A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Or, rather, an undetermined amount of time ago, somewhere within the heart of the Walt Disney Company: a plan was devised to bring the Star Wars universe alive within Hollywood Studios. This is something that I’ve been so excited to share, but have been unable to until this point.
So, on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, Hollywood Studios opened its gates with several changes to its daily operation, the largest being the Star Wars Launch Bay. This features a small museum of props from the movies, allows guests to meet Chewbacca and Darth Vader and to play Disney Xfinity games that are exclusive to the Launch Bay. This is in addition to the movie that plays near the entrance, which provides a recap of the six existing movies and a preview of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and brand new food and merchandise options.
I caved on the first day and came home with four lightsabers, one BB-8 sipper cup and a brand new phone case. Whoops.
The Launch Bay isn’t all that is new though. The Star Tours: The Adventure Continues ride has been updated to include new characters and simulations, and the Jedi Training Academy has been replaced by the Trials of the Temple show, allowing children to truly test their connections to the force.
And then there’s the new merchandise, covering things from a Han Solo in Carbonite popcorn bucket to a light-up Death Star glow cube. There is something available for everyone. My personal favorites are the light-saber heels from Irregular Choice and anything with BB-8 on it.
Oh, and Backlot. Yeah, Backlot got a completely new menu. We now serve Star Wars-themed food, such as Darth Vader waffles and a salad that features a wonton with R2-D2 on it.
It’s been busy, and we’ve had to do some adjusting, but I think I can say that everyone is excited to see the Force so present on property, and we are all looking forward to the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens later this month.