The Force is now even stronger at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the addition of several new Star Wars themed attractions that will excite even the smallest padawan.
Something that isn’t new and is certainly a fan favorite is Star Tours. Since 1989, fans have been joining C-3PO and R2-D2 on intergalactic adventures on this 3-D stimulator ride. Star Tours has recently been updated Star Wars: The Adventure Continues which now includes exciting new adventures from the Star Wars prequels to the new film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My oldest son was super excited that Finn and BB-8 were part of the new additions to the ride. Star Tours is a great ride to enjoy again and again because the ride experience can be different each time. Star Tours can be found by Echo Lake near the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Show Spectacular…just keep an eye out for the recreation of an Ewok forest and the AT-AT.
Right beside Star Tours you have the Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple. This 20 minute interactive show plays several times throughout the day and your little padawan is welcome to sign up and put their Jedi skills to the test. The show has undergone a facelift as well with the addition of new characters and a new storyline. Younglings now join two Jedis at an ancient Jedi temple where they must face their fears and do battle with popular Star Wars villains (Darth Vader, the Seventh Sister, and Kylo Ren). Remember, your child must be between the ages of 4-12 to participate and you must sign up early! A spot is not guaranteed and lines in the morning can be very long. Keep in mind the child who wishes to sign up must be present. Registration opens when the park opens and you must register at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost. If you cannot get your little Jedi into the show, it is still worth catching one of the performances. The audience is even encouraged to help fight the villains with the power of the Force! For a preview of the show, check out the video below:
At Echo Lake you can also enjoy Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, which is a new 10 minute short film that highlights the most memorable moments within the saga. This is a great place to relax from the heat in between rides and shows, especially if you have a little fan of Star Wars!
If you get hungry at Hollywood Studios, you can feed your bantha sized appetite with new food inspired by the Star Wars universe at Backlot Express, which is a quick service credit restaurant by Echo Lake. Help yourself to Dark Side Chicken and Waffles or Galactic Chicken Salad, and for dessert, try a BB-8 lemon cupcake or a Darth Vader chocolate and peanut butter cupcake. Not only limited to Hollywood Studios, you can find BB-8 themed Rice Krispy snacks through the parks and resorts.
At the center stage at Hollywood Studios you will find Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away. This stage show features clips from various films from the saga as an introduction to some of the most iconic characters in the galaxy! Don’t be surprised to see Darth Maul or even Chewbacca in this stage show that celebrates Star Wars and the characters that make it great. Check your park map for show times. This stage show plays throughout the day. Below, you will find a video that previews the show:
Also featured on the center stage is Captain Phasma and her First Order stormtroopers. At various times during the day, Captain Phasma and her troops will march in formation near the Launch Bay onto the center stage. Watching the stormtroopers march in formation is definitely fascinating and you shouldn’t miss it!
The Star Wars Launch Bay is a great addition to the park for any Star Wars fan. Here you can enjoy looking at props and costumes from the different films and meet some of your favorite characters at two separate meet and greet encounters.
Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens greets guests with his menacing demands and will try to extract information about the Resistance from you. The meet and greet is fun and intense (so keep that in mind). Kylo Ren does not break character for pictures and will not sign autograph books. Check out a video from our meet and greet session with Kylo Ren. My son loved the experience and has said numerous times that it was his favorite of the trip:
Also joining Kylo Ren at the Star Wars Launch Bay is Chewbacca…everyone’s favorite Wookie! Chewbacca is a lot of fun and will bring out the kid in you, especially if you grew up loving the series. Just like Kylo Ren, Chewbacca will “talk” to you! My boys got a kick out of this and he was super sweet with them! Like Kylo Ren, Chewbacca will not sign autograph books, but will take pictures.
When you exit the meet and greets at the Star Wars Launch Bay visitors should be on the lookout for Jawas! They are happy to pose for pictures and to even trade items you have for odds and ends that they have collected around the universe! Before our trip, I prepared little baggies of goodies for the Jawas to look through. They love shiny things and even the most random things they will get them excited. My boys loved this interaction experience. My oldest son traded a small car for a droid part and my youngest traded a paper clip for a jumping alien toy (I am pretty sure it was supposed to be a womp rat).
Also, outside of the Star Wars Launch Bay and around the Chinese theatre you will find stormtroopers on patrol. Please note that they will not stand for pictures because they are in character and are on strict orders to not break on patrol. My son put on his Kylo Ren hoodie and was able to get close to them (they slowed down long enough for me to get a quick picture). Watching them patrol is actually pretty comical. They will open trash cans forcibly and look inside, they will inspect strollers, and things like that. So, if you are enjoying a Mickey bar around that area…keep an eye out.
Probably the most exciting addition to the park Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular! The show pairs fireworks to the iconic music of John Williams and also pulls quotes from the movies to create an absolutely amazing experience. This is a must see and if you can’t wait to see it, I have recorded the entire show for you, just check out the video below! Even if you are not a fan of Star Wars, I feel you would thoroughly enjoy this show. It will take your breath away. There is also a dessert party that you can attend to accompany this fireworks show. It is called Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party. Desserts and drinks are inspired from Star Wars, of course, and you are guaranteed a fantastic viewing area for the fireworks. Contact your agent for more information and current pricing for this special event! If you are interested, we would be more than happy to set that up for you. Here is a photo of the tables set up for the dessert party:
Starting June 17, 2016, Hollywood Studios will host Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular which will include projections of different clips from the Star Wars movies over the Chinese theatre, as well as fireworks paired to Star Wars music and iconic quotes. This will be something not to miss the next time you go to Hollywood Studios!
Disney also hosts special events that are Star Wars related that every Star Wars fan needs to keep in mind when planning their trip. First off, there is Star Wars Weekends which feature special events and parades for a special celebration of one of the most iconic movies in history. Disney is also offering Star Wars half marathons during the year. Please, check with your agent at Pirate and Pixie Dust Destinations for more information about these events if you want to work them into your trip!
Coming soon to Hollywood Studios is Star Wars Land! Along with a new Toy Story Land, Star Wars Land will expand its current presence at the park with two new rides (including a brand new ride featuring the Millennium Falcon), two new restaurants, and more intergalactic fun for the whole family! With 14 acres being added devoted to Star Wars, you know this is going to be big and we actually have a good feeling about this!
If you have any questions or need help planning your next vacation, please contact one of our PPDD Agents.