"May" the Force be with You - Star Wars Weekend Pre-Trip Report

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alicemouse's picture
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"May" the Force be with You - Star Wars Weekend Pre-Trip Report

Since I finished selecting FP+ for our May trip to Star Wars Weekend and since there is very little time between our April and May trips, this seems to be the appropriate time to kick off the pre-trip report! DH has wanted to do a Star Wars Weekend ever since he found out that such a thing exists. I happened to luck into an evening during SWW last June without him (I was in Orlando for work) and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. With our PAP firmly in hand, he insisted that I book us a SWW for this year. ("Oh no, please don't drag me to Disney again! I beg you, please, no!" said no one in this house EVER.) mickey

Upon close examination of the calendar, we chose the only SWW that was neither adjacent to the week before/after Memorial day nor a weekend that could potentially be summer break (although with all of the snow we've had, kids in about half the country will be in school until practically July). Unfortunately, it's the first one of the year, so we don't get the advantage of carefully stalking the internet for tips and tricks from people who are on the ground at DHS. Then came the fun of balancing the desire to get as many days as possible out of our flight costs with using the fewest number of vacation days possible. We settled on Thursday, May 15 - Monday, May 19.

I am reasonably certain that DH loves Star Wars more than he loves me laugh and he is not the odd one out in his family. His connection to these movies is like my connection to the 1950's-1970's Disney live action movies. It's part of childhood and we have great memories of time spent with our families that revolve around watching these movies. So it was only natural that we invited my in-laws to go! Plus, my parents are going with us on my Birthday trip next weekend, so it only seemed fair. We invited DH's mom, twin brother, favorite aunt, and cousin. Mom & brother ultimately bailed out, but we have aunt & cousin staying with us at a 2BR villa at OKW for 5 days.

DAY 1:

We did our usually very early morning flight in and very late evening flight out to maximize our time. We will be relying on Disney transportation unless I get a fabulous deal on a rental car. I estimate that we will arrive at MK around 11am where will grab lunch at either Casey's Corner or Columbia Harbor House before going to our first FP at Peter Pan's Flight. We'll hit IASW and Philharmagic before popping into New Fantasyland to FP Enchanted Tales and Under the Sea. Depending on what happens over the next few weeks, we may try to switch one of those for 7DMT. We'll head over to Liberty Square to grab a spot for Festival of Fantasy. When the parade is over, it's Haunted Mansion, Country Bears, and Enchanted Tiki Room before our ADR at Tony's. After Dinner, it's DTD.

DAY 2:

Our first SWW day--the goal is to be at DHS at 6am. We might need to get a taxi to make this happen and now I'm wishing that I had booked Boardwalk so we could just walk over. Oh well. We'll figure it out. We'll be doing autograph/character stuff except for using our FP for Star Tours and Toy Story. We plan to check out the parade at 11:00, grab lunch at ABC Commissary, and catch the 11:50 Lights, Motors, Action before going back to OKW for a nap or a swim. The centerpiece of the plan is the Star Wars Character Dinner at Hollywood & Vine that I booked today!!! Instead of waiting in line for the DIsney characters in their Star Wars garb, we will get to casually interact with them during dinner AND still get to take advantage of the reserved Fantasmic! seating. I can't even put into words how excited I am about this experience, so here's a happy little jumping guy to help me explain. yay Between dinner & F!, we'll pick up Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones, and split up FP for ToT (DH & cousin) and GMR (me & aunt). There is supposed to be a special fireworks show to take the place of hyperspace hoopla. I haven't heard any details about that yet, but that may cause some reconfiguring of the plans.

DAY 3:

9:00 rope drop will seem so late after being at DHS at 6am. FP for the morning are Space Mountain, Pirates, and BTMR. Lunch is at Tortuga Tavern of Pecos Bills and the only other goal for the morning is to soak up the magic of Main Street. Today is the "take it easy" day. In the evening, we'll head over to EPCOT to see the end of Flower & Garden Festival--specifically the Butterfly House. Aunt worked at the US Dept. of Agriculture for over 30 years and her job was to monitor the diet of the various bug species in the lab. She LOVES butterflies, so I'm really excited to take her to the butterfly tent. The only other firm plans for the evening is dinner at Biergarten. Thanks to mrhub, I know that we can take the friendship boats across the WS lagoon to save aunt some walking. She's got 2 knee replacements and she can manage slowly but surely, but this will be the first time in my life that the boat will probably be faster than walking around. After dinner, we'll take the long part of the loop to see the World Showcase and then hit the monorail to go to MK for Wishes.

