers were setup inside and out for several of these locations. Luckily, I had Memory Maker for this trip and have included some of those shots here. The highlight of the space is definitely the indoor ice skating on real ice. There’s even a mini Zamboni to clean it! We were fortunate enough to time our visit right and to catch the performance of Wandering Oaken’s cousins and their ice skating to some of the songs from Frozen. This was fantastic and so much fun. I also loved seeing the young kids (and their parents) get to play in the Do You Want To Build A Snowman Snowground.

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ifz1_IDwqBQ&list=UUxhza5Nkv4ukqKmIFLE9dgA&feature=share

Due to some prior commitments, we were not able to stay for the dance party and fireworks, but that gives us something to look forward to catching over the next few weeks. I absolutely loved the Frozen Summer Fun celebration and think you should check it out. Even some of my friends who aren’t as big of Frozen fans as I am thought that the event was well done and were impressed with what they had seen. Have you been yet to Frozen Summer Fun Live! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? If so, what were your first impressions? Will you be heading back like I will be several times over the next couple of months?

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Star Wars Weekends: June 13-15, 2014

Star Wars Weekends 2014Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is well under way, and with so many great things happening during this special event I thought I would summarize what you will find going on!

Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required for Star Wars Weekends, and availability is limited for some events so get to your destination early! Also listen for updates throughout the day as events may be cancelled at any time!

Star Wars Weekends: June 13-15, 2014

Scheduled Celebrity Appearances

A highlight of Star Wars Weekends is having the chance to get an autograph from an actual Star Wars Celebrity around Echo Lake! Be warned though, this is not something everyone will be able to do so make sure you choose your celebrity wisely and get there extremely early!

Disney FASTPASS Ticket Required  An extremely limited number of FASTPASS tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first served basis at the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to the right of the turnstiles. Based on demand, distribution may begin prior to Park opening. Please note: You must have a FASTPASS ticket to receive an autograph.

To receive a FASTPASS ticket:

  • Join the line of the celebrity you would most like to meet. You may not save a place in line for other party members.
  • While in line, you will receive a wristband. Your wristband along with your theme park ticket or pass will entitle you to receive one autograph FASTPASS ticket. Only one autograph FASTPASS ticket will be distributed per Guest. Each Guest must be present to receive a FASTPASS ticket. You may not get FASTPASS tickets for other members of your party.

After receiving your FASTPASS ticket, continue to wear your wristband. You will need to be wearing your wristband to get an autograph.   Your FASTPASS ticket will have a designated autograph return time. Until that time, you may enjoy other Star Wars Weekends activities. At your designated time, proceed to the Celebrity Autograph Location at Echo Lake to show your wristband and present your FASTPASS ticket.   Once FASTPASS tickets for visiting celebrities are distributed, we may distribute a limited number of “stand-by” tickets with a return time. “Stand-by” tickets do not guarantee you an autograph.   Please note: Receiving a FASTPASS ticket for an autograph at Star Wars Weekend will not restrict you from reserving access with FastPass+ for additional attractions, entertainment and more at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Star Wars Weekends celebrities for June 13-15, 2014 are:

  • Dee Bradley Baker (Captain Rex / the Clones, Bossk and several additional characters – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  • Cat Taber (Padmé Amidala and several additional characters – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  • Tom Kane (Yoda, the series narrator and several additional characters –Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  • Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker and several additional characters – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  • Steve Blum (Zeb Orrelios – Star Wars Rebels)

Character Meet and Greets

Wordless Wednesday

In addition to an awesome variety of Star Wars Characters that you can find walking throughout the Star Wars Weekends crowds, you can find special meet and greets at the following locations:

  • Meet Disney Pals as Star Wars Stars in Darth’s Mall
  • Meet the Heroes of the Clone Wars Near the Premiere Theater
  • Meet the Dark Side near Darth’s Mall
  • Meet Members of the Jedi Council near Premiere Theater
  • Meet Members of the Rebel Alliance Near Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue

Entertainment

Star Wars Weekends Stormtrooper

Throughout Star Wars Weekends there are some AMAZING opportunities to interact with characters, participate in great shows, and see fireworks that will blow your mind!

