Last year, we took my nieces to Disney World for their first trip, and specifically planned it to be during Star Wars Weekends in May. This is a family of Star Wars nerds, so this was a must-do for the kiddos first time there.
Legends of the Force Motorcade
The Legends of the Force Motorcade, or as we called it, the Star Wars Parade, was probably the highlight for our family. But for more reasons than just enjoying a motorcade of people in costumes and celebrities from various different Star Wars movies and shows. When we came into the park that day, slightly later than we intended because we were trying to run to get the girls signed up for Jedi Training, an employee stopped us. She noticed that we were all decked out in Star Wars, including the adorable two little girls, and asked if the girls would want to be in the parade as little padawan representatives of the Jedi Training Academy. Of course, we said yes. And they needed one adult per child to go with them behind the scenes at Disney before the parade and walk behind them during the parade and wave to the people. Uh. Yeah. I definitely volunteered to go with my brother.
One of the funniest parts of this experience is that, while my nieces were off learning some sweet Jedi skills, my brother and I were signing papers and waiting around, when suddenly the celebrities that were supposed to be in the motorcade were RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. It was pretty cool to be THAT close to Emperor Palpatine! Some of the celebrity guests included:
- Ian McDiarmid (Senator/Emperor Palpatine)
- Amy Allen (Aayla Secura)
- Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren)
- Ashley Eckstein – (Ahsoka Tano voice in Star Wars: the Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Rebels, and owner of HerUniverse)
- And hosted by voice actor James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi voice in Star Wars: Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Rebels)
Anyway, everyone was ready to roll, and the parade started. I could see my nieces being adorable in their robes and doing their little performances with lightsabers and practicing their “Force push”, etc. But as we walked, it hit me – there were THOUSANDS of people staring. At us. And it was kinda awesome.
They put the kids at the front of the stage, and left us at a special front row spot for adults right by the stage, in case the kids needed parents. Which Dica did, because she got overheated. Once the on stage stuff was finished and the kids were meeting back up with parents, they gave out gifts to all the kids who helped – cool little Star Wars action figures!
Aside from just the coolness of the parade, we had a good time seeing all the characters and photo spots. The girls especially:
There were tons of merchandise, special Magic Bands, dining experiences, themed popcorn buckets and steins for your drinks, trivia, shows, talks, etc. And at the end of the day, a Symphony in the Stars fireworks display, which my family watched as I rested in air conditioning. But from what I heard, it was great.
All in all, Star Wars Weekends was a BLAST, and definitely fun for fans of all ages.
Unfortunately, from what I understand, there will not be a Star Wars Weekends this year at Disney. I’m not sure myself if that’s a great idea, because after The Force Awakens, you could have an even BIGGER Star Wars Weekends event. But, maybe they have something else, something bigger in mind. Or they’re devoting time and money to the Star Wars expansions of the park. Time will tell.