Star Wars Weekends 2014

The husband and I (and our housemates) went to Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Memorial Day Weekend.  Being a holiday weekend, we had anticipated a large crowd and long lines but surprisingly the lines were not as crazy as we initially thought. We did not even need to use our FastPass+ reservation on the Star Tours ride.

As an aside, let me first praise the new FastPass+ system that Disney has recently instituted.  The new system allows you to book up to 3 FastPass+ (passes?) up to a month in advance.  This eliminates the need for crazed running back and forth between rides to snag an elusive FastPass from one of those obsolete ticket machines.  I was able to successfully book FastPass+ reservations a week in advance with no problem.  The “My Disney” app also allows you keep track of your reservations and showtimes on your iPhone , navigate your way through the park and also check restaurants for reservation times and closing hours.

We attended Warwick Davis’ “My Life as an Ewok” show at the Premier Theater (located on the Street of the Americas).  Warwick Davis of course played Wicket the Ewok (the cute one that hangs out with Princess Leia in the forest) in Return of the Jedi, in addition to Willow in Willow and Griphook and Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter films. We had previously seen this show last year but it was still fun to see the show, with some slight changes from last year’s show.

We also saw James Arnold Taylor, who voices Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plokoon in The Clone Wars animated series.  He also has played hundreds of recognizable animated characters on film and television.

My personal highlight was definitely the new “Symphony Under the Stars” fireworks show.  This is a new event (and as a long-time Orlando resident and Disney patron, anything new is a welcome change!) and it did not disappoint.  After an opening show featuring Star Wars characters from the Dark Side and the Jedi side, the sky lit up with a fantastic firework show, complete with fireworks that changed colors, resembled planets, the Death Star and even TIE fighters.  John Williams’ classic film score underscored the entire event, with recognizable themes (my personal fave of course being Luke Skywalker’s theme) to match the colors and narrative of the Star Wars saga.  If you have a chance to see this event, don’t miss out!

Also to top off the evening, I got to eat my very own Yoda cupcake.  Delicious, it was.

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