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  • Home » SPECIAL EVENTS at WDW (including Limited Time Magic, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, Night of Joy, etc.)








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    • Star Wars Weekends (Disney's Hollywood Studios)

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        100% of reviewers 8.2
      • Description: The magic of Star Wars merges with the magic of Disney during Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.

        Visit for updates, photos and more: http://allears.net/tp/mgm/m_starwars.htm

        The weekend fan-fest (usually held in May/June) centers around the famous Star Tours thrill ride and feature Star Wars celebrities who will take part in meet-and-greet sessions and Hollywood-style motorcades. Each Star Wars Weekend runs Friday through Sunday and will brim with Force-filled fun for the entire family.

        Included with your Disney's Hollywood Studios Admission.

  • Author
    • momof3inMadisonAL

      Registered: December 2009
      Location: Niceville, FL
      Posts: 80
      Review Date: Fri July 5, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): characters, parade, Hoopla
      Cons: crowds in general but especially restaurants

      Love Love Love SWW! and I am not a big Star Wars fan (kids are). Love to dress up but wish it just wasn't so HOT. Kids usually would start the morning in costume and would shed it by 10am.

      MUST get there early. Yes, EARLY. We were there everyday of Memorial Day weekend at 7:15am. Park opens at 7:30 and it's a mad rush to Jedi Training and characters. (We weren't there for any celeb autographs). We were exhausted by the end of the weekend, but it paid off.

      We were able to get A LOT done every morning by 10am. One morning did Jedi Training sign up while DH got FP for TSM and got in line for Vader. Then did Maul, and the Fetts. Then got our spot an hour ahead of time for the parade.

      Another morning we got in line for PMC while DH got FP for TSM and in line for Chewbacca. Next morning we got in line for Jedi Mickey etc first thing.

      Kids enjoyed meeting all the SW characters and especially trading with Jawas (which they did every day).

      Sunday of Memorial day weekend was the worst crowds. So crowded that we could barely walk by TSM and waits were 120 mins and even Disney Junior had a queue, but we had most everything done by then. Met every character out in those 3 days except R2MK. Rode TSM and RnR every day. We go to WDW often so we weren't trying to do a lot of non SWW things. Restaurants were always crowded and we made a point to schedule TS every day for lunch. It's necessary that time of year to get out of the heat. And after our experience waiting an hour at a CS last year during SWW, we knew what to expect.

      Watched HH 2 different nights in front of screen at AI. Trying to watch it on the stage is impossible if you have kids. My kids didn't seem to mind watching it on screen and they could sit down.

      If you love Star Wars then it is a must. If you don't really care, then I'd recommend HS for a different day.
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      Registered: March 2007
      Location: Chicago
      Posts: 49
      Review Date: Mon June 17, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Fun to see characters from the movies
      Cons: Crowds

      A Star Wars weekend just happened to be going on during our adults-only trip in early June, and it was a much bigger deal than we had expected. There were several high-profile autograph signings, characters, a parade, and Disney characters in Star Wars costumes (along with many fans wearing Star Wars costumes of their own). It was fun to see Chewbacca and ewoks walking around, along with Storm Troopers and others.

      Lines for character pictures were outrageously long, as were lines for autographs. We're not big Star Wars fans, so we just had fun watching, but for the true fans, this event requires definite planning to make sure you get the most out of it. Apparently, Fast Passes are available in limited quantities for select autograph sessions and we noticed people lining up for photo ops long before the schedule time. The parade drew a massive crowd as well. We caught a good portion of the parade as it was shown on the large video monitor under Mickey's hat.

      While this all made for a unique experience for us grown ups, we will avoid Star Wars weekends on any future trips. Fast Passes for all the popular rides were "sold" out before noon (thankfully, we were braced for this and secured Toy Story Mania passes first thing), and standby lines ranged from 90 - 120 minutes.

      The worst of it though was attempting to navigate through stores, particularly ones with Star Wars merchandise. I had a heckofa time buying the R2D2-themed Mickey Mouse ears as a gift due to massive throngs of people, many of whom just weren't as considerate as they should have been.

      I imagine dining options are limited too, without prior reservations. We camped out at the 50s Prime Time bar right when it opened, so we were quite comfortable there with cocktails and aps, but wow did we see tons of walk-ins turned away at the counter.

      Best advice: plan, plan, plan for this event!
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      Registered: March 2010
      Location: Easthampton, MA
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Tue June 4, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): special character photos, unique shows
      Cons: none!

