Disney’s Hollywood Studios continues to roll out the “Star Wars” experiences as part of Walt Disney World Resort’s long-term plans to re-imagine the park. On April 20, Disney officially announced the “Star Wars” experiences that will be part of the park’s summer season, including a new fireworks show scheduled.
“Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” builds upon the current Star Wars-inspired fireworks show, combining fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections. The show will transform Chinese Theater and other buildings into the twin suns of Tatooine, a field of battle droids, the trench of the Death Star, Starkiller Base and other famous locales from the films. Adding to the larger-than-life space opera drama will be a tower of fire and spotlight beams, which will have the effect of casting massive lightsabers in the sky.
Disney Parks Blog says “A Galactic Spectacular” will be the “most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It replaces “Symphony in the Stars,” although it keeps the John Williams score, and will offer new projection and sound technology, rooftop pyrotechnics, image projection onto Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (home of the Great Movie Ride) and Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream in the Animation Courtyard. The new fireworks presentation is also longer, at 15 minutes. This version will debut some time in June, though Disney has not yet released a specific date.
“Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” joins a number of recent “Star Wars” additions to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” raised the curtain April 4. Both a celebration of the saga and a primer for neophytes, the show takes moments from the “Star Wars” saga and combines them with live vignettes featuring familiar faces (and forms) such as BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul. This show takes place several times each day, at the Center Stage area located near The Great Movie Ride.
The March of the First Order Stormtrooper procession led by Captain Phasma moves between Star Wars Launch Bay and the park’s Center Stage. This menacing moment of street entertainment takes place several times each day.
Star Wars Launch Bay, located in the park’s Animation Courtyard, serves a dual purpose. It acts as a gallery and exhibit showcase for film artifacts and movie memorabilia, with a behind-the scene movie in the theater and a Disney Infinity 3.0 games center, all leading to a store where guests may purchase “Star Wars” souvenirs and collectibles. Launch Bay also serves as meet-and-greet character spot that currently offers opportunities to interact with Kylo Ren and Chewbacca – although the characters will switch out from time to time – and some wandering bit players.
In terms of smaller updates to “Star Wars” offerings at the park, the re-imagined Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple provides encounters with new characters. And Star Tours – The Adventures Continue continues to offers journeys that put the spotlight on characters from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as well as the planet of Jakku.
These experiences are, of course, just a precursor – a prequel, if you will – to the 14-acre “Star Wars” themed lands being built at each Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland park in Anaheim, California. Those projects are multi-year development that just broke ground in April, with many details still under wraps.
During Walt Disney World Resort’s Awaken Summer press event, however, Scott Trowbridge, of Walt Disney Imagineering and head of the project, discussed some of the immersive dining and shopping experiences that are in the works. Ideas for the “Star Wars” themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios include an “otherworldly street market,” a “Star Wars” Cantina and an upscale dinner club that features local delicacies, with the promise of unique entertainment and customs from the Outer Rim. These are in addition to an attraction based on the Millennium Falcon and that places the guests in the middle of a battle between The First Order and the Resistance.