Star Wars Weekends is an event at Hollywood Studios that consists of 4 weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) in late May & early June. This isn’t a special ticket event like Magic Kingdom’s Halloween Party and Christmas Party. Basically, Hollywood is taken over by Star Wars characters, scenery, parades, etc but all the rides and shows operate normally. There are different Star Wars celebrities each weekend, speakers and Q&A sessions. Fastpasses are distributed for celebrity autographs and all the Jedi Training Academy shows are filled in the early morning. A specialty store near Rock N Roller Coaster is full of the normal Star Wars merchandise, specialty items & only found at Star Wars Weekend things. There is a stage set up for a Jedi Quiz Show for kids in the afternoon and the Hyperspace Hoopla to cap off the night.
Last year, we decided to head to the final Star Wars Weekend of 2011. Hollywood Studios is one of my favorite parks and I really wanted to see it as a new experience. I also wanted my daughters to see that it is ok for girls to like “boy” things like Star Wars and not just princesses.
First thing to tell you, the park was crazy crowded! I was just at Disney for Christmas (yes on Christmas) and Star Wars Weekend at Hollywood was busier than the Holidays! At times it was difficult to push a stroller in the crowd. With these crowds also came lines…2 hour waits to see Darth Vader, 45 minute waits for Star Tours, hour waits to get a bad viewing spot for Hyperspace Hoopla.
I will tell you that it wasn’t all bad. We had a great time. When we arrived at 8:15 am for a 9:00 opening, we found the park already open. There were still fastpasses for celebrity autographs. We had a choice of Ray Park (Darth Maul) or Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano), we chose Ashley because my husband the girls love Ahsoka (and my husband wanted to meet her, check out the picture and you will see why). She even signed their custom-made light sabers, which you can make at Star Tours. There was still room in the Jedi Training Academy, so my daughter was able to become a Padawan at Star Wars Weekend! Yes, I know…huge nerd…
Star Wars Weekend is totally worth the time, planning and effort IF you are a fan. If you are not a Star Wars fan and you happen to be at Disney over a Star Wars Weekend, steer clear of Hollywood on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Plan on visiting before or after the weekend either way because it is nice to experience Hollywood without the Hoopla.