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STREETS OF AMERICA
- Backlot Tour
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the Kids Movie
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Meet & Greet
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OTHER WALT DISNEY WORLD
OTHER DISNEY THEME
Star Wars Weekends
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Kati writes: I just wanted to let you know that, after attending the Star Wars Weekend on May 21 and 22, the Fastpasses for "autograph and picture" were being handed out at the FP stand for Star Tours, with CMs helping with that task. It has been mentioned somewhere else that they were handed out at Play It! Not anymore, I guess.
I got a standby ticket and a real ticket for later on, just in case. Well, I was lucky enough to get in with my standby ticket. But I almost didn't make it! I was in line at Tatooine Traders (not even the Collector's line, just the regular merchandise line), and it was impossibly slow.
There was a CM with a lit "collector's lightsaber", guiding the guests in line, to the next available cashier. You could only shop for regular merchandise by going on the ride first. Being a true and original Star Wars fan (I'm giving my age away), of course I was happy to oblige.
Well, after standing in line a long while, noticing that I had barely moved 5 paces, I explained my FP dilemma to one of the many CMs walking around, helping wherever they could. This really wonderful CM/manager, put the stuff I was buying behind the counter and sent me off to the autograph session. When I came back, she let me in behind the exit rope to go back to the end of the line without going on the ride again. Luckily for me, the line was much shorter by then, and I only had a 10 minute wait in line and paid for my things. This was Sunday morning and they had already sold out of several items I had gone to look for. Word to the wise; shop early.
I got John Goodson's autograph and picture (he's a concept model maker). I had heard that he was very kind, and easy to talk to; all true! You could tell he loves his work. The other Star Wars VIP there that day was Daniel Logan, the young man who played the young Boba Fett.
I gave my real FP, that I didn't need after getting in with my standby FP, to the CM there, to give to someone.
I understand that the "real" Chewbacca is appearing next weekend. Wow! Wish I could be there for that!
May the Force be with you.
shares: I went to my first Star Wars weekend on Sunday. Wow! Was
it crowded! Since I have never been before I don't know if it is always
like that or if the opening of the new movie brought more people than
usual. I guess I am part of the Star Wars generation having seen the
first three movies as a kid and then taking my son to see the next three
movies, but I am not one of those die-hard Star Wars fans. We are not
early risers and I wasn't all that interested in getting the Fastpass
for celebrity autographs so we arrived at the park at about 11:00 in
order to catch the parade, but the parking lot was so crazy that we
ended up missing most of it. My first tip would be to get to the park
early if you want to catch the parade. Another tip is if you are not
interested in Star Wars avoid the Studios the days of Star Wars weekends.
We had a blast though, despite the heavy crowds and heat. I am wondering
why Disney doesn't choose a cooler time of year for this since most
of the costumes look quite hot and many guests were dressed in costumes
and they looked even hotter. I couldn't believe all the characters that
were everywhere. It was fun to walk down Mickey Avenue and see different
characters just roaming around, especially the Storm Troopers. My son
was very excited about all the autographs he could get, we even waited
about 45 minutes just for Darth Vader's! We didn't get to meet all of
the characters in one day so we plan to go to at least one more weekend.
My 3rd tip would be plan to spend at least 2 days at Star Wars weekend
if you really want to get all the autographs and do all the special
activities involved with just the Star Wars weekend.
2004 READER REPORTS
Mesa writes: When
we discovered my husband had a three-day weekend, we wondered where
to go. It didnt take long, especially after we found out it was
STAR WARS WEEKEND AT MGM! Jorge is a HUGE Star Wars fan and has a walk-in
of memorabilia (of course, still in the original boxes!) This trip was going to be dedicated to Star Wars (SW)!
to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL) for our three days and took
advantage of the room only special being offered at the time. We fell in love with the AKL when we spent a week there in September 2003. Our last trip was just two months prior and we stayed at Caribbean Beach. We decided we were too spoiled and had to go back to AKL.
We got up early on Friday to eat at Boma and head to the Studios. We immediately picked up a SW Weekend guide to plan our day. We were thrilled with the Storm Troopers on the roof of the ticket stands. They did awesome job entertaining the crowd. This is a must-see when attending SW. Get there early to see their show! Once inside the park, we waited for the rope to drop and head straight to get the celebrity Fastpasses at Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
To get a celebrity autograph, you must have a fast pass. The Fastpasses were divided into three time slots (11:45 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.). They had two lines set up, one for Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and one for Jerome Blake (Rune Haako). We split up and each selected a line to get a fast pass. We received the 2nd time slot for Jerome Blake and the 3rd time slot for Peter Mayhew. This indicates the number of people wanting autographs. We went immediately when the rope dropped with the crowd of people going to get the Fastpasses. If you did not go early, there would be no way to get a FP. If you want the autographs, go immediately to WWTBAM. (Note: Saturday was Extra Magic Hour for the Studios but Fastpasses for autographs were not distributed until 9 a.m.)
Once we got our FP for the autographs, we got FP for the first WWTBAM that is the SW edition. The 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. are all SW questions. This was fun. When we went back on Saturday morning for the 10:30 a.m. show, I was number two on the fast finger and thought I would make it to the hot seat for the next round when the contestant lost on the first question. When the list came up again, my seat was not on it. Not sure what happened there.
We trekked over to the Star Tours store to purchase our SW weekend merchandise. They had commemorative poster, pin, mugs, magnets, key chains, coins, and t-shirts featuring Mickey and Minnie dressed as Luke and Leia with a light saber. Very cute! Of course, all of the regular Star Tours shirts, toys, and other merchandise were also available. They also had matted photographs that could be signed by the celebrities on-hand.
