Star Wars Weekends at Disney Hollywood Studios Rock!

We stumbled into a Star Wars Weekend at Disney Hollywood Studios during our visit to Disney World on Memorial Day weekend, and it was awesome! Our 6-year-old son was in absolute heaven and our 8-year-old daughter spent much of her time hiding from Darth Maul, who I have to say was super creepy!

Chewbacca, R2-D2, Darth Vader were all walking around the park! Storm Troopers marched everywhere! All the Bounty Hunters were skulking about and that Darth Maul kept popping up! Poor Rose!

They had a Star Wars parade around lunch time. We missed it because we were in The Little Mermaid puppet show. Michael was really bummed out! But he found footage of the parade on You Tube, so that video is on top. (This one is even longer than mine!)

They have a Jedi Training Academy, that I actually think they do year-round, where they choose little guys and girls from the audience to come up and learn how to be Jedis. They put them in little Jedi robes, give them light sabers and then teach them some moves. And then the big surprise – Darth Vader comes out to fight them! After a speech from Darth Vader about joining the Dark Side, Darth Maul runs out also to fight. The video of the kids fighting Vader and Darth Maul coming out is above. (If you listen closely you can hear me exclaim every time Darth Maul passes. Also you can hear me cheering on the little Padawans.)

They pick about 25 kids to participate so you want to get there about 30 minutes before the show starts to get a spot up front. Walsh did not get chosen, and he was crushed! Michael should have yelled for the guy but he didn’t! Also if you come already dressed in character it seems to increase your chances to be chosen!

Chewbaca is so polite. He was opening the door for the Ewoks.

Chewbacca is so polite. He was opening the door for the Ewoks.

They had actors from the Star Wars movies and cartoons there signing autographs and answering questions from fans.

It looks like from the Web site they only do them four weekends a year  – May 22 to June 14. And if you have a grade-school son like we do (or a daughter who is a fan), it is well worth planning your trip around those dates. (Please confirm with Disney the dates for 2010.) I think Michael and I enjoyed it as much as the kids did.

What do you think? Would your kids love the Star Wars Weekends? Would you?

Contests on that can send you on a free trip!

Win a family getaway by sharing your family vacation stories!

Tell the AJC about the special joys of a family vacation and win a free trip.

Win a trip for 4 to Universal Orlando Resort!

You don’t have to write anything on this one, just enter.

Great travel links on that help save you money!

Disney on a dime

Tips for saving money at amusement parks

Orlando parks pack plenty of new attractions

Gallery of new amusement park rides for 2009

20 comments Add your comment


June 5th, 2009
8:40 am

I have never gotten into Star Wars. I’ve seen the first three movies, but I really don’t care for them. I’m just not a fan. I’m probably the only person in the world who doesn’t care for Star Wars…… friends think I’m crazy… I’m not into Science Fiction either…..

Ya’ll play nice today. It’s friday!!!!


June 5th, 2009
8:52 am

Enter your comments here


June 5th, 2009
8:53 am

…anyway, hot topic today – it has been up for 2 hours and only 1 comment!

You are not alone, JJ...

June 5th, 2009
8:57 am

…I refused to see the original Star Wars back in 1977 (and Saturday Night Fever, too; in fact I still have never seen the entire Saturday Night Fever movie, nor Stayin’ Alive, either); I did see all three of the original Star Wars movies AFTER my kids were old enough to see them (back in about 1995).

Geez, Theresa...

June 5th, 2009
8:59 am

…you can go down to North Avenue almost any weekend and see the Techies dressed in their Star Wars and Dungeons and Dragons gear!


June 5th, 2009
9:58 am

My family would have loved a Star Wars weekend! We’re huge fans, and I have been ever since I saw the first Star Wars, under duress, in ‘77. My husband (then boyfriend), a big science fiction fan, insisted that we had to go to this new movie,”Star Wars” and I wanted to see “Smokey and the Bandit”, which had come out the week before. So I gave in with not-very-good-grace, and groused about being at the back off the line (”A line?! For a stupid sci-fi movie?!”) and of course we ended up on the neck-cricking front row. But 10 minutes into the movie, I was totally entranced, and no matter how many times I have seen it since (a lot!), those opening sequences still raise goosebumps!

So while we may not plan a trip around a Star Wars theme, we would have definitely enjoyed the break from mice with squeaky voices!


