Today, we went to Star Wars Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This is really the main reason that we came to Disney World this weekend so we were excited when we saw the Storm Troopers on the roof tops at the entrance. We first headed over to where they do the Jedi Training Academy and to our disappointment, all of the spots for all of the Jedi Training Academies for the entire day were already filled! We were so disappointed and frustrated and angry! Evidently people line up first thing in the morning to get their names on the list for the training academies during the Star Wars Weekends. This is the only time that they do it this way. We have been to Disney Wold a million times (okay, not really but we have been allot) and they have never done it this way. The cast member that we spoke with told us to go to the information desk to see if there were any spots for the Padawan Mind Challenger but we didn't think the kids were really old enough for that. Then, as we were walking away in frustration, the cast member that we had spoken with came up to us and asked were we able to do anything and when we shook our heads in disappointment, she told us that she was able to get Grace and Zachary tickets to walk in the parade! She said that this was really even a bigger deal than doing the Jedi Training Academy and of course it was! This was THE parade for the entire Hollywood Studios! Everyone would be there and everyone would be watching! She told us what time we needed to return so we had a couple of hours to kill before time to get ready for the parade. We went and rode a couple of rides and had some pictures made and then it was time to meet for the parade. There were probably about 25-30 kids that were going to be dressed up as Jedi knights with robes and light sabers and walk in the parade. One parent was to stay with the children and the other parent was taken to a special VIP viewing area for the parade. I stayed with Grace and Zachary and what a great experience it was for them! A couple of the Star Wars characters came in and talked to them and then lead them to a "backstage" area of the park where they got their robes and light sabers. A person with Disney's public relations office was there snapping tons of pictures of the kids and of course, we weren't allowed to take any pictures backstage. When they got all lined up for the parade, Jedi Mickey and Princess Lei Minnie came out and interacted with them along with Donald Duck, Darth Vader Goofy and R2D2. They had pictures made with all these characters and were so excited! Then it was time. The music started, the gates opened and Mickey led the parade followed by Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy and then all of the little Jedi knights! The parents had to walk back behind the kids and I was just trying to make sure that I could keep my eye on Grace and Zachary at all times! When we got close to the VIP viewing area, I could hear Dave yelling out Grace and Zachary's names. We didn't walk the entire parade route; instead we were lead off to the side at one point, where the kids returned their robes and light sabers but then were each given a Star Wars action figure. They also got to go to a special roped off area to view the rest of the parade. And the neat thing is that all of the characters in the parade knew that these kids were the young padawans that walked in the parade so they all came over to them during the parade. It was sooooo exciting and such a great experience for all of us! We told them both that it was a chance of a lifetime and what a great birthday gift it was for Zachary!
After the parade, we were all hot and hungry so we went and had some lunch and rode a couple of more rides and watched the Indiana Jones show. We had dinner reservations at the Prime Time Cafe for yet another birthday celebration for Zachary. The only bad thing at this point was that Dave started not feeling so great. His stomach was bothering him and at first he thought he might be dehydrated but the further through dinner we got, he began to think it was something else...like maybe food poisoning from his hamburger that he had at lunch.
We were all about ready to leave at this point but we had fast passes for Toy Story Maynia and hated not to go do it since it is such a fun ride so we decided that we would ride it, then go back to the hotel. But when we got there, we noticed the huge crowd outside of the ride. They were having technical difficulties and it wasn't running at the time and no one wanted to wait so we came back to the hotel. The kids were dying to go to the pool anyway and Dave had promised them we would.
Everyone had a great time swimming and playing in the pool and Dave even began to feel a little better. Needless to say, it was another great day!
Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade Parade
Grace is circled in red. Zachary is right behind her even though you can't see him.
Ray Park who played Darth Maul
Billy Dee Williams who played Lando Calrissian
Ashley Eckstein who is the voice of Ahsoka in Star Wars Clone Wars
Jeremy Bulloch who played Boba Fett
Grace and Zachary waiting for dinner at the Prime Time Cafe. Check out the decor. Love all of the retro TVs and everything in this restaurant!
Happy Birthday Zachary!
Zachary and Grace with "Luke"