Originally scheduled to conclude June 12, Star Wars Weekends will continue the galactic fun June 17-19 and June 24-26. The event began May 20 and takes place each Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Disney-MGM Studios. Event activities are included with theme park admission.
This is the sixth year Star Wars Weekends has been held at Walt Disney World Resort and has quickly become one of the largest and most popular Star Wars fan events held anywhere in the world.
Buoyed by worldwide excitement surrounding the newest Star Wars film – Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith – Star Wars fans at Disney-MGM Studios made it clear they can’t get enough of their favorite Jedi, Sith, Wookiees, Rodians and the galaxy of stars created by George Lucas.
“Our guests told us they want more Star Wars Weekends this year and we’re looking forward to extending the fun through the end of June,” said Linda Warren, executive vice president of Walt Disney World Marketing and Brand Management. “We work year-round with our friends at Lucasfilm to immerse guests in a Star Wars environment like no other. We’re delighted they have responded so positively to the additions we’ve made this year to celebrate the newest Star Wars film.”
Among the most popular new event elements this year are appearances by the behind-the-scenes creative talents that take Star Wars films from the storyboards to the silver screen.
“In addition to seeing actors who have portrayed memorable Star Wars characters through the years, guests told us they also would like to hear from the creative minds that are behind the scenes,” Warren said. “With the new film’s release we found this to be the ideal year to invite animators, droid operators and model makers who have helped create these amazing characters and environments.
This allows guests to peek behind the curtain and look further into the Star Wars saga, and guests have responded positively this year.”
Activities featured in the Star Wars Weekends galaxy include:
* The Characters will be with You – One of the largest gatherings anywhere of characters from every Star Wars film – more than 40 characters in all – roam Disney-MGM Studios greeting guests, signing autographs and posing for photographs. Even Mickey Mouse gets into the Star Wars spirit, posing for pictures and signing autographs in his very own Jedi costume.
* Star Wars Legends – Visiting Star Wars celebrities take part in a talk show-style conversation inside the theme park’s ABC Theatre. Guests hear directly from the actors, actresses and creative minds that have brought the popular film series to life since Star Wars first debuted in 1977.
* To Endor … and Back? – Guests take flight to the moon of Endor in Star Tours, an action-packed flight simulator that salutes the Star Wars series. The thrill ride takes guests on a light-speed trip aboard a careening star speeder as a rookie droid pilot tries his best to get his ship back to port while dodging comets and Imperial Tie Fighters.
* Who Wants to be a Jedi? – Special editions of the popular game show attraction “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It!” are presented, with Star Wars-inspired questions and surprise appearances by film characters. The attraction’s studio audience joins in the fun by answering trivia questions using keypads installed at their seats.
New to Star Wars Weekends this year:
* The “Hasbro Zone,” an interactive area featuring the newest Star Wars video and action figure games.
* An exclusive film presentation that chronicles the making of Revenge of the Sith.
* Appearances by one of the newest and most popular Star Wars toys, “Darth Tater.” Hasbro brought along the life-size, walk-around version of Mr. Potato Head, adorned in his best Revenge of the Sith attire. The larger-than-life spud, wearing a Darth Vader mask, black cape and wielding a red lightsaber, poses for photographs with guests at the theme park entrance.
Star Wars Weekends: Some Force-Filled Facts & Figures:
* Number of Star Wars Weekends events – 6
* Number of Star Wars feature films – 6
* Most event weekends held in one year – 6 (2005)
* First year of Star Wars Weekends – 1997. The event has been presented in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
* Youngest & most dedicated Star Wars Weekends fan – Young Noah Kapusta was only four months old when he attended each of the five Star Wars Weekends in 2004. After he was profiled and featured on starwars.com, fans quickly dubbed Noah “The Baby Jedi” for the Jedi robe he wore (and had signed by celebrities) each week. This year, young Noah is back, dressed as Anakin Skywalker and Wicket the Ewok, attending each festival weekend with his parents.
* Jedi Mouse – “Jedi Mickey” has proven to be a very popular Jedi since his debut at Star Wars Weekends. Dressed in full Jedi attire, Mickey makes meet-and-greet-appearances throughout the event. The only time Jedi Mickey has appeared outside of Star Wars Weekends? To have his photo taken with Star Wars creator George Lucas in February 2005.
* Number of Star Wars characters seen in the theme park – More than 40.
* Number of theme park guests who dress the part – Countless! Thousands of fans wear their own Star Wars-themed costumes to the event. Spotted so far in 2005: Clonetroopers, Anakin Skywalker, Jango Fett, Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Princess Leia, Stormtroopers, Jedi, Han Solo, Darth Maul and Wicket the Ewok.