Star Wars Weekends has always been one of my favorite events. I like the sets, the Disney characters dressed in Star Wars costumes, the special parade with all the characters, and the great merchandise. I never managed to stay late enough to see the new fireworks show last year, but that’s definitely on my list this year.
Here are 10 tips to get the most out of your Star Wars Weekends visit this year.
- Be one with the force. Get dressed up. You’ll feel like you’re part of the show, other characters will interact with you, and it just makes your photos more fun.
- Have a plan. Grab a map as you walk through the gate and spend your time waiting in your first queue to plan the rest of the day. The 2015 event features some new locations and experiences. You won’t want to miss anything.
- If you’re planning on seeing a lot of characters, Consider a Memory Maker pass. Seeing the characters is great, but it’s even better if you don’t have to worry about handing off your phone and not getting into the photos. Let Disney’s Photopass experts take your picture and don’t worry about it. My favorite part is when you get home to look at your photos, there’s usually an extra bit of magic added in you can’t get with your own photos either.
- If you want autographs, arrive early. Disney assigns fastpasses to those who want to see the guest celebrities. Lines form for the more popular celebrities as early as 5AM. So get there early in order to make sure you get to see the celebrity you want to see.
- Ride the rides early. If you don’t want to get autographs, then take advantage of the park’s early opening to get in the two or three attractions you really want to experience without long lines. Then when the park is busy later, do the stores and sample the unique Star Wars snacks.
- Speaking of snacks, there are some unique snacks and collectibles only available during Star Wars Weekends. In fact, this year there’s a whole Star Wars lounge with special drinks and small plates. The reservations for this have already filled up. So plan on waiting if you want standby dining.
- Take in a show. The shows, most hosted by James Arnold Taylor, are some of my favorite parts of the weekend. If you can snag a Fastpass it will save you wait time, otherwise, enjoy your time in queues with fellow nerds by trying to stump each other with Star Wars trivia. This year the shows will be in the Hyperion Theater, so waiting will be slightly more comfortable with fans overhead.
- Stay to the end at least one night. The day caps off with the “Summon the Force” celebration and the fantastic frenzy of fireworks show “Symphony in the Stars.” Nobody does Fireworks like Disney, and this year there’s no hat to block the view, so enjoy the show.
- See all your VIPs in one place during Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade. Streetside viewing areas fill up about an hour early for this daily event. But there’s also a short stage show in front of the Chinese theater directly after the parade which can offer a better view.
- The weather in Central Florida is extra hot and muggy earlier this year. So stay hydrated. If you feel yourself getting rundown, maybe try an Powerade. You can get a free cup of ice at any location with a soda fountain, most will also put water in it for you too. Take advantage of the newly air conditioned Darth Mall experience to get out of the sun for a bit as well.
- Bonus Tip: Follow along on Social Media. Many guests posts their photos to Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #SWW or #StarWarsWeekends. Contribute your own pictures and catch up with other friends who may be in the park that day. You might also find also find something new or cool you didn’t know was there.
Have fun storming the park. We’ll have more updates from the Friday, the first day of this year’s event. Say hello if you see us there.