Ha, you see what I did there? Yes, I am a certified Star Wars geek. That's one of the reasons why Star Wars Weekends is one of my favorite times of year at Walt Disney World. For the last two weekends of May and the first two weekends of June, Disney's Hollywood Studios becomes a Star Wars fan's paradise. From exclusive merchandise, to exclusive character meet and greets, to the opportunity to meet people who have actually worked on either Star Wars films or The Clone Wars tv series, it's a unique experience that you probably won't find outside of a Star Wars Celebration convention, but with the added bonus of it being at Walt Disney World! So, let's get started exploring this little event shall we?
Star Wars Weekends truly is for Star Wars fans. If you are planning on going to Walt Disney World during Star Wars Weekends and are not a Star Wars fan, there's a simple solution to your problem. Go to Hollywood Studios anytime Monday-Thursday, and hit the other parks on the weekends. You'll forget Star Wars Weekend is even happening.
Now, for you Star Wars fans, a few basic suggestions. One is get there early, preferably right around park opening. The Stormtroopers do a great little show outside the gates if you get there early enough, and it's a lot of fun to watch. Also, grab a special Star Wars Weekends park guide when you walk through the gates. This guide provides all of the show times for the special Star Wars Weekends shows, as well as the locations of Star Wars meet-and-greets and the Star Wars Weekends merchandise location.
- For celebrity autographs, it is extremely important that you get to the park well before opening to get a pass. Similar to a fastpass, these passes tell you a certain time to make your way to your celebrity's autograph area and guarantees that you will get an autograph. If you don't get one of these passes, there is a standby line for autographs, but you are not guaranteed an autograph.
- Everyone in your group wishing to meet the Star Wars celebrity must be present to recieve an autograph pass. One pass = one person's admission. Additionally, each person is limited to one autograph pass per day.
|Ashley Eckstein (Ashoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and creator of the Her Universe clothing line for women) meets a young fan during Star Wars Weekends|
The Star Wars Weekend Celebrity Motorcade
|Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett in Episode II, and all clones in Episodes II and III, as well as The Clone Wars series) rides in the Motorcade (and even videotapes his unique viewpoint)<><><><><><><><>|
Meet and Greets
- Special character meet and greets are generally divided into several areas (the groupings can change from year to year). Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy meet by the Sorecerer's Hat in their special Star Wars Weekends outfits. (A special note for autograph collectors: these characters sign the same as any other costumed variant. The only exception is that Mickey Mouse will also sign for his droid, R2-MK)
|Darth Goofy and Princess Leia Minnie|
|A few fans were lucky enough to converse with all four Jedi masters at one time|
|Jango Fett signs my Star Wars Weekends Character Canvas Bag|
|Getting up close and personal with a member of the Modalnodes while waiting in a charater line|
- A few special character notes
- It is extremely rare (and in some cases, impossible) to meet all of the characters at a particular location at one time. If you really want to see all of the characters, you will need to wait in line multiple times. If you are looking for a certain character, the best thing to do is ask the character attendant at the location if they know when that character will be coming out next. Most Star Wars Weekends character attendants will be more than happy to help.
- The roaming characters in each area are unable to have lines form to take photos with them. Therefore, it can be frustrating and unorganized when trying to meet with them. My best advice is to be persistent, but always polite. Follow the character that you are interested in as he or she moves through the area. Try to keep up with them as close behind as possible. When they notice you have been following them, they will make sure you get your picture. In my personal experience, the most difficult characters to get pictures and autographs from are Aurra Sing and Zam Wessel.
- All characters sign autographs except for certain members of the Modalnodes (only Figrin Dan can sign. He's the one with the instrument that looks sort of like a clarinet) and R2-D2 and C-3PO (but, if you ask Luke or Leia nicely, they may sign for them).
May the force be with you