This weekend was a huge weekend for Star Wars fans, not only was it the opening of the latest film “The Last Jedi” but it was also Galactic Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now if you were one of the lucky guests to attend this event, I hope you had as much fun and if you didn’t get a chance to make don’t worry, I’m going to fill you in on all the fun!
This past Saturday Disney’s Hollywood Studios closed early at 6 pm and then Star Wars fans took over the park. Star Wars Galactic Nights was a hard ticket event from 7 pm to midnight ($124 per child and $129 per adult plus tax) so only those that had a coveted ticket were free to explore all the night had to offer! Guests were able to get into Hollywood Studios as early as 4:30 pm even though the party didn’t start until 7 pm. I was among the guests that arrived at 4:30 pm so I could take advantage of every minute I was there. When I arrived, I received a Star Wars: The Last Jedi lanyard with a huge laminated Star Wars: Galactic Night “ticket.” This took place of any wristband that you might be used to getting for special events at Disney parks and it’s a great souvenir. I also received an event guide that gave a schedule of what’s going on, what was open, and more. Taking a look at the guide, I was happy to see the number of things that were available to do. The attractions were still open in addition to the events there for Galactic Nights. I don’t think that there was enough time in the day to do everything but it was fun to try!
The DJ Dance Party which was to play all night at the Rebel Base (the stage in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater) began early to get everyone pumped up and excited for the night ahead of us. DJ Elliot played all the dance tracks including some great Star Wars EDM mixes! It seemed like once the music started the party really began! Everyone was enjoying the music, kids and adults were dancing and everyone was interacting.
I hung out at the dance party for a little bit and then decided to head over to the Epic Stunt Theater (home of Indiana Jones’s stunt show) to check out the “Inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” panel. I think was probably one of the big draws of the night because guests could sit and hear more details about the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land being built right there at Hollywood Studios. A group of cast members from Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm gave us some great details about this highly anticipated land, complete with images and artist’s renderings of what was to come. It was exciting to see a drone video of where the construction currently is and to hear all the announcements. To hear that when we arrive into this new land we will be fully immersed in the world of Star Wars like never brought me more excitement than I already had. I can’t wait for 2019 so I can see the fleet of X wing flyers in person, actually go inside the Millennium Falcon, walk through the marketplace, and of course actually try Blue Milk!
After all the excitement from the panel, I decided that the next thing I wanted to check out was “Star Wars: Galactic Destinations” which consisted of projections on the Hollywood Tower Hotel (home of Tower of Terror). With all the projection technology that Disney has come out with lately, I knew that I didn’t want to miss watching these projections! The projections played all night long with accompanying music and lighting in addition to moments from all the films playing on the video billboards located on the building on Sunset Boulevard. It was an awesome way to relive my favorite movie memories of the Star Wars franchise. The images on Tower of Terror were amazing including a larger than life Darth Vader being projected high above the crowd!
There were three experiences that were regular Star Wars offerings during a regular day at Hollywood Studios. Those were Jedi Training, Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away, and the Stormtrooper March. The Stormtrooper March was different for Galaxy Nights though. The First Order did not make their regular appearance, they were given a break for the Imperial March to take center stage. The original Stormtroopers (from episodes 4-6) marched from the park entrance to the Rebel Base where Darth Vader was there to get his battalion in line.
After witnessing the March, I headed over the Animation Courtyard to see Droidbuilders. Droidbuilders are a group of international Star Wars fans that have built their own replicas of the droid robots we’ve all come to love from the films. I can’t even imagine the amount of time and energy these talented fans put into their droids! They moved, beeped, spun, and everything in between. There was two droid out there when I went to see them and they were versions of R2-D2 and they really looked like they could have rolled around the galaxy right along with R2!
Now if anyone got tired of checking out all of these one night only experiences then they didn’t have to worry because eight attractions were open all night too like the Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, and of course Star Tours. I would say that Star Tours and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster were the biggest ride attractions because of the theme of the night. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster had Aerosmith taking 5 for the night as they had a Star Wars Edition which including the ride to be blacked out! This was, sadly, one ride I did miss but the guests that got to ride it had a blast! I did make sure to head over to Star Tours because they were showcasing the new adventure you could take part from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Guests of the night had the possibility of experiencing 3 different beginnings and 4 different “malfunctions” as part of your adventure. I won’t give anything away but all I have to say is the adventures are just getting better on Star Tours! That was my favorite journey I’ve experienced so far!
Another aspect of Star Wars: Galaxy Night was the character meet and greets and the photo backdrops. The photo backdrops were spread out throughout the park and each was from a different part of the Star Wars movies which included Hoth, Tatooine, and the Death Star! There were eight different backdrops and at each backdrop, you received a sticker which you placed on the back of your “ticket” as a part of the scavenger hunt. Once you put all the stickers together they created one image, it was a fun way to draw you to the photo backdrops which were some of the longer lines of the night. In addition to the backdrops were the character meet and greets.
Several Star Wars characters were available to take photos with including Darth Vader, Seventh Sister, BB-8, and Stormtroopers. I would imagine that several of the guests that had some amazing costumes on for the night took full advantage of photo ops at the backdrops and the character meet and greets.
Unfortunately, Star Wars: Galactic Nights had to come to an end and in true Disney fashion, it ended in fireworks! The Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show was enhanced with aspects of the new film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. New scenes and new characters were added including one of the Porgs interacting with BB-8 and even jumping on his head!
After the fireworks, everyone exited Hollywood Studios but not without a parting gift. Everyone received an awesome mini-poster, and an exclusive set of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Trading Cards, and a Star Wars: The Last Jedi button. It was a great way to end an epic night! I believe that taking part in Star Wars: Galactic Nights is a must do for any die-hard Star Wars fan. Personally, I loved the experience. I thought that Disney did a great job with it. I loved how everything stayed open in addition to the Galactic Nights specific experiences because I know at some other special events at Disney parks not everything stays open. The only long lines were for the food and the photo ops which were understandable. It was a fun filled night and it was great to be around my fellow Star Wars fans and talk about our love of this movie franchise. The Force was strong with us all!
If you wish to be a part of the Force and all the fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, don’t forget we have our official travel agent. Contact Once Upon A Time Travel for help plan your next trip!