This year I was able to experience Disney's Star Wars Weekends not only as a 501st member, but also for the first time as a park guest. Which is where I will start. This year I had a couple tickets left over to take my son, Gavin with me. We got there early enough to get fast passes to meet Jake Lloyd who over the past has gained a stubborn reputation but I found him a really cool guy. He chatted with Gavin about being nearly his age when filming Phantom Menace and asked if he ever thought about being in a movie. Then he saw my 501st shirt and laughed, telling me that he had friends in the Rebel Legion and in the Mandalorian Mercs, but thought we were a little too snooty with costumes. I had to reply take it up with Lucasfilm, they want us to be as screen accurate as possible.
If there is one thing that SWW is well known for is their Swag! They have huge store set up named the Darth's Mall where many exclusive items are sold plus some really cool Star Wars items like the Wampa hat below and a whole store set up inside for Her Universe. There was also copies and original fine art on sale, and yes one with a Wampa.
Another benefit of showing up early is being able to participate in the Jedi Training Academy, where they teach you the ways and moves of being a Jedi and they bring out Darth Vader and a second badie, this time Darth Maul, sometimes Asajj Ventress to test out their skills. Gavin got to challenge Darth Maul, but later said he could take them and their moves are too slow! Got to love the confidence of a 7yo.
Also we got to watch the parade from the crowd this time, and getting to hear and watch the fans from the sidelines is a totally different experience than being in the parade. When marching especially in bad guy armor, you have to be very stiff and militaristic. This time I got to cheer on the bad guys and boo the rebels! Where normally I hear the opposite. Disney really lets everyone know through their shows and employees that they are always rooting for the good guys and the bad guys, just like many Disney villains are just that bad guys. So through the day I enjoyed poking fun at any employee that gave a fun little mocking jab in return at my 501st shirt calling me a Empire Sympathiser.
As for all the extra goodies and shows that they had in the park, I really wanted to attend some of the Q&As but my son being 7 didn't quite get the concept of sitting and listen to someone talk. So I let him do what he wanted to and ride rides and go see other features like one of his favorite spots in the park, the Walt Disney: One Man's Dream exhibit. I think it is really cool that he enjoys museum type exhibits and loves history.
We ended the day watching the Hyperspace Hoopla which is the big show at the end of the day, the hoopla is the dance battle between good and bad and it is crowd voting on who wins, when we were there the Empire won, which was awesome. My son loved Palpatine and the punching bag.
Part 2 coming later this week..