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NEWS: New Fan Favorite Star Wars Character Meet & Greet Announced

Star Wars fans were recently treated to the news that Star Wars Land will be opening in Disney’s Hollywood Studios sometime in 2019. However, as many know, you don’t have to look to far to see a strong presence of the Star Wars Force already at Disney World. And the Force just got stronger as Disney announced an additional Star Wars character meet & greet coming Star Wars Launch Bay. More details below.

(For a list of the many other Star Wars related offerings at Hollywood Studios, check out the related article at the end of this news story)





 

Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Jennifer Bickley-Baker:

Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have more Star Wars fun to look forward to this spring when BB-8, the loyal droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, begins character greetings at the park’s Star Wars Launch Bay.

BB-8 will appear in addition to Kylo Ren and Chewbacca, two characters from the Star Wars galaxy who guests regularly encounter at Star Wars Launch Bay. In addition to character greetings, the location also offers guests the chance to explore galleries full of treasured memorabilia and authentic replicas of large-scale Star Wars artifacts, including some from the latest film in the franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Star Wars Launch Bay is just one experience that has debuted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the delight of Star Wars fans over the past two years: “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” daytime show features characters from around the Star Wars galaxy; while the guest-favorite “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” nighttime spectacular lights up the park each night. Guests age 4-12 can also become Jedi recruits and put their skills to the test in an unforgettable battle against villains like Darth Vader or the Seventh Sister Inquisitor. And just a few months ago, the park’s Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction began offering guests randomized destinations, making different planetary destinations possible for every galactic journey.

We’re thrilled that our favorite droid is coming to the Launch Bay! “This spring” is a very wide window for an opening. We’ll update you as soon as we learn of a more specific opening date. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any Disney news!

 

RELATED ARTICLE: 9 Ways to Have a “Star Wars” Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by Cindy N

The building excitement around the return of Star Wars to theaters has been palpable. Star Wars mania is back and bigger than ever. Fans of the original series have grown up and can’t wait to share their love and excitement of the saga with their kids and grandkids. George Lucas and Disney World have enjoyed a long relationship that has brought the magic of the Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies into the parks. In August of 2015, Disney announced news that fans were waiting for: Star Wars Land would be coming to Hollywood Studios! While the land is set to open in 2019, fans don’t need to wait years to experience a Star Wars themed day. Whether you are a young padawan or master Jedi, here are nine ways to have a Star Wars Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.





1 – Jedi Training: Trails of the Temple, Next to Star Tours, Echo Lake

First up on the list is signing up your young padawan for Jedi Training. After a brief refurbishment, the very popular Jedi Training Academy is back with double the villains–so double the kids! Young Padawans will receive training on how to use the Force and wield light sabers. After a brief but thorough training in the Force, the young knights get a chance to use their skills and will face either Darth Vader or a new villain, the Seventh Sister (from the popular Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels). There is also an appearance by Darth Maul. With an all new stage and cast this will be sure to delight Star Wars fans from the age of 4-12. This is a very popular twenty-minute show. Sign ups occur on a first come first come basis. If you have a young Padawan, be sure to sign them up early at the Indiana Jones show location. Check your Times Guide for more information. You will be given a return time for your youngling to return for training!

2 – Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, ABC Sound Studio, Echo Lake

Head across the way towards the ABC Sound Studio to set the stage for a Star Wars day! This is must see for any Star Wars fan looking to get even more excited for Force Awakens (if that’s even possible). It’s also a perfect opportunity to introduce a new generation to the Star Wars movies or to get caught up on the story if you’re one of the 10 adults on the planet that didn’t see Episodes 1-6. You’ll see a ten-minute retelling of the Star Wars saga that includes a sneak peek at the future of the galaxy.

3 – Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, Echo Lake

Stroll on down towards Star Tours where you’ll experience an out of this world attraction. On December 15, 1989 the original Star Tours blasted off to Endor to the pleasure of Star Wars fans. In 2011, the power of the Force and Disney magic came together again to create the new Star Tours-The Adventure Continues. This newer edition features 3D technology, unique branching storylines and includes the expanded universe including the original trilogy of films and the prequels. Recently, the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens was also added to the story.





 

4 – Star Wars Shopping

As you exit Star Tours, you’ll enter Tatooine Traders, one of three specialty Star Wars stores at Hollywood Studios. You’ll discover action figures, apparel, gadgets, LEGO kits, books and more. Also, don’t miss Launch Bay Cargo at Star Wars Launch Bay (#5). There is a wide selection of Star Wars merchandise, including original artwork. The most amazing merchandise are probably the replica costumes!

5 – Star Wars Launch Bay, Animation Courtyard

Star Wars Launch Bay is an exciting new attraction that will please Star Wars fans of all ages. First, you’ll be treated to a short film that celebrates the Star Wars saga. This film includes commentary from key Star Wars producers, directors, writers, crew and story tellers responsible for bringing the Star Wars galaxy to life. You’ll then be treated to an exhibit area that features props, models, costumes and artifacts from Star Wars films. Also be on the lookout for a gaming area where you can play the popular Disney Infinity video game, which features an exclusive Toy Box built just for Star Wars Launch Bay. Before you leave make sure you get your cameras ready as this is one of our top recommended locations for photo opportunities! There is so much to see and do in this great new experience-read what you need to know here!

6 – Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away is a fifteen-minute show at Center Stage with multiple showings per day. In an interesting mix of movie vignettes and character appearances, this stage show is all about highlighting what we love about Star Wars—everything! Be sure to read all about this amazing show in our full article.

7 – The Storm Trooper March led by Captain Phasma

The Storm Trooper March led by Captain Phasma begins in the Animation Courtyard, leaving Star Wars Launch Bay with them marching behind Center Stage and then arriving for a short (about 3 minutes) demonstration on stage. It’s a real treat to see Captain Phasma up close with her troops! Anyone who loves Storm Troopers will not want to miss this short demonstration. Be sure to check the Times Guide for show time information.

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8 – Star Wars Snapshots: May the Photos Be with You

There are many photo opportunities you’ll want to take advantage of. Here are 5 different place

  • AT-AT Walker, Outside of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue-Get your picture under a massive AT-AT walker which looms over an Ewok village.
  • Speeder Bike, Outside of Tatooine Traders – A must for our family for years. We love getting our kids on this speeder and see how they’ve grown!
  • Cantina, Star Wars Launch Bay – Be sure to visit the area reminiscent of the famous Mos Eisley Cantina! Sit at a Sabacc table or stand at the bar and clutch your favorite-a glass of blue bantha milk! This fun area is full of photo opportunities.
  • Star Wars Characters, Star Wars Launch Bay – You won’t want to miss the opportunity to meet fan favorites Chewbacca and Kylo Ren! BB-8, our favorite droid, will be coming in the spring of 2017! Each character has his own meeting area. Also, you may run into a Jawa at the Cantina!

9 – Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

Finally, you’ll end your amazing Star Wars day with the all new firework and stage show,  Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. State-of-the-art projection effects, dynamic lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics light up the night like never before! The music, magic and characters of Star Wars combine with special effects and fireworks to put you inside iconic scenes from the Star Wars saga. The sounds of the amazing John Williams famous Star Wars score fills the air. Note due to the nature of the show your best viewing location is from Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Center Stage area.





 

About Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!