The force has again descended on Disney’s Hollywood Studios as the legendary series from George Lucas entertains fans from all over the World. The Star Wars franchise is more popular than “Star Trek” and that says volumes. This “meet” at the Studios began in 1997 and again in 2000 and 2001 and has been held annually since 2003. Here you can meet and greet all your favorite characters, see the “Star Wars Celebrity Parade” with the 501st Legion (the international fan-based group dedicated to wearing authentic “Star Wars” costumes at many events). The Jedi training academy is in full swing for training as a Jedi warrior at the Star Tours stage. Also, “Younglings” can compete in the “Padawan Mind Challenge”. Register at the Event Information Table at the ABC sound stage and pit you knowledge of “Star Wars…The Clone Wars” against others. (Ages 11 and under)
Along Echo Lake meet celebrity Hosts for autograph sessions, at the end of the day there is the “Hyperspace Hoopla” at the stage under the Sorcerers Hat where all your favorite characters have a “Dance Off”. And don’t forget “Star Tours…The Adventure Continues” attraction. If you have not yet experienced this upgrade of the old Star Tours attraction, you are in for a special treat. Not only is the adventure different each time, the spectacular 3D effects are amazing. There are of course Storm Troopers, Ewoks, Wookies and all manner of galaxy residents walking around the Studios, perfect for that photo opportunity. The Rebel base of operations is in and around the Star Tours attraction, and for the Imperial Sector; the Premiere Theater is the place to be. There is an impressive list of events going on there.
I was at the Studios on the Memorial Day weekend, but the crowds were not as bad as expected. But wandering around, there was another aspect of the “Weekends” I really enjoy. Many guests were dressed up as their favorite characters, and some of the costumes were indeed impressive. Many of the guests I got a chance to speak to made their costumes by hand, the results were outstanding.
New this year to the Weekends is the “Carbon Freeze Me” experience, located at the ABC sound studio. As Hans Solo was doomed to be frozen in a block of carbonite for spying by Darth Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back”, guests can enter the “Carbon Freezing Chamber” located in the Sounds Dangerous attraction, have their face scanned and placed onto the figure of Hans Solo, as he was in the episode. After waiting for several weeks for the process, you’ll receive a beautifully detailed figurine with you face on Solo’s pose in the carbonite. But what makes this a truly “Out of this World” experience is the carbon freezing chamber itself. Disney, a master of theming and detail made the chamber like the one in the movie. With all kinds of smoke and colored lighting, you sit down in a chair and a cast member takes your picture (The best part of the experience is that the cast members play the part, accusing you of being a spy, that and the eerie chamber make you believe you are next to be frozen! A great touch) you then see your face on a monitor (You get 3 chances for a good shot) and it’s turned into a colored 3D face, then a black and white picture. This is what appears on the 8” finished product. The cost for this “Galactic Experience” is $99.95 plus tax and shipping.
I will return next week with more photos and any updates at the Weekend. I have also uploaded a “Star Wars” guide map…”May the Force be with you “, until next week.