  • Stormtroopers at the Gate – Hollywood and Vine Intersection: Watch out for this duo, as their mission is to keep the ‘Rebel Scum’ in line.

  • Boba Fett Patrol: Boba Fett patrols the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage, and this is your chance to get up close and talk to the universe’s most relentless bounty hunter.

  • Stormtrooper Patrol: In addition to Boba Fett, you can find Stormtroopers patrolling and guarding the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage. They might ask you a few questions, so be cool!

  • Legends of the Force:  Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade – 11:30 am: The Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade is filled with Star Wars celebrities, characters, and lots & lots of Stormtroopers! The motorcade begins at the front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and makes its way to the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage with an awesome welcome and photo opportunity.

  • DJ Lobot Dance Party – 7:00 pm: Dance to the tunes that DJ Lobot is spinning in front of the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage.
  • Symphony in the Stars – 9:30 pm: If you haven’t seen fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you are missing out! This year Hyperspace Hoopla (I am crying as I type this) has been replaced with this spectacular fireworks show, and if you have ‘Glow with the Show’ ears you are going to want to bring them along!

  • Padawan Mind Challenge – 1:00 pm, 2:15 pm, 4:15 pm, and 6:30 pm: Younglings ages 4-11 will enjoy the Padawan Mind Challenge where your intergalactic hosts ask some fun and interactive Star Wars trivia challenges with a few surprises.

  • Jedi Training Academy – 8:45 am, 9:20 am, 10:05 am, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, and 7:30 pm: Kids under 12 can hone their lightsaber skills at the Jedi Training Academy with extra opportunities than normal during Star Wars Weekends. 

Celebrity Presentations

Star Wars Weeekends

During Star Wars Weekends, the Premiere Theater plays home to some exceptional experiences that include the celebrities visiting the celebration for the weekend.

Make sure that you check to see if there are any FastPass+ available for the following shows!

Some of the scheduled presentations include:

  • Behind the Force – Star Wars:  Rebels – 1:45 pm Ashley Eckstein, who is the voice behind Ahsoka Tano, and special guests give a behind-the-scenes “sneak peek” of the upcoming TV show Star Wars: Rebels.

  • Stars of the Saga – 3:30 pm James Arnold Taylor, the Star Wars Weekends 2014 host, and special guests share 30 minutes look into the fascinating lives and movie-making adventures with some of the stars from the Star Wars saga. It’s a talk-show format that is full of fun and surprises!

  • Stormtrooper Pre-Show Make sure you head to the Premiere Theater15 minutes prior to Stars of the Saga for a unique and immersive pre-show featuring several Imperial Stormtroopers on a special assignment. I always make sure to get to the Theater early to catch this!!!

  • Obi-Wan and Beyond starring James Arnold Taylor – 7:00 pm James Arnold Taylor, from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, gives us a glimpse into the world of voice acting. James performs over 200 popular and iconic characters, and Zoe LOVES this show!

Special Food and Beverage Options

What would a special event at Walt Disney World be without special food and beverage offerings???

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Star Wars Weekends have some pretty awesome ones this year that are only available during event weekends!

  • Darth Vader Cupcake: Available at Sunset Ranch Market, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company, Pizza Planet Arcade and Darth’s Mall

  • Yoda Cupcake: Available at Backlot Express, Starring Rolls and Darth’s Mall

  • Darth Vader Souvenir Popcorn Bucket with Caramel or Regular Popcorn: Available at Popcorn Carts and Darth’s Mall

  • Stormtrooper Souvenir Mug with Fountain Beverage: Available at Sunset Ranch Market, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company, Pizza Planet Arcade

  • Admiral Ackbar’s Snackbar in Darth’s Mall featuring a variety of snacks and refreshments.

Throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios you will find additional food, beverage, and alcoholic beverage locations have been added. 

Merchandise

Star Wars Weekends 2014 Darth's Mall

Star Wars Weekends event merchandise can be found in Darth’s Mall sponsored by HP which will be located between Toy Story Mania and the Studios Backlot Tour this year.

Again, be prepared for some crazy lines!!! But the treasures inside are worth the wait!

