Two members of the Magical DIStractions team were in attendance for the first Star Wars Weekend of 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Rachel Horsley, an avid Star Wars fan and mother of a Padawan-preschooler, and Anne T. Fitzgerald, mom of 2 young Jedi in training, offer their very different thoughts on the special event dining opportunities during this year’s Star Wars Weekends.
At Hollywood and Vine, from May 4th to June 14th, guests can dine with some of their favorite Disney Pals, who are sporting some of the most popular Star Wars looks – including:
- Jedi Mickey
- Princess Leia Minnie
- Storm Trooper Donald
- Ewok Chip ‘n’ Dale
- And Darth Goofy
This offering includes a buffet and PhotoPass opportunity for $57.99 per adult and $34.99 per child ($63.99 and $38.99, respectively, for the dinner and Fantasmic! seating)
Rachel says: “It’s a trap!” After enjoying this meal last year, we’d agreed that (while it was fun) it wasn’t really worth the money. I, apparently, forgot this conversation in the excitement of booking the reservation this year. The characters are a lot of fun, the atmosphere is definitely geared toward the younger Star Wars fan, and the desserts are as yummy as they look. But, we found the buffet to be one of the weakest on property and, with a final bill over $200 for two adults and a child, we kind of wanted more. The same conversation took place as we signed the check this year…and I will likely forget in my excitement again next year.
Anne says: We loved it!!! It was worth every penny. This was one of the best character interactions we had this trip. Each character took their time and played with my boys. The kids loved rolling their light saber placemats up and battling Darth Goofy and Stormtrooper Donald. The characters also had great interaction and fun with each other. We have the best photobomb by Minnie. We are not dessert people, but we did indulge in several of the specialty Star Wars themed treats. Super yum! This is one dining experience that I can’t wait to book again.
DIStracted tip: Don’t give up if told characters won’t sign autograph books! After being told that characters weren’t signing this year, Rachel took her concerns to a manager (they did it before and prices went up this year!) and was told that the cast member was mistaken and they would sign specialty items (like an autograph book)
Forget traveling to a galaxy far, far away, when you can enjoy a Star Wars character dining experience like no other at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From May 4th to June 14th, break bread with cosmic characters, – including:
- Darth Vader
- Boba Fett
- And Jawas!
Breakfast is prix fixe at $49.99 per adult and $31.99 per child and includes a PhotoPass opportunity, assorted pastries, a fruit cup or granola/Greek yogurt parfait, and an a la carte breakfast entrée from the menu. Instead of showing sci-fi “B-movie” clips, the film loop features scenes from the Star Wars Saga, old (and new) trailers, commercials, trivia, and more for your favorite galactic geek!Rachel says: Although the price point is high, we enjoy this dining event a lot more than Jedi Mickey’s at Hollywood and Vine. The atmosphere is so immersive and enjoyable, and the characters really get into it (try trading something with the Jawas.) Breakfast offerings are solid. My hubby really enjoyed the Kessel Run (Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Baby Spinach with Bacon and Cheddar Custard on a roasted tomato and cheesy horseradish potatoes) and the pastries are delightful and delectable!
Anne says: Another highlight of our trip. We loved the video clips from the Star Wars movies playing on-screen while we dined. The food was amazing. Seriously. I had the Sand Dune and it was to die for. My only complaint—there is TOO much food!! I felt so bad wasting. The characters were fun, the service was great (we had Jorge) and I can’t wait to book my next reservation!
DIStracted tip: Lighting here is very low. Make sure you have external lighting options if you want to capture the magic in photos. “Hard to see the Dark Side is.”
Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience!
The transformation of Backlot Express into the Star Wars hangout for “visiting pilots, renegades, and smugglers” seemed to happen overnight. But the effect is (in the words of Lord Vader) “impressive.” “Once a thriving port in a system in the Outer Rim, this abandoned space now serves as a rest stop and hangout for cosmic travelers of all kinds.” Guests can enjoy Star Wars-inspired food and drink while rubbing elbows with stars of the saga like Greedo, Sabine and Ezra from Star Wars Rebels, and members of the Modal Nodes (yes, I’m such a geek I know the name of the cantina band.)
Rachel says: My first thought – A new hive of scum and villainy? We have got to take our four year-old!
This was the highlight of Star Wars Weekends for our family. Our preschooler is a HUGE Rebels fan (I think Sabine may be his first crush!) and he was so excited to see Ezra and Sabine, as well as the other characters. The food was pretty good for a former quick-service location, with the Parmesan fries and cupcakes being among our favorites.
Anne says: Womp, womp. We had reservations the first night and were seated at 7:40 pm. We saw Greedo walk out the door as we were being seated. My kids and I were excited because we thought we’d see more characters. Nope. They were done for the evening. Our server apologized that it was the first night and they were working out kinks. My 5 and 2 year old didn’t understand and that made for some minor meltdowns. At $68 plus tip for 2 blue milks, 2 cocktails, a fruit plate and 3 tiny cupcakes, we have decided that this was a one and done experience.
DIStracted tip: If the characters don’t come to your table, be sure to let your server know. They brought Sabine and Ezra over especially for Rachel’s family so they wouldn’t miss them before they left. Also, take some time to walk around and check out all the neat props and theming. For a “pop-up” space they did an out-of-this-world job!
Both authors, and their families, were able to meet-up at the Magic Kingdom during their visit. And, despite differing opinions on the events, they all agree that a visit during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is family fun on a galactic scale!