More Star Wars coming to Hollywood Studios in December, Star Wars Weekends officially canceled

The Disney Parks blog has revealed new information about Star Wars experiences opening in December, including the Launch Bay and the new Jedi Training Academy featuring the Seventh Sister.

A new Star Tours module featuring Jakku will also debut, and will be featured on every Star Tours flight for the first several months. Check out this awesome preview of the Millennium Falcon soaring through Jakku’s starship graveyard.


Alas, with all the upcoming construction around Hollywood Studios, it was announced that Star Wars Weekends will not happen during 2016. No word on whether the annual fan-favorite event will return in upcoming years, but I’m definitely crossing my fingers. Thanks to James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstein, and all the Disney Parks cast members for making Weekends such a fantastic event. We’ll miss it greatly.

Star Wars Weekends Episodes IV & V – The Heat Awakens

SWW2015_MerchandisePoster (1)The last few days of Star Wars Weekends are always filled with an odd combination of melancholy and relief. Melancholy because Star Wars is about to be ripped out of your life again; relief because that means you get your weekends back to do adult things. Not only that, but it’s hot. Really, really, really hot. I always tell people to not let the heat and humidity get in the way of attending Star Wars Weekends, and I mean that with all my heart. But I still can’t over-emphasize how darn hot it feels after five straight weekends spent at a theme park where nearly every event takes place outside. Star Wars Weekends is so much better with an indoor theatre and I hope and pray we get a return to air conditioning next year — if there even is a next year with all the rumored construction coming up at Hollywood Studios.

Despite the heat and general malaise, the last two Star Wars Weekends were tons of fun, and included a first-time, amazing guest. Stories and pictures under the cut!

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Star Wars Weekends Episode II: Celebrate the Love

Welcome to May 22-24, the second of five wonderful Star Wars Weekends! This was a pretty special weekend for us. Not only was it a weekend that featured the likes of Warwick Davis, Silas Carson, and Vanessa Marshall, but it was also our anniversary.

We were fortunate to stay at the Swan and Dolphin resort hotel on Disney’s Boardwalk area. Nestled between Hollywood Studios and Epcot, it’s a perfect location with the perfect price point. Because it’s not technically a Disney hotel, it comes in much cheaper than the majority of the park-owned properties but still maintains all of the perks and quality you’d come to expect from a stay at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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A Newbie’s Guide to Star Wars Weekends

Amy Ratcliffe recently attended her first Star Wars Weekends and if her coverage is any indication, she had a fabulous time. Check out her write-ups of the Rebel Hangar lounge experience, all the tiny desserts, the plethora of specialty drinks, and meet and greets with Star Wars characters.

We also recapped our time at Weekend 1, and stay tuned for our recap of Weekend 2!

Star Wars Weekends Episode I: The Humidity Menace

May 15-17 marked the first weekend of Walt Disney World’s annual Star Wars Weekends, held during five weekends in May and June at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Given our love of both Star Wars and Disney World, our close proximity to the parks (about 10 minutes from our garage to the DHS parking lot), and our status as annual passholders, it’s a no-brainer that we spend at least some part of every weekend at the park.

This year Brian and I decided to take off work on Day 1 in order to kick off the festivities with a bang. Week 1 also marked the first ever appearance of Ian McDiarmid at Star Wars Weekends!

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Star Wars Weekends Guests Announced!

SWW2015_MerchandisePoster (1)In all the excitement for Celebration, it’s easy to overlook that other event that happens every May and June at Walt Disney World — Star Wars Weekends! The event will take place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from May 15-June 14 at (soon to be renamed) Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Earlier this afternoon the Disney Parks blog and The Official Site announced the Star Wars celebrities appearing this year, including the first appearances of two very special guests, Ian McDiarmid and Frank Oz!

Weekend I (May 15 – 17)

  • Ian McDiarmid: Senator/Emperor Palpatine (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Amy Allen: Aayla Secura (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Tiya Sircar: Sabine Wren (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend II (May 22 – 24)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Silas Carson: Ki-Adi-Mundi, Nute Gunray (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones;Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Vanessa Marshall: Hera Syndulla (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend III (May 29 – 31)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Daniel Logan: Boba Fett (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones)
  • Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend IV (June 5 – 7)

  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend V (June 12 – 14)

  • Frank Oz: Yoda (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

James Arnold Taylor will be hosting the event, with Ashley Eckstein on hand to host the Padawan Mind Challenge (in addition to her Weekend IV guest appearance).

Also of note this year: a new complex of shops for Darth’s Maul on Streets of America and a new inside location for celebrity autographs just off Commissary Lane.

In addition to celebrity appearances in “Stars of the Saga” and “Star Wars: Rebels”, Ray Park and Warwick Davis will be appearing in their own one-man shows. No work yet if Ian McDiarmid and Frank Oz will be appearing as part of “Stars of the Saga” or a separate interview like last year’s “Conversation with Mark Hamill”.

Who’s excited? I’m excited!