Once inside you will find limited edition pins, specialty gift cards, artwork, collectibles, and commemorative apparel for the entire family!

In addition to Star Wars Weekends logo’ed items, you will also find the Her Universe line of apparel by Ashley Eckstein.

Star Wars Weekends Stage

I know that we are all stoked about Star Wars Weekends, and can’t wait to share all of the fun! So make sure you are following our adventures on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

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Villains Unleashed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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As night falls on August 23, over 50 of the most notorious Disney villains will emerge from their lairs and unleash fun all over Disney’s Hollywood Studios® until the 13th hour!  “Show your Disney villain side” and get tickets for this special one-night-only event!

Villains Unleashed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Saturday, August 23, 2014 8 p.m.–1 a.m.

$67/Adults, plus tax • $62/Children, plus tax

Buy today and reserve your spot!
To purchase tickets call 407-939-1933

Entertainment offerings subject to change without notice. Admission to this event requires a separately priced ticket. Ticket valid only during specific event hours and subject to availability.

Here’s just some of the villainous entertainment in store for you:

Over 50 villains in one Park
For one night only, over 50 Disney villains will come together to roam the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, put on scary fun performances, and party until the 13th hour.

Villainy in the Skies
The villains will unleash their powers into the night sky for a special themed fireworks display. Don’t forget to pick up your limited-edition Glow with the Show Ears to complete the experience.

Oogie Boogie Variety Show
Guests can oogie-boogie down to Theatre of the Stars to see Mr. Oogie Boogie host a special variety show crawling with entertainment.

Hades Hangout and Dance Party
Rub shoulders with the ruler of the Underworld and dance the night away with his party crew—DJ Igg Nite, the Underworld Dancers and more.

Star Wars™ Villain Zone
Guests can unleash their dark side in a special zone filled with some of the most feared villains in the Galactic Empire.

“Ex-Scream” Makeovers
“Show your Disney villain side” and get your face painted to look just like one of your favorite Disney villains!

Villainous food, drink and merchandise
Enjoy mischievous treats and remember the night of villainy for years to come with villain-themed merchandise (not included with price of ticket).

Extended Attraction Hours
Up to 10 Disney’s Hollywood Studios® attractions will be running until 1 a.m. Beware the villains who may be lurking around some of your favorite attractions.

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Star Wars Weekends: June 6-8, 2014

Star Wars Weekends 2014

Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is well under way, and with so many great things happening during this special event I thought I would summarize what you will find going on!

Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required for Star Wars Weekends, and availability is limited for some events so get to your destination early! Also listen for updates throughout the day as events may be cancelled at any time!

Star Wars Weekends: June 6-8, 2014

Check out the Star Wars Weekend Guide

for June 6-8, 2014 here.

Scheduled Celebrity Appearances

A highlight of Star Wars Weekends is having the chance to get an autograph from an actual Star Wars Celebrity around Echo Lake! Be warned though, this is not something everyone will be able to do so make sure you choose your celebrity wisely and get there extremely early!

Disney FASTPASS Ticket Required 
An extremely limited number of FASTPASS tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first served basis at the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to the right of the turnstiles. Based on demand, distribution may begin prior to Park opening. Please note: You must have a FASTPASS ticket to receive an autograph.

To receive a FASTPASS ticket:

  • Join the line of the celebrity you would most like to meet. You may not save a place in line for other party members.
  • While in line, you will receive a wristband. Your wristband along with your theme park ticket or pass will entitle you to receive one autograph FASTPASS ticket. Only one autograph FASTPASS ticket will be distributed per Guest. Each Guest must be present to receive a FASTPASS ticket. You may not get FASTPASS tickets for other members of your party.

After receiving your FASTPASS ticket, continue to wear your wristband. You will need to be wearing your wristband to get an autograph.

 

Your FASTPASS ticket will have a designated autograph return time. Until that time, you may enjoy other Star Wars Weekends activities. At your designated time, proceed to the Celebrity Autograph Location at Echo Lake to show your wristband and present your FASTPASS ticket.

 

Once FASTPASS tickets for visiting celebrities are distributed, we may distribute a limited number of “stand-by” tickets with a return time. “Stand-by” tickets do not guarantee you an autograph.

