I knew I was in for a great time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekend when I was confronted with Imperial Stormtroopers above the park’s entrance. The stormtroopers were interacting with guests as they watched from above. You might recall my direct interaction with one of them making fun of me photographing him. The stormtroopers where the comic relief of Star War Weekend and I will be posting more about them later this week.
There are many special events, shows, motorcade and Star Wars characters and stars Meet and Greets for people to get autographs and photos with their favorites. I went to two Star Wars Weekend days over two weekends. Even then I had to pick and choose which things to do as the Weekends have become very popular. Lines to meet characters were very long with people waiting over an hour at times. While it was crowded in and around the Star Wars Weekend events, the rest of the park attractions and rides had normal wait times for late May and early June.
The first event I photographed was the Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade. Though I would call it a parade. It started out with Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck in Star Wars costumes. Followed by the 501st Legion, a group of Star Wars enthusiasts much like Civil War enactors who promote Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work.
Each of the costumes of the 501st Legion members were meritoriously detailed and included an example of each of the movies characters. In all, over 300 of the 501st Legion members were in the motorcade. The celebrities along with Disney Star Wars movie characters brought up the rear.
I did want to see and get photos with one Star Wars Weekend character and waited in line for about an hour. Meet Jedi Knight Mickey Mouse with Princess Minnie “Leia” Mouse.
Each Star Wars Weekend day ends with the very popular Hyperspace Hoopla which features the Star Wars Dance Off. Imagine Darth Vader with a patrol of stormtroopers dancing! Chewbacca getting down to Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO. There’s even a poignant moment between Darth Vader and Padmé Amidala. If you are a Star Wars fan, you know how neat that would be (see below).
A note to those who are thinking of attending Star Wars Weekend in the future. Plan to wait. Lines for characters will eat up a lot of time. Queue up early for the special shows with the movie celebrities, too. If you want to photograph Hyperspace Hoopla, get to the front of the stage a good two hours before it starts. If you just want to watch it, they put the show on the American Idol theater screen.
If you are a big fan of Star Wars, like I am, the waiting is the price to pay to have some of the most unique opportunities to interact and photograph with Star Wars movie and Disney characters. Besides, where else in the world would you see the droids you were looking for, eh?