Are you a Star Wars fan planning to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Before you travel to a galaxy far, far away read our comprehensive guide to everything Star Wars at Disney Hollywood Studios to help you plan and not miss a bit of the magic.
Disclosure –Photos for this post were taken in early 2020 and may not be reflective of current conditions at Walt Disney World. Some rides and attractions may not be available at this time. Other changes may also be in place such as the suspension of Fast Passes, Single Rider lines and the requirement that all guests wear face masks. Please refer to the official Walt Disney World website for the most up-to-date information on changes and health and safety requirements.
Any and all opinions expressed are that of Mom Abroad. No compensation was received for this post. However please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase using the link.
STAR WARS AT DISNEY HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Star Wars has been a part of the Disney theme parks since the early 1980s when the first partnership between George Lucas and Disney Imagineers brought Star Tours to Disney Hollywood Studios -then called MGM. The park regularly hosted Star Wars weekends as an annual festival but it wasn’t until Disney’s 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm that Star Wars truly started to explode on the theme park scene.
Not only did this magical merger mean more installments of the film franchise in theaters but also more “Star Wars” in the Disney theme parks. With the addition of the new 14-acre Galaxy’s Edge land, Hollywood Studios has more to offer for the for Star Wars fans than ever. From fun, character meet-and-greets and photo ops to immersive attractions, themed food, and drinks there is a ton to explore. Let’s (hyper) jump-in to everything Star Wars at Disney Hollywood Studios.
Reading past this point will give you a sneak peek at all the Star Wars-themed rides, attractions, and merchandise at Disney Hollywood Studios!
WHERE TO FIND STAR WARS AT DISNEY HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
First things first you need to know where Star Wars theming can be found in Disney Hollywood Studios.
There are three main areas where Star Wars theming can be found. They are;
-Echo Lake an area towards the middle of the park nestled around a small oval-shaped lagoon. This was the first area of Disney Hollywood Studios to be home to Star Wars-themed attractions.
-Animation Courtyard sits immediately to the right on the large Chinese Theater at the center of the park. This relatively small area houses the Star Wars Launch Bay building along with several of the Star Wars-themed character meet and greets and merchandise.
-Galaxy’s Edge is an entire immersive land opened in that opened in 2019 and encompasses 14 acres of Star Wars-themed rides, attractions, shops, restaurants, and entertainment offerings.
STAR WARS RIDES
Let’s begin with rides since they are a major draw for many to a theme park. There are only a handful of Star Wars rides at Disney Hollywood Studios, but what’s lacking in quantity is more than made up for in quality. Galaxy’s Edge, in particular, is headlined by innovative attractions unlike any other in Orlando.
SMUGGLER’S RUN (Galaxy’s Edge)
Riding in the cockpit of the legendary Millennium Falcon is a must-do for any Star Wars fan visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The rich back-story and set up for Smuggler’s Run has Hondo Ohnaka, a well-known businessman (and smuggler) cutting a deal with Chewbacca to use the Falcon to help him deliver hard-to-find items to his clientele. But Ohnaka needs a crew and that’s where you come in.
As you access the Falcon via the ship’s starboard airlock you are handed color-coded boarding cards which break riders into groups of six; two pilots, two engineers, and two gunners. While you do not get to choose your job you are free to switch among the people in your party as long as you keep the same color pass— more on why you would want to do this in a bit.
Before getting into the cockpit, riders are led into the lounge of the Millennium Falcon complete with a Dejarik “holo-chess” table. This is a great opportunity to grab some quick photos while you wait in the ride’s immersive queue area.
Once your boarding color is called you’ll be led into an exceptionally detailed cockpit of the Falcon to complete your assigned job. The pilots sit up front, then the gunners and lastly the engineers. Each role has its responsibilities and is required to do their share. The outcome of the ride depends on the actions of the six people controlling the ship so no two rides are the same.
There are more than 100 buttons, switches, and levers in the cockpit that control different aspects of your flight from steering, to weapons systems to making repairs on the fly. Look for green indicator rings to illuminate around certain controls cluing you to the precise moment they need to be engaged. You don’t want to miss your jump to light-speed!
