Star Wars Fans will not be bored at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
With the opening date for the 14-acre Star Wars Land set for a time far, far away, let’s look at what there is to do at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the avid Star Wars fan right now.
Start your day with Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Disney’s first modern motion simulator ride. The ride film is projected in high definition 3-D with more than 50 combinations of opening and ending scenes. Hold on tight as you experience dips, turns, twists, and lightspeed only to exit hyperspace above Coruscant, on Naboo, Tatooine, Endor, or inside the dreaded Death Star. You could ride Star Tours all day without seeing the same film segment twice. May the Force be with you!
Diehard fans will love the newly opened Star Wars Launch Bay, located in the back of Animation Courtyard. Star Wars Launch Bay is home to a walk-through exhibit, two meet-and-greet areas, a theater showing movies featuring interviews with some of the creators of the new Star Wars films, a small mock-up of the Mos Eisley cantina, where you may mingle with Jawas, and the Launch Bay Cargo shop. Outside, stormtroopers patrol Animation Courtyard asking guests for I.D.—reading their Magic Bands or giving directions to those they see huddled over their park maps.
If you are a true fan, you will want to see it all, and you won’t mind the huge chunk of time it will take out of your touring day. If meeting Chewie and Kylo Ren—or making a quick trade with a Jawa—are your priorities, get there at park opening and head right away to the meet-and-greets.
Each character has a separate queuing area, and lines move slowly. Once you exit one, head right away to the next meet-and-greet.
Trading with a Jawa in Mos Eisley is a lot of fun. Make sure you have something to trade with. Anything shiny will get the Jawa very excited. I managed to make a trade armed with a Band-Aid. You can also have your picture taken with the Jawa, but remember they are shy and hate flash photography! For an in-depth description of all there is to see inside Star Wars Launch Bay, check out the Touring Plans review.
Also new is Captain Phasma’s First Order Stormtroopers March. Several times a day, Captain Phasma leads a group of stormtroopers from Star Wars Launch Bay to the Center Stage in front of the Chinese Theater. Once onstage, she barks orders at the stormtroopers and informs guests that they are now under her control. Captain Phasma stormtrooper march hours aren’t currently listed in the Times Guide, but the march takes place every hour on the hour.
The most Star Wars characters in one spot, however, are to be seen during Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away, a new live-action stage show held several times daily on Center Stage. The show features everybody’s favorite Wookie, Chewbacca, as well as heroes and villains from across the galaxy. The show started April 4, 2016, and there is no known end date. The show will probably run for quite a while, as construction for the future Star Wars Land is ongoing at The Studios. Make sure to get a viewing spot right in front of the stage because it’s a great photo op. Daily show hours are 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.
Young Padawans will want to be part of Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, formerly known as the Jedi Training Academy. Staged about 20 times daily next to the Star Tours building entrance, the show has a Jedi Master and his assistants leading the young volunteers through Jedi training. As the show progresses, Darth Vader and other villains appear, only to be defeated by The Force, which by then is strong with the young ones. If fighting the Dark Lord is important to your child, I recommend you arrive 30 minutes prior to park opening; once the rope drops, head right to the registration area located at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost shop. The young Padawan must be with you, in view, to register.
End the evening with the viewing of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. This 15-minute Star Wars-themed fireworks extravaganza is an absolute must. Star Wars fans will recognize the epic music of John Williams from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Even if you are not a fan of the galactic saga, the nightly fireworks are an absolute must-see. The best viewing points are along Hollywood Boulevard or on the left side off Center Stage Courtyard, facing the Chinese Theater.
Are you excited about the new Star Wars offerings at The Studios? Did you experience them? We would love to hear from you.
Always check your Times Guide for the latest performance schedules of all shows. For more information on all there is to see and do at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa.