On Feb. 19, Disney announced that more “Star Wars” entertainment is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. A new live stage show featuring characters will debut this spring, and will feature several character from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as well as other characters from the saga. Then, to kick off its summer season, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will launch a new nightly fireworks and projection show called “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.”
“Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” the stage show, will showcase iconic moments from the “Star Wars” saga. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the show will incorporate live vignettes and appearances by characters, including Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader and Darth Maul. The show is scheduled to begin April 4, and will be presented several times each day at the Center Stage area located near The Great Movie Ride at the end of Hollywood Boulevard.
The Stormtroopers march will also debut April 4. This character-driven street entertainment will feature the character of Captain Phasma from “The Force Awakens.” Captain Phasma will lead a squad of First Order stormtroopers in a formation march from Star Wars Launch Bay to the Center Stage area. The Stormtroopers march will take place at several times each day.
Later this summer, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will debut its new fireworks and projection show, one of the most elaborate in the park’s history. “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” will incorporate fireworks, lasers, light projections and other special effects – as well as “Star Wars” themed music, characters and scenes from the saga.
Much like “Disneyland Forever” at Disneyland Park, “A Galactic Spectacular” will use projection mapping technology to cast images onto the nearby Chinese Theatre, home to the Great Movie Ride, and surrounding buildings. The show develops around a series of acts to present some of the saga’s most memorable visuals and action sequences. Disney guests will “gaze at the twin suns of Tatooine, push through a field of battle droids, navigate through an asteroid field, soar down the trench of the Death Star and deliver the final blow to destroy Starkiller Base.” “A Galactic Spectacular” also features a tower of fire as well as spotlight beams designed to look like lightsabers in the sky.
“Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” does not replace the park’s pyrotechnics and water projection show, Fantasmic!
These new shows and entertainment experiences are part of an increased “Star Wars” presence at the theme park. They are par of the short-term plans mentioned in Disney’s announcement last August to build a “Star Wars” themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (as well as at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California).
Other “Star Wars” elements at the park include Star Wars Launch Bay. Star Wars Launch Bay, which opened in December, offers an exhibit space with galleries and artifacts (props, costumes, small and large-scale models) from the “Star Wars” movies, character encounters and meet-and-greets, and merchandise. Kylo Ren from “The Force Awakens” was recently added to the character meet-and-greets, replacing Darth Vader in the rotation. Fans of the Rebel Alliance can meet Chewbacca.
The area, located in the Animation Courtyard, includes the Launch Bay Theater wher a 10-minute behind-the-scenes video screens continuously throughout the day. The film includes exclusive interviews with the directors, writers, producers and others crew members talking about the “Star Wars” saga.
In addition, Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers these “Star Wars” experiences:
- Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, a cinematic reel celebrating the “Star Wars” saga, and acting as an (re)introduction to the series.
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, a motion-simulator ride, which has been updated to include includes new elements inspired by “The Force Awakens.”
- The reimagined Jedi Training, now subtitled Trials of the Temple, which features new characters, including the Seventh Sister from the Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
- The current “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular,’’ that is currently presented each night. (“Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” will replace “Symphony in the Stars” this summer.)
- First Order stormtrooper patrols near Star Wars Launch Bay.
- Star Wars-inspired food and beverage at various locations through the park, notably at Backlot Express.
A “Star Wars” themed dessert party is also currently available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert is a dessert-and-drinks experience, with its own fee in addition to admission, with a reserved viewing location for the fireworks. At the time of this writing, it is not known whether the dessert party will be extended or offered with the new fireworks and projection show.