 

Please note: Receiving a FASTPASS ticket for an autograph at Star Wars Weekend will not restrict you from reserving access with FastPass+ for additional attractions, entertainment and more at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Star Wars Weekends celebrities for June 6-8, 2014 are:

  • Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker – Star Wars: Episode IV: A New HopeStar Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes BackStarWars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)(Darth Bane – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  • Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace)
  • Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian – Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes BackStar Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)
  • Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger – Star Wars Rebel)

Character Meet and Greets

Wordless Wednesday Star Wars Weeekends

In addition to an awesome variety of Star Wars Characters that you can find walking throughout the Star Wars Weekends crowds, you can find special meet and greets at the following locations:

  • Meet Disney Pals as Star Wars Stars in Darth’s Mall
  • Meet the Heroes of the Clone Wars Near the Premiere Theater
  • Meet the Dark Side near Darth’s Mall
  • Meet Members of the Jedi Council near Premiere Theater
  • Meet Members of the Rebel Alliance Near Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue

Entertainment

Star Wars Weekends Stage

Throughout Star Wars Weekends there are some AMAZING opportunities to interact with characters, participate in great shows, and see fireworks that will blow your mind!

  • Stormtroopers at the Gate – Hollywood and Vine Intersection: Watch out for this duo, as their mission is to keep the ‘Rebel Scum’ in line.

  • Boba Fett Patrol: Boba Fett patrols the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage, and this is your chance to get up close and talk to the universe’s most relentless bounty hunter.

  • Stormtrooper Patrol: In addition to Boba Fett, you can find Stormtroopers patrolling and guarding the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage. They might ask you a few questions, so be cool!

  • Legends of the Force:  Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade – 11:30 am: The Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade is filled with Star Wars celebrities, characters, and lots & lots of Stormtroopers! The motorcade begins at the front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and makes its way to the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage with an awesome welcome and photo opportunity.

  • DJ Lobot Dance Party – 7:00 pm: Dance to the tunes that DJ Lobot is spinning in front of the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage.
  • Symphony in the Stars – 9:30 pm: If you haven’t seen fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you are missing out! This year Hyperspace Hoopla (I am crying as I type this) has been replaced with this spectacular fireworks show, and if you have ‘Glow with the Show’ ears you are going to want to bring them along!

  • Padawan Mind Challenge – 1:00 pm, 2:15 pm, 4:15 pm, and 6:30 pm: Younglings ages 4-11 will enjoy the Padawan Mind Challenge where your intergalactic hosts ask some fun and interactive Star Wars trivia challenges with a few surprises.

  • Jedi Training Academy – 8:45 am, 9:20 am, 10:05 am, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, and 7:30 pm: Kids under 12 can hone their lightsaber skills at the Jedi Training Academy with extra opportunities than normal during Star Wars Weekends. 

Celebrity Presentations

Star Wars Weeekends

During Star Wars Weekends, the Premiere Theater plays home to some exceptional experiences that include the celebrities visiting the celebration for the weekend.

Make sure that you check to see if there are any FastPass+ available for the following shows!

Some of the scheduled presentations include:

  • Behind the Force – Star Wars:  Rebels – 1:45 pm
    Ashley Eckstein, who is the voice behind Ahsoka Tano, and special guests give a behind-the-scenes “sneak peek” of the upcoming TV show Star Wars: Rebels.

  • Stars of the Saga – 3:30 pm
    James Arnold Taylor, the Star Wars Weekends 2014 host, and special guests share 30 minutes look into the fascinating lives and movie-making adventures with some of the stars from the Star Wars saga. It’s a talk-show format that is full of fun and surprises!

  • Stormtrooper Pre-Show
    Make sure you head to the Premiere Theater15 minutes prior to Stars of the Saga for a unique and immersive pre-show featuring several Imperial Stormtroopers on a special assignment. I always make sure to get to the Theater early to catch this!!!

