SamsDisneyDiary Episode #71: Star Wars Weekends 2016: ok Not Exactly

#71: Star Wars Weekends 2016! OK, not exactly

A Galaxy Far, Far Away Stage Show - Kylo Ren up close.
A Galaxy Far, Far Away Stage Show – Kylo Ren up close.

In November of 2015, Disney made it official that the recently completed 2015 Star Wars Weekends would be the last Star Wars Weekends.  A sad day, indeed. The first Star Wars Weekends took place in 1997; the weekend long festival returned in 2000 & 2001, then became an annual event from 2003 – 2015.  Quoting the Disney Parks Blog:

A Galaxy Far, Far Away Stage Show - BB8 up close.
A Galaxy Far, Far Away Stage Show – BB8 up close.

“Work begins next year {2016} on the 14-acre Star Wars-themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With construction underway, unfortunately, we won’t be able to offer Star Wars Weekends. While Star Wars Weekends has been a great way to enjoy the saga for a few days every year, now the Force will be with Disney’s Hollywood Studios every day.”

While the Star Wars Experience will no doubt be incredible, it puts Disney in an interesting transition phase.  With a new Star Wars movie being released every year, fan interest at an all-time high, and Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios under major renovation, including the addition of a 14 acre Star Wars land (that’s at least 18 months away) how do you keep guests coming back?

Star Wars Weekends 2016 - Concept Art for Star Wars on the wall in front of Streets of America
Star Wars Weekends 2016 – Concept Art for Star Wars on the wall in front of Streets of America

The answer is temporary Star Wars Experiences that are available every day, not just on the weekends.  Of course Star Tours, including new Episode VIII footage and Jedi Training Academy have always been available, add Star Wars Launch Bay – the Star Wars reimagined Animation Building along with a “First Order March” led by Captain Phasma, a stage show/photo opportunity, “A Galaxy Far, Far Away” and a nightly fireworks “Symphony in the Stars”.

This episode of Sams Disney Diary features footage from April 2016, including the stage show, Captain Phasma processional and fireworks including the dessert package.   This is the “temporary fireworks” Symphony in the Stars that will be replaced by “Star Wars a Galactic Spectacular” fireworks / projection show currently under construction and scheduled to start this summer.  Looks like I’ll need to plan another trip 😉

SamsDisneyDiary the Video #71: Click below to watch

While Disney may have enough to satisfy the average Disney-Star Wars fan, for those of us who loved Star Wars Weekends, there is too much missing to fill the void.  Celebrity motorcades, the 501st Legion, Stars of the Saga Talk Shows, celebrity autographs – I’m sure the new Star Wars Experience will be worth the wait, but it’s going to be a painful 2016 and 2017 as we wait for the opening.   I’m not sure what I miss the most… Hyperspace Hoopla, the 501st Parade, Stars of the Saga, celebrities or maybe “James Arnold Taylor”. At least I have older episodes of Sams Disney Diary to look back on, and so do you.   Watch the other Star Wars Weekends SamsDisneyDiary episodes below the pictures:


Episode #14 and #15 – Star Wars Weekend 2012!!! So Big it needs Two Video Episodes!!!

Episode #14: Legends of the Force Motorcade

Episode #15: Hyperspace Hoopla

Episode #42 – Star Wars Weekend 2014 Recap

Episode #43 – Star Wars Weekend 2014 – “The Premiere Theater”

Episode #48 – Star Wars Weekend “Galactic Breakfast” at the Sci-Fi

Episode #50 – Star Wars Weekend “Feel the Force” Premium Package

Episode #51 – Star Wars Weekend 2015 “Star Wars: Rebels”

Episode #52 – Star Wars Weekends 2015 “Stars of the Sage”

Episode #53 – Star Wars Weekend 2015: Obi-Wan and Beyond


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