April 14, 2017. It will be a day long-remembered for Star Wars and Disney theme park fans — for this was the day that Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort debuted an all new event, Star Wars: Galactic Nights.
As guests walked down Hollywood Boulevard (the main entrance to the theme park), they were treated to an actual red carpet, complete with Hollywood Studios cast members handing out lanyards just for the event. The Stars in Cars motorcade kicked off the evening, featuring Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Warwick Davis, Ray Park, Daniel Logan, Alan Tudyk, Vanessa Marshall, and more. The stars joined the hosts of The Star Wars Show, Andi Gutierrez and Anthony Carboni, on the Galactic Stage, as each actor helped build the excitement for the evening. From that point on, attendants had their run of the theme park, and its many attractions.
Plus, there were incredible Star Wars opportunities at every turn. Literally. Every turn.
The back of the Galactic Nights lanyard contained spots for eight different stickers. In order to find stickers to add to each spot, fans had to search the park for photo opportunities that also contained the items to place on the lanyard. This included getting a pic with K-2SO, sitting on the Emperor’s throne, standing in the Death Star trash compactor, and riding on an Imperial speeder bike as you race through Endor, among others. Once completed, the image featured the Galactic Nights logo found on much of the exclusive merchandise, and also contained a secret message, which was revealed during Galactic Nights fireworks.
In addition to Star Wars music cascading throughout Hollywood Studios, many of the park’s traditional experiences featured exciting additions. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster featured John Williams’ “The Battle of Yavin” music, as riders went from zero to 57 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds! At Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, the Seventh Sister made her regular appearance, but this time without her mask. Rey made her Disney Parks debut (as a live character), and in addition to Captain Phasma’s March of the First Order, Darth Vader and a bevy of stormtroopers made their own Imperial trek through the theme park.
Vanessa Marshall (Hera from Star Wars Rebels) hosted a 30-minute talk on Rogue One at the site of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, featuring interviews with John Knoll and Alan Tudyk, who provided a number of laughs. Andi and Anthony were also there warming up the crowd, and having audience members provide their best Star Wars character impressions.
The night was capped off with the show stopping Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, a fireworks show complete with lasers, projector screens, and the saga’s most iconic music, and as fans left the theme park, they were handed a Galactic Nights poster to commemorate the event. When you also include an all-new meet and greet with BB-8, red and/or green lightsaber churros, and the chance to explore Hollywood Studios with some of your closest Star Wars friends, you have another way to experience the magic of Star Wars you won’t soon forget.
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