Tip: The Pilots get the most action controlling vertical and horizontal movement. Younger children would probably do best as gunners or engineers as the lights will light up and help them know which buttons to push. You must be at least 38” tall to ride.
RISE OF THE RESISTANCE (Galaxy’s Edge)
Boasting the most advanced ride technology of any dark ride in Disney theme park history, Rise of the Resistance is an epic, immersive, and innovative experience on a scale like no other.
The ambitious attraction integrates multiple ride experiences — trackless vehicles, a motion simulator, walkthrough environments and even an elevator drop with audio-animatronics, screens, practical effects, and illusions in ways that we just never knew were possible. Given all that it entails, it is unsurprisingly Disney’s longest attraction ever at about 25 minutes total with all “preshows”.
The adventure begins as you explore the Resistance military outpost…You enter a briefing room where an incredibly fluid animatronic BB-8 rolls in, accompanied by a hologram of Rey, who recruits you to join their efforts against the First Order.
You’re then rushed outside where you pass an X-Wing Fighter belonging to the Resistance.
You board a standing-room-only shuttlecraft piloted by Nien Nunb from Return of the Jedi. You can feel the rumble as the ship breaks orbit and you can see Poe Dameron accompanying you in his X-Wing Fighter.
This portion of the ride does not require you to be stationary. We recommend wandering around if there’s room to try to take everything in. However, be warned, you may need to hold on, or brace yourself a bit as your transport becomes captured by a Star Destroyer as it snags the ship in its tractor beam and sucks you into its belly.
You emerge in an enormous hangar filled with wall-to-wall storm troopers, TIE Fighters and a 100-foot wide window looking out into outer space.
Cast members clad in full First Order uniforms (and completely in character) brusquely shuttle you into a detention cell to await interrogation by Kylo Ren.
Eventually, Resistance fighters break you out and you enter eight-passenger trackless troop transport vehicles with an animatronic astromech droid as your driver.
You make your escape from the Star Destroyer as you move through a series of thrilling and intense scenes blending dozens of animatronic characters, video projections, and towering sets.
One sequence sends you in between the legs of two towering AT-ATs while dodging laser fire from legions of Stormtroopers, while another puts you face-to-face with a lightsaber-wielding Kylo-Ren.
The attention to detail and scope of this attraction is truly AMAZING! It’s not the ride itself that will wow you…it’s the experience! Especially if you are a Star Wars fan, you will love every minute! It feels like you are *IN* a Star Wars movie and part of the action.
Note that the minimum height requirement to ride Rise of the Resistance is 40 inches. If you are trying to decide whether your young one is ready for the ride, there are two considerations to keep in mind. Physically, the ride probably isn’t any more intense than most of the easier thrill rides in Disney parks. Emotionally, however, it might be too much for sensitive kids.
STAR TOURS- THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES (Echo Lake)
Star Tours – The Adventure Continues is the original Star Wars attraction at Disney Hollywood Studios. Modeled after flight simulators used for training pilots and astronauts you experience a series of dips, turns, twists, and climbs as you encounter some of your favorite Star Wars characters.
The ride film, projected in high-definition 3-D, has been updated to include over a hundred different adventure variations including sequences from the newest Star Wars saga films Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. You are pretty much guaranteed that no two rides will be alike.
Though there is a 40” height requirement, older kids and adults will love this ride. Be sure to sit in the second or third row (toward the middle) if you want to increase your chances of being pictured as the “rebel spy” in the opening.
STAR WARS FOOD
Surely enjoying all those Star Wars-themed attractions and shops will have worked up quite an appetite. You’re in luck as out-of-this-world food choices abound!
DOCKING BAY 7 (Galaxy’s Edge)
Themed as a traveling diner transport shuttle that’s docked on top of a large hangar, “Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo” serves as Galaxy’s Edge main dining location and only full-menu quick-service option. Trust us, you are going to want to plan to eat at least one meal at this outstanding restaurant.
As Disney Star War’s lore has it, the eatery is run by traveling chef, Strono “Cookie” Tuggs. The former chef at Max Kanata’s castle on Takodana from The Force Awakens.
Tuggs is in high demand for his cooking skills. He moves from site to site in a modified Sienar-Chall Utilipede Transport that can be transformed into a mobile kitchen and restaurant billing it as a “traveling diner for diners traveling.”
