Jan 11, 2018

Star Wars at Hollywood Studios - Part 2

Picking up from Part 1, we're moving into the Star Wars Launch Bay! In the first area you get into, there are lots of prop replicas.

They stopped us here to point out that there is a tiny Mickey and Minnie poster in the bridge of the Tantive IV (Leia's ship). During a break in the tour, I asked our female tour guide if she knew why it was there. She said she didn't and I explained to her how the original model makers hid a pin-up poster in there and showed her a photo I took years ago when I saw the model in person. She got a kick out of learning something on her tour too. The guide that was closer to my age (and seemed grumpy all day) said he was familiar with this but they don't tell that story on the tour.

There are a couple of screen-used props as you head down a hall toward the character meet and greet area including Anakin's podracer cockpit and a full sized speeder bike. I have photos, they didn't come out great and you probably know what they look like anyway.

We then got to meet Kylo Ren, Chewie, and BB-8 who is a relatively new arrival. Kylo Ren is a pretty wild character experience. He's a little intimidating as he talks to your group. For some reason he was grilling me about the Resistance. Maybe it's my hat?

While waiting to meet the characters, you may see a pair of First Order stormtroopers on patrol! You can actually run into them almost anywhere in the park. The queue areas leading to the characters have some great replica prop displays. On the Dark Side, they have various bad guy lightsabers and Imperial helmets from clone trooper all the way to the First Order. On the Light Side, you've got good guy lightsabers, including Ezra's gun-saber, and various Rebel helmets.

This is one of the things I really enjoy about being at Disney. It brings together things from all aspects of Star Wars. As fans, I think we tend to think in terms of original or prequel movies and cartoon series but here it's all one big galaxy and you might just find yourself thinking about things in a new way.

This Jakku display is opposite the character queue area.
Heading out of the character area, you pass through a little cantina set where you might find some jawas hanging out. If you're crafty, they might trade small items with you.

Beyond that is the prop area. When we visited last year, they had props from The Force Awakens. This year, it was all Rogue One. I imagine soon, if not already, it will be changed over to The Last Jedi.

Some of the things on display here are actual props on loan from LucasFilm, like the Shoretrooper above. If you look at the plaque that tells you about the item, you'll see some have a line at the very bottom saying it's on loan.

I really like Cassian's rifle and how it can be assembled into a sniper configuration.

Chirrut's Lightbow was cool to see as you don't get a chance to get a good look at it in the movie. After all this, you of course end up in a gift shop. As we made our way out, the guides stopped us to see a character parade. I'll circle back to that but here's the video.

Star Wars character parade

We then headed over to the Backlot Express for a lunch break. Lunch is included in the tour, so that's a bonus! While we were eating, a couple of First Order stormtroopers we checking ID badges. This one picked up one kid's Porg and was checking it out.

We also each got a plastic Chewbacca stein (below, top), some stickers, and a lightsaber churro!

It's a churro covered in either red or blue sugar and served in a lightsaber hilt tube. Churros are probably my second favorite thing in the park, behind Dole Whip of course, so I was pretty excited that we got these. It was the least tastiest churro I have ever mostly eaten.

After lunch, we finished the day with the Galaxy Far, Far Away show. This stage show features characters from all the films. Remember that character parade? That was them leaving the stage show to go "back stage." This isn't my video but the show is so cool I wanted to share it.

I don't know about you, but the music gets me every time.

And so our tour came to an end. It's about a 5 hour walking tour, you get to learn about the history of Disney and Star Wars, front of the line access during the tour to the Star Wars attractions, and lunch. Oh yeah, you also get reserved seating for that night's fireworks display! If you're even just a casual fan, it's worth doing at least once.

I think a lot of people may go the parks and not realize there is much more to do than just the regular attractions. The tours are an additional cost on top of your park admission, but they are totally worth it.


  1. great you had to say dole whip and now I want one. Not going to lie that churros light saber is great fun and screams here Disney take my money!