Jedi Tips For Disney Trips: Star Wars Weekends Part 1 (JM)
Hey you! Yes YOU! Smuggling is NOT allowed on Star Tours! Photo by Eric Allen Star Wars Weekends at Disney Hollywood Studios is just weeks away and I wanted to share some helpful tips to help you navigate your way through the event like a Wookie through an asteroid field.
Star Wars Weekends (SWW) takes place every year at Disney's Hollywood Studios that celebrates the entire Star Wars Galaxy - the film saga, Clone Wars animated series, and the expanded universe of books and comics. The event begins on Friday ending on Sunday (this year from May 18 through June 10, 2012). There are a bunch of special characters, celebrities, special shows, panels and presentations that are included with the price of admission to the park for no additional cost. Availability is limited for some events, and may be changed without notice.
Take a Star Tour!
Blast into the universe of Star Wars like never before—in 3-D! Star Tours—The Adventures Continue takes Jedi from Tatooine to Coruscant and beyond. With several possible missions, you never know where the Force may take you.
JEDI TIP! This is one of my favorite attractions and is suitable for the whole family. During SWW lines at this attraction will get pretty long. Try getting to the park as early as possible and get a FASTPASS so you can ride it with a significantly shorter wait time!
Me and the one and only Billy Dee Williams! Can you sign this please?
Have a memento signed by Star Wars celebrities attending the event! One autograph per Guest. A Disney's FASTPASS ensures your place in line at the celebrity autograph kiosk outside the Front Gate entrance. Grab a FASTPASS before the park opens, as quantities are extremely limited and are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Once FASTPASS tickets have been distributed, stand-by tickets may be issued, although stand-by tickets do not guarantee an autograph.
Please note that each Guest must be present to receive a FASTPASS. Guests may not get a FASTPASS for other members of their party, nor may Guests save a place in any FASTPASS line for other party members.
JEDI TIP! Getting the FASTPASS for your favorite Star Wars celeb can be very tricky, time consuming and frustrating. Why? In recent years park management have allowed people to line up before the park closes to "camp out" for their favorite celebrity autograph at the entrance gate toward the far right hand side. The large line then gets broken up into several group lines, one for each celebrity that day. Each has several times listed and as one fills up the next appearance of the celebrity's FASTPASS will be handed out. This policy can and has changed seemingly at the whim of whomever is in charge that day. I can get very tricky as you plan your day around autograph signings running from one end of the park to do a panel, ride an attraction and get photo ops with the characters. This system gives locals the advantage in getting autographs since they can plan ahead of time. I would contact Disney Hollywood Guest Services as you check in to see how they will proceed. Should you end up trying for it you may get lucky. My wife and I lucked out a few years back and got there an hour early and was able to get a pass for each celebrity that weekend. The passes are only good for that day so if you miss one opportunity you will have to do it again for the following day. Meeting the actors is quite the experience and a lot of them have no problems getting pictures and autographs done at the same time. Just be sure to have your camera ready and have someone in line, a cast member or fellow family member take your picture for you.
Teach your children the ways of The Force!
Kids under 12 can hone their lightsaber skills and prepare to do battle with Darth Vader himself at the Jedi Training Academy. And in the Padawan Mind Challenge, they can test their wits before the Jedi Council.
JEDI TIP! Parents, take note. Life is not always fair. A lesson learned when attempting to participate in this interactive attraction. Families must register for training as soon as the park opens so prioritize. Involve the family in making decisions as to what's important to catch during each day of SWW. During the weekend the first class of Padiwans usually will have the option of marching during the first Star Wars Parade so keep that in mind. It would be an extremely special experience for your child to partake in!
At the end of each day, let loose with music, comedy and dancing at the Hyperspace Hoopla! With so many Ewoks, Wookiees, stormtroopers, Jawas and otherworldly creatures, young Jedi and their parents would be wise to have their cameras ready.
JEDI TIP! This is also one of the highlights of SWW. Every year the show changes so be sure to check it out. If you have little ones with you try getting to the stage at least 45 minutes early so they can see. The 45 minute rule also applies to getting prime viewing for the parade.
There are many more tips I will be sharing over the next few weeks so check back! In the mean time May The Force Be With You!
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