He’s set up base in the hangar for all these new Battuu travelers, gathering inspiration from his time on Takodana and exotic ingredients from across the galaxy that have yielded quite a unique and delicious menu.
The restaurant offers both breakfast and lunch/dinner menus, so you can choose between items such as Tuggs’ Morning Oats and the Mustafarian Lava Roll with Moof juice or the Braised Shaak Roast or the Ithorian Garden Loaf served at dinner.
We highly recommend the Smoked Kaadu Ribs – sticky pork ribs served with a blueberry corn muffin and cabbage slaw. It’s the perfect balance of tangy and sweet.
You can’t go wrong with either of the “Tip Yip” dishes either. Try the Fried Endorian Tip-yip – rectangular-shaped crispy chicken served with roasted vegetable potato mash and herb gravy.
Or enjoy the Roasted Endorian Tip-yip Salad – marinated chicken served with mixed greens, roasted seasonal vegetables, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and green curry ranch.
The kids’ meals are a big hit among our young Padawans.
A Taste of Takodana -black bean hummus served with edible soil with nuts, chilled dipping vegetables, and multi-grain crisps is a perfect choice for vegetarians or anyone looking for a light bite.
Both dessert options are delightful— the Batuu-bon is a galaxy-glazed, globe-shaped chocolate cake topped with white chocolate mousse with a coffee center, and the Oi- Oi puff is a matcha-dusted puff filled with raspberry cream and topped with a passion fruit mousse.
The overall atmosphere is fantastic with ample seating. If you don’t have any luck finding a table inside, head for the adjacent patio to enjoy your meal in the fine Florida, er, we mean Batuuian––weather.
TIP: Docking Bay 7 can get fairly busy, fairly quickly but there’s no need to wait in line to order. Use the Mobile Order feature from the My Disney Experience app to order food from your phone. Simply select menu items and pay for your food and then pick up at the window. Easy peasy!
RONTO ROASTERS (Galaxy’s Edge)
Ronto Roasters sits as the centerpiece of the Black Spire Outpost Marketplace, drawing you in with a large pod-racer engine that’s been “repurposed” as a barbecue pit. As you queue up to order you will encounter a former settler droid, 8D-JB, carefully turning the spit of meats.
The limited menu features “Ronto Wraps” – roasted pork and grilled sausage with peppercorn sauce and tangy slaw wrapped in a pita for $12.99. A breakfast version of the Ronto wrap is also available. This wrap essentially swaps the tangy slaw for eggs and shredded cheddar cheese.
You can also purchase sweet or spicy turkey jerky and assorted beverages such as the Tatooine Sunset (Gold Peak Unsweetened Tea, Odwalla Lemonade, melon, and blueberry), the Sour Sarlacc (Minute Maid Limeade, raspberry, and spicy mango) and Meiloorun Juice (pineapple, Simply Lemonade with blueberry, white cranberry juice, lemon juice, and desert pear).
Ronto Roasters also offer “Rising Moons Overnight Oats” on their breakfast menu. This yummy mix pairs oats with yogurt, dragon fruit and other seasonal fruit selections.
KAT SAKA’S KETTLE (Galaxy’s Edge)
If you’re looking for a snack to munch on while wandering around Galaxy’s Edge or to enjoy while waiting in line, order some “Out-post Mix” at Kat Saka’s Kettle. Unlike your typical theme-park popcorn, this purple and pink mix is a blend of sweet and spicy flavors.
Order it in the MSE-6 Series Repair Droid souvenir bucket to make it even more unique.
Kat Saka’s also carries coca-cola products in fun special thermal-detonator shaped containers.
OGA’S CANTINA (Galaxy’s Edge)
As the galaxy’s most famous watering hole Oga’s Cantina serves up other-worldly libations in vibrant colors featuring sweet, savory, tangy, and fruity flavors.
Adults will enjoy won’t want to miss the spicy Bloody Rancor, the Outer Rim, the Jedi Mind Trick, or the Fuzzy Tauntaun which comes topped with a “buzz” foam that makes your lips and tongue tingle.