We spent the day split between the Star Tours Area and Jedi Mickey Avenue. There were 4 picture stations set up in the Star Tours Area and 1 on Jedi Mickey Avenue where the characters rotated. There was also a backdrop with C3PO and R2D2 (props) set up on Jedi Mickey Avenue for pictures. Jedi Mickey was also on hand the ENTIRE day to take pictures in front a nice backdrop. At most of the stations a WDW photographer was on hand to take pictures or you could take your own. Characters included: Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Chewbacca, Jedi Knights, Luke, Leia, Emperor and Emperor Guards and, Ewoks. Many other characters wandered around: Greedo, Tuskan Raiders, Sand Troopers, Storm Troopers, Cantina Band, Jawas, Clone Troopers, and more.
We caught the SW Celebrity Motorcade. It featured all of the characters as well as the celebrities, each in their own convertible. The motorcade concluded at the Star Tours stage.
We also attended the Stars of Saga SW Celebrity Talk Show. It lasted about 30 minutes and included a Storm Trooper interaction similar to the one at ticket gates prior to the opening. Prior to entering the auditorium, people wrote down questions to be asked during the show. Once inside, the talk show included about 10 minutes with each celebrity with the hosts asking questions. Each celebrity was then asked two or three questions from the audience that were screened and selected by the producers. It was not a Q&A session as thought by some attendees.
Jorge participated in the Tatooine Trivia Trials with 49 other fans vying for SW prizes. The players were lined up in front of the stage and given a flash card book. The hosts would read the question and the players would show their answer above their head. This process continued until about 10 players were left. They then went on the stage and had to write the correct answer on a dry-erase board. The winner won on the first round because he was the only who wrote the correct question on his board. The remaining players competed for 2nd and 3rd place.
We wrapped up our SW Weekend with the Hyperspace Hoopla, the days closing event. It was entertaining and had most of the characters in attendance. The characters interacted danced with the crowd. It was probably the most fun of the entire weekend!
Wills and Linda Eckwerth report on the May 14, 2004, weekend:
Celebrity Autographs-- Fastpass tickets are required to receive a celebrity autograph. Tickets are distributed on first-come, first-served basis. Once all the Fastpasses are gone for a particular actor, a limited number of standby tickets will be available. Standby tickets do NOT guarantee an autograph. Standby ticketholders will be taken after all FP holders are through the line. Based on availability, you will have the opportunity for one FP and one standby ticket for each celebrity. FP tickets are distributed at "Who Wants to be a Millionaire-Play It!" attraction.
Scheduled Events: There was a short celebrity motorcade at 11 a.m. down Hollywood Boulevard. Cars came out near Sid Cahuenga's and headed to the Chinese Theatre with visiting celebrities and Star Wars characters. Today's celebrities were Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker - Phantom Menace and Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett). There were also Ewoks, Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and others.
comments: We took our first ever trip to Disney this year from May
10th through May 17th. I now understand why people go back every year.
It was truly magical. When I booked the trip I had never heard of Star
Wars Weekends and had no idea it would be opening day while we were
there. Thanks to the info on this website I found out before we left
and decided to surprise our 7-year-old son and not tell him until we
arrived at MGM that morning. It was better than we ever expected. Disney
really outdid themselves. I believe it is geared toward children but
was surprised to see that the adults truly outnumbered the kids. My
son was chosen for Jedi Training and participated in the Padewan mind
challenge. The number of characters and events were great and we even
got autographs from Billie Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels. My son
will never forget this truly Magical day.
Cheryl writes: I have an update regarding Star Wars weekends. I went on opening day - Friday, May 16th.
Autograph Sessions with Billy Dee Williams/Anthony Daniels were at 12 and 3 p.m. (Best tip is to wait in line because they were handing out wristbands despite what I was told when I asked a Cast Member.)
Star Wars Characters were available for photos from 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
There was a motorcade down Hollywood Blvd. with the visiting two celebrities at 11 a.m. with a welcome at the Star Tours Stage at 11:15 a.m. Great Photo opportunity with some of the characters.
It was well worth going. The Stormtroopers interacting at the front gate were a highlight, as well as all the characters. I took more than a roll of film during the time I was there.
Here are a few brief first-hand report from 2001's first Star Wars Weekend:
dcdeb: A friend and I arrived at Disney's Hollywood Studios around 8:25 a.m. Stormtroopers were pacing atop the turnstiles, keeping guard. Around 8:30, they began to talk to the guests and eventually signalled the opening of the park gates. We were allowed in the park, but were held back from entering the "lands" until the official rope drop time of 9 a.m.
Back in the vicinity of Star Tours, we found many costumed characters who were more than willing to pose for us, ranging from Queen Amidala to Han Solo, Chewbacca and Luke Skywalker. There were face-painting stations set up, as well as an information desk where you could register for the trivia games to be held later in the day. Back in Tatooine Traders, there was a very well-organized line with multiple cash registers set up just to handle pin-buyers.
If you wanted to get an autograph from one of the celebrities who was set to attend the event, you had to receive a numbered wristband, which definitely expedited the wait -- once the wristbands for a time period were all distributed, signs were put out stating that the line was full. Other activities that were scheduled for later in the day seemed to be well-attended and everyone, especially the children, seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Laura A.Vianello: My sister and I took my nephew the weekend of the 11th. If you are a Star Wars fan this would be awesome. We are Star Wars fans and had an awesome day. Just walking up to the gates and seeing the stormtroopers on top of the booths talking to the crowd was so cool. The Star Wars music playing at all times was nice, too. They did a great job. Many of the characters were walking around and the lines were not as bad as we expected. We did buy pins, and other items. As an adult, I just smiled all day, took pix with all the characters. The parade was really neat. I want to go back next year. I would recommend to anyone.