Well, it’s finally official: Star Wars Weekends are no more. The event first appeared in 1997, continued in 2000 and 2001 and has been held annually over several weekends in May and June since 2003 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But with the park soon to undergo expansion – and a whole Star Wars area – the retirement is completely understandable.
Speaking of new stuff, Star Tours is getting a new addition: Jakku. If you go on the ride during “the opening months,” you’re guaranteed to get it; After that, it goes in the randomizer. There’s also a “reimagined Jedi Training experience” that will feature both Darth Vader and the Seventh Sister from Rebels. All this, plus the Launch Bay with The Force Awakens exhibits, will debut on December 1.
WDW News Today reports that Disney World’s Hollywood Studios may be retiring the popular Star Wars Weekends in 2016. The report does seem a tad premature, the additional permanent stuff (aka Star Wars Land) being several years off. And the Seasons of the Force event (which is also happening, in slightly different form, at Disneyland, is expected in “early 2016,” which doesn’t exactly scream Weekends rebranding.
Star Wars Weekends are currently on the schedule for summer 2016. However, we also expect construction to begin next year on the Star Wars expansion, and that I can certainly see throwing a wrench into the tradition.
However, another thing to consider – the sheer popularity of Star Wars right now. We’ve already seen record numbers for Celebration – is Hollywood Studios seeing higher numbers as well? Do they expect not to need Weekends to draw extra attendance after The Force Awakens?
→ Lucasfilm movies will be featured at D23 Expo this year. This obviously isn’t a surprise, and clearly The Force Awakens will be the priority, but it may be the first chance for something to go wide on Rogue One – though D23 is only two weeks after Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation drops on July 31, which could still be cutting it a bit close.