Just because it’s a bar, doesn’t mean it isn’t family-friendly. This is still Disney World after all. Kids will be crazy about the Carbon Freeze, Hyperdrive Punch, Jabba Juice Grab and the Blue Bantha milk which are all non-alcohol options.
While partaking in these thirst-quenching concoctions, you can enjoy the musical stylings of DJ R-3X (also known as REX), the former Starspeeder 3000 pilot droid we formerly featured in Star Tours.)
If you’re looking for some munchies to go with your drinks Oga’s offers …and an odd jello-like dessert called Oga’s Obsession that cotton candy flavor, and blueberry popping pearls with a bursting dried fruit mix and pop-rocks. It sounds crazy but is quite delicious!
Oga’s is so popular that it can only be accessed with a reservation and patrons are limited to two drinks and a 45-minute time limit inside. Also, note that seating is limited with most guests assigned to standing-room-only spots around the bar.
TIPS: Make your reservations for Oga’s Cantina as far in advance as possible, on the Walt Disney World website or via the My Disney Experience app. Don’t delay securing your spot as reservations fill up quickly!
If you can’t get a reservation for the afternoon or evening don’t shy away from an early visit. The cantina serves up specialty cocktails such as the Bloody Rancor in the morning or you can swap the alcohol for a Black Spire Brew, which mixes cold brew coffee with passion fruit and falernum for a fruit punch-inspired concoction that even strong coffee haters can get behind.
MILK STAND (Galaxy’s Edge)
No Star Wars-themed experience in Hollywood Studios would be complete without trying some of the blue or green Bantha Milk beverages from the Milk Stand.
Ever since blue milk was featured in “A New Hope,” Star Wars fans have been wondering what it tastes like. While it’s hard to pinpoint the exact flavors the blue milk bends toward a fruity and tropical taste while the green seems more floral and citrusy. Both are refreshing, sweet, and creamy. We recommend trying at least one of each and seeing what you think for yourself!
Fun fact! The frosty confections don’t actually contain any dairy. They are made using a plant-based blend of coconut milk and rice milk. You can also order a “Cooler” version of the beverage containing alcohol with blue milk featuring Bacardi Superior Rum and Green milk featuring Corazon Blanco Tequila. The non-alcoholic version is $7.99 for either flavor and the adult-version is $14.
Oh, and in case you were wondering the blue milk at Oga’s Cantina is not same as the frozen one at the Milk Stand. We think the version at the Milk Bar is better than the one served at Oga’s Cantina.
Tip: The Milk Stand is a fairly busy spot and the lines do tend to reach 20 minutes or more. You can Mobile Order at the Milk Stand via the My Disney Experience App and skip the line entirely!
STAR WARS SHOPPING & EXPERIENCES
Disney Hollywood Studios offers ample opportunities to bring a piece of Star Wars home with you.
Many special items you won’t be able to buy anywhere else can be found within the nine Star Wars-themed shops in Disney Hollywood Studios.
Several of the stores could even be categorized as an “attraction” –given the special effects and storytelling involved. We highly suggest stopping into a shop or two to check out the decor and merchandise. Let’s have a look!
SAVI’S WORKSHOP – LIGHT-SABERS (Galaxy’s Edge)
Savi’s Workshop isn’t your average theme park store. In fact, you may not even notice it’s a store at all. Instead, look for a space junkyard located near the main entrance of the Black Spire Outpost. The “junkyard” serves as a front operation for a covert lights-aber-building workshop.
Savi’s Workshop is run by a scrapper who collects light-saber pieces salvaged from fallen Jedi temples and crashed star-ships throughout the galaxy. He hopes that a true hero with the ability to assemble the parts will one day walk into the shop. That hero just might be you.
The first step is to select one of the four light-saber material themes:
Peace and Justice – which includes parts salvaged from fallen Jedi temples and crashed star-ships. These Republic-era designs honor the galaxy’s former guardians.
Power and Control – These parts were originally forged by dark side warriors are rumored to come from the Sith home-world and abandoned temples.
Elemental Nature – Features parts that embody the energy of living things like Brylark trees, Cartusion whale bones, and Rancor teeth.
Finally “Protection and Defense”- materials bear mysterious motifs and inscriptions that reconnect users with the ancient wellspring of the Force.
Once you’ve selected a theme, you’re given a cloisonne pin to identify your selection and a colored card to identify your group.
