Best Things I Love About Disney’s Star Wars Weekends

Best Things I Love About Disney’s Star Wars Weekends
Stormtroopers, Star Wars Weekends Celebrity Motorcade. D.K. Peterson

I just got from Walt Disney World Resort this week, tired and sunburned and sad to leave the magic. But I was very happy to be able to combine two of my favorite things on my most recent trip: Disney and “Star Wars.” I was visiting the World, to a large degree, to attend the opening weekend of Star Wars Weekends and the opening of Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.

So now, after days of sorting through pictures and my notes, I have my top five things about Star Wars Weekends 2011.

What’s your favorite Star Wars Weekends event? If you’ve been, let me know what you think. And you’ve yet to attend the fan event, you’ve simply got to go for yourself to experience it. May the Force Be With You All!

Hyperspace Hoopla

While this dance-off between the “Star Wars” stars is always a Disney fan favorite, this year’s hoopla is particularly strong. In part, it’s because the hoopla has relocated to the Sorcerer Hat Stage, which helps alleviate the crowding. But mostly it’s because this year rocks, seriously, as the musical genre for the Hyperspace Hoopla is rock music. It’s good guys vs. the bad guys, and with their characters’ very energetic and talented skills I want both sides to win! A must-do, even if you have to show up an hour early to get a good spot.

“Obi-Wan and Beyond,” James Arnold Taylor’s One-Man Show

Other than he voiced Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” I knew very little about James Arnold Taylor prior to his show at the Premier Theater. I left his show with a smile on my face, not only impressed with his talents as a voice actor but with his overall personality. It’s a whirlwind of more than 150 impressions and a show that is alternately funny, touching and inspirational. I’d be hard pressed to decide between the Hyperspace Hoopla and this show.

Best Things I Love About Disney’s Star Wars Weekends
Exterior, Star Tours - The Adventures Continue. D.K. Peterson

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

While I’ve always been a fan of Star Tours, the original ride, I have to admit that it wasn’t always on my must-do list for every trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I can honestly say that’s changed now since Star Tours has been upgraded with new technology, including high-def 3D and a much smooth motion simulation ride.

Of course, the big news is that Star Tours – The Adventures Continues takes guests to multiple destinations that are randomly generated, more than 50 different possible combinations. This makes it possible to have different experiences over the course of many, many hours of fun.

I worried that the ride wouldn’t live up to the hype. But I have to say, I’m duly impressed. The queue is entertaining enough that I lingered when I could have moved forward – there are tons of inside touches for “Star Wars,” Disney and Pixar fans. The overall attraction, from queue to ride, offers both action-adventure and laughs. And with the multiple destinations, guests are really drawn into the ride as they wait to see what happens next. Thank goodness for FASTPASS; I’ll be riding this multiple times each time I visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

“Star Wars” Celebrity Motorcade

Normally, I’m not much of a parade person, though I’m generally excited to see anything siphon off the crowds so I can squeeze in more rides while other people watch the procession. But I make an exception for the “Star Wars” Celebrity Motorcade.

It’s not so much to see the “Star Wars” celebrities that anchor the parade, or even Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Stormtrooper Donald or Vader Goofy. It’s to see the all-volunteer armies of Rebel and Empire forces that are invited by Disney to march in the motorcade. It’s something quite breathtaking to see so many characters of George Lucas’ universe and to realize many of those participating make their own costumes and take part in the motorcade out of their deeply committed “Star Wars” fandom. They are MY “Star Wars” celebrities.

“Behind the Force” of “The Clone Wars”

While I do enjoy most of the presentations during Star Wars Weekends that take place at the Premier Theater – and recommend it as a place to cool off in mid-afternoon – I’m particularly fond of this one. And it’s not just because I enjoy the animated coolness of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” No, I really like behind-the-scenes stuff, especially things that give me insights on the technical side of film and television production. And I really like how this show does that, living up to the promise and premise of Disney’s Hollywood Studios back when it was Disney-MGM Studios (even if it makes me a little sad that DHS is no longer a working production facility).

Of course, I’m missing many Star Wars Weekends activities: the Jedi Training Academy (which is a regular feature at Disney’s Hollywood Studios), the Padawan Mind Challenge, photo opportunities and meet-and-greets with “Star Wars” celebrities, and celebrity autographs and people watching (love those die-hard fans in costume)!

So if you’d like to read more about my trip to the event, see more photos and video, just visit my Examiner hub article on Star Wars Weekends with links to various experiences. Or visit more of Chip and Company’s articles on the event.

Please note: some posts may contain affiliate links which means our team could earn money if you purchase products from our site


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