Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups: Star Wars Weekends

On weekends in May and June, Disney’s Hollywood Studios hosts Star Wars Weekends, a celebration of the Star Wars universe including special character meets and character meals, celebrity appearances, stage shows, and fireworks. These weekends are a must for any Star Wars fan, and most features of the event are included with park admission.

So what can Star Wars fans see at Star Wars Weekends? If you want to meet some of your favorite Star Wars characters, there are multiple meet-and-greets throughout the park (check a park map or Times Guide for more information). Guests should plan to line up early for popular characters such as Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul – their lines will be long most of the day. There are also character meals only available during this time of year when guests can meet Star Wars villains such as Darth Vader and some Stormtroopers at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, or Mickey and friends in their Star Wars costumes at the Hollywood & Vine. As with all Walt Disney World table-service restaurants, advance dining reservations are highly recommended. (Note that these special character meals are also available during the week, not just on the weekends).

Guests can also see Star Wars celebrities during their visit. Some celebrities sign autographs, and in the past Disney’s Hollywood Studios has used a paper FastPass system for guests wanting autographs. Keep in mind that not all appearing celebrities will be available for autographs, and celebrity appearances vary each weekend. Guests can also see voice actor James Arnold Taylor interview Star Wars celebrities at the Theater of the Stars – be sure to arrive early, as this is a popular show.

If you’d like to see both characters and celebrities, you can catch all of them in the Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade, which begins at the entrance of the park. You should also grab a spot early for this – it’s very popular and there is typically only one per day of the event.

To continue the Star Wars feel of your day at Star Wars Weekends, you may also want to catch a ride on Star Tours – just note that anything Star Wars-related tends to be more crowded during Star Wars Weekends, so try using a FastPass to avoid a long wait.

The best way to end a Star Wars-filled day is with the Symphony in the Stars fireworks show. Arrive early for a good spot (you may be noticing a theme here) and look for viewing spots all along Hollywood Boulevard – the fireworks take place above the Chinese Theater.

Because most of the events are limited to the weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), Star Wars Weekends can make Disney’s Hollywood Studios a very crowded place, so be prepared for long lines. If you really want to experience most of what this special event has to offer, I would advise focusing on the Star Wars Weekend events rather than the regular park attractions, because you won’t be able to do it all. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the parks, whether you’re taking on-site transportation or driving, because the parks receive a lot of local traffic during this event. Have a good day plan, and have fun!

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Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful family. Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong – but she also realized how good planning can make such a difference for having a fun, relaxing vacation! Elizabeth became her family’s go-to resource for Disney planning. Now she is dedicating her planning skills to helping other families create vacation memories as a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations. She will plan your trip as if it were her own. Her blog, planningformagic.com, has tons of advice on how to plan your next Disney trip, including trip planning instructions, sample itineraries, dining tips, and more. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter for more planning tips and theme park news. Contact Elizabeth at elizabeth@theaffordablemouse.com.

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