Inside Savi’s shop, a group known as the Gatherers will walk you through a 20-minute build-your-own light-saber experience inside the Chamber of the Guardians.
The build begins with selecting your Kyber crystal. The Kyber crystal is used to ignite the custom light-saber and determines the color of your blade.
You will then construct the lightsaber hilt with a variety of pieces from your chosen theme.
You can try different combinations of parts until you find the one that you like best.
Finally, when your light saber hilt is ready the Gatherers connect it to a 31” lightsaber blade!
We won’t spoil all the magic but let’s just say an old friend is part of the experience.”
The premium up-charge light-saber-building experience has a hefty price tag at $199, plus tax. But we can tell you that it is 199% worth it if you can swing the cost. Not only are the light-sabers made of top quality materials the likes you would see on a movie set or premium collectible the experience itself includes special effects and some stellar star wars storytelling.
The build also includes a carrying case for your light-saber so you can protect your investment and you are allowed to bring one additional person with you to watch the experience.
Tip for Savi’s Workshop: Reservations for Savi’s workshop are required so you are going to want to sign up early as each experience only includes 13 builders at a time.
DROID DEPOT (Galaxy’s Edge)
Another combined shopping and entertainment experience is available at the Droid Depot where you can construct your very own custom droid companion.
Choose from either a BB-series or R-series droid and then step over to the shop’s conveyor belt where you will be able to select the droid parts that appeal to you.
For BB-series droids you will select a dome, dome connections plate, body sphere and motivator.
R-Series builds will select a dome, body, center leg, and set of side legs.
The kit for assembling the droid is very simple and each of the components and colors is completely up to you.
Once all your droid parts are in hand you’ll move to a build station and follow simple “placemat” instructions to assemble your droid in the proper sequence.
After your droid has been assembled, the real magic begins. Your droid will be placed in an activation station to be paired with remote control.
You will play an important part in bringing your astromech unit to life!
The cost to build a Droid is $99, plus tax. A cardboard carrying box and instructions are included.
Different personality chips are available in the attached store area for an additional cost.
Droid Depot also offers pre-built droids, droid-inspired toys, apparel and custom color decals and other additional accessories.
Tip: You won’t be able to drive your droid around the park for safety reasons but the droids do interact with the environment within Galaxy’s Edge including the full-sized droid units found throughout Black Spire Outpost. Buying the back-pack carrier for $41… will make carrying your droid around much easier than using the awkwardly shaped boxes provided by Droid Depot for free.
If you don’t purchase the backpack schedule your build toward the end of the day as the boxes are heavy and awkward to carry.
The shop’s walls and ceiling are filled with animated elements and droid props. You’ll find Imperial droids, medical droids, and protocol droids. Everywhere you look you will see droids in various states of disrepair. Overhead, droid parts will continuously move along a dry cleaner-like conveyor system.
Reservations are required to get access to the Droid Depot though sometimes standby access is available. We highly recommend booking your Droid Build experience in advance.
The experience area is limited to the builder and one guest. At least one person in the party must be age 14 or older.
TOYDARIAN TOYMAKER (Galaxy’s Edge)
The Toydarian Toymaker stall carries a wide selection of whimsical Star Wars-themed toys and games crafted by Zabaka the Toydarian, the flying alien species first seen in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”.
You’ll find Toy models of Star Destroyers, TIE Fighters, and land speeders along with musical instruments just like the ones played by the Mos Eisley cantina band during the original “Star Wars” movie. A full line of hand-made plush dolls depicting Star Wars heroes and villains from around the galaxy is also available.
One thing you won’t find much of is packaging and corporate logos. The merchandise sold in Toydarian Toymaker and throughout Galaxy’s Edge will appear to made by local Black Spire vendors to better blend in with the Star Wars surroundings and immerse you in the experience.
DOK ONDOR’S DEN OF ANTIQUITIES (Galaxy’s Edge)
One of the most interesting merchandise locations for Star Wars fans is Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Every item here has a story.
The shadowy shop sells rare and ancient “artifacts” –also known as movie memorabilia. You’ll also find treatures like Padme’s jewelry, Han Solo’s dice, Sith robes, pre-built legacy lightsabers, Kyber crystals, Holocrons and more.