      I attended Friday, May 31 of the 3rd weekend of 2013. I got to the park early about 7:30 am and the gates were already open with storm troopers inside heckling the guests. During the entire morning, it was easy to get on all the major rides (Tower of Terror, Star Tours, Toy Story, etc.) with 10 minutes or less of waiting on stand-by! That was a first for me! The only longish line was in Darth Mall for character photos, but it was worth it! The line took longer because the characters were chatting with every guest. C3-P0 sounded exactly right! I even got right in for the animation lesson in the early afternoon. The crowd level felt just right. Lots of energy and excitement, but easy to find places to stand and watch the Hoopla and the parade. Don't miss the special shows in the Premiere Theater with Star Wars actors. I saw three of the shows in one afternoon and all were excellent. There were empty seats in the back of the theater. If you want Star Wars merchandise, do buy it in the park. I was unable to find most of it anywhere else on property (like the photo frame). I asked cast members and only very limited merchandise was sent to other locations like Downtown Disney and the other parks. Star Wars weekends are a treat and worth trying! Just be sure to get there early.
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      Registered: June 2010
      Posts: 63
      Review Date: Tue June 4, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros):

      This was a our second year in a row and third overall. We went in 2010, 2012, and 2013. Went this year during third weekend, May 31 and June 2. I noticed there was no banner this year out front like in years past. Storm Troopers were not on roof at entrance. Also in the past the storm troopers were patrolling near the Backlot tour area. We went two different days and did not see them. Lines for characters get long quick so get there early. Parade is hard to see if you don't camp out on curb an hour early. We went last year during the final weekend and logo pins were sold out. On Friday of week 3 this year I was told by a castmember that the logo pins were nearly all gone. Also no DVC Star Wars pin this year! Luke, Leia, R2D2, and C3PO were all in Darth's Mall. The Disney app will tell you a few hours in advance who will be out, but there is no posted schedule at location. We had to let people go in front of us in line so we could get pics with all characters at Darth's Mall. The interaction with the characters was great. It seams that Disney has downscaled this event in some aspects.

      It might be time to make this a ticketed special event on at least one evening every weekend. They really need to limit the number of tickets sold to make it special. Not like the Christmas party at MK where they pack the park and call it a special event.
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      MM from Connecticut

      Registered: May 2012
      Posts: 11
      Review Date: Sun June 2, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros):

      This was our 2nd year in a row, and we attended the first Friday it opened -- huge crowds! We got there in time for the motorcade parade, but we couldn't see a thing and is very discouraging. Most of the characters dressed up are walking, so only people standing in the front rows can see the parade. If Disney would elevate the characters on floats, then everyone could see them. The Jedi Training was filled up fast, and there were always long lines for photos and autographs. The themed music and extra decorations and characters throughout the park are fun, but overall, it is really too crowded to enjoy. Even the Star Tours store is crazy crowded. We recommend doing any "must dos" (like SW photo opp) on the weekend and come back on Monday-Thursday for all other attractions and purchases.
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      Registered: June 2012
      Location: Texas
      Posts: 15
      Review Date: Wed June 27, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): hyperspace hoopla, parade, Star Wars everywhere
      Cons: crowds,

      This past June was our family's second Star Wars weekend. We go to see the characters, parade, and special shows.....not to get celebrity autographs. The parade is great to see so many star war characters in one spot. Snag a spot early as there are huge crowds. We also enjoy getting pictures with Star War characters, even though some of the lines are a bit long. Our favorite is hyperspace hoopla. Love that they moved this to a bigger stage area and also simulcast on the American Idol screen. We usually stand on the corner by the clothing store and see everything just fine. No need to push into the crowd. This is a wonderful event for star wars fans. Just know that it will be very crowded and avoid HS on these weekends if you are not a Star Wars fan. Make sure to see the Storm Troopers on the gates before rope drop. We usually go over one day for rope drop and see the opening skit with storm troopers and stay till after the parade. We then pick another day to go later in the afternoon for character pics and Hyperspace Hoopla. This helps make the crowds seem more manageable for our family. May the force be with you!
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      Registered: December 2006
      Posts: 51
      Review Date: Thu June 21, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): fun "meet and greets"
      Cons: underwhelming experience, rude EMPLOYEES

      We were there June 1 and were really only interested in the "dress up" characters --the ones where it could be my husband in the suit and you would never know it. Rain cleared the park pretty good so getting signatures wasn't hard. We did the build-a-droid thing and I was disappointed that we couldn't get the little Mickey ears that is supposed to be part of them. The Manager told me there would be no way of getting them and if I was reading "the blogs" I was ill-informed about availability of these items. What a weird and rude response to have as part of management staff. I'm standing there spending $25 for 2 droids and not getting what they advertise. Really mr. manager you "ran out" of Mickey ears? Maybe I should check out an auction site, hmmm? Overall I think this "event" is overhyped.
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      Registered: April 2006
      Location: Connecticut
      Posts: 28
      Review Date: Wed June 13, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Everything Star Wars!
      Cons: The crowds, lines, heat and humidity

      Wish Disney would move this to a cooler time of the year! Celebrating daughters 10th birthday...she's a big Star Wars fan. June 1st, rained the day we were there but the rain had it's advantages...while we missed out on the parade, the rain cleared out the park pretty well. we did not have to wait in line for "build-a-droid" and we were able to get into Darth's Mall and without waiting as well. We spent a hour 1 1/2 hours in there just looking at all the amazing stuff. My daughter did not want to wait in the ridiculously long lines to get her picture taken with characters but we happend to get some great photos just by luck. We also got great seats for the hyperspace hoopla, which while very corny was also very entertaining. There is omething for everyone in this show. The music was great, seeing the characters dance was hilarious and the energy was infectious! The only thing is that my kids are still walking around the house singing "Hooplaaaaa, Hyperspace Hoopla!"
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      Registered: June 2010
      Posts: 63
      Review Date: Mon June 11, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Characters
      Cons: Crowds and lines

      We attended final weekend. Arrived early at 8am just as park was opening. Lines to enter park were about same as normal operating day. On Friday we went straight to line for Darth Vader. Got into line at about 8:20-8:30. Vader was already out. We had to wait about 35-40 minutes in line. Tried to get in line for Chewbacca at 9:30, but line was already very long. They had Chewbacca stationed almost directly acrossed from Star Tours which made that area very congested. Went to Darth's Mall next near the Rockin Rollocoaster. I was able to get DVC and Annual passholder pin, but regular Star Wars Weekend pin was soldout! Line for Princess, Luke, R2D2, and C3PO inside Mall was too long. Guide Map does not tell you what characters are where so you have to guess and waste precious time. Has to be a better way to set up character spots? Storm Troopers wandering around the section of park near backlot tour. Some will quickly pose for pics and others will not. The Storm Troopers were very popular with the crowd. Returned on Sunday again just before park opened at 8am. It appeared they let folks in around 7:55am. Went straight to Chewbacca line and was third back at 8:15. Only problem is Chewy didn't come out until 9:30. By 9:30 the line was about 1.5 hours long I would estimate. Then we went straight to line for Darth Mall. I was in line at 9:45 and Darth mall came out at 10:30. I was 5 back from front. By 10:45 the lines for Disney Star Wars characters (Jedi Mickey, Princess Minnie, etc.) were way too long and not in shade. Called it a day at that point. Star Tours ride wait time was about twice as long as usual, 60+ minutes at some points during the day. I am not a huge Star Wars fan, but I loved it as a kid. Both my kids like the movies so it was a fun experience for them to get pictures with the main characters. My recommendation is to get to the park early right when it opens and get into line for your favorite character. They appear to stagger the appearance times in the morning. By 11am the crowds start to reach crazy level. If you have no interest in Star Wars then stay away from Hollywood Studies on Fri-Sun. Good experience overall. Character spots should be identified on the guide map and better character meeting spots should be arranged.
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      Registered: December 2009
      Location: Niceville, FL
      Posts: 80
      Review Date: Mon June 11, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): characters, jedi training,
      Cons: crowds, motorcade route not long enough

      First let me say, that I would recommend Star Wars weekend to anyone who is a Star Wars fan and if you have more than one day to spend at HS. Or if you go to the World enough times that it doesn't matter if you don't get to do very many rides/shows.
      Then I will say that we usually do.not. go to the World in the summer... But my kids LOVE star wars, and it seemed like a fun idea for my DS6 bday. We are passholders and live in FL so we decided to go over for a quick last minute trip on the last weekend.
      We dressed up with costumes we found on line (and will be reusing for MNSSHP). DH wore a C3PO mask, I had Leia hair headband, DD8 was Darth Vader, DD7 Padme, DS6 Luke and DB R2D2. We got some good pics and lots of people noticed us. There were a few other people dressed up but not as many as I would have thought.
      We decided to concentrate on meeting Star WArs characters and doing Jedi training. We got to the park before 730 for the 8am opening. They let us in before 8am and we rushed over to sign up for Jedi Training. We got the 1015 class. They ran 30 kids (instead of 15) every 30 minutes. Half on the stage fight Darth Vader (like regular jedi training) and the other half fight Darth Maul on the ground in front of the stage. It was run pretty efficiently.
      After signing up for Jedi Training we signed up for Padwan Mind challenge. We got the 630 time slot. That wasn't quite as much fun for the kids as I thought, but they were happy to get a star wars action figure at the end.
      We sat in front of American Idol for the 1240 motorcade. We knew the celebrities weren't coming by but would have liked to see more characters than we did. We mostly just saw Clone troopers, sand people, etc. (no major characters). We just couldn't justify trying to stake out a spot for over an hour to see it all. I wish DIsney would have a longer route for the motorcade so more people could enjoy it.
      We would have loved to see the Hoopla but it had started to rain and it ended up being cancelled.
      It was ok that we didn't get to do many rides. We did get a fp for Star Tours, Toy Story Mania and Tower of Terror but the times for Rockin Roller Coaster were too late (9pm) by early afternoon.
      Regarding the crowds, I knew it would be crowded, but didn't realize that meant 30 mins just to get lunch at Pizza Planet - and this was at 1:30pm. The line for some of the major characters were just too long (Chewbacca's line must have been 1-2 hours long). But we were able to meet Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia (C3PO and R2D2 jumped in right before we met her so we got all 3 of them), Anakin, Princess Amidala, and Ventress plus some CLone troopers.
      We didn't have any long lines in Darth Mall that afternoon. There was plenty for my kids to buy (action figures, make your own light saber, etc.) with their allowance. They spent an hour or so browsing in the store while I waiting in line to meet Princess Leia. (The make your own droid was at Tattoine Traders and had a VERY long line.) It was a great experience and my son can't wait to go back next year!
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      Registered: September 2009
      Location: Westchester County, NY
      Posts: 27
      Review Date: Wed May 30, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Good characters and parade. Love Star Wars!
      Cons: Ridiculous wait to buy exclusives in ONE location only

      This is DEFINITELY the place to go if anyone in your traveling party is a Star Wars fan. While the lines were long for character pics, it was still cool. The back drops they stood in front of really made a difference.

      The parade was great BUT Disney needs to have more of a security presence up and down main street prior to the parade. Folks were starting to cut in front of others and there were quite a few instances were things were heating up. Also, if you tell someone they cannot sit in front of the garbage can (Curbside), please make it consistent with everyone else doing the same thing.

      The Hoopla Dance Party was silly but folks seem to love it.

      2 hours of our day was spent waiting to buy stuff at Darth Mall. A giant tented shop behind Rock n' Roller Coaster that had all the Star Wars exclusives. There has to be a better way of doing this.
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      Registered: May 2012
      Location: Buffalo, NY
      Posts: 13
      Review Date: Mon May 28, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Fun!
      Cons: none

      This was a fun event and although we were advised by our concierge when we checked in to avoid the Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekend, we had a great time. We were there on Friday, May 25, 2012 and although it was very busy around the characters, we found it was easier to get on the rides and to attend the shows. We thought we would have trouble riding Star Tours, but we went there right before our lunch reservations at 12:20 pm and go a fast pass to ride between 12:45 and 1:45pm. So we ate lunch and walked right onto the ride. The stand by wait time was about 15 minutes which wasn't bad at all. We had not problems getting into Tower of Terror (rode it twice) and only had to wait 10 minutes in the stand by line for the Rockin' Roller Coaster. It was a great opportunity to get some special Star Wars merchandise for my nephew at Darth's Mall and the service there was very organized and quick. Had a great time at Star Wars weekend!
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      MM from Connecticut

      Registered: May 2012
      Posts: 11
      Review Date: Mon May 28, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Fun Star Wars Immersion
      Cons: Crowded

      We went to HS for the first day of Star Wars Weekend. My boys (5, 8) loved it. We arrived about 1 hour after park opened and immediately saw Storm Troopers on the roof, and the Star Wars theme music was playing ... very festive. The lines were very long for Jedi Training registration, so we decided to do that when we return on Monday (which we did). Throughout the park were characters in Star Wars costumes available for pictures. It was very crowded near the Star Tours ride, but other than that, it was typical Hollywood Studios crowd. We couldn't get near the parade though, due to crowds. Overall, it was very fun.
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      Registered: June 2011
      Location: new orleans
      Posts: 10
      Review Date: Tue June 21, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): many activities for kids and adults
      Cons: you have to really be patient to stand in long, long lines

      We attended the May 28-30 weekend; it was our 4th visit & overall, it was much more organized than before, especially the meet/greet/autographs with the actors. Each time we visit, the event just gets better. My husband and kids are avid Star Wars and Clone Wars fans. My kids participated, for the first time, in Jedi training, Padawan mind challenge, & were out of this world thrilled to meet Ahsoka Tano(Ashley Eckstein). She was very gracious and took her time with each child that stood in her long line for a photo/autograph. The Hyperspace Hoopla was a blast! The cast members working at Jabba's Hut went above and beyond...participating in light saber "wars" with my kids. We all had fun, despite the heat, long lines and crowds.
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      Registered: March 2009
      Posts: 18
      Review Date: Mon June 13, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Special Characters/Hyperspace Hoopla
      Cons: crowds/humidity

      I was very wary about doing the SWW based on past reviews. I studied and read up on tips from various sites and just made sure I was ultra-prepared ... it paid off!!!

      We arrived an hour early to park opening with the mindset if we get fastpasses 'great,' if not, 'no big deal.' On top of the turnstiles, as previously mentioned, was Boba Fett along with two Stormtroopers making their own little comments to the crowds including a surprise that they would open the park early if we joined the Dark Side. In pure glee, I took my chances over to the right side of the main entrance to where the Fast Passes were being handed out ... to my amazement, there was absolutely no line.
      For each SW star (Matt Lanter, Jeremy Bulloch, Ray Park, etc), there was a roped off line with their names clearly printed above each line. At the end of each line, stood two CMs, one to give the bracelet the other with the FP time. You could choose one line, receive your bracelet and ticket (which contained your FP time for the day). If you wanted multiple meet/greets, then you had to then wait in a separate line and wait for extras.
      I picked up one meet/greet FP and my son another. And then off we went inside Hollywood Studios along with all the other fans, we made a beeline to the Tours!!

      The crowd was thick but no where near that I expected. Planning ahead, we managed to ride Star Tours five times, pics with Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Captain Rex, Ahsoka, Commander Cody, a Jawa, great spot for the SW motorcade, a trip to Jabba's Hut, and two special presentations--Ray Park in action as Darth Maul and James Taylor's many voices!!!!!!!

      My real only small frustration was the FP for the Jedi Mind Challenge. When the park opened and everyone made a beeline to the Tours, Cast members were letting everyone know where to sign up for the Padawan Jedi Training. I didn't realize that the Mind Challenge was in the same location until much later when it was too late.
      Another small frustration was the Darth Maul/Ray Park presentation. It was absolutely cool to see him in action and for him to explain his training, but this lasted only about 10 minutes. They then brought a huge group of kids onstage (that had been previously selected, how? I don't know). And then we spent about the next 30 minutes of some little kids stealing the show. My son A) was absolutely envious and B) bored!! I hope they continue this again next year but minus the kids!!

      They were very strict ... only the person with the bracelet on could go in for the autograph, which was fine. My son, 7, went in on his own and a CM took my camera to take pics. He came out with all smiles and I got plenty of pics!! For the other signature, I wore the bracelet but they allowed me to go in with my son. I assured them that I was only getting his shirt signed and to take pics but these CMs didn't seem to mind either way. Overall, I was absolutely pleased!!!

      My personal tips:
      *we brought a spray bottle with ice water/fan
      *a blanket
      *as soon as we got in the park, we headed to the Tour to get FP and take advantage of the 5 minute wait. When we got off the ride, it was still 5 minutes, so we did it again. When we were done with it the second time, we got FP again, used our FP from earlier and rode it a third time!!!! By now, the lines for the characters were forming!!
      *Take a 'Line Buddy!' My mom and I took turns waiting in line for character pics. My kids would wait with me in line (approx. 15 minutes) then after the shots were taken, then get in line again with my mom who was about 5 minutes behind me. By that time, the characters switched!
      *two hours prior to the motorcade, we chose a spot near the stage, laid out the above-mentioned blanket (we didn't choose to do it this early, but already people were marking their spots). My parents, husband, and I took turns taking the kids to do something. But we made sure that three people remained. We did the same with Hyperspace Hoopla!!

      And I'd like to make one small request for the Hyperspace Hoopla... if you have little children, please hold them in your arms not on your shoulders ... so many kids missed out not because of their location (anyone near the front was there for at least 1.5 hours and we were very close) but because of little ones IN THE VERY FRONT being placed on shoulders. My son is 7 yrs. old ... I ended up holding him on my back while I leaned forward so that at least he could see something ... not much but enough to get the gist of it. My back and feet paid for the added weight later!! Unfortunately, Hyperspace Hoopla isn't displayed on the big screens on top for some reason. That would have helped somewhat.

      We enjoyed ourselves. Very happy with how organized it was AND the guests were just as helpful. Some veteran SWW guests were passing out little secrets too which was helpful!!
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