STAR WARS DISNEY WORLD: 13 AMAZING THINGS STAR WARS FANS WILL LOVE AT DISNEY

Our family loved every moment of the Star Wars Disney World experiences we encountered in Disney World. For myself and husband, it was the fulfillment of that sentimental yearning to return to our childhood. Don’t you remember when Star Wars came out, and you had to mow every lawn to save pennies to see it, “Just one more time, Mom!?”

And now, with children of our own, seeing them cheer on the newest generation of the Galactic Rebellion…and falling in love with it just like we did…well that’s the magic of Disney! Here are 13 ways you can reminisce over the forces of destiny with your young padawans at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

STAR WARS DISNEY WORLD: 13 AMAZING THINGS STAR WARS FANS WILL LOVE AT DISNEY

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TRAIN LIKE A JEDI – Currently Unavailable

Months have passed since our visit to Disney, but if you ask my kids about their favorite moment, they scream without hesitation, “Jedi Training Academy!”

Kids 4-12 years old may participate in the training at Hollywood Studios and channel their inner Luke Skywalker – and yes, it’s free with your park ticket! You cannot register for this beforehand (though we will tell you how to get guaranteed access below), but there are a number of shows throughout the day, so your opportunities are plentiful.

When you get into Hollywood Studios for the day, run straight to the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost to sign up. Availability is limited, and it’s first-come, first-served.

At the appropriate time, you’ll usher your kiddo to the same spot where you signed up for training. They’ll be ordered by height and offered a Jedi robe and lightsaber (just for their training adventure). Parents, you’re going to want to hang around and not leave your kiddos.

After that, you’ll watch as the young Jedi march to the staging area for training. It’s not a long march (to the side of the Star Tours ride) and the crowds will gather ’round to cheer them on!

Once at the stage, they will receive training in the ways of the force with the lightsaber. Don’t worry – if your kiddo can follow simple directions, they’ll easily be able to defeat the enemy! Be sure to grab a spot near the stage: as far to your left as you can if your child is on the upper part of the stage… and as far to the right as you can if they are on the lower stage.

Each child will get a chance against either Darth Vader or Kylo Ren…you can see both my kids taking on Vader above. The first child is 9 and the second one is 5 – just to give you an idea of age ranges.

After each child battles, there are a few more opportunities to exhibit a show of force, and then kids are dismissed to their parents after giving back their robes and sabers. The entire process takes less than 30 minutes.

Don’t forget to pick up the photography card from the staff member taking photos…and heed her directions about using the park kiosk to find your kid’s picture…otherwise you’ll have to download all 250 kids’ photos that day. Yikes.

Read More: DISNEY PHOTOPASS VS DISNEY MEMORY MAKER (+ TIPS AND TRICKS YOU NEED TO KNOW!)

VISIT BATUU IN A STARSPEEDER

If there’s one thing that you should know about me it’s this….Star Tours is my favorite ride in the parks! What I love about it is that you travel to three different planets…but there are multiple planets available in the game. They rotate! So you can ride multiple times and not experience the same space journey.

So what is it? Hop aboard a Starspeeder 1000 in a 3D motion-simulated trek across the universe. You’ll bound through hyperspace as C-3PO guides you across scenes familiar to you from the movies (including the newer ones)…the cruiser is intercepted by Imperial forces and you have to escape!

The last planet you land on, safely? Batuu – which is the SAME land that you can visit just up the street in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Can the kids ride it? Yes! It was a favorite of my 9yo and 5yo also – both of which were a little too frightened on Pandora’s Flight of Passage ride. It’s great for kids (or those of us who get motion sickness) while still being sensational for adults.

Read More: Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser: What to Expect and What I LOVED

CRAFT YOUR OWN LIGHTSABER TOGETHER

If you’re like us, you have a few lightsabers at home. But no matter – you’re going to need to build your own saber when you’re at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

You can do this at Disney Springs too….but it just seems more authentic to head to Tatooine Traders for this adventure. Or, even better, to get a top notch experience crafting your own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop.

If you’re opting for the cheaper option at Tatooine Traders (which is what we did), kids will choose their emitter, their hilt and switches…a sleeve and finally a cap. Then it’s time to assemble. The 9yo put his together himself in under 10 minutes…the 5yo needed a little assistance from the staff eager to help.

I loved that the girl who helped Elliot actually helped and didn’t rush him or do the work herself. She talked to him about how the pieces fit together, guided him and gave him tips about twisting each component together on his own. The construction is simple, but the order is important so that they light up and make the appropriate “saber-style” noises.

I was remiss about taking notes regarding the price, which did vary greatly. I believe they were about $30 on the lower end. Our boys opted for the double sabers (don’t judge….it was their one big souvenir purchase) which were $45 each.

The large ones open up to over 7 feet! I was sure someone was going to get bopped in the head…but they gave us some easy-stick tape to keep them gently (and safely) secured into a manageable 2-feet package perfect for putting in our backpack until we were home.

If you really want the royal jedi treatment, make a reservation for Savi’s Workshop Handbuild Lightsaber Experience. It is located in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Black Spire Outpost and during this 20-minute experience, a Gatherer will take you through the entire process of building your very own lightsaber. You’ll have plenty of parts to choose from, but what really differentiates this experience from the one at Tatooine Traders is the quality of the lightsaber and fanfare around the building process. If you need more proof that this is the cream of the crop for Star Wars enthusiasts, just check out the price tag…currently it sits at $249.99 per person.

No matter where you’re choosing to build your lightsaber though, don’t forget to stop by Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities in Galaxy’s Edge. Here you can find more parts to customize your lightsaber, purchase Legacy Lightsabers (which are replicas of the lightsabers that popular characters in the movies carry), and more. I’ll just come right out and say it…this store is COOL, so go ahead and nerd out fellow Star Wars fans!

Read More: BUILD YOUR OWN LIGHTSABER DISNEY: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR AN AMAZING TIME

BUILD YOUR OWN DROID

There are some pretty iconic droids in the Star Wars movies…BB-8, R2-D2,C-3PO…and now you have the chance to bring your own home from Disney World! Inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World, you can step inside Droid Depot and assemble a custom droid. You’ll pick from a huge variety of pieces of all shapes and sizes from a conveyor belt and then grab yourself a spot at a build station. Follow the instructions on the placemat and voila…you’ve got a droid!

Your droid is then paired with a remote control and activated so that you (or your kids) can have the tiny robot follow you around Galaxy’s Edge, your hotel room, and anywhere else your heart desires. Various personality chips bring the droid to life and you can easily switch them out with additional chips that can be purchased in Droid Depot.

The droid building experience currently costs $119.99 and reservations are required. You can reserve your spot by visiting Disney’s website.

POSE WITH CHEWIE AND BB-8

Chewbacca and BB8 aren’t the only Star Wars characters you can pose with – but they were my favorite! Make your way to Launch Bay, where you can celebrate the Star Wars legacy by seeing costumes, models, artwork and more!

Some of the highlights for our family included the Star Wars opening crawl imprinted on the carpet as you enter…and (drum roll!) the pod racer Anakin drove in The Phantom Menace and the bike seen in the Endor Forest fight scene in Return of the Jedi. Not replicas…these are genuine movie props!

We also loved strolling through the Cantina, checking out the game of Sabacc, and wondering what that glass of blue bantha milk tastes like (yes, we did try this in Galaxy’s Edge later)!

Even with all that wonder, our favorite part was taking photos and coming face to face with Chewbacca, BB-8, and Darth Vader. Chewy hugged the boys and replied with his signature Wookiee growl. Darth Vader tried desperately to convince the boys that the Dark Side was the better choice. Lucky for us, they learned from Rey and were not persuaded. Finally, don’t miss winding your way through the Resistance freighter for a photo with BB-8.

DRESS THE PART

The boys love their costumes…the 5yo has Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. But us adults? We can’t don them at Disney, so I suggest you do the next best thing: Disney Bounding!

I’ll admit that before the Disney conference I attended, I did not know about Disney Bounding (aka Disneybounding), but I now LOVE it! So what is it? It’s creating an outfit that is inspired by a character in a Disney movie.

For instance, if you wanted to do BB-8 — you could wear white pants, a white and orange striped sweater, a few orange and black accessories…voilà!

DRINK BLUE MILK AND INDULGE IN FOOD FROM THE GALAXY

Have you ever wondered what the blue milk in the Star Wars movies would actually taste like? Well, now you can find out! In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios you can stop by the Milk Stand and order up the iconic drink. It comes in a few different variations including regular blue milk, spiked blue milk, green milk, and spiked green milk. I won’t lie…most fans are split on whether its actually good, but it’s an absolute must try – even if one sip is enough!

One snack from the galaxy that is less controversial (because it’s absolutely delciious) is the Ronto Wrap! You can also find this tasty mix of pork, slaw, and sauce wrapped in warm pita bread in Galaxy’s Edge at Ronto Roasters. There are a few different variations available and – while you can’t go wrong – a safe one to start with is the classic Ronto Wrap.

Throughout the year you also might find some extra Star Wars treats around Disney’s Hollywood Studios and one of our favorites has been the Kylo Ren Cupcake. Chocolate cupcake. Peanut butter icing. Chocolate sprinkles. Topped with a huge chocolate Darth Vader or Kylo Ren mask. It almost looks too good to eat. Almost.

Other treats include the BB-8 cupcake and Rice Krispie treats. We also love the Wookiee Cookie at Backlot Express. Want more Star Wars friendly fare? Make sure to have lunch or dinner at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. The good is good, and the atmosphere will have you feeling like you’re in a real working hangar bay.

Keep your eyes peeled for new Star Wars food offerings…something new is always on the horizon.

PILOT THE MILLENNIUM FALCON

As if there wasn’t enough to explore in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, one of the biggest things to geek out over is the fact that you can actually see the Millennium Falcon. But, that’s not all – you can go inside it too…and even pilot it!

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is a popular attraction that takes you onboard the iconic starship where you take on a mission for the resistance. This is the real deal – you’ll even stumble upon some of the most recognizable parts of the ship, including the table where Dejarik is played while you wait in line!

The cockpit holds up to 6 passengers, with 2 selected to be the pilots and actually fly the Millennium Falcon, 2 selected to be the gunners, and 2 selected to be the engineers. The ride itself feels more like a video game as your crew of 6 fly through the galaxy in the starship working to collect valuable coaxium for the resistance. Be warned though, this one is a simulator, though it’s not known to trigger motion sickness in those who ride.

JOIN THE RESISTANCE

Speaking of helping out the resistance, you’ll become the newest recruit on Disney World’s hallmark Star Wars attraction, Rise of the Resistance. Located in Galaxy’s Edge, this massive ride is unlike anything you’ll ever experience in the theme parks…and the lengthy wait times throughout the day proves its popularity among fans!

What’s so unique about this attraction is that it’s more than just a ride, it’s an entire experience. It include two pre-shows, with one welcoming you to the resistance and another taking you on a Intersystem Transport Ship that is seized by the First Order. From there, you are imprisoned by the First Order aboard the Star Destroyer where you stumble upon Stormtroopers and Cast Members that are more like actors rather than ride operators, and that’s when the ride actually starts.

The ride technology, special effects, and more create for a highly immersive experience that is worth the wait! Of course, if you’d prefer not to wait in what is typically a 100+ minute line, you can opt to purchase a Lightning Lane return time which is Disney’s newest way to skip the line.

Read More: 80 BEST DISNEY WORLD TIPS FOR A MAGICAL VACATION

BECOME A BOUNTY HUNTER

With the introduction of the new MagicBand+ in Disney World came a brand new interactive Star Wars game where you can embark on a mission to find bounties throughout Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. To play, you’ll need a MagicBand+ that is linked to your My Disney Experience account and the most updated version of the Play Disney Parks app on your smartphone.

Once you’re ready, head to the bounty board near Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and scan your MagicBand+ to get your first assignment. The name of your bounty will show up on your Play Disney Parks app dashboard and you’ll need to pay attention to what color your MagicBand+ glows as you make your way around Galaxy’s Edge. It will flash red if you’re moving away from your target, green if you’re headed in the right direction, and purple when you’ve found your target.