  • Visit to the Maul starring Ray Park – 5:15
    Learn film and martial arts techniques from the actor who brought Darth Maul to life – the man, the Sith, the legend…Ray Park.  In this unique presentation, the martial arts master performs impressive demonstrations as he reveals his journey to action-star fame.
  • Obi-Wan and Beyond starring James Arnold Taylor – 7:00 pm
    James Arnold Taylor, from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, gives us a glimpse into the world of voice acting. James performs over 200 popular and iconic characters, and Zoe LOVES this show!

Special Food and Beverage Options

What would a special event at Walt Disney World be without special food and beverage offerings???

httpv://youtu.be/DRiz6NSEFwk

Star Wars Weekends have some pretty awesome ones this year that are only available during event weekends!

  • Darth Vader Cupcake: Available at Sunset Ranch Market, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company, Pizza Planet Arcade and Darth’s Mall

  • Yoda Cupcake: Available at Backlot Express, Starring Rolls and Darth’s Mall

  • Darth Vader Souvenir Popcorn Bucket with Caramel or Regular Popcorn: Available at Popcorn Carts and Darth’s Mall

  • Stormtrooper Souvenir Mug with Fountain Beverage: Available at Sunset Ranch Market, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company, Pizza Planet Arcade

  • Admiral Ackbar’s Snackbar in Darth’s Mall featuring a variety of snacks and refreshments.

Throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios you will find additional food, beverage, and alcoholic beverage locations have been added. 

Merchandise

Star Wars Weekends 2014 Darth's Mall

Star Wars Weekends event merchandise can be found in Darth’s Mall sponsored by HP which will be located between Toy Story Mania and the Studios Backlot Tour this year.

Again, be prepared for some crazy lines!!! But the treasures inside are worth the wait!

Once inside you will find limited edition pins, specialty gift cards, artwork, collectibles, and commemorative apparel for the entire family!

In addition to Star Wars Weekends logo’ed items, you will also find the Her Universe line of apparel by Ashley Eckstein.

Star Wars Weekends 2014

I know that we are all stoked about Star Wars Weekends, and can’t wait to share all of the fun! So make sure you are following our adventures on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Star Wars Weekends: May 30 – June 1, 2014

Star Wars Weekends 2014

Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is well under way, and with so many great things happening during this special event I thought I would summarize what you will find going on!

Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required for Star Wars Weekends, and availability is limited for some events so get to your destination early! Also listen for updates throughout the day as events may be cancelled at any time!

Star Wars Weekends: May 30 – June 1, 2014

Check out the Star Wars Weekend Guide

for May 30- June 1, 2014 here.

Scheduled Celebrity Appearances

A highlight of Star Wars Weekends is having the chance to get an autograph from an actual Star Wars Celebrity around Echo Lake! Be warned though, this is not something everyone will be able to do so make sure you choose your celebrity wisely and get there extremely early!

Disney FASTPASS Ticket Required 
An extremely limited number of FASTPASS tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first served basis at the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to the right of the turnstiles. Based on demand, distribution may begin prior to Park opening. Please note: You must have a FASTPASS ticket to receive an autograph.

To receive a FASTPASS ticket:

  • Join the line of the celebrity you would most like to meet. You may not save a place in line for other party members.
  • While in line, you will receive a wristband. Your wristband along with your theme park ticket or pass will entitle you to receive one autograph FASTPASS ticket. Only one autograph FASTPASS ticket will be distributed per Guest. Each Guest must be present to receive a FASTPASS ticket. You may not get FASTPASS tickets for other members of your party.

After receiving your FASTPASS ticket, continue to wear your wristband. You will need to be wearing your wristband to get an autograph.

 

Your FASTPASS ticket will have a designated autograph return time. Until that time, you may enjoy other Star Wars Weekends activities. At your designated time, proceed to the Celebrity Autograph Location at Echo Lake to show your wristband and present your FASTPASS ticket.

 

Once FASTPASS tickets for visiting celebrities are distributed, we may distribute a limited number of “stand-by” tickets with a return time. “Stand-by” tickets do not guarantee you an autograph.

