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Top 10 Star Wars Weekends Tips

With it being just days before the beginning of Star Wars Weekends, it may be useful to share the absolute best, can't beat, ignorance is not bliss, forever hold your peace, tips about Star Wars Weekends that will hopefully help you out with your upcoming trip or reiterate the important aspects to keep in mind beyond all else.

  1. Arrive early. Sure there is a fun Storm Trooper skit before the park opens and lots of other fans to talk with but the reality is you need to arrive early to Disney's Hollywood Studios so you can get a spot in line, especially those who want autographs. If you want an autograph from a celebrity, show up 90-120 minutes before park opening. If you don't care about autographs, arrive 60 minutes before park opening.
  2. How to get your child in the Star Wars parade. There is a special Star Wars Weekends parade every day at about 11:40am and Disney invites kids to be part of the parade and dresses them up as Jedis. If your child(ren) wants to be in the parade, right when the park opens head over to a special table that is located between Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours and ask about the parade. You can't sign up directly for it, but certainly asking about it may get your child(ren) a invite into it.
  3. Buy anything you want as soon as you can. Star Wars Weekends merchandise tends to sell out fast so don't wait around and gamble that it wont. Buy it as soon as you can and if you don't want to lug it around the park with you, you can have anything you buy sent to the front of the park for Disney to hold until you are ready to leave or if you are a Disney resort guest, have it sent to your resort for you.
  4. Show up to events early. Regardless of the event going on, arrive early for it. Plan on arriving at least 20 minutes before the scheduled time of any event to get a good chance of attending any event.
  5. Get (your child) chosen for Jedi Training Academy. For the best results to get chosen for Jedi Training Academy, show up for the earlier shows in the day, arrive 20-30 minutes early for the event, have your child be VERY enthusiastic when asking for volunteers and dressing up in a costume helps get chosen. Disney wants enthusiasm with the kids, not shy and timid ones.
  6. Meet the characters. Some people write off the character meet-n-greets as for kids but they are a lot of fun. Generally speaking, the "bad guys" (Storm troopers, bounty hunters, Gamorrean Guard, etc) are the most entertaining.
  7. Sign up your kids early. If your child wants to participate in the kids trivia (Padawan Mind Challenge) and go to the table between Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours to sign up. Remember that you MUST have your child(ren) in line with you to sign up; they will NOT give you a wrist band to participate as the bands go right onto the child(ren)'s arms when they write their name(s) on the list.
  8. Learn the map. Don't waste time trying to figure out where you are or where the event is being held. Familiarize yourself with the map of Disney's Hollywood Studios and refer to this map that has a listing of where Star Wars Weekend events will take place.
  9. See the two shows you might skip. There are two events most guests skip either out of ignorance or choice but they are highly entertaining. First, see the Storm Troopers skit that takes place on top of the entrance to the Studios before the park opens. As we mentioned in tip #1, show up at least an hour early to be sure you can see the skit. The second show worth seeing is the Hyperspace Hoopla, which is held at the end of the day and wraps up the day and it's like a closing ceremonies for Star Wars Weekends and it's worth your time even if you are hot, sweaty and tired.
  10. Avoid the merchandise line. Lots of people think the only place to get Star Wars Weekend merchandise is at the gift shop at the exit to Star Tours but there are places around the park to pick up both limited and not limited edition merchandise. Wicket's Warehouse (located between the Backlot Tour and Toy Story Mania) is the best option and you should also try Golden Age Souvenirs (located next to Sounds Dangerous, across from Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular). Lines at these two locations ought to be much more manageable.