The annual Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida begin this Friday, May 17. Keep checking back to FANgirl for reports on this year’s event.
Last year I previewed the event for Suvudu, and most of the major highlights remain the same, including the Star Tours ride, the Jedi Training Academy for the younglings in your family, and the Hyperspace Hoopla dance party. This year James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein return as the celebrity hosts for all four weekends. The slate of VIP guests includes Ray Park, Jeremy Bulloch, Warwick Davis, Tim Rose, Billy Dee Williams, and Peter Mayhew from the Star Wars films, and Dee Bradley Baker, Jim Cummings, Sam Witwer, and Tom Kane from The Clone Wars. Jason Fry will also be returning this year, including book signings of the Clone Wars Episode Guide.
Also new this year is a photo opportunity with a “life-size” rancor. The giant beast, which was Jabba the Hutt’s prized pet in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, will be on display during the event. The handcrafted replica is 17 feet long and weighs more than 700 pounds. The reptomammal sculpture is well-traveled — it’s a popular piece at Star Wars events around the globe and will make its way to our park for Star Wars Weekends.
Last year’s post also included my tips for making the most of your Star Wars Weekends experience. This year I asked the Lady Rogues, ever-reliable attendees, for their advice for Star Wars Weekends newbies:
- If possible, pack or buy food and eat it while you’re waiting in line to see any of the awesome stage shows.
- The Backlot Express by Star Tours has self-service drinks and is an great place to catch a break from the sun and watch the Jedi Training Academy.
- If you go to Star Wars Weekends more than once, we recommend once you’ve seen the Hyperspace Hoopla from the front of the stage, head around to the back or side for a different view the next time. You can catch some memorable moments with the characters.
- Another great place to catch a break from the sun is the Great Movie Ride. It’s a slow moving ride through the movies with great air conditioning!
Watch for updates from the events over the next few weeks and another round of the Star Tours Pop Quiz featuring some fangirls who can be spotted at Star Wars Weekend.
Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She also writes about Star Wars for Random House’s science fiction and fantasy blog Suvudu.com and Star Wars Insider magazine and is a contributor for Her Universe’s Year of the Fangirl.
In her spare time, Tricia puts the finishing touches on her first novel, Wynde. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.