June 5th, 2009
10:06 am

I don’t have kids, but my hubby would love the Star Wars weekend. He is a huge Star Wars fan. I think I would enjoy it, too.


June 5th, 2009
10:20 am

I did enjoy the Star Wars Movies, some more than others. I know my husband would like the Star Wars Weekend, but he is really too much of a homebody to want to travel just to see it. And we always have way too much stuff to do around the property, the rental property we have very little free time.


June 5th, 2009
10:21 am

I’m with you JJ, never seen all of the movies and have no desire to..I’m not a fanatic over any movie, so would never plan a vacation around a movie theme..

Hope all have a great weekend..


June 5th, 2009
10:29 am

I am Darth Vader!


June 5th, 2009
10:50 am

JJ – I’m with too.


June 5th, 2009
10:51 am

LOL, that should have said with you too….TGIF

JJ - did I see you and your daughter...

June 5th, 2009
11:05 am

…at the Mall of GA Longhorn last Friday night?


June 5th, 2009
12:23 pm

Why do you think it was me?

JJ - did I see you and your daughter...

June 5th, 2009
12:38 pm

…just the way you have described yourself and your daughter on this site made me think of you and her when I walked by and saw the two sitting together waiting for a table.


June 5th, 2009
12:41 pm

Sorry, it wasn’t me. I was, however, at the Longhorn at Toco Hills this past weekend….


June 5th, 2009
1:09 pm

I also love the Star Wars weekends. The Jedi Training Academy is awesome. They do Jedi Training all summer, but yes the “stars” only come out for a limited time. While it is really cool, though, I wouldn’t go so far as to say plan your whole vacation around it. I mean, if your kids is a die hard Star Wars fan, then maybe, but chances are it’s you who is the real fan.

Besides, Star Wars isn’t even “The Thing” to do at Hollywood Studios. The thing you don’t want to miss is the Toy Story Mania ride, and maybe the new American Idol experience.


June 5th, 2009
7:15 pm

My family has been to two Star Wars weekends. The first time we planned our trip and then realized that it would be going on while we were there. The whole family loved it. I am not really a fan, but my husband is a huge fan, and he has passed it down to our girls. The second time, we planned it specifically for one of those dates. It gets crowded, but it really is a lot of fun. The characters are great. It is fun to hear the Star Wars music during the parade, and see Darth Maul scaring the little ones. It is also neat to see all of the “Stormtroopers” who buy their own costumes. Some of them are pretty old or disabled, but they are still parading and dressing up. More cool than it sounds.


June 5th, 2009
8:37 pm

I have always been a SW fan….we decided not long ago (on this board, confirmed by Theresa) that I am a sci-fi chick. I have been on the SW ride at (then) MGM ….I loved it! Alas, no Wookies in sight that day. I have however met Peter Mayhew and have a lifesize autographed standee in a closet.

The only thing I did not like at Hollywood Studios–ok 2 things—Tower of Terror and Mom’s Diner where you get the worst service in the park.

Best things at Hollywood–the Backstage tour and meeting the characters.

I love the Aztec temple at Epcot–best Margaritas on the planet. Best things at Epcot–the guys over at the Moracan vista! The fountain in the Italian area, and Test Track.

Best of Magic Kingdom — Cindy’s castle to dine and have a great view, being a kid again,. the Splash and Big Thunder Mountains, the Haunted Mansion (there is always room for one more).

Best fireworks are on the boardwalk while eating ice cream.


June 6th, 2009
3:41 pm

Teresa, who enjoyed it more, hubby or the kids?

Not into SW myself. I liked the first one that came out, and tolerated the second one.

I went to DL when I was 11 and to DW when I was about 36 and 40. Okay to both. I don’t think it would be financially worth it to me unless the children were of the age to enjoy and appreciate. Luckily when I took my kids the whole thing was nearly free (I think I spent 45 dollars in all the first time. Stayed at a friend’s place, and her mother worked there so we got free passes and most of the food was free). First time we stayed off property, and other than the parking hassle it was great. Not crowded at all–we stayed all day! The second time I was presenting at a national conference on site and that was great, too, as my university paid my way so all I had to do was take care of the children’s expenses. My elder daughter shepherded her siblings around while I was conferencing. Sort of funny–the second time we were given a room that already had folks in it. I used the card key and here was this nekkid family in the room, who had just come back from the pool. We were all very surprised.

I cannot imagine going there under normal circumstances, however, until the grandkids were old enough to enjoy and remember, and maybe not even then.