DAY 4:

Sunday morning is wide open. No FP, no reservations. The boys will probably hit DHS again in the morning and I'd like to hit DTD so we can go to Earl of Sandwich for lunch. I might take aunt to MK or EPCOT if she's done with DHS or I might give her a chance to relax by the pool and join the boys for more Star Wars fun. In the evening, we're back to EPCOT with FP for Soarin' and the very sill Seas w. Nemo and Journey into Imagination. Dinner is at Garden Grill and we'll be squeezing in Living with the Land, Test Track single rider, and visits to Mexico and Norway (hopefully) before IllumiNations.

DAY 5:

Departure day. sad We'll be spending the day at AK where we have FP for KS, EE, and ITTBAB. Aunt and I will see Flights of Wonder while the boys ride EE. I'm not excited about the bug show, but I feel like we have to do it. Lunch will probably be at Flame Tree BBQ unless we decide to branch out and try Yak & Yeti. Finding Nemo is on the list unless FoLK moves to its new location early. Cousin will probably want to do Dinosaur, but we'll wait in the gift shop. I might try to brave Primeval Hurl. It looks like fun from the ground, but I'm not sure how happy I'll be about my choice once I'm sitting in the car spinning over the edge of the track.

After that, there's nothing left to do but return to OKW to board the ME in the not-so-magical direction. Thanks for reading! We're down to about 50 days.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Sounds a great trip. DH and I both love SW. You are right it is a childhood memory my Dad and I would always go (Mum doesn't really get it) to the movies when they came out. My Dad is responsible for my love of Sci Fi as we watched a lot of movies when I was a child. You have got a lot packed in but doesn't seem frantic. I am very envious about the meal, sounds amazing and how nice not to have to spend hours queuing to get photos etc. post lots of pics in your TR clapping

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Sounds like you have a wonderful trip planned! I know nothing about Star Wars(completely by choice) and DH has never seen any of the movies either, so SWW is only fun for us because certain parts of the park are deserted and we can walk right on rides or shows. But, when we were there last year, all the SW fans seemed extremely excited by the parade and the character meet and greets. I bet your character meet and greet dinner will be so fun for you both.

If nothing else, SW has some hardcore fans! DH and I were walking on the sidewalk while the parade was going on and I almost got attacked by a fan when I called it Star Trek(I really don't know the difference between the two.) He started yelling at me and I thought he was going to hit me with his laser beam, sword "thing-y" that they have in the movies. Fortunately DH is about the size of the "giant furry one"(I don't know it's name) from SW so I was fine wink

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AnnielovesDisney wrote:
If nothing else, SW has some hardcore fans! DH and I were walking on the sidewalk while the parade was going on and I almost got attacked by a fan when I called it Star Trek(I really don't know the difference between the two.) He started yelling at me and I thought he was going to hit me with his laser beam, sword "thing-y" that they have in the movies. Fortunately DH is about the size of the "giant furry one"(I don't know it's name) from SW so I was fine wink

rolling rolling rolling This so would have been me prior to meeting DH. I've now actually seen all of the movies (I actually like episode III the best--don't hurt me, real SW fans). I love that Disney bought Star Wars because it not only keeps DH entertained, but it resulted in HIM actually telling ME that we're going to WDW!!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Sounds like a great trip! I LOVE the Garden Grill mickey
My DH will be there (not at Disney though but close) that same weekend. He's got a training course. I looked into tagging along so I could go to Disney but with just my flight costing almost $1000 eek it wasn't worth it especially since he won't have time to go at all.

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Sounds like an awesome trip, though I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies eek eek
The only thing really terrible about Primeval Hurl IMO is how jerky it is...I had a headache after being on it. If you don't like Dinosaur, I'd say Primeval is definitely worth a pass.
HAVE FUN! awesome

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Spook wrote:
Sounds like a great trip! I LOVE the Garden Grill mickey
My DH will be there (not at Disney though but close) that same weekend. He's got a training course. I looked into tagging along so I could go to Disney but with just my flight costing almost $1000 eek it wasn't worth it especially since he won't have time to go at all.

That's a bummer, Spook--we would have loved to meet up with you! I was looking at flights last night for a hypothetical cruise next year. Lemme just say, airlines and their nutty prices really cramp my style!

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Did you see that they just added several new FP+ choices for Star wars weekends? There are several SW events now available for FP+. For example, EVENT - An Ewok's Tale: My Short Story, Starring Warwick Davis and EVENT - Stars of the Saga Star Wars Celebrity Talk Show.

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I did see that this morning, Annie! DH actually said he didn't think he wanted to do any of the shows. Have you been to any before? Do you think he'll regret it later? He wants to meet Peter Mayhew, but that wasn't a FP option

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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alicemouse wrote:
I did see that this morning, Annie! DH actually said he didn't think he wanted to do any of the shows. Have you been to any before? Do you think he'll regret it later? He wants to meet Peter Mayhew, but that wasn't a FP option

I honestly can't give any advise or opinions about SW weekends, unless it's about the SITS fireworks~which were awesome! I hate star wars & star trek, I don't know the difference between the two, and I never, ever want to! That being said, we just happened to be at HS last year on May 4th. I had never heard "May the 4th be with you" and when my DH and I were entering the park, someone said that to us. I asked DH if he thought that was some kind of "religious thing." After DH stopped laughing, he explained. That was our only experience w/ a SW weekend, and we spent the whole time avoiding everything that had to do with SW and doing everything else because of short lines.

