Once a year the galaxy far, far away comes to Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios! It’s the place where The Clone Wars and A New Hope unite generations over a beloved saga in the magic of Star Wars the Weekend (SWW)!
In order for you and your family to get the most out of SWW you need to plan!
Hollywood Studios usually opens at 8am. The park traditionally opens at least 30 minutes early to accommodate the large crowds. This year my family got there by 7 and the park opened at 7:28. The Stormtroopers will be guarding Hollywood Boulevard. Stop, take pictures and interact with them. They are a lot of fun.
Now once inside the park, what do you do first?
You split up. If you have children ages 4 to 11, you will want to head over to the Epic Stunt Theater to sign up for Jedi Training. Space is limited and your child MUST be with you. Next, head over to ABC Sound Studio to sign up for the Padawan Mind Challenge.
While you are signing up for these 2 events, give a family member your Keys to the World (room key or park ticket) and send them to get fast passes for Toy Story Mania. Toy Story Mania fills up FAST and if you don’t have fast passes, you can be waiting 2 or more hours.
There will be plenty of opportunities to take pictures with SWW characters. You will find the good guys around the Star Tours and Premiere Theater area and the “bad” guys will be hanging around the Back Lot area. Have fun and interact. Ask Queen Amidala questions about the Senate or the weather on Naboo. And be sure to bring something to trade with the Jawas. Any little trinket or small toy from the dollar store is perfect!
And don’t miss the Legends of the Force Motorcade. The parade includes all your favorite Star Wars characters, the Celebrities and the Florida 501st Legion.
As with any Disney parade, you need to get your spot early. The parade travels down Hollywood Boulevard at 11 am. We like to line up around 9 – 9:30 to get a spot in the shade and to get a street view for the kids. Everyone will be crowding in. Take turns saving your spot with other family members.
Your next stop is Darth’s Mall. A MUST DO for SWW. Great merchandise that can only be bought during SWW will be here, as well as pictures with C3P0 and R2D2.
Ashely Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in the Clone Wars, will be at the Mall promoting her line of Star Wars clothing, Her Universe. Ashley is an awesome person to follow and meet. Be sure to purchase your Her Universe merchandise before getting in line for an autograph. She will only be there an hour each day so check the event times and be there early!
There’s plenty more to see at Darth’s Mall, so plan a couple of hours here.
If you need to get out of the heat, consider taking in one of the Celebrity Appearances. These events take place in the Premiere Theater, and you line up across the street in an alley (shaded). You probably don’t need to be there too early, an hour will get you in. This year I saw “An Ewok’s Take” by Warwick Davis, a very funny and entertaining actor. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
A day at SWW is not over till you see the Hyperspace Hoopla! The Hyperspace Hoopla, located on the stage at “the hat”, is a dance-off between The Rebel Alliance and The Empire. A lot of fun! This is a big attraction and the crowd will reach from the hat all the way to the entrance of the park. So get there early!
Make your dinner reservations for around 9. The Hoopla is only 30 minutes, and you will need to re-fuel from a busy day. We love the Sci Fi Theater and a cold milkshake for then end of our day! How about you?
Planning is the key to a great SWW, and I have many more tips to make it smooth and enjoyable! You will not only want to catch your favorite Star Wars characters but also want to include all the fun at the other parks. It’s easy to get it all in if you know what to do – and it’s time to plan your 2014 SWW Adventure! I’m here to help!