1. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
If you are between 4 and 12 years old you can participate in this free experience where you are trained to use the force and come face to face with some of the iconic Star Wars bad guys! Jedi Training takes place every day (weather permitting) on the stage next to Star Tours. You must sign up for this experience and it is on a first come, first served basis. It is a must do for any of the small Star Wars fans in your family. Wesley (pictured here with the Seventh Sister) was in absolute awe and still likes to tell the story! For more details, check out Wesley’s account in my blog.
2. Star Tours
Star Tours is 3D ride experience, which puts you on a shuttle piloted by C3PO. I love this ride! As you go through the line you will see lots of references to the Star Wars universe including CP3O and R2D2 along with a full size Starspeeder. You will go through “security” manned by a less than qualified droid who is quite chatty about his job. He’s quite a character. Then board your shuttle and strap in for your flight which involves a 3D screen and motion to make you feel like you are zipping through space.
There are several possible scenarios so every flight is not the same. Watch out though- the Empire is searching for a spy who happens to be on your ship!
3. Character Meet & Greets
Well, who wouldn’t want a Wookie hug? Just make sure you let the Wookie win and you’re fine. Guests can meet Chewie and several other characters at the Star Wars Launch Bay. Some of the other meet and greets include Kylo Ren and BB8. As you wander around inside and look at the Star Wars props, you may see Storm Troopers and even Jawas (watch out though- they love to take things and might want to make a trade!). Characters are subject to change, so check your guide for who is available. Storm Troopers can be seen popping up in the Animation Courtyard area spontaneously and harassing small Jedi.
4. Star Wars movie props
This is for the true fan! There are scale models of several ships located inside the Star Wars Launch Bay area. You can see a full-size replica of Rey’s speeder and her costume along with some other movie props, concept art and models. There are helmets and more lightsaber models than I ever knew existed (evenfrom the animated series). You can take a selfie at the Cantina bar or playing Dejarik (3D chess).
5. Watch a movie!
Inside the Star Wars Launch Bay Theatre, you can watch a 10-minute movie that shows some behind the scenes stories about the saga. There is also some information about the upcoming opening of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which will debut sometime in the fall of 2019. And hey, it’s air-conditioned.
Star Wars: Path of the Jedi is another short film that gives an overview of the entire saga (Cliff notes version). You can watch this in the theatre next to the Frozen Sing Along.
6. Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular
I’m not sure I can do this experience justice. Even if you are not a Star Wars fan, it is pretty incredible. Think part laser light show with fireworks, random fire, a movie and BOOM! Iconic clips of the saga are projected onto the Chinese Theatre while a bit of movie magic brings it to life. At one point, you become part of a battle with a Star Destroyer which feels like it’s flying over you- complete with laser blasts and explosions. It’s just amazing. Don’t miss it!
7. Stage Shows
There are two live shows for Star Wars fans on the main stage at the end of Hollywood Blvd. First is Star Wars: A Galaxy Far Far Away. This show covers the entire Star Wars saga and you will see favorite characters from the entire franchise. I love when BB8 comes rolling out! This is definitely a must see if you’re a fan.
The second show is the March of the First Order. Captain Phasma and her troops march right up Hollywood Boulevard. They even interact with the crowd looking for those loyal to the resistance.
8. Star Wars A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party
This is a special experience for the Star Wars lover in your life! On nights when Hollywood Studios is showing the Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular, they offer a Star Wars themed dessert party. The Star Wars Launch Bay is closed off and becomes a private party. Here you will find themed desserts, savory snacks and even alcoholic specialties (if you’re old enough!). Meanwhile, Storm Troopers wander through the guest asking for identification and Jawas pick your pockets. Right before the Galactic Spectacular takes place, they lead everyone out to a sectioned off area for dessert party guests to watch the show. Everyone gets a souvenir stein to take home with them. I got Chewbacca!
9. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire virtual reality experience
Called a “step beyond reality” this is a 3D “hyper-reality” experience. You actually walk around and experience the story while using the virtual reality tech. Teams of four are assigned a mission. You must be 48 inches tall and at least 10 years old. Children under 18 need a parent to sign the waiver allowing them to participate. Tickets start at $29.95 per person and it lasts about 30 minutes. It’s amazing technology and something really unique for the Star Wars lover in your family!
10. Star Wars Stuff!
If you’re a huge Star Wars nerd like some of my family, the shopping is an experience in itself. Like, where in the world could you find all this wonderful Star Wars stuff in one place? How about a name badge with your name in Arakesh? Maybe you’re in the market for a life size Darth Vader. You can also build your own lightsaber, find Yoda jammies, shop for an entire Storm Trooper uniform, and peruse signed memorabilia for the serious collector. It’s all here.
Jill Loveland is an independent agent with Fairytale Adventures Travel Agency. She specializes in vacations to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Adventures by Disney and cruises. You can reach her at Jill@fairytaleadv.com , on her Facebook at Jill Loveland Destination Specialist and at Jill's Jolly Holiday.