Welcome to Hyperspace Headlines! This feature will tell you all the news you need to know relating to Star Wars at Disney World and Disneyland.
This edition features an extremely popular droid rolling into Hollywood Studios, a new premium nighttime Star Wars-themed event, and the answer to one of the biggest questions out there for a Disney World and Disneyland fan: When can I go to Star Wars Land?
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This meet and greet will be BB-Great
What’s orange, white, and stole every single scene he was in during Star Wars: The Force Awakens? That’s right, BB-8! Everyone’s favorite one of a kind BB-unit is making his way to Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Starting this spring, this meet and greet will be in addition to Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. Needless to say, Star Wars fans are thrilled at the prospect of getting their picture taken with the adorable droid. Anecdotally, the longest line I saw at the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland was for BB-8. I’m hopeful that this droid will be fully animated/articulated, unlike the one at the marathon. No word yet if BB-8 will be able to give lighter-thumbs ups.
But, oh, oh, those Galactic Nights
On April 14th, Star Wars fans will have plenty to celebrate. Timed to coincide with the Star Wars Celebration convention at the Orange County Convention Center (April 13-16), Hollywood Studios is having a one-night only galactic gala, featuring celebrities, entertainment, and special activities. According to Disney Parks Blog, here’s a sampling of the night’s events:
- Rebel Base Activities – The Rebel Base will serve as the event hub with multiple events, hosted shows, Star Wars dance parties and more taking place in the center of the park.
- Watch “Inside the Saga: Celebrity Chat Show” – Catch a celebrity chat show in Epic Theater to learn more about the making of Star Wars films.
- Can’t miss Star Wars photo ops – Don your Star Wars finest (see costume guidelines here) and enjoy iconic Star Wars backdrops, including Han Solo cast in carbonite, Jabba the Hutt’s Palace, the Hoth Wampa Cave and more.
- Galactic Nights Stars in Cars Motorcade – This procession will welcome in Star Warscelebrities down Hollywood Blvd.
- Imperial March & March of the First Order – Get your cameras ready for the arrival of the dark side. Darth Vader will lead a battalion of stormtroopers on a dramatic march down Hollywood Blvd to the Event Stage. Captain Phasma will also lead a unit of First Order stormtroopers through the park, pausing to give a demonstration of power and strength.
- Seize the Saga Interactive Scavenger Hunt – Event Guests are challenged to collect Star Wars themed pieces at the photo backdrops throughout the park, revealing a surprise when all items have been collected.
- “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” – Watch high-energy clips of the best moments from the film saga juxtaposed with character moments on stage, featuring Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren and more.
- “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” – The skies will come alive with the power of the Force, as the park’s popular Star Wars-themed nighttime spectacular lights up the night.
Tickets are $129 for adults and $124 for kids, and space is limited. You can purchase tickets here.
A theme park land not so far… far… away.
Right after Star Wars Land was announced at D23 2015, there was a Sarlac-sized spew of speculation all across the internet. Based off the much delayed Pandora land, many bemoaned that it could be as late as 2022-2023 until we would be able to experience the new Star Wars attractions at Disney World and Disneyland. I gave my own analysis back in August of 2015, in my article When Will Star Wars Land Open? where I looked at previous Disney expansions and construction trends. Here was my bold prediction.
“Maybe I’m grasping at straws, but I have a good feeling about the year 2019. Why? Star Wars Episode IX is expected to open in May 2019, and what better way to celebrate the closing of the new trilogy than opening an immersive themed land that takes place during the events of those films. Disney could be aiming to make 2019 the biggest year ever for Star Wars.”
Not to say “I told you so,” but… I told you so. During an earnings call earlier this month, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Star Wars-themed lands will be opening sometime in 2019 at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Two years, people. Get ready for the jump to lightspeed.