Disclosure: This article is brought to you in partnership with Disney. All opinions are my own.
My fascination with Star Wars began around 1990. I was visiting my grandmother and later that evening, Star Wars: A New Hope just happened to come on the T.V. As a casual first timer, I thought it was neat, but didn’t really retain all of the movie. So, after that night, it left my mind.
6 years passed. As I was watching T.V. one evening, The Empire Strikes Back, again, just happened to come on. This time, I paid attention. This time, I was hooked. I bought every Star Wars toy that my monthly allowance would allow. Action figures, Micro-Machines, posters… the list continues.
Fast-forward another year. We moved to a house that was one block from the city library. At the library, I could check out movies for free. And wouldn’t you know, they had all three Original Trilogy movies available to be checked out. The library also had the documentary From Star Wars to Jedi. Needless to say, my VCR got plenty of use over the next few weeks.
A few months later, I got word that the Original Trilogy was going to be re-released in theaters. A dream come true is an understatement! I gladly waited in line forever to get the best seats.
Then at some point afterward, I got word of the then future Prequel trilogy which was very exciting. It was right before the release in May that I purchased a subscription to Star Wars Insider, a decision that further fueled my Star Wars passion. I saw The Phantom Menace six times in the first month it was released. Of course, Attack of the Clones came in 2002, and Revenge of the Sith in 2005. Over the next few years, I collected a respectable amount of Star Wars novels and video games.
I now have four kids of my own, and have recently begun to share with them the fun that we call Star Wars. Of course, today Star Wars is more popular than ever, as it is now owned by Disney and there seems to be no end to the amount of new content being released. Experiencing Star Wars the way I did growing up was fun, but can you imagine how much more fun it is to experience it as a kid today?
Being A Star Wars Dad At Disney
For as long as I can remember, Disney has had a fun relationship with Star Wars. I remember how fun it was to visit Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) as a kid and experience the Star Wars section of the park and to ride Star Tours. Later on, I went to a few Star Wars Weekends events at Disney-MGM Studios, and they were awesome!
Now that Disney owns Star Wars, it’s easier than ever to be a Star Wars dad at Disney!
We visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios a few months ago and it was one of the best trips to Disney that I’ve ever experienced. Our kids are getting older and, because of that, enjoy a much more meaningful experience at the Disney parks. This trip, we came prepared. Before our visit, we researched how to participate in the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Three of our kids have been wanting to do this for a long time.
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
Before our trip, we bought them each a Jedi robe to make the experience even more unforgettable! As soon as the park opened we rushed to the Trials of the Temple check-in, along with dozens of other families who clearly did their own research, and registered our kids for a morning show. Waiting in that long line was memorable in itself, as we were visited by a pair of Stormtroopers!
This show is fun to watch and boy did our kids love to be in it! Our 4-year-old girl was the smallest participant and the show’s helpers thought she might be a little too scared to face Darth Vader, but she took him on like a champ! Nothing scared her one bit.
After the show, our kids received participation pins and were bouncing around the park in excitement for the rest of the day.
Star Wars Launch Bay
Star Wars Launch Bay is another fun attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This building currently houses a bunch of props and photos from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and we were able to meet a few characters like Chewie and BB-8. We ran into our stormtrooper friends again here and were able to pose for a few photos before we were asked to move along. Of course, we complied!
There are tons of cool photo opportunities here, plus a large gift shop full of Star Wars merchandise, including the droid builder kiosk. Our kids would spend hours building droids at that kiosk! For parents like me who may be a bit exhausted, this is all in an air-conditioned building which also provides a nice break from the Florida heat.
There’s lots of other fun Star Wars things to experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including a parade, character shows, a super-cool fireworks show, and much more. I was able to get quite close to the March of the First Order parade… check out my clip below:
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
As much fun as all of these experiences are, they are likely to be overshadowed by the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansion due to open in 2019. You can see the construction of this spectacular place going on right now, and even though it’s all blocked off, there were tons of people like me taking photos of the temporary wall art.
Portions of the new buildings are starting to appear above the tall construction barrier and they’re already showing off the unmistakable look of Star Wars. Among the new attractions is the opportunity to explore the planet of Batuu, flying the Millennium Falcon, and boarding a Star Destroyer! We would love to be there on opening day (and every other day afterward)!
This is just a small portion of the Star Wars fun that you can experience at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Plan your vacation here if you want to be a Star Wars dad at Disney!
I’m having so much fun sharing my love of Star Wars to my kids. They are far from understanding its history and just how deep the Saga goes, but there’s plenty of time to train them in the ways of the Force.
We’ve got more Star Wars content for you!
SOLO: A Star Wars Story
Star Wars SOLO Poster Collection
Star Wars Books
The Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual