Star Wars at Walt Disney World
Star Wars is going to have a huge presence in the Disney parks next year when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. But let’s check out some of the Star Wars happenings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World now.
In 2017 Gary and I participated in two runDisney races called the Star Wars Dark Side 5k and 10k. (There is also a half-marathon but we’re not ready for that – haha.)
We registered for the races in the summer of 2016 to run both the Star Wars 5k and 10k in April 2017. Neither one of us are runners (as mentioned in previous posts about running) but it’s something that had been on my Disney bucket list for a while. It was also my first ever 10k. I think I did fairly well too!
Here is a determined Gary making his way to the finish line of the 5k.
We started in separate corrals for the 10k, which was a lot of hanging around by myself since I was in the last corral (meaning my group was the last group to start – some runners were probably finished with the race before I even got started).
Some cool photo ops with Star Wars characters on the course
This is a very crowded mile 6 during the 10k. To say there was congestion on the course is an understatement, but you’re running more for fun than time.
At the end you get these gorgeous medals.
Running in a runDisney race ain’t cheap. You also have to be prepared to wake up very very early in the morning (2:30am for us). I would still love to do another runDisney race someday soon though! (And for those of you who aren’t ready to go all in on a runDisney race, there are small races held at various resorts such as the Derby Dash at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and the Beignet Dash at Disney’s French Quarter Resort.)
On this same trip we also did the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
This dessert party was held in the Star Wars Launch Bay. It’s currently priced at $79 for adults and $45 for children, and you will need a ticket to enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We received all-you-can eat treats, 2 Chewbacca steins to take home (I have heard it’s changed to BB-8, but know that it can change), and a prime viewing area for all of us to watch the Star Wars show and fireworks.
We’ve attended a dessert party in the Magic Kingdom before as well. Unlike that one, the Star Wars party includes alcohol. 😀
Did I think it was worth it? Yes. It was a treat I booked for us in surviving our first runDisney races. It was our first time watching the Star Wars fireworks show and we didn’t have to stake out an area an hour before. The snacks and treats were good. Alcoholic drinks are expensive at Disney and it was nice to have them included here (although served in small cups, it was unlimited.). And here are our Chewbacca steins on a Disney shelf we have at home (hats added by me).
Both the runDisney races and the dessert party are extras that cost money, but there are plenty of Star Wars activities included with your admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For instance, you can sign up your child (age 4-12) for the Jedi Training Academy. The show is performed numerous times a day right beside the Star Wars themed Star Tours ride.
At the gift shop of Star Tours (Tatooine Traders) you can build your own light saber and create your own droid. We’ve made our own droids a few times now. One of these days we’ll make a light saber!
Tour the Launch Bay! You can buy exclusive Star Wars souvenirs, and see props from various Star Wars films. You can also meet characters – BB-8, Chewbacca, and Kylo Ren currently, and maybe a few Stormtroopers will wander in. We even ran into some Jawas, but I’ve heard they’re no longer trading with guests. Gary got to trade some beads for… different colored beads!
Gary is consoling Chewbacca in this photo, after offering condolences on Han Solo.
Kylo Ren paces around and likes to talk you into joining the dark side when you meet him. It’s kind of creepy.
My favorite of all the Star Wars events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the March of the First Order. Captain Phasma and a group of Stormtroopers march down Hollywood Boulevard to some very dramatic music and then perform a little show on the main stage. What’s cool is that you can march behind them when they exit towards the front of the park. And Captain Phasma is just awesome.
There is another stage show called Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away that shows clips from the movies and a lot of characters walk on stage. You’ll see rare characters like Boba Fett and Rey during it as well.
It’ll be exciting to check out all of the new Star Wars offerings at the parks when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens next spring in Disneyland, and the fall of 2019 for Walt Disney World!