 

Please note: Receiving a FASTPASS ticket for an autograph at Star Wars Weekend will not restrict you from reserving access with FastPass+ for additional attractions, entertainment and more at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Star Wars Weekends celebrities for May 30 – June 1, 2014 are:

  • Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace)
  • John Ratzenberger (Major Bren Derlin – Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)
  • Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger – Star Wars Rebel)

Character Meet and Greets

Star Wars Weekends
Photo: Disney

In addition to an awesome variety of Star Wars Characters that you can find walking throughout the Star Wars Weekends crowds, you can find special meet and greets at the following locations:

  • Meet Disney Pals as Star Wars Stars in Darth’s Mall
  • Meet the Heroes of the Clone Wars Near the Premiere Theater
  • Meet the Dark Side near Darth’s Mall
  • Meet Members of the Jedi Council near Premiere Theater
  • Meet Members of the Rebel Alliance Near Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue

Entertainment

Star Wars Weekends Stormtrooper

Throughout Star Wars Weekends there are some AMAZING opportunities to interact with characters, participate in great shows, and see fireworks that will blow your mind!

  • Stormtroopers at the Gate – Hollywood and Vine Intersection: Watch out for this duo, as their mission is to keep the ‘Rebel Scum’ in line.

  • Boba Fett Patrol: Boba Fett patrols the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage, and this is your chance to get up close and talk to the universe’s most relentless bounty hunter.

  • Stormtrooper Patrol: In addition to Boba Fett, you can find Stormtroopers patrolling and guarding the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage. They might ask you a few questions, so be cool!

  • Legends of the Force:  Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade – 11:30 am: The Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade is filled with Star Wars celebrities, characters, and lots & lots of Stormtroopers! The motorcade begins at the front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and makes its way to the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage with an awesome welcome and photo opportunity.

  • DJ Lobot Dance Party – 7:00 pm: Dance to the tunes that DJ Lobot is spinning in front of the Star Wars Weekends Event Stage.
  • Symphony in the Stars – 9:30 pm: If you haven’t seen fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you are missing out! This year Hyperspace Hoopla (I am crying as I type this) has been replaced with this spectacular fireworks show, and if you have ‘Glow with the Show’ ears you are going to want to bring them along!

  • Padawan Mind Challenge – 1:00 pm, 2:15 pm, 4:15 pm, and 6:30 pm: Younglings ages 4-11 will enjoy the Padawan Mind Challenge where your intergalactic hosts ask some fun and interactive Star Wars trivia challenges with a few surprises.

  • Jedi Training Academy – 8:45 am, 9:20 am, 10:05 am, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, and 7:30 pm: Kids under 12 can hone their lightsaber skills at the Jedi Training Academy with extra opportunities than normal during Star Wars Weekends. 

Celebrity Presentations

Star Wars Weeekends

During Star Wars Weekends, the Premiere Theater plays home to some exceptional experiences that include the celebrities visiting the celebration for the weekend.

Make sure that you check to see if there are any FastPass+ available for the following shows!

Some of the scheduled presentations include:

  • Behind the Force – Star Wars:  Rebels – 1:45 pm
    Ashley Eckstein, who is the voice behind Ahsoka Tano, and special guests give a behind-the-scenes “sneak peek” of the upcoming TV show Star Wars: Rebels.

  • Stars of the Saga – 3:30 pm
    James Arnold Taylor, the Star Wars Weekends 2014 host, and special guests share 30 minutes look into the fascinating lives and movie-making adventures with some of the stars from the Star Wars saga. It’s a talk-show format that is full of fun and surprises!

  • Stormtrooper Pre-Show
    Make sure you head to the Premiere Theater15 minutes prior to Stars of the Saga for a unique and immersive pre-show featuring several Imperial Stormtroopers on a special assignment. I always make sure to get to the Theater early to catch this!!!

  • Visit to the Maul starring Ray Park – 5:15
    Learn film and martial arts techniques from the actor who brought Darth Maul to life – the man, the Sith, the legend…Ray Park.  In this unique presentation, the martial arts master performs impressive demonstrations as he reveals his journey to action-star fame.
  • Obi-Wan and Beyond starring James Arnold Taylor – 7:00 pm
    James Arnold Taylor, from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, gives us a glimpse into the world of voice acting. James performs over 200 popular and iconic characters, and Zoe LOVES this show!

