All Star Wars fans should spend a full day exploring Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the multitude of amazing Star Wars attractions. Check out this guide to all things Star Wars at Walt Disney World to help you plan your must see and do Star Wars shows, rides and character encounters before you go.

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Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios now open photo credit: Jenn Greene Tween ‘N Teen TravelingMom

Guide to all things Star Wars at Walt Disney World

Buckle up and get ready to explore all things Star Wars at Walt Disney World. Thankfully Mickey and his crew have made it convenient for fans to geek out over amazing Star Wars experiences all in one location. Simply head on over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to catch everything A-to-Z  Star Wars from Admiral Ackbar sightings at Star Tours to playing Zeb Orrelios in the Disney Infinity lounge.

Star Wars Launch Bay

Star Wars Launch Bay is the epicenter of Star Wars fun at Walt Disney World. It’s located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Celebrate the Star Wars saga by visiting four different galleries: The Celebration Gallery, The Preview Gallery, The Light Side Gallery, and The Dark Side Gallery. Check out movie props, costumes and concept art, you’ll even find a full-size replica of Rey’s Speeder. The kids will love the video game lounge, featuring Disney Infinity and Star Wars Angry Birds. Hot tip: it’s a great place to take a break from bad weather or rest your weary feet while the kiddos game their hearts out. In addition, there are several Star Wars Meet & Greet opportunities which are usually the most popular features at the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Kylo Ren encounter at the Star Wars Launch Bay Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Kylo Ren Encounter at the Star Wars Launch Bay
Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Character Encounters with Chewbacca and Kylo Ren

The popularity of the newest Star Wars villain, Kylo Ren, and everyone’s favorite “Walking Carpet,” Chewbacca, make these character encounters quite popular. If meeting either is important to your family, I suggest arriving early in the day or late in the evening. We found virtually no lines for either character encounter in the evenings on recent trips. Chewbacca and Kylo Ren remain in character and only know of their own Star Wars Universe. They don’t sign autograph books or know anything about Mickey Mouse. Also keep in mind that while Chewbacca is a friendly guy who will give hugs, Kylo Ren is not. Note his attempt to intimidate me (in the picture above); he didn’t appreciate my giggles.

Chewbacca encounter at the Star Wars Launch Bay Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Chewbacca Encounter at the Star Wars Launch Bay
Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

If you have a Disney Visa credit card, check out the exclusive Star Wars Meet ‘N’ Greet hidden away in the Star Wars Launch Bay. They don’t advertise which character is scheduled but it’s been Kylo Ren for us on recent trips. This line will likely be significantly less than the regular character encounters. Plus you receive a free download of all photos taken during this meet & greet as a Disney Visa credit card holder.

Star Wars Jawas at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Trade with Jawas at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Trade with Jawas and Patrol with Stormtroopers

The best part of Star Wars Launch Bay is meeting (and hopefully) trading with the Jawas. You’ll find Jawas milling around the Mos Eisley Cantina inspired area. There is no official queue for this character encounter, so crowds are definitely hit and miss. They will happily take pictures with you if you ask and if you want to trade with these scavengers, check out these tips on trading with Jawas.

Catch stormtroopers patrolling outside the Star Wars Launch Bay. They may allow photos as long as it doesn’t interfere with their important duties like scouting for rebels and protecting the empire.

Stormtroopers patrol the area outside Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Stormtroopers checking suspicious trash cans while on patrol outside the Star Wars Launch Bay
Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

 

Star Tours – The Adventure Continues

Star Tours has been flying guests through the Star Wars galaxy for over 25 years. This 3D adventure offers 96 different ride combinations including a new adventure featuring Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars Shows

Travel to Star Wars locations for an immersive fan experience.

Jedi Training Academy at Walt Disney World
Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

 

Jedi Training: Trial At The Temple

Jedi Training is an interactive show for kids that register earlier in the day. Younglings train to be a Jedi and take on the dark side. They will battle Darth Vader or the Seventh Sister Inquisitor while wearing Jedi robes and wielding light sabers. Kids ages 4-12 are welcome to register to participate. Registration begins when the Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens each day at the Indiana Jones Adventures Outpost. This is a very popular attraction, so be prepared to walk quickly over to the registration queue with your child (they must register with you) as soon as the park opens. There are shows scheduled all day long but the slots fill up fast. If you don’t arrive early enough to register, they do offer standby opportunities for kids to fill in for no-shows. We’ve been successful using the standby option in the past. 

Star Wars Launch Bay Theater

The Star Wars Launch Bay theater showcases a 10-minute film celebrating the creation of the Star Wars saga. The film includes exclusive interviews with the directors, writers and producers.

Star Wars: Path of the Jedi

Watch a 10-minute retelling of the blockbuster Star Wars saga and get a peek at the future of the galaxy. 

Guide to all things Star Wars at Walt Disney World

Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away

This live show plays several times a day at the end of Hollywood Boulevard. It features Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, BB-8, Darth Maul and more as they recreate famous Star Wars movie vignettes on stage.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

Currently, guests can end their day with Symphony in the Stars, a Star Wars themed fireworks finale. Starting in June, the next generation of this Star Wars fireworks debuts as Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. This show will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics, special facts and video projections. It will include a tower of fire and spotlight beams, creating massive lightsabers in the sky. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will be the most elaborate fireworks display in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 

Star Wars Merchandise at Tatooine Traders Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Star Wars Merchandise at Tatooine Traders
Photo credit: Karen Heffren / Desert TravelingMom

Star Wars Shopping

Tatooine Traders is the main location for Star Wars retail therapy. It’s located near the Star Tours ride and Star Tour guests will exit through this gift shop once their ride is over. You will also find plenty of Star Wars merchandise at The Star Wars Launch Bay including more expensive collector’s items and a printing press on-site that can customize phone cases or magic bands while you wait.

Speaking of shopping, I recommend you do a little shopping before heading to the Star Wars Launch Bay.  Pick up the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60 point and shoot camera and you’ll be able to take photos of all the amazing Star Wars artifacts to share with fellow Star Wars geeks at home. I received one on our trip and love that it takes 4k video making it easy to fully record your character encounters and then grab the perfect still image of the experience.

Headed to Disney World? Traveling Mom recommends Parksavers for discounted Disney tickets.  Even better, use code TM2 for a Traveling Mom exclusive extra $2 off per ticket.