I’ll admit I’ve got an emotional attachment to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I first visited as a newlywed when the park was new – how exciting and completely different the attractions and atmosphere were way back then! The changes to the park over the years caused mixed reactions in our family – some of them very welcome, some not so much. It’s been difficult here lately to watch this once very unique and interesting park lose much of its luster…and the losses keep on coming.
Yesterday, in this article from the Orlando Sentinel, it was confirmed that Star Wars Weekends have officially been discontinued. I get that Star Wars will, at some future time, have a much greater presence in the Studios. And that the additional Star Wars real estate will be made up of enough rides, attractions, shows, shops, restaurants, etc. to satisfy even the most avid Star Wars fan and make special weekends in the early summer unnecessary. I’m still disappointed.
Star Wars Weekends were fantastic! The end of May has always been one of our favorite times of the year to visit Walt Disney World and the undeniably fantastic extra addition of Star Wars Weekend activities made our vacations that much more fun! In 2014, we enjoyed what we now know was our last Star Wars Weekend – we made time to rope-drop the park one morning to soak up the fun – there was always extra excitement in the air as Star Wars fans showed their love for the franchise in a wide variety of ways.
The motorcade was the highlight for us. There’s normally no parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so this event was very special indeed. Star Wars characters and celebrities made up this popular spectacle and it was worth finding a place along the route well in advance (and waiting in the hot Florida sun). In 2014, John Ratzenberger was in the parade and I could not have been more thrilled to see him! I suppose that’s the biggest disappointment about the demise of Star Wars Weekends – the end of the gathering of stars from across the Star Wars universe and the excitement of the crowds who gathered to see them.
“I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things.” – Walt Disney
Progress marches on, I suppose. I know additions to the Studios as opposed to closures will be a most welcome change. I’ll have to trust that the presence of Star Wars in the future will be better (or at least as good) as the Star Wars events and festivities of the past. Let’s get going!
What are your thoughts on the loss of Star Wars Weekends? Will more of an everyday Star Wars presence make up for it?