Disney’s Hollywood Studios has long be home to the Star Tours ride and the Jedi Training Academy, but both of those experiences have been beefed up in anticipation of the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” As an added tribute to the Star Wars franchise, the park debuted the Star Wars Launch Bay, a must-see for any of the film’s fans. The Star Wars Launch Bay building houses a number of experiences, from a short film to character greetings to memorabilia displays. The list below goes into more detail on what you can expect when you step inside this little slide of the Star Wars Universe at Walt Disney World.
Star Wars Launch Bay
The Star Wars Launch Bay took over the old Art of Animation building in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s now backed with experiences for Star Wars fans of both the old and upcoming movies.
This mural greets visitors to the Launch Bay in the queue area. If you look closely at it, you’ll find scenes and beloved characters from all of the Star Wars movies. It’s a great piece of nostalgia.
There’s often a wait to get into the Star Wars Launch Bay at busy times of the day, so Disney added concept art to the queue line to help you stay busy as you inch your way forward toward the entrance. It’s fascinating to see some of the character concepts.
As you move through the Star Wars Launch Bay queue, you’ll see posters for all of the Star Wars movies. As an added bonus, you’ll find a poster for “Revenge of the Jedi,” which was the original name for Episode 6, more benignly know as “Return of the Jedi.”
Your Star Wars Launch Bay experience starts off with a brief movie that’s packed with behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the original films. You’ll marvel at a young George Lucas and a glimpse of movie making before digital effects became ubiquitous.
Props and memorabilia from the Star Wars movies are scattered all throughout the Star Wars Launch Bay. If you’re a big fan, plan to spend plenty of time browsing through the helmets, light sabers, ship models, and other pieces of movie making history.
Chewbacca hangs out in the Star Wars Launch Bay, greeting guests throughout the day. He’s one of two characters you’ll meet in the area (unless you have a Chase Visa, as there’s a special meet and greet for cardholders).
The other character with his headquarters in the Star Wars Launch Bay is Darth Vader. Be prepared to have a conversation with him, and if you’re a rebel spy, watch out! He’s not afraid to call you out.
Take a little break and play Disney Infinity in the Star Wars Launch Bay. The game consoles are open to everyone, but Moms and Dads who want to take their time looking at the props can use them to keep the youngster family members busy while they browse at their leisure.
As with so many Walt Disney World attractions, the Star Wars Launch Bay ends with a gift shop. It’s no ordinary store; in addition to the typical souvenirs, you can buy elaborate props and costumes costing hundred and thousands of dollars.
Even if your budget can’t handle several thousand dollars for a Darth Vader costume, you’ll find a t-shirt, Magic Band, phone case, model, or other affordable item. Who can resist taking home a cute little BB 8?