Don’t miss the Ithorian shopkeeper at his desk checking his inventory and barking an occasional order to his assistants.
CREATURE STALL (Galaxy’s Edge)
Themed as an alien pet store, the Creature Stall, gives a glimpse into a wide range of cuddly and creepy species from across the galaxy.
All the adoptable pets in the shop are looking for their forever home so if you’ve got a soft spot for a wailing Wampa or always wanted a pet porg you can take these interactive baby beasts home with you!
BLACK SPIRE OUTFITTERS (Galaxy’s Edge)
Looking for authentic-looking clothing designed to help you blend in with the Battu locals? This is where you will find an eclectic selection of stylish, functional clothing including robes, tunics, hooded scarves, and belts based on wardrobe pieces from the “Star Wars” cinema universe.
RESISTANCE SUPPLY (Galaxy’s Edge)
Are you sympathetic to the rebel cause? Then you’ll want to shop at Resistance Supply, a make-shift depot run by rebel recruits at a hidden command post. You’ll find pins’ badges hats and other force-friendly souvenirs.
FIRST ORDER CARGO (Galaxy’s Edge)
Those whose loyalties lie with the Dark Side will want to head to First Order Cargo located near the TIE echelon ship near the back of Galaxy’s edge. You’ll find pins, clothing, helmets, armor, model ships, and more.
THE JEWELS OF BITH (Galaxy’s Edge)
If you’re looking to dress up your wardrobe with a little intergalactic bling drop by Jewels of Bith. The jewelry maker, a large-headed alien with bulging lidless eyes and long fingers, will be happy to help you find the perfect accessory for your Star Wars ensemble.
The tiny market stall located within Merchant Row of the Black Spire Outpost s intricately designed and decorated with details befitting an alien open-air bazaar. In addition to themed jewelry, you will also find as an assortment of shirts, hats, magnets, pins, totes, and misting fans.
LAUNCH BAY CARGO (Animation Courtyard)
Located adjacent to Star Wars Launch Bay this store features a variety of Star Wars merchandise, including original artwork and collector’s items.
This is the store to checkout especially if you are looking to add some Star Wars bling to your mobile device. You can create a custom phone case, magic band or magnet using the D-Tech on Demand to personalize your order in minutes.
TATOOINE TRADERS (Echo Lake)
Located at the exit of Star Tours this was the original spot to purchase Star Wars themed merchandise in Disney Hollywood Studios. You’ll find a large assortment here from apparel and toys to legacy light sabers.
STAR WARS ENTERTAINMENT & SHOWS
There are some incredible Star Wars-themed shows you are not going to want to miss!
(Note that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Disney has suspended some shows and experiences.)
JEDI TRAINING ACADEMY TRAILS OF THE TEMPLE (Echo Lake)
If you have “force-sensitive” younglings then the first place you will want to head after entering the park is to the registration area for Jedi Training Academy. This popular interactive experience is open to children between the ages of 4-12-years-old. Spaces are limited and are first-come, first-served so it’s important to sign up early as they fill QUICKLY.
The registration area is located at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost between the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and the 50’s Prime Time Cafe. Your child must be present with you to sign-up. You will be assigned to one of several showtimes for later in the day and will be asked to return 30 minutes before that time. The show itself takes place in a different area than the registration. It is located next to the Star Tours attraction entrance, opposite Backlot Express.
We recommend signing up for one of the evening shows if possible as the light-sabers and special effects look extra-cool at night.
Once onstage, Padawans are trained in the ways of The Force and do battle against iconic Star Wars villains like Darth Vader and Kylo Ren in a real lightsaber duel. Don’t worry if that sounds intense. Just like in every Disney movie –the good guys always win and plenty of humor is interjected throughout.
A PhotoPass photographer will capture shots from the entire show, and each participant will receive a pin commemorating their completion of Jedi Training.
Something to keep in mind is that because Jedi Training Academy is staged on an outdoor stage, the show is canceled during inclement weather. Since all shows are filled early-on there is no chance to re-book the experience for the same day so make sure to check forecasts beforehand.
If you don’t have a child involved in Jedi Training Academy, it’s still a fun show to watch and can be worked into your itinerary anywhere you can find the time.
