Star Wars Weekends are May 16-18, May 23-25, May 30-June 1, June 6-8, and June 13-15 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS) this year! The weekends focus on all things Star Wars, including the animated tv-show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Each year brings new celebrities, shows, parade, and end-of-the-day fireworks. Whether you are a hardcore Star Wars fan or just a fan of Disney, you’ll love going to Star Wars Weekends!
Why Visit During Star Wars Weekends?
If you visit Disney a lot, then you’ve probably gone during different seasons throughout the year. Chris and I try to go to a lot of the special events at Walt Disney World because they always give us a different experience and new things to see and do. For us, Star Wars Weekends are the only way to celebrate the beginning of Summer.
If there is one single reason to visit Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends it’s this: the experience you’ll have at the park during this time of year will be completely different from anything else you’ve ever experienced at the park. So if you are looking to make some new and unusual memories this summer, this is one park celebration you don’t want to miss.
For the first time ever, Walt Disney World is offering Star Wars character meals during Star Wars Weekends! These meals are available May 4, 2014 through June 15, 2014 any day of the week, and prices are steep.
With the new Star Wars character meals, you can pick from two meal options. The “Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine” is a dinner at Hollywood and Vine. This character meal costs $55.99 for adults and $32.99 for children, but if you’d like to upgrade to a Fantasmic! dinning package it would be $59.99 for adults and $36.99 for kids. For this dinner you’ll see Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Ewok Chip ‘n’ Dale, Stormtrooper Donald, and Darth Goofy from 4:15pm until the park closes.
Our personal take on Hollywood and Vine is that the food is not our favorite. It’s an American style buffet with lots of chicken, salmon, veggies, and a few desserts. The kids menu is standard, chicken nuggets and mac & cheese, nothing special. I ate there a long time ago with my family and the food reminds me of a Southern Style dinner, but it’s just not that good.
The second dinner is the “Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast.” This meal takes the place of the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater and instead of playing the standard sci-fi movie trailers it will play Star Wars clips during the meal. This character meal costs $47.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids and you will dine with Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Boba Fett, Greedo, and Jawas. Reservations for the meal are accepted from 8:00am until noon.
Chris and I love the Sci-fi Dine-In Theater! The atmosphere of the restaurant is so much fun, and i love that you can sit in cars to eat. And if you have young children that are really into cars, that’ll be a blast for them. I also used to eat at this restaurant with my family when I was younger so it brings back lots of memories for me. The food is good and has a 50’s diner feel to it with lots of options for burgers, ribs, and even a NY Strip Steak! We highly suggest this restaurant and we’ll be visiting it for the character meal on June 5th!
Personally, I think the character meals are worth it. Why? Because you’ll be able to meet all of your favorites in a relaxed setting and in an air-conditioned building. There is nothing more frustrating than standing outside in the Florida sun when it’s 100 degrees out with a tired and cranky group of people. Bypass all of that and book a character meal!
These meals are sure to be popular so if you want to book a meal you should call 407-WDW-DINE. These character dinning experiences cannot be booked online!
Tips and Tricks
Chris and I have been to Star Wars Weekends twice in the past four years, and we’re planning on going again this year. All tips and tricks are things Chris and I have learned from experience as well as tips that I’ve learned from a few other die-hard Disney bloggers.
Disney events bring new experiences and lots of excitement to the parks. But they also bring large crowds and long wait times for attractions. If you want to miss most of the crowds during Star Wars Weekends, try visiting the first weekend of the event. Crowds usually depend on the guest appearances and since Mark Hamill (who played Luke Skywalker in the original films) is coming June 6th-8th you can definitely plan on that weekend being a madhouse. All diehard Star Wars fans (including Chris and I) will be heading out there for his guest appearance.
Character Meet & Greets
With large crowds you can expect long wait times for all the special shows and character meet and greets. Chris and I don’t do the character meet-and-greets but everything I’ve read says that wait times can get crazy. You’ll want to get in line for Darth Vader early because his lines stay long all day. However, Jedi Mickey’s line can be long early in the day but taper off by the afternoon.
If you decide to do the character meals standing in line to see all the characters won’t be on your list of things to do so you can enjoy more time seeing shows and riding Star Tours numerous times (c’mon, you know you want to!).
Shows & Autographs
If you’re planning on going to a few of the shows, you should definitely arrive early! Last year Chris and I were running late to the park and ran to get in line for Warwick Davis’ show, An Ewok’s Tale. We got there half an hour early and were still able to get seats (thank goodness!). I don’t recommend getting there less than a half an hour early because seats aren’t guaranteed, so a good amount of time to give yourself would be half an hour to an hour before a show starts.
Stars autographs are a huge deal during Star Wars Weekends. Last year we really wanted to get Warwick Davis’ autograph (I wanted him to sign my Harry Potter movies!) but didn’t know that we had to be at the parks hours before they opened just to get a chance to get a Fastpass for the autograph line. Chris and I found out that if the stars are really popular, people will line up the night before outside Hollywood Studios for a chance at a Fastpass. Even if the stars aren’t as well-known, people will still line up a few hours before the park even opens. It’s insane!
Make sure to check the park time guides before you go so you can make decisions on which shows and stars you want to see.
Star Wars Merchandise
One of our favorite things to do during Star Wars Weekends is visit Darth’s Mall which is located behind the Rockin’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror. Chris and I have been at the mall during the early morning and the afternoon, and we recommend going in the afternoon because the checkout lines aren’t long and the building isn’t as crowded. Most people tend to wander into Darth’s Mall during the hottest parts of the day to escape Florida’s humidity so try to go on rides or eat as a way to escape the heat instead.
Everything you read about the merchandise online is that anything limited edition sells out fast. Honestly though, Chris and I have never had a problem getting anything we wanted at the mall. Last year we bought so many things and there were still plenty left for others to buy. Some of our favorite items were the lamps, picture, and Chris’ cell phone case. They also sell Annual Passholder only items that are fun to buy!
Deciding what to see and do
This last tip is specifically from my husband, because I would never have even thought of saying this. If you’re heading out to Star Wars Weekends, a good expectation to have is that you will not be able to do the Star Wars related events along with the regular Hollywood Studio shows and attractions all in one day. All Star Wars related shows line up with regular Hollywood Studios shows so you’ll have to pick and choose what you want to do. We suggest setting aside one day specifically for Star Wars related shows and events and then coming back on a separate day to do all the Hollywood Studios attractions.
What are your thoughts?
So, are you heading out to Star Wars Weekends this year? Have you ever been before or will this be your first time?