A review of the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
As anyone who follows my blog knows, I love Star Wars, and I love Disney. So does my husband! For Geoff’s birthday last year, I decided to gift him something that combined both. In an earlier post (click here for it), I detailed the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular dessert party. Normally those two are combined – the tour and the dessert party – but Geoff’s birthday falls during the holiday fireworks, so the price goes down but it also cuts out the dessert party. So we did them separately! This post is a review of the tour, and again, you can view my dessert party post to get an idea of what the ending of the tour normally is.
(Also as a disclaimer, the tour was paid for by us, not provided by Disney or anything.)
The tour starts pretty early in the morning! Seeing Hollywood Blvd completely empty was really neat.
Lunch is included in the tour. When you meet up inside the park, they hand you menus so you can pre-order what you’d like! Geoff went for the Royal Guard burger, and I had the Galactic Chicken Salad.
Obligatory selfies! We also got ear pieces (to hear the guides) and lanyards that showed we were on the tour AND had an Aurebesh translation guide! I geeked out. Of course, we dressed appropriately – Geoff repped the Republic and I repped the Empire, as you can see from our respective emblems on our shirt/jacket!
The meet up spot in the park was the Trolley Car cafe. You could even quick hop in and get some coffee if you needed!
First stop was a ride on Star Tours!
The neat thing about being on a tour is normally, I have to rush through this part of the line and don’t have time to get photos of this AT-AT. But I managed to snag a few photos here since we were the only ones there.
Love the laser scarring and attention to detail.
Once inside, we got to go up a different ramp than usual. It gave us some neat views of the queue.
The Mon Calamari station.
We got to enter a room overlooking C-3PO and R2-D2.
While on Star Tours, we got to walk out onto the gangplank area while the lights were on. Spoiler: it’s a big, black room. But it’s neat to see the big room it’s in vs the void you usually see with all the lights off! We also found out the gangplank raises and has a ton of security checks to make sure there’s absolutely no weight on it for safety (in case someone dropped something on it or anything).
After Star Tours, it was time to see Path of the Jedi, a film detailing Luke’s journey (with Anakin and some other characters in it as well, of course).
Next up was Launch Bay! This is where the Star Wars character meet and greets, displays, and such are.
We watched the film here too, which was more behind the scenes of the making of the films, particularly the new films.
Then we got to explore the displays! I had been to Launch Bay before and seen them, but this time the guides were explaining more about them, which was neat.
TIE pilot. ♥
A small scale Star Destroyer.
Everyone’s favorite speederbike, which is perfect for racing through heavily wooded areas. /sarcasm
Meet and greet time! We got to the front of the lines to meet everyone – including little BB-8.
Kylo!! I was psyched.
“Binary Sunset Drink Specials. Twice the Suns, Half the Price.”
“Dejarik. Credits to play. No cheat…” (either cheaters or cheating, can’t read it well enough!)
“The Wed Treadwell Casino.”
“Lost and Found.”
Blue milk bar! (Fake blue milk, tragically.)
Bodhi’s goggles from Rogue One! They change up the areas a lot from film to film, so when you visit it’ll probably be something totally different.
Jyn’s costume during her infiltration.
Chillin’ with Krennic.
Once we left Launch Bay, we got to line up in the front to see the characters march past after performing in the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away show.
Deathtroopers! So shiny.
And everyone’s favorite stubborn Sith, ha!
Captain Phasma meeting Mini-Phasma. Hearts melted.
The Supreme Leader checking everything out.
Rey, Chewbacca, and Mini Rey. More heart melting.
Next up, we got to march during March of the First Order! While I wish we could’ve been actual troopers (my dream!) this was pretty cool too. I had a couple friends ask – no, there is no meet and greet with Phasma or the Stormtroopers (I wish!). You line up near their entrance and then follow them as they go down the street.
Getting different angles of the march was really neat, and getting to walk down Hollywood Blvd to the epic music was, well, epic.
We also got reserved viewing for the stage part of the march.
Bye Phasma! See you soon.
Finally, it was lunch time! You get to see at Backlot Express, in a reserved section. We were assigned a table, named after different planets. We got Coruscant, which is tied with Naboo as my favorite!
You also get a commemorative stein, which in this case is Chewie. It’s a little disorienting to pop his scalp off to drink, but it’s a cool stein.
We also got name tags with our names in Aurebesh! When purchasing the tour, I was asked if I wanted to join the Dark Side or the Light Side. I requested me for dark, Geoff for light, so we’re a Sith Lord and Jedi Master. And, I must say, this is probably the only time I’ve seen a Sith trinket in blue and white, so I’m actually kinda psyched by that.
We also got CHURROS!! They had blue lightsaber and red lightsaber churros, so of course we picked our respective colors…and promptly dueled. Like mature adults.
Then it was time to head to our reserved viewing of Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away. We had a great view! Here’s some photos.
For those who haven’t seen the show, it basically has intros for some of the most popular characters.
I should say, some of the most popular MASKED characters. Darth Maul and Rey are the only face characters that show up, so if you’re looking for Han, Leia, Luke, Anakin, Padme, etc, they’re not there (at least at the time of this writing).
There are also some neat pyrotechnic effects during the show!
Without fail, everyone loses their MIND whenever Darth Vader shows up. As they should.
As a Hux fan, I love this bit because it starts with his speech (no Hux character, unfortunately, but hey we get his audio!). Also, Phasma looks fabulous here.
The team, minus Hux of course. And lots of fire.
Rey and BB-8!!
At the finale, ALL the characters come out. It’s pretty neat seeing them all together, including two generations of Stormtroopers (original trilogy on the left, Deathtroopers behind Vader, and then the newer First Order troopers with Phasma).
At this point the tour was technically over for adults, unless you wanted to see the Jedi Training Academy. If you have kids, they get guaranteed participation in the show. Geoff and I figured we’d watch the show, since there’s reserved viewing. I was HOPING to get some good shots of Seventh Sister, but unfortunately she wasn’t there the day we went, to my sadness. But still, there’s some dramatic photo ops there! (If you have kids there, Photopass is taking photos the entire time when the kids are onstage.)
Fog + afternoon sunlight = pretty epic shots.
And my final photo – grandfather and grandson, united in swinging at younglings with lightsabers.
We actually got a bonus; we got access to the reserved viewing of the holiday fireworks! I didn’t take photos, but it was nice to get reserved viewing for it. So even if you go during the holidays you’ll still get fireworks viewing, just not a desssert party and not Star Wars fireworks.
I believe, too, since we didn’t have a dessert party our tour started earlier than normal. If I recall correctly, regularly the tours start later so they flow directly into the dessert party. So definitely check when you’re booking!
I’ve had people ask how it was, since Geoff and I are local to Walt Disney World and have seen all the shows before (minus the padawan show) and been on all the rides. I’ll be honest, we didn’t see anything new, except the different view of the Star Tours waiting area and the inside of the attraction room. We also got some neat information from the guides about the attractions and the films. But it was a lot of fun to be on the tour, to hear behind the scenes stuff, to get great views of all the shows, and to do things like march with the Stormtroopers. As a local who has seen it all, I’d still say if you love Star Wars that it’ll be a fun day. If you haven’t seen the Star Wars stuff, it’s definitely worth it.
If you have any questions, ask away!
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