STAR WARS LAUNCH BAY GALLERIES & THEATER (Animation Courtyard)
Star Wars Launch Bay is home to galleries featuring full-scale replicas, detailed costumes, and other treasured memorabilia from the franchise.
There are also some backdrops like the Mos Eisley cantina, where you can step up to the bar or pretend to play a game of holochess at the game table.
To the left side of Launch Bay, you’ll find a theater featuring a behind-the-scenes short film about how the Star Wars films were made including exclusive interviews with the directors, writers, producers, key movie crew members and Imagineers who bring the saga to life. The video is approximately 10 minutes long and runs multiple times throughout the day.
STAR WARS: A GALACTIC SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS SHOW (Chinese Theater)
Fireworks are a spectacular ending to any Disney day but when those fireworks have a Star Wars theme it’s pretty much perfection.
The nighttime spectacular “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” puts you in the middle of the action of memorable moments from the Star Wars saga by utilizing state-of-the-art projection technology, lasers, lighting, pyrotechnics, and other special effects.
Be sure to grab your spot in front of the Chinese Theater -where the show takes place, early. For the best view, we recommend standing back from the theater near the sound/lightboxes on Hollywood Blvd. This allows you to see all projections while also taking in the effects of the show. If you stand too close and you’ll lose the full impact.
Tip: If you would like to take the experience to the next level consider booking in advance the Star Wars Dessert Party. The dessert party gives you access to a special buffet of desserts and beverages before the show in Star Wars Launch Bay. You’ll be treated to all you can eat sweet treats and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) as well as have a chance to meet the Star Wars characters.
STAR WARS CHARACTER MEET & GREETS
There are ample opportunities to see your favorite Star Wars characters at Disney Hollywood Studios.
(Note that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Disney has suspended Character Meet and Greets. You can still however see your favorite characters from a safe social distance.)
DARTH VADER/CHEWBACCA/BB8 – STAR WARS LAUNCH BAY (Animation Courtyard)
Inside Star Wars Launch Bay you can meet and get pictures with iconic Star Wars characters. Get in line to meet Chewie in a hidden Rebel Base, encounter Darth Vader on the bridge of his First Order ship or hang with BB8 in a Resistance Freighter.
Each character has a separate queuing area and immersive meet and greet set. We recommend heading here during extra magic hours or in the evening before you stake out your spot for the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular as lines move slowly and can get long.
PhotoPass photographers are on-hand to capture your interactions. The photos they take are available on the My Disney Experience App shortly after your interaction. Character handlers are also happy to take photos using your camera.
RANDOM CHARACTER INTERACTION (Galaxy’s Edge and Animation Courtyard)
Part of what makes the new Galaxy’s Edge area so special and immersive is the random character interactions that take place in the land. There is no lining up here for traditional meet and greet photos and autographs. Instead within the walls of Batuu, familiar characters roam throughout the land involving guests at random as if they are part of a Star Wars story. You may find yourself helping Rey hide from the First Order or being taken in for questioning by a group of Storm Troopers patrolling the area.
Set times are not listed and the characters will not always stop for photos, but their interactions are very genuine and fun to play along with. You may even run into R2-D2 in the Launch Bay area of Disney Hollywood Studios over by Animation Courtyard. We last spotted him inside Launch Bay Cargo.
Tip: If you really want a good interaction, it’s best to wear or say something about being a rebel. The more in character you stay with them more they will talk to you. You may even find yourself being taken captive and escorted elsewhere.
BATUU INHABITANTS (Galaxy’s Edge)
The inhabitants (Cast Members) of Galaxy’s Edge you won’t recognize from the films will also have their own rich backstories. Spend some time talking to them and learn how they came to live on Batuu, what they did before calling it home and so much more.
Tip: The inhabitants of Batuu even have a native language. It’s very similar to English so you won’t have any trouble with pronunciation but here are a few of the words and phrases that you’ll want to be familiar with before you take off on your galactic adventure.
