LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- One of the most spectacular Star Wars fan events in the galaxy returns to Walt Disney World Resort this May. For four consecutive weekends beginning May 4 the Disney-MGM Studios joins forces with Lucasfilm Ltd. to present the second annual Star Wars Weekends, a celebration that transports guests of all ages to a galaxy far, far away.
Inspired by the four Star Wars films -- Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the most recent box-office smash, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace -- Star Wars Weekends bring guests face-to-face with their favorite characters, from the cuddly Ewoks to the evil Darth Maul.
With the popular Star Tours attraction, Hollywood-style motorcades and star conversations, a high-energy Cantina Street Party and celebrity autograph sessions, the theme park is transformed into a Force-filled fan-fest each weekend.
“Star Wars Weekends brings the adventure and thrill of the Star Wars films to life each year at the Disney-MGM Studios,” says Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing, Ltd. “We expect this year’s event to be even bigger and better for fans than the inaugural in 2000. The incredible collection of entertainment, games, character and celebrity appearances and rides aboard the Star Tours attraction will give fans something exciting to look forward to every weekend.”
Here’s what’s in store:
Star Gazing -- Star Wars celebrities are scheduled to appear throughout Star Wars Weekends, in handprint ceremonies, motorcades, conversations with fans and autograph sessions. Celebrity appearances, to be announced at a later date, will include actors and other notable individuals involved in the Star Wars film saga.
Wookiees, Jawas and Ewoks, Oh My! -- One of the largest gatherings anywhere of characters from the Star Wars films -- from Queen Amidala and Darth Vader to Chewbacca and Greedo -- will roam the Disney-MGM Studios greeting guests, signing autographs and posing for photographs.
High-Energy Thrill Ride -- Guests can take flight to the Moon of Endor in Star Tours, an action-packed flight simulator ride that salutes the Star Wars series. Synchronizing a stunning film with the virtually limitless gyrations of the simulator, the attraction takes guests on a hair-raising, light-speed trip aboard a careening star speeder.
Galactic Games -- Star Wars trivia contests and games will be held to test fans’ knowledge of “the Force,” and a special Video Starcade will feature the best in Star Wars-inspired electronic games.
Behind the Force -- Fans can go behind-the-scenes in the making of the four Star Wars movies -- and get a special sneak-peek at the next film in the series.
Party Under the Stars -- As the sun gives way to the stars each evening, the excitement rises with a Cantina Street Party featuring high-energy music, interactive games and characters from the film joining in the fun.
Obi-Wanna-Be -- Throughout the day, several lucky guests will be chosen to take part in “Jedi Training Camp,” giving young hopefuls the chance to learn Jedi moves with a lightsaber, then test their skills against Darth Vader himself.
A Galaxy of Collectibles -- Star Wars merchandise -- from event-exclusive trading pins, action figures and commemorative lithographs to costumes, masks and other limited-edition items -- will be available in Tatooine Traders. With a look inspired by scenes in The Phantom Menace, the retail location is adjacent to the Ewok Village set at the Star Tours attraction.
Star Wars Weekends launch into orbit May 4 and are held four consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) through May 27. Activities are included with regular Disney-MGM Studios admission. For more information, call 407/824-4321 or visit www.disneyworld.com.