Special Food and Beverage Options

What would a special event at Walt Disney World be without special food and beverage offerings???

httpv://youtu.be/DRiz6NSEFwk

Star Wars Weekends have some pretty awesome ones this year that are only available during event weekends!

  • Darth Vader Cupcake: Available at Sunset Ranch Market, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company, Pizza Planet Arcade and Darth’s Mall

  • Yoda Cupcake: Available at Backlot Express, Starring Rolls and Darth’s Mall

  • Darth Vader Souvenir Popcorn Bucket with Caramel or Regular Popcorn: Available at Popcorn Carts and Darth’s Mall

  • Stormtrooper Souvenir Mug with Fountain Beverage: Available at Sunset Ranch Market, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company, Pizza Planet Arcade

** The Stormtrooper Souvenir Mug was temporarily sold out last weekend, so you may want to check for its availability in the park**

  • Admiral Ackbar’s Snackbar in Darth’s Mall featuring a variety of snacks and refreshments.

Throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios you will find additional food, beverage, and alcoholic beverage locations have been added. 

Merchandise

Star Wars Weekends 2014 Darth's Mall

Star Wars Weekends event merchandise can be found in Darth’s Mall sponsored by HP which will be located between Toy Story Mania and the Studios Backlot Tour this year.

Again, be prepared for some crazy lines!!! But the treasures inside are worth the wait!

Once inside you will find limited edition pins, specialty gift cards, artwork, collectibles, and commemorative apparel for the entire family!

In addition to Star Wars Weekends logo’ed items, you will also find the Her Universe line of apparel by Ashley Eckstein.

Star Wars Weekends 2014

I know that we are all stoked about Star Wars Weekends, and can’t wait to share all of the fun! So make sure you are following our adventures on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Star Wars Weekends 2014 : What I Am Looking Forward To The Most

Star Wars Weekends 2014 is full of some new and returning special offerings that make this event one of my favorites of the entire year!

Here are just a few of the things that make me even more excited about Star Wars Weekends 2014!

FastPass+ Integration

This is the first year that you will be able to use FastPass+ to book Star Wars Weekends 2014 shows at the Premiere Theater such as Behind the Force – Star Wars: Rebels, Stars of the Saga and Obi-Wan and Beyond starring James Arnold Taylor.

So make sure you hop on My Disney Experience to see if there are any still available!

Augmented Reality

There was a tweet from Gary Buchanan that popped up in my timeline about Augmented Reality coming to Star Wars Weekends 2014!

Star Wars Weekends 2014

Needless to say I am now following @Aurasma and have downloaded the app!

Specialty Popcorn Buckets and Mugs

I will openly admit this…I am an absolute sucker for themed popcorn buckets and mugs, and these will be mine!!!

Star Wars Weekends 2014

Star Wars Weekends Gift Cards

I have a pile of used Disney Gift Cards that I just can’t bear to get rid of, and these Star Wars Weekends 2014 giftcards will hopefully be in my pile soon!

Star Wars Weekends 2014

Star Wars Weekends Cupcakes

Why choose one Star Wars Weekends 2014 cupcake when you can have two? The Darth Vader and Yoda cupcakes look adorable and delicious, and can be found at Sunset Ranch Market, ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Company, Pizza Planet Arcade and Darth’s Mall.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRiz6NSEFwk

Symphony in the Stars

Star Wars Weekends 2014

While Hyperspace Hoopla’s absence has caused me to shed a tear or two, I am excited to see Symphony in the Stars! If you haven’t seen fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you HAVE to catch them during Star Wars Weekends 2014! This isn’t really an option!

Character Dining

Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Star Wars Weekends 2014

We had the chance to experience the Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast at the Sci-Fi Dine-In and it was amazing! I absolutely cannot recommend this experience enough, and the bonus is that you can experience this any time during the week and not just during Star Wars Weekends 2014!

Legends of the Force:  Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade

Star Wars Weekends 2014

Star Wars Weekends 2014

I love a good parade…so if you add Star Wars characters, celebrities, and lots of Stormtroopers I am ALL in!!! I love watching this parade!!!

Star Wars Weekends 2014

What are you most looking forward to during Star Wars Weekends 2014?

Make sure you are following our Star Wars Weekends adventures on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram