PHOTOS - The Force Awakens at Disney's Hollywood Studios with new Star Wars Launch Bay

Dec 01, 2015 in "Star Wars Launch Bay"

Star Wars Launch Bay opening day

Star Wars Land hasn't broken ground and may well be five years away from opening, but guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios are already getting a taste of new Star Wars experiences.

Today saw the opening of Star Wars Launch Bay, Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, and the new Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. It doesn't end there either, starting January 5 2016 will be the new Symphony in the Stars fireworks show.

Located in the Animation Courtyard at the former Magic of Disney Animation attraction, the new Star Wars Launch Bay is the headquarters for Star Wars at Walt Disney World.

The exterior of the Animation building has been given a bold new look with dark grays dominating the frontage, and an imposing marquee sign that can be seen from the park's Centerstage hub area. 

The queue uses the outdoor space that was once the queue area for the Animation Tour, and much like its predecessor, features concept artwork from the movies.

First up is the Launch  Bay Theater, which shows a short movie featuring interviews with key figures in the creation of the Star Wars saga.

Next is the first of two galleries displaying artifacts from the movies. The Celebration Gallery features several of the iconic ships and props from the movies, and although replicas, the scale and detail is an impressive sight.

Leaving the Celebration Hallway, the majority of the exhibit space opens up into two character meet and greet areas - the dark side encounter with Darth Vader, and the light side Rebel Base with Chewbacca.

Queues for the meet and greet are lengthy, with waits quickly rising to 60 minutes during the opening morning. Expect to see FastPass+ added here in the near future.

Outside of the meet and greets, The Cantina has been included to feature some great photo opportunities, including the holochess table and some wondering Jawas. The area is small, but very well themed.

The Cantina leads through to the Star Wars Game Center, where guests can play an exclusively created version of Disney Infinity 3.0.

The final exhibit area is the Preview Gallery, which offers a glimpse of artwork, props and artifacts from the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie.

Launch Bay Cargo is the final stop at the Launch Bay, and is a high-end Star Wars gift shop offering a large range of collectibles and even costumes. You can buy a full Storm Trooper outfit for $1800!

Star Wars Launch Bay will be a popular addition to the park, and will feed the appetite for more Star Wars at the park as the new movies open in theaters and until the main Star Wars land opens in the coming years.

The exhibit is open daily from park open to park close, and is included in both morning and evening Extra Magic Hours. FastPass+ will soon be added.

Chase Disney Visa Card members also have access to an exclusive Star Wars Imperial Meet 'N' Greet location inside the Launch Bay, offered daily from 11am to 4pm EST.

Discuss on the Forums
Article Posted: Dec 01, 2015 / 2:24pm EST