There are up to 20 different targets hiding around the planet of Batuu and you can hunt as many or as few as you want! This is a fun activity to play especially if you’ve got kiddos that don’t meet the height requirements for the Star Wars attractions or if you really want to immerse yourself in all things Star Wars.

Read More: DISNEY MAGIC BAND: 17 SECRETS YOU’LL APPRECIATE KNOWING BEFORE YOUR TRIP

LIVE OUT YOUR OWN STAR WARS STORY AT THE STAR WARS HOTEL

Calling all Star Wars super fans! You’re going to need to prepare yourself (and your wallets) for Disney World’s most immservice and AWESOME Star Wars experience – the Galactic Starcruiser. In simpler terms: the Star Wars hotel, though it’s much more than just a hotel!

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a two-day, two-night immersive experience where you’ll journey onboard the Halcyon (a.k.a. a starship) and live out your very own Star Wars story. How? Well, the starship is full of Star Wars characters (who are actors) and depending on who you interact with and how you “play the game,” you’ll find yourself aligned with the Resistance or the First Order. 

You can basically think of the Galactic Starcruiser as a cruise (where everyone onboard comes and goes at the same time and all meals are included in the cost) mixed with a murder mystery party game (minus the murder mystery). You will arrive at the “terminal” on the first day of your “voyage” and travel up to the Halcyon in a Launch Pod (which is basically a simulator) and then stay there for the next two nights. There’s even an “excursion” in the itinerary where you have the chance to go to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the afternoon!

Your voyage culminates in a huge battle that will leave almost any Star Wars fan’s jaw on the ground and then it’s off the starship you go the next morning. If you’re anything like me, this is a huge bucket list item! Disney Imagineering truly outdid themselves on this one.

MARK YOUR MEMORIES WITH FIREWORKS – Currently Unavailable

Could there be a more memorable way to close out a day at Disney than with a fireworks finale? A Galactic Spectacular does not disappoint! The nighttime fireworks show hasn’t returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios just yet…but in the hopes that it does, here’s why it’s a show that no Star Wars fan should go without seeing.

You’ll see your favorite moments shining brightly against the Chinese Theatre – both moments from YOUR childhood recollections, and from your kids’! With the amazing video projections, this is a show worth making an effort to see!

Pro Tips for newbies: If you want to see the fireworks up close and personal, either go with the Guided Tour or Dessert Party for VIP seats, or plan to find a seat about 45 minutes before the show starts. Listen, just grab some chicken strips to go, plenty of bottles of water, and a bubble wand. Problem Solved.

Read More: YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO DISNEY FIREWORKS AT WDW

SPLURGE ON THE STAR WARS GUIDED TOUR – Currently Unavailable

Friends – I know you’ve already pinched every penny for your Disney experience…but I’m imploring you to save just a tad more to heighten your Star Wars Disney World experience 50-fold with the Star Wars Guided Tour. Seriously. Even if it means putting off your vacation a month or two longer, make the tour part of your plan!

This is another Star Wars activity that hasn’t returned to Disney World since 2020, but guided tours are slowly coming back to the theme parks. So, I’m crossing my fingers that this one comes back soon too!

Logistics: The Guided Tour is an all-day tour inside Hollywood Studios. You’ll meet your group just inside the gate, so be sure you have purchased a park ticket. The tour is $99 per person, but that is over and above the cost of park entrance.

I could literally write a book about all the amazing things we encountered on this tour…but let me try and pack the excitement into something more manageable for you below.

8 REASONS WE THINK THE STAR WARS GUIDED TOUR IS EVERYTHING

STAR TOURS SNEAK PEEK

After pre-ordering lunch, hearing the ground rules, etc we headed to Star Tours for a ride! The park hadn’t opened yet, so we were the first in line.

What was nerdy-awesomeness to us was that they turned on all the lights around the ride before we stepped inside. We were able to see all the “nuts and bolts” about how Star Tours was constructed, and how it differed from other similar rides in the park.

From there, we stepped on board and enjoyed an incredible adventure! I must say, Star Tours is still one of my favorite rides in the Disney galaxy.

