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Old 09-01-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
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Star Wars Weekend Tips 2012

Hi all - While I know they have not released the dates yet, we will be there Memorial Day Weekend & hopefully that will be one of the Star Wars Weekends. We can't change our trip dates so are fingers are crossed.

Does anyone have any tips they can share from previous Star Wars Weekends?

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Old 09-01-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
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we'll be there that weekend too.

our first SWW, but our friends went this year that we're going with.

i have no clue what to expect, just crowds! and probably hot weather!
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
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Here's a great thread:


We loved the 2011 Star Wars Weekends and plan to return in 2012!
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:39 PM   #4
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I will also be there MDW, it's actually a surprise trip for my moms birthday!!

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Old 09-01-2011, 07:06 PM   #5
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1. It's SUPER hot, so be prepared

2. It's SUPER crowded, so be prepared

3. Line up for event shows early

4. When I was there, C3PO wasn't doing M&Gs after 2pm, but I don't know if that will apply next year.

5. Sign up for Jedi Training Academy ASAP

6. If you can, do Fantasmic! another non-SWW night, it's very crowded and if your not going to see the show, it's a great time to ride rides, like TSMM or RRC or HTT
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
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We were there on official opening day of Star Tours this year. It was lots of fun! Here are my suggestions:

1. Make ADR's for a TS. The CS places are PACKED!

2. Get to Star Tours early.

2. Plan to wait in long lines. And wait, and wait...

3. Visit the SW mechandise tent. Even if you don't plan on buying anything it's worth a look around.

4. It's going to be hot. I mean sweltering, humid, miserably hot. Plan accordingly and duck into places with a/c every chance you get.

5. Have fun - it's a blast!
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:29 AM   #7
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I've already decided that SWW 2012 is going to be my next trip down! Great to see there's already people planning for this! :D

Halloween '09:-CR Halloween '11:-Poly Halloween '13-BC March '14: First DL Trip
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:27 PM   #8
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Want celebrity autographs? Get there early. Way before the park opens.

The biggest character lines are for Darth Vader and Chewbacca. You may want to knock those out early.

If your kid wants to do Jedi Traning the signup starts when the park opens, it's first come, first served.

In 2011 there was a much larger stage area for the Hyperspace Hoopla. But parents will still lift their kids and put them on their shoulders. You may not be able to see the stage well. For information, if you can't get there early and be close enough to the stage to see, then the show was "simulcast" on the big screen outside American Idol.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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We will be there that weekend too and although I swore I woudln't take our kids back to SWW till they were older, DH is already working on me. These are excellent tips, the other one I would add is if you have young kids be prepared for witnessing some bad adult behaviour like line jumping, running into the kids/stepping on them, tripping over their strollers (if applicable), being shoved back in crowds for adults to see the parades, adult language and seeing more tipsy people than usual. DS was 4 last trip and it was so hard to explain to him why "grown" ups were cutting in front of him in line while he patiently waited his turn.

3. Like an hour early or so, we didn't go last year but Hyper Space Hoopla the year before was at least a 60+ min line up before time to get anywhere near glancing at the stage. Last year looked better but for kiddos to see you will need to be closer up.

Originally Posted by StitchSpawn View Post
1. It's SUPER hot, so be prepared

2. It's SUPER crowded, so be prepared

3. Line up for event shows early

4. When I was there, C3PO wasn't doing M&Gs after 2pm, but I don't know if that will apply next year.

5. Sign up for Jedi Training Academy ASAP

6. If you can, do Fantasmic! another non-SWW night, it's very crowded and if your not going to see the show, it's a great time to ride rides, like TSMM or RRC or HTT
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cassiez76 View Post
we'll be there that weekend too.

our first SWW, but our friends went this year that we're going with.

i have no clue what to expect, just crowds! and probably hot weather!
Yeah, I'm one of the "friends". LOL.

It was HOT. Stay hydrated.

Lots of people. For the shows, get in line early for the choice of seats. If that is not terribly critical, then don't worry too much about it. The shows repeat each day - that is, Friday, Saturday, and SUnday are carbon(ite) copies of each other. We planned to space things out so that we could see it all, get the autographs we wanted, and cover all the shows.

Fastpass - For autographs - show up way early. I got there at 7:15 for Anthony Daniels on Friday and got #10 standby. I was patient, and fortunate, and got his autograph on Friday, but I had to wait outside both signing times. He was the only one the weekend we went that was a real stickler on the number of things to sign and what he would sign (he only signed the photo cards that Disney put out for the event). I just wanted one from each star, and, with the help of the wife, got that. But, we had to plan each day carefully, and be ready to adapt, improvise, and overcome.

There is a lot of crossing the park back and forth - autographs are near Echo Lake, the event merchandise is behind RNRC, Star Tours is back towards the other side, bihind INdy, and the costumed character meet & greets are all over the place. The parade and the Hoopla are right in the middle of the park (near the Hat). The day is long.

Otherwise, do not count on doing everything on each day, as you might do on a day that is not a high peak time. Patience and preparation are the best tools you can have handy.

