Star Wars Galactic nights was truly a night to remember. Presented after-hours at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the event treated guests to a Star Wars-filled evening with a finale of amazing fireworks set to John Williams’ music. Scheduled on April 14, the second day of Star Wars Celebration, the evening "celebrated" 40 years of adventures set in a galaxy far far away.
Upon entering Hollywood Studios guests received a guide to the evening's festivities along with a special lanyard that would allow them to remain in the park after it officially closed. The lanyard had empty pie-shaed pieces that could be filled by accomplishing certain “missions,” like standing in line for a photo opportunity. (Actually having the photo taken was optional). What we didn’t realize, however, is it if you collected all the pieces, at the end of the night your badge would light up with the words May the Force Be With You.
In addition to the usual props used in Disney PhotoPass areas, such as the speeder bikes, there were special photo opportunities set up throughout the park. A Wampa cave allowed visitors to pretend to reach for a lightsaber with the Force, and once in the PhotoPass system the images were flipped so it looks like guests are hanging from the ceiling a la Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. K-2SO posed for pictures, and one could choose to sit on the Emperor’s throne or try to brace the walls of a trash compactor.
Disney also recently added BB-8 to the Launch Bay for photo opportunities. He's so adorable. He beeps and whistles and swivels his head. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that Darth Vader doesn’t like anyone to put their arm around him. Chastised but not Force choked, I left with life and limbs intact. And I avoided getting my picture with Kylo Ren because I'm still not over The Incident. Patricide is hard to forgive. Too soon.
I was so happy to see Chewie that I ran and hugged him but his furry arms so engulfed me all you can see is the top of my head in the photo (which I would share but I haven’t purchased any Photopass pictures yet).
Also spread throughout the park were special drink stations that used light up ice cubes to give drinks particular colors: blue Lightspeed Margarita (tequila, Blue Curacao, sweet-and-sour), red Galactic Punch (vodka, Chambord, Peach Schnapps, lemonade, pineapple juice), and green Swamp Juice (rum, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice). The Swamp Juice was my drink of choice for the evening, because it was the most Yoda-ish.
In addition to the specialty drinks, food also received the Star Wars treatment. Near the Theater of the Stars I purchased a pizza and didn't even realize until I was halfway finished that the pepperoni was shaped like Yoda's head. Yoda pepperoni. Can life get any better than that? For the Jedi it is time to eat as well, yes, hmm?
For the wine lovers, there was also the opportunity to purchase glasses and bottles of wine from Skywalker Vineyards. I purchased a bottle for myself and one for my best friend and had them signed by the General Manager. Wine and Star Wars and Disney . . . these are a few of my favorite things.
One of the most amazing things about the event was that there was no line for the Toy Story ride. As many times as I've been to Hollywood Studios, I've only been on that ride once at Disney World because the line is never under 70 minutes long. And also I'm too busy riding Star Tours. Speaking of Star Tours, we were also able to get on and off that ride very quickly. However three out of the four times we rode we had Kashyyyk and Naboo as our planets. Luckily one of the times times I got Hoth which is without a doubt the best segment of Star Tours.
There were also exclusives to the event. Had to search around for a BB-8 shirt in my size but many shops carried the exclusive merchandise and cast members were ready at the door to show you what was available for the evening. I stocked up on Star Wars t-shirts and got a pin with the evening's date on it. There was also a motorcade featuring several of the Star Wars stars including Warwick Davis and Vanessa Marshall and Anthony Daniels.
And at the evening's conclusion, everyone gathered in front of the Great Movie Ride to witness a spectacular display of Star Wars projections and fireworks set to John Williams' music. It is probably the only fireworks display that could ever top the fireworks over Cinderella's Castle. With images from the films and that memorable music you're really transported to a galaxy far far away.
It was certainly an evening to remember and a night of Galactic proportions.