NO-WAIT JEDI TRAINING

You read about Jedi Training above, but did you also see that there is no way to register before-hand? No fear. With the Guided Tour, all kids 4-12 move to the front of the line for Jedi Training after lunch!

Additionally, parents are ushered to the VIP section of the stage to ensure you get the very best placement for photos and videos of your padawan’s experience.

VIP CHARACTER MEET UPS

Within Launch Bay, after you ogle over actual props borrowed from Lucasfilm, you have the chance to meet and be photographed with amazing Star Wars characters. Skip those long lines and head straight to the front.

Give Chewy a hug, pose with BB8, and let Kylo Ren know you will never join the Dark Side!

CHARACTER SPOTTING INSIGHTS

Want to see Darth Maul up close? Maybe grab a selfie with Rey? Our guide planned “resting stops” throughout our tour, in special locations where she knew cast members would be walking by. Squee!!

MARCH WITH THE FIRST ORDER

Not only are you given premium viewing opportunities for the stage show, March of the First Order…you can actually march with the First Order!

You’ll gather at the meeting spot where the procession toward the stage begins….as Captain Phasma leads her legion toward the center of the park, you’ll fall in line behind them!

Once you’re near the stage, they veer one direction for the show, and you head toward the VIP viewing space! What’s more? You also get VIP viewing of Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away, where you see all your favorite Star Wars characters on stage – at once!

LUNCH WITH STORM TROOPERS

Lunch and snacks are included on this journey. When you arrive in the morning, you will place your order for a Backlot Express lunch…BBQ, chicken, hamburgers – you name it!

During lunch, you’ll be escorted to a private area of the dining room where lunch is brought to you. But keep your eyes peeled! Storm Troopers will crash your lunch experience, and of course they welcome a ton of photos.

SPECIAL SOUVENIRS

When you book your tour, you will let them know if you are on the dark side or the light side.

At lunch, we were given official “fancy” Star Wars name tags (my boys still wear them to this day) with your name embossed in English and Aurebesh.

You are also given a lanyard name tag immediately with you name and the entire Aurebesh alphabet displayed on the back. Pro Tip: Bring this with you throughout your entire Disney experience (and thereafter). If your lunch is taking a while the next day….or the ride home gets boring, you can give your children sentences to translate into the language.

What else? Special mugs that we drink from all the time. Ours were of Phasma, but I’ve seen other guided tours offer Chewy mugs.

VIP FIREWORKS

Your guided tour will end in the mid-afternoon, just after the Jedi Training…but with your special lanyard, you will return to the VIP section of the fireworks viewing area for premium seats of Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular in the evening.

I should note that previously the Guided Tour included the Star Wars Dessert Party – you might see that in other blog posts that are a little older than this one. Not the case any more.

A BONUS FOR TRUE STAR WARS JUNKIES

Select sail dates every year on Disney Cruise Lines offer a Star Wars Day At Sea.

  • Meet Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO and Darth Vader during photo sessions
  • Run into characters including Boba Fett, Jawas and First Order Stormtroopers and more
  • Solve First Order puzzles and join BB-8’s resistance in the Oceaneers Club
  • Take in spectacular stage shows on deck
  • Train to be a Jedi
  • Watch fireworks from the deck set to the Star Wars score

Can’t vacation on the days that a Star Wars Day At Sea is offered? Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship – the Disney Wish – features a new Star Wars-themed lounge called the Hyperspace Lounge. The space is decorated to make you feel like you’ve stepped aboard a lavish starcruiser (similar to Dryden Vos’ ship in the movie Solo) and you can enjoy a variety of truly out of this world cocktails.

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that the real draw to this lounge is that it features a virtually-enhanced “window” where you jump through hyperspace and visit planets from the Star Wars franchise every 7 minutes including Tatooine, Coruscant, Mustafar, Endor, and even Batuu. Plus, you’ll even see over 40 different spaceships through the “window” that you’ll recognize from the movies!

Read More: DISNEY CRUISE TIPS FOR ANXIOUS FIRST-TIMERS ABOARD THE STUNNING ‘DISNEY DREAM’

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