There is always something magical about Disney. No matter what your age is, when ever you drive through the gates, the excitement begins to build, and once you enter the parks, your inner child burst forth and you can’t stop grinning and just being there is fun.
Or so you thought….until you go to Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends. That’s right folks, it’s the magic of Disney with all the added spice of the saga we all love. And what happens when you cross the two???? Heaven. Simply heaven.
This year’s weekends kicked off with a huge guest in the Emperor himself, Ian McDiarmid. Although he wasn’t signing autographs, the atmosphere was electric. When it came to autographs, it was a fangirls dream come true: Amy Allen who played Aayla Secura from the prequels, Tiya Sircar who voices Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels, and the ever energetic Ashley Eckstein, who made her triumphant return as Ahsoka Tano in the season finale of Star Wars Rebels. Quite exciting.
I started the day early securing my chance to meet Amy Allen and visiting with friends from last year, Cody, Jen and their daughter Izzy. Thanks to Jen for her awesome cinnamon buns again! From there we entered the park and grabbed my passholder exclusive Star Wars Weekends poster before hoping a ride on Toy Story Mania.
From Toy Story Mania, my friend Robert and I began exploring everything new that Disney added for this year. Darth’s Mall was relocated to the back of the park with some INCREDIBLE signs. Extra large vintage Topps cards lined the way. The mall was divided into 3 sections, The Tusken Fridge Raiders, Watto’s Grotto, and X-Wing Collectibles.
They also have the Prop Shop where they have these great Star Wars Lego statues.
From the Mall, it was off to the Rebel’s Hanger where Robert and I met up with John Fowler and his girlfriend. John is covering the weekends for our friends at Skywalking Through Neverland. We had a great discussion over lunch before heading out to get in line for the shows. Before we snapped this picture below, Ian McDiarmid came out of the backstage area right where we were and took off through the park. Yes, thats right, I was a mere 3 feet away from Darth Sidious and before I could pull a camera, he was gone. Yet seconds after snapping the picture of John and I, from the same backdate door, emerged our emcee James Arnold Taylor! As he came by I said hi and he responded with a hi and a double take as he continued to walk off. He quickly smiled, pointed at my bright orange Coffee With Kenobi shirt and said “I like that shirt! Great show!”
The Rebels show was a great. Host James Arnold Taylor came out in Stormtrooper armor and the interview with the lovely Tiya Sircar was awesome. She discussed season one and tried not to spoil anything from season 2. The show ended with everyone singing Happy Birthday to Tiya since it was her birthday.
Stars Of The Saga was definitely my favorite show for the day. Ian McDiarmid brought the house down. I don’t know where to begin here. James Arnold Taylor did a phenomenal job hyping up the crowd, and interviewing Ian and Amy. It was just so much fun watching them have fun.
Not long after the shows, our wives and kids joined us and we went to watch DJ Lobot’s Galactic Dance Party where I met Daniel Berry. Great guy and it was awesome to finally meet him face to face.
Unfortunately, my night was cut short due to some overly tired kids, which means I missed the Symphony of the Stars firework show. Hopefully I’ll catch it week 3 or 4.
With all the new stuff that has been added, I’m quite excited to get back for week 2. I will be there on Sunday so promise me, if you see me stop me and say hello! If you are coming to one of the upcoming weeks, let me know! If you have questions hit me up on Twitter or email me here!
And remember this is the podcast you are looking for!
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