For all of my Star Wars™ fans, I'm sure you know about Star Wars™ Weekends at Walt Disney World. But, if you have been on the Death Star (naughty, naughty) for the last few years, you might have missed that memo!
Star Wars™ Weekend is a special event held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. This intergalactic extravaganza lasts for 5 weekends, between May 15th and June 14th, 2015. Guests are able to enjoy special presentations, shows, autograph opportunities and even a fireworks spectacular that you’ll only experience during Star Wars™ Weekends.
I was so excited to catch up with a fellow blogger and friend, Amiyrah Martin and she also happens to be on the current Disney Parks Moms Panel! I thought it would be really cool to kick off the month before my Star Wars Celebration fun in Anaheim with a little bit of insiders knowledge and experience! Amiyrah was gracious to lend an EAR and share some pertinent info with all of us!
CD: Let's be honest, we all know food is a must. So with food in mind, how far in advance would you recommend guests to secure dining reservations during the Star Wars™ Weekends timeframes?
AM: Attaining Advanced Dining Reservations is quite a feat during any visit Walt Disney World vacation, so the special character dining for Star Wars™ Weekends is no different. I suggest Guests making their reservations as soon as they can (180 days before their arrival date) when it comes to Star Wars™ Dine-In Galactic Breakfast at Sci-Fi Dine In Theater Restaurant and Jedi Mickey's Star Wars™ Dine at Hollywood & Vine.
CD: Aside from seeing our favorite Star Wars™ characters and riding the attraction Star Tours – The Adventure Continues over and over, are there any other interactive experiences for us as a family?
AM: Yes! Star Wars™ Weekends is one of the best events to interact with actors who have starred in the Star Wars™ saga, or voiced characters for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the new Star Wars Rebels. Last year, my son was starstruck meeting James Arnold Taylor, who voices Obi Wan on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. When we met Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Clone Wars, I was the one freaking out! The best part? These Autograph Opportunities are complimentary to Guests, as long as you attain a FastPass+ selection.
CD: What would be your top three “must-have” experiences for guests during Star Wars™ Weekend with their family?
AM: Wow, that's a tough question! There's so much to do, see and experience at Star Wars™ Weekends, especially for a Star Wars™ fan. But, here are my top 3 must-dos for the whole family:
- Eat a cupcake. Each Star Wars™ Weekends, Walt Disney World pastry chefs create the most decadent cupcakes you'll ever taste. Each one is about as big as a Bantha, so our family of 4 grabs one of each flavor at Starring Roles and shares in the goodness.
- Interact with the characters. Our favorite experiences at Star Wars™ Weekends involve walking Disney's Hollywood Studios, and "bumping" into bounty hunters, Jawas, and Tuskens. My husband let out his very first "squee" when he spotted Boba Fett walking straight towards him near Studio Backlot Tour last year.
- Sign your padawans up for Jedi Training Academy. This is a must-do if your children have never enjoyed this experience, and it's the perfect time to learn about The Force! If you choose to let your little ones fight the Dark Side, you'll have to get up bright and early before park opening to secure a spot during Star Wars™ Weekends. Slots fill up quickly during this special event, so you'll want to enter the queue as early as possible. Also, make sure that your padawan is with you when you sign up. Cast Members need to ask them some important, but fun, questions before they're able to start their training.
CD: Gosh this is making me giddy and thinking of the numerous ways to have fun and make memories with my kids leaves me teary eyed. I have to ask because you know, I am pretty sentimental. With all of the amazing experiences and interactions with characters and cast members, what is YOUR favorite memory with your family during Star Wars™ Weekend?
AM: My favorite memory from our last Star Wars™ Weekends experience was ending a long day watching Symphony in the Stars with my family. We secured a great spot in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, purchased popcorn, and watched one of the most amazing fireworks shows we've ever seen at Walt Disney World. To watch the magic of Star Wars™ transformed in this capacity just warmed my heart. To watch the faces of my Star Wars™-loving kids as they immersed themselves in the show made me cry. I know it's a memory that we'll all remember forever.
CD: I love Disney fireworks, they make me cry too! I can't wait to experience this with my own eyes one day. Thank you so much, Amiyrah for sharing your experience and thoughts!
Here's a fun Disney Parks Moms Panel video recently released that is all about Star Wars™ Weekends, featuring Amiyrah and Star Wars™ Clone Wars voice actress, Ashley Eckstein!
I don't know about all of you, but I'm itching to visit Walt Disney World during Star Wars™ Weekends. While our family won't make the big celebration this year, we are saving towards the fun! Another friend of mine, Maria Smith, shared more information about this fun event on her blog – Mamalicious Maria. Combined, you have a great foundation of what to expect should you venture to Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios using the Force.
As always, may the fun be with you! Make sure to visit the official Star Wars™ Weekends website!
About Amiyrah Martin
Amiyrah Martin is a New Jersey wife, mom, airman in the Air National Guard and online Freelance Writer. She's also part of the Disney Parks Moms Panel, an online forum where moms (and dads!) answer your questions and offer advice and tips about Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Vacation Club, Disney Cruise Line, team sports at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and runDisney events.
So, how about you? Have you been to Star Wars™ Weekends, or is it on your bucket list? I'd love to hear all about it!