BUT if I were fanatical about a movie(Harry Potter!!!) I would do ALL the shows. If Universal Studios ever has live shows and meet and greets with the cast of the Harry Potter movies, I would go to those if I could. They've had a few but we could never fit them into our schedule. For me, if I were a huge SW fan, I'd absolutely do the live events. This is how I look at it. As fun as star tours and toy story mania are to ride, they will be there the next time I go to HS. The stars and live events won't be! I would definitely kick myself later for not doing any live shows, even if it was just one or two. But that's just my opinion of course. Maybe I'll do the Warwick Davis event, and just ask him Harry Potter questions the whole time laugh

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Sounds like so much fun!! One of these days I'll get there for SWW, but not this year.

If you plan on spending some time shopping - check out this sneak peek of of the girlie merchandise that Her Universe will be debuting at Star Wars Weekends. I am in love with the jewelry line!

http://www.heruniverse.com/blog/her-universe-returns-to-star-wars-weekends-with-new-products-and-collectible-high-end-r2-d2-jewelry-line/?mc_cid=5d1847e8c1&mc_eid=8b47ad0caf

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AnnielovesDisney wrote:
alicemouse wrote:
I did see that this morning, Annie! DH actually said he didn't think he wanted to do any of the shows. Have you been to any before? Do you think he'll regret it later? He wants to meet Peter Mayhew, but that wasn't a FP option

I honestly can't give any advise or opinions about SW weekends, unless it's about the SITS fireworks~which were awesome! I hate star wars & star trek, I don't know the difference between the two, and I never, ever want to! That being said, we just happened to be at HS last year on May 4th. I had never heard "May the 4th be with you" and when my DH and I were entering the park, someone said that to us. I asked DH if he thought that was some kind of "religious thing." After DH stopped laughing, he explained. That was our only experience w/ a SW weekend, and we spent the whole time avoiding everything that had to do with SW and doing everything else because of short lines.

BUT if I were fanatical about a movie(Harry Potter!!!) I would do ALL the shows. If Universal Studios ever has live shows and meet and greets with the cast of the Harry Potter movies, I would go to those if I could. They've had a few but we could never fit them into our schedule. For me, if I were a huge SW fan, I'd absolutely do the live events. This is how I look at it. As fun as star tours and toy story mania are to ride, they will be there the next time I go to HS. The stars and live events won't be! I would definitely kick myself later for not doing any live shows, even if it was just one or two. But that's just my opinion of course. Maybe I'll do the Warwick Davis event, and just ask him Harry Potter questions the whole time laugh

Be sure to ask Warwick Davis why Prof Flitwick went from an old looking wizard (grey hair/beard) in the first 2 movies to a younger looking wizard (short dark hair/moustache) in the later ones laugh

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Maybe he has reverse aging.....gets younger as the years go by. biggrin awesome

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PirateGirl wrote:
Maybe he has reverse aging.....gets younger as the years go by. biggrin awesome

Like Benjamin Button

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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alicemouse wrote:
PirateGirl wrote:
Maybe he has reverse aging.....gets younger as the years go by. biggrin awesome

Like Benjamin Button

Exactly!

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AnnielovesDisney wrote:
alicemouse wrote:
I did see that this morning, Annie! DH actually said he didn't think he wanted to do any of the shows. Have you been to any before? Do you think he'll regret it later? He wants to meet Peter Mayhew, but that wasn't a FP option

I honestly can't give any advise or opinions about SW weekends, unless it's about the SITS fireworks~which were awesome! I hate star wars & star trek, I don't know the difference between the two, and I never, ever want to! That being said, we just happened to be at HS last year on May 4th. I had never heard "May the 4th be with you" and when my DH and I were entering the park, someone said that to us. I asked DH if he thought that was some kind of "religious thing." After DH stopped laughing, he explained. That was our only experience w/ a SW weekend, and we spent the whole time avoiding everything that had to do with SW and doing everything else because of short lines.

laugh I would have written this same response 10 years ago!!! Out of sheer survival, I had to learn at least the main characters' names. Of course I got drug along to the theater to see the "new" movies (where I was proclaimed a "fake" fan by DH because I actually thought Episode III was a cool movie and my assertion that it was better than the original trilogy nearly ended in divorce proceedings! LOL!! laugh ) Maybe it's a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome setting in, but I've actually come to enjoy many thing "Star Wars". The Star Wars pins have even earned a place of honor on the collection board--right beside Stitch. Now Star Trek, I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.