Hi everyone! I’m back to tell you all about the actual experiences Star Wars weekends has to offer. I’ll start by saying, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out yesterday’s post. It details some of the things you need to know before going. And remember, you have to have a valid park admission to get into Disney’s Hollywood Studios to access all things Star Wars!
There are loads to do at SWW and every year they add something new and special. From the dining experiences to the fireworks, the days are loaded with all things Star Wars. As a family of 4 that includes 2 young girls (then 2 and 6), you’d think that this event wouldn’t really appeal to us. But you’d be wrong! My girls loved almost all of it!
If the girls had been interested in the Jedi Training Academy, we would’ve headed there first! This experience is available throughout the year and is fun because it allows kids to become a Jedi and battle Darth Vader and his stormtroopers live on stage. However, the Jedi Training experience during SWW also allows for padawans (jedis-in-training, a.k.a your kids) to be selected to participate in the actual SWW themed parade for that day! My girls though, were just a bit stage shy and didn’t seem into it. So, we headed first thing over to Darth’s Mall.
Darth’s Mall was setup as a special place (indoors and air-conditioned thankfully!) that had all of the special SW related merchandise. It is also the place where you can meet Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, and Stormtrooper Donald! They even Admiral Akbar’s Snackbar where you could purchase snacks and drinks in specially themed cups and containers. If you plan on buying anything SW-related while there, this is the place to go. And while they do sell some SWW merchandise in the Tattooine Traders gift shop (you know, the gift shop that the Star Tours ride conveniently exits you through), I would recommend purchasing from Darth’s Mall because not only is it not as crowded because they control how many people are allowed in at any given time, but the selection is much better. Not to mention, the Tattooine Traders gift shop is tiny anyway, and gets congested very quickly on SWW days.
After finishing up at Darth’s Mall, we headed back out to get us a spot for the Legends of the Force Motorcade. The SW motorcade is a fantastic SW-themed parade that is led by Jedi Mickey himself. This is also the parade that features your padawans! If you’re a SW fan, you’ll appreciate just how many characters they have represented in this parade, from storm and sand troopers to droids to sandpeople to Darth Vader himself, you’ll get to see them all. They even include the newer generation of SW characters from the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series! This is also where you’ll get to see some of the actors and voice talents for past SW movies and series. This is definitely one of the must-see experiences during your day at SWW.
After that, it was time for some lunch, and while we didn’t do the SW-themed dining because our trip was a last-minute decision, I’d encourage you to try out what they have to offer! You can check out the dining options by visiting Disney’s own website here.
After refueling, it was time to enjoy some of the other meet and greets as well as the actual Star Tours ride. Be sure to keep an eye out all around you because as you walk around the park, they have certain characters patrolling and perusing. We got our picture with some and my husband and 2yo got to see the Mos Eisley cantina band! Also, be sure to check your special park map for the locations of the special meet n greets. They range from Ewok Chip and Dale to Chewbacca to the “real” Luke and Leia.
Can you tell Boo wasn’t so sure about this Gamorrean Guard? ^_^
We just missed out on Leia as she switched with Luke just as it was our turn. It just so happens though, that Luke was fantastic with the girls! He chatted with them all about moisture farms!
After riding Star Tours a couple of times (thanks to child swap since Belle wasn’t tall enough to ride yet) we headed back to Darth’s Mall to see if we could get a photo with Jedi Mickey and Leia Minnie. They too swapped out for Darth Goofy and Stormtrooper Donald right before our turn earlier that morning. Thankfully, this time we got it!! The look on Boo’s face when she saw Leia Minnie was unlike any other Minnie Mouse meet and greet for her and I’m so glad we went back!! She could NOT stop hugging her! <3 And while you’re there, if you’re a fangirl, then don’t miss out on Ashley Eckstein’s (she’s been a voice talent on Star Wars the Clone Wars as well as more recently, Sophia the First!) Her Universe merchandise. She had some really fun shirts, dress, hoodies, and jewelry there last year and I’m sure she won’t disappoint this year. (Note: If you’re also a whovian, you can check out her Doctor Who merchandise in the UK pavilion at Epcot!)
There are also opportunities to get autographs by some of the Star Wars celebrities and I HIGHLY recommend getting in line for these first thing that morning. Now, I just have to stress to you how you should NOT miss James Arnold Taylor!! If you don’t know him chances are you’ve heard him and didn’t even know it, so for your own reference here’s his website. We actually got to meet him and he even talked to the girls in Obi Wan Kenobi’s voice! He’s a super nice guy and amazingly talented. We caught his stage show, called Obi Wan and Beyond, and it was worth every second of the around 20 minutes we waited to get in. Seriously, don’t miss this! You’ll be entertained, captivated, and completely in awe of how talented he really is. Even our littles loved the show!
You can watch our GoPro video of the motorcade if you skip to 22:47 (anything before that is from the day prior when we partied for 24hrs in the Magic Kingdom!). This is also includes the video of us meeting James Arnold Taylor, meeting Luke Skywalker, a good portion of the Obi Wan and Beyond show, and the entire Symphony in the Stars fireworks show!
And to end the night off right, a day at Disney wouldn’t be complete without some amazing fireworks! Symphony in the Stars fireworks is a fantastic fireworks display set to the wonderful music of John Williams. It’s a great way to end the evening! If you’d like even more detailed info on specifically this year’s SWW, then be sure to check out this website.
And there you have it! I hope you all go and get to experience all the fun! And if you do, please share with us either here or over on our fb page! ~M ºoº