Of course, I would handle things a little differently with a larger crowd and tak into account what everyone wants to do. It realy comes down to planning what you want to do, checking around for the times (if you are not going on the first weekend, you can usually find a PDF of the park map and times guide) to get a rough estimate of what to shoot for, and, they usually will put out a PDF earlier that week so that you can see exactly the times.

Is this list exhaustive - by no means. Many people have done SWW before me and have probably don it better. THis is just what worked for us (two adults, no kids) last year.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by csmommy View Post
Hi all - While I know they have not released the dates yet, we will be there Memorial Day Weekend & hopefully that will be one of the Star Wars Weekends. We can't change our trip dates so are fingers are crossed.

Does anyone have any tips they can share from previous Star Wars Weekends?

It's early to think of heat and humidity when we just had a freeze overnight here.

Make ADR's as early as you can. It's a great relief to sit indoors and out of the heat/humidity to eat and take a break.

When you do make ADR's, make a note of historical times of when parades and shows are going on to avoid those times. Of course next year's schedules aren't out but parade times have been consistent.

If you have kids and have Star Wars costumes, dress them up, or yourself, for that matter! Kids in costumes get treated almost like celebrities and they're great picture ops when standing next to their favorite SW character. Just remember, yes, it'll be hot, so if wearing that Chewbacca outfit, bring a change of clothing if it becomes unbearable.

Parade route have changed in recent years(shortened) and I won't be surprised if it'll be the same next year. If that's the case, scout and grab a great viewing spot at least an hour before it starts. I used to say half an hour, nope, no longer.

Lines for characters will be long, especially for those lines that rotate characters in and out. A pattern will develop of how long a character will be there before trading out; observe and get into line to try and time it. (For instance, DH in line, I count X people, then I get in line for the next character change). Ask the CM's what time and in what sequence the characters come out. Me and DH took turns standing in line while the kids waited it out in the shade. (Jedi Mickey and others have no shade)

I'd say 95-98% of the characters will be the same from last year. Minor add ins and few drop outs, depending on popularity. But this will be the most characters you will see solely based on Star Wars in DW. Outside of the SWW, it will be business as usual in DHS.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:30 AM   #12
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We'll be in WDW during SWW, but I'm still debating if we'll go! I know my DS11 would love it, but it seems like the two consistent things I keep reading is hot and crowded. We are going on a cruise this trip, so we will only have 1 day at HS this time, and I'm not sure if its worth it to try and do SWW.

Luckily, I have 6 months to debate this issue with myself!

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Old 11-11-2011, 11:54 AM   #13
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We loved SWW! It was SO very hot and SO very humid. Bring a hanky or something to wipe your face!
The parade route is super short, so definitely try to snag a spot early. Also, we will bring an umbrella for next year. Standing there waiting for 45 minutes with the heat boring on to you is no fun.
If you're doing autographs, show up early! People camp out overnight. Anthony Daniels (If he does it next year) runs out of FP first. Ashley Eckstein is a super slow signer, so if you get a Standby for her, don't plan on getting her autograph. You might, but she signs so slow that I'd say more than likely not. The Cast members even were talking about it!
James Arnold Taylor did an AWESOME show last year, one not to be missed if he does it again this year!

Don't faint when you see people buying souvenirs. Spending $1000 is no biggie there!
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:00 PM   #14
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We were there in 2009 (June 14) and it was very crowded. Try to get there at opening so you can see the stormtroopers pacing on the gate/whatever you want to call it above - it was super cool. We didn't do any character meetings b/c the lines were crazy long. We did ride Star Tours twice and neither time had much of a wait amazingly. The parade was AWESOME. My son loved every minute of it.

Also, after the parade the crowd really thinned out. I mean it was crazy actually - we had a lot of the park "to ourselves" so if you can hold out on riding some stuff, I recommend you do that if possible.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:11 PM   #15
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We were there for the 3rd weekend last year. Our first SWW. Here's my tips...

1) If SWW is important to only some of your group, split up. DS & I got up early and got to the gates ~7am. DW & two DD's joined us around noon... they slept in.
2) If Jedi Academy is important to you, be there BEFORE the gates open. During SWW, they ran twice as many Academies, and twice as many kids in each academy. The slots were all taken 45 minutes after the gates opened.
3) Speaking of gates opening... the PUBLISHED time for the gates to open was 9am. I had read on DIS that they opened early the first two weekends (at 8am). So DS & I showed up at 7. Good thing.
4) If actor autographs are important to you, I'd show up even earlier... there was quite a line waiting for the autograph FPs when we got there at 7. (we weren't that interested in them)
5) Assuming the SW parade route stays the same, (from entrance to hat stage), if you want better pictures, get on the left side of the street (looking at the hat). The sun will work better for you.
6) LOTS of fluids... it was HOT!
7) Be prepared to wait for EVERYTHING
8) Find a spot for SW parade at least 30 minutes ahead of time if you want front row. Possibly even 45 minutes ahead of time.
9) Hyperspace Hoopla was great! But as mentioned, unless you are in the first ~5 rows, kids won't be able to see. Even if you get there and everyone is sitting down, they will stand up. I had to put DS on my shoulders for 45 minutes so he could see... we were ~12 rows back.
10) ENJOY! I wouldn't trade that day with my DS for anything.
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