“Bright Suns” = “Good Morning” or “Hello”
“Rising Moons” = “Good Evening” or “Hello”
“On Planet” = In the Land
“Refresher” = “Bathroom”
“Hydrator” = “Water Fountain”
“Ignite the Spark” = Greeting for the Resistance
“Light the Fire” = A Resistance callback to “Ignite the Spark”
“Only the ancients know” = “I don’t know”
“Til the Spire” = “Farewell”
“Good journey” or “Good Run” = An Informal Goodbye
“May the Spires Keep You” = A Formal Goodbye
“For the Order” = I Support the First Order
“Credits” = Money
“Datapad” = Mobile Phone
“Off-World” = Anywhere other than Batuu
“Travelers” = People who don’t live on Batuu
“Starship” = Space craft used for Interplanetary travel
“Younglings/Padawans” = Children
“Youngling Transport” = Baby Buggy/Stroller
“Well Bartered” or “Good Trade”= Thank You
“And You” = You’re Welcome
You will also see the Aurebash written language all over Galaxy’s Edge. You can use the Disney Play app to turn their smartphones into datapads to translate. More on that in a bit!
THE MILLENNIUM FALCON (Galaxy’s Edge)
Okay, this isn’t an actual character but you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get a photo with the galaxy’s most famous “hunk of junk”.
There are lots of other fun Star Wars-themed photo ops throughout Disney Hollywood Studios.
TIP: While the PhotoPass photographers are on hand to take professional photos for guests to purchase, they are happy to help with personal photography if you ask. Just ask them to snap a pic with your cellphone or camera. Unlike taking a chance with a stranger you can rest assured they know what they are doing!
DISNEY PLAY APP/PLAY DISNEY PARKS APP (Galaxy’s Edge)
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the first land in a Disney park designed from the ground up to fully integrate with the Play Disney Parks mobile app.
The app will transform your mobile device into a “Data Pad” that provides four primary functions to deepen your engagement with the environment:
Hack – Interact with certain droids, blinking door panels and other scenic elements
Scan – Explore the contents of cargo crates and other containers and collect virtual items
Translate – Understand written languages from the Star Wars galaxy
Tune – Tap into the signals from satellite dishes and antenna arrays to intercept transmissions and eavesdrop on characters’conversations.
You’ll also be able to pledge your allegiance to either the First Order, the Resistance, or go out on your own as a scoundrel. As you complete tasks and missions you can earn virtual credits that you can redeem to customize your avatar in the app.
Even the rides are interactive! If you crash the Millenium Falcon on Smuggler’s Run word may spread pretty quickly! Characters have been known to mention your piloting mishap or even praise you for being a strong gunner! Disney truly thought of everything!
Tip: Make sure you download the Disney Play app before you get to the Galaxy’s Edge land, just in case your wifi connection isn’t strong enough and turn on location services and Bluetooth on your device. While you’re at it, toss a few power banks in your park bag — your battery will need them.
WHAT TO WEAR — DISNEY BOUNDING
In general Disney World has a no-costume policy for anyone over the age of 14. This means that kids are more than welcome to wear a full-blown Rey costume. Disney only requires that their eyes be visible…so no full Storm Trooper helmets for example.
While adults can’t wear an exact costume you can wear clothing inspired by characters. This is what’s known as “Disney Bounding” and has become incredibly popular in recent years.
Here’s a link to Disney’s official rules about dressing up for your visit to Walt Disney World.
We have had lots of success finding items such as Star Wars themed Mickey Ears, Star Wars themed dresses, Star Wars hoodies, T-shirts and even Star Wars themed back-packs on Amazon. Often for a fraction of the price we would have paid in the parks.
HOW LONG DO YOU NEED TO EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING STAR WARS AT DISNEY HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS?
It’s ambitious to try and tackle everything we’ve listed in this article in just one day. Ideally, we think you need two days to experience everything Star Wars at Disney Hollywood Studios. If you can spend more, even better. If your time is limited try to focus on the rides, one of the shopping experiences and the fireworks show in the evening. Leave yourself plenty of time for just walking around Galaxy’s Edge and taking it all in.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
You should now be ready to fully dive into everything Star Wars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you have any questions drop us a line in the comments or on Mom Abroad’s Facebook page. You can also visit us on Instagram for more information.
If you have any questions that I didn’t cover, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll follow up with you! Or if you have a great tip to share let me know below too! And be sure to check out these other awesome articles:
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