As I already mentioned, I am a huge Disney fan and have been for as long as I can remember and, after a while, I was able to bring my husband around to my way of thinking. He has been a Star Wars for as long as he can remember, so now I’m the one who has had to come around. Here are a few tips I can offer for meeting your favorite Star Wars characters. Stay posted for even more things I learned to enjoy during Star Wars Weekends.
There are 3 types of meet and greets during Star Wars Weekends – character meals (which I’ve partly covered here), traditional meet and greets, and roaming characters.
Character Meals – I cannot emphasize this enough – book the Star Wars character meals as soon as they are released. This year there were two offerings – a breakfast and a dinner. The breakfast was at Sci-Fi Dine-In, which normally does not host a breakfast. The characters were Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Jawas, Greedo and Storm Troopers. Your picture is taken with Lord Vader and Boba Fett when you arrive (a wonderful use of your Memory Maker purchase) and the other characters come around to each table during the meal. Keep in mind, these are the Dark Side characters and bounty hunters, so some of their interaction will be much different than the hugs you’re used to from Minnie and Mickey!
Dinner was at Hollywood & Vine. Here we met Jedi Mickey and had a picture taken with him as we arrived. Leia Minnie, Ewok Chip and Dale, Storm Trooper Donald, and Darth Goofy visited our table. We all received paper lightsabers and the character interactions were wonderful. The characters do not sign at dinner, but upon arrival you will receive a postcard with all of their signatures. Both meals offered some inventively Star Wars themed food like Blue Milk (and Blue Milk ice cream) as well as Darth Vader waffles and Chewbacca’s chicken tenders. This had the typical fun feel that Hollywood & Vine usually has with the Disney Junior characters and we never felt rushed with our interactions.
Traditional Meet and Greets – Some of the characters that appear at character dining appear the rest of the day at traditional meet and greets. However, if you have made your dining reservations, you can plan ahead and skip those characters. The lines for the traditional meet and greets can get very long (and the characters seem far, far away). Often the character who is out when you get into line may not be the character who you will be meeting. We entered the line when Luke Skywalker was greeting guests, but by the time we got to the front of the line, we were able to meet Princess Leia instead. These meet and greets also provided some very memorable character interactions. We saw an Ewok climb into a stroller and get pushed around by a Wookie, we posed like Jedis with Mace Windu, and my daughter and I received instruction on how rebel Princesses pose for pictures. One of the most memorable moments came, however, from a character who never said a word. Darth Maul is creepy. And scary. And intense. And let me tell you from experience, he does not like being asked to sign autograph books with a pink Disney Princess pen.
Roaming characters – these characters were a mix of frustrating and fun for us. Many of the characters roam around certain areas of the parks, including Jawas, Gamorrean guards and many of the characters from Star Wars Clone Wars. We discovered it was easiest to get their attention for a picture and meeting if you used your best manners (Bounty Hunters apparently are very particular). Keep in mind again, that some of these characters are not necessarily the nicest people you will meet, so be on your best behavior!
Some of the most fun we had, both at breakfast and again with they were roaming, was trade with the Jawas. Yes, you heard that right, you can trade with the Jawas. Before our trip, our girls went through their treasures and came up with a few things they wanted to trade (mostly tokens and toys from birthday party goody bags). My girls traded for a Minnie mirror, a flower lei, a bracelet and hand sanitizer. Tensions were high when they tried to trade my daughter for her stuffed Ewok, but she craftily negotiated a hug instead.
Be sure to pickup the Star Wars Weekend map and times guide when you enter the park so you can plan on which characters are most important to visit. Some characters are only out in the morning, so if seeing Chewbacca and an Ewok together is a priority, head there first. If you have a padawan who must see Anakin or Amidala, make them your first stop. And brush up on your Star Wars knowledge (at least just enough to know the good guys from the bad guys!) so you can anticipate reactions. And the Motorcade is a great place to get pictures of any characters you may have missed.
Stay tuned for more of our Star Wars Weekend fun! If you’re ready to book your Walt Disney World trip, email me at Amy@TravelWithTheMagic.com. You can also find me on Facebook or call me at 1-800-670-4312, ext 129. I can’t wait to help you plan your family’s MAGICAL vacation!