Unfortunately meeting Chewbacca didn't happen...at least not right away.
Star Wars Weekends, on the other hand, was absolutely amazing, so we'll start there!
Considering the fact that it was my very first time at Star Wars Weekends, I didn't really know what to expect, but I have to say I was blown away by the magical things that happen on these weekends. In fact, by the time we got to the fireworks, which I'll talk about later, I was so blown away that I didn't even have words anymore.
To start things off, we made it to the park fairly early, but because we had a VIP package didn't want to get there right away, especially since the night before had been late and most of what we wanted to do was included in the package anyway (I'll talk more about that in a moment). With special viewing for the Motorcade, we had a pretty good spot, although getting in a few minutes earlier probably would have meant front row. As you can see though, we by no means had a bad view. I personally loved the motorcade, allowing for everyone to see the stars of the Saga without heading into an autograph signing or specific show. Plus, it was pretty great to see all your favorite characters...even if some were a bit...frozen.
Also a part of our package was prime seating for one of the day's shows. We chose the Stars of the Saga "talk show," featuring the special guests of the weekend. Of course, each weekend has different stars, and we were fortunate enough to have Ray Park (yes that's him with the tail), the actor behind Darth Maul, and Jeremy Bulloch, the guy behind Boba Fett's mask. James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Obi Wan Kenobi in the Clone Wars hosted the weekend, and was honestly a joy to watch throughout the day.
I can't leave without mentioning the Stormtroopers though. As one of the most underrated characters of the saga, despite the fact that there's more of them than the other characters combined, I think Disney has done a wonderful job bringing them to the forefront in a humerous way. The Stormtroopers show up throughout the day, including in their own preshow to the theater shows such as Stars of the Saga. I think I laughed harder watching them than I recently did at a comedy show.
Of course, we did things here and there throughout the day, but the next part of our package was the dessert party with special fireworks viewing. We didn't get the largest package, but got the moderately priced one (I believe it was around $70 per person), but it was completely worth it. In your pacakge, you had the prime viewing for the parade (including free unlimited beverages, popcorn and ice cream!), the special seating for a show of your choice, prints of each actor for the weekend AND the dessert party with unlimited desserts and beverages as well as that prime fireworks viewing. We all quickly agreed that it was well worth the price. The desserts were amazing, and I definitely enjoyed the chance to try each of the specialty Star Wars Weekend Cupcakes in Mini Form. Personally, I think the Yoda was my favorite. Of course, there were plenty of other treats too, all of which we enjoyed while rocking out to the end of the dance party!
Finally, to round the day out, there's the absolutely magical Summon the Force and Symphony in the Stars. During Summon the Force, just about every Star Wars character you can image appeared on stage. Our view was a bit blocked by parts of the stage, but it didn't stop me from seeing my personal favorite character: HAN SOLO!
And then we come to Symphony in the Stars, which is by far one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. I had a video camera in one hand and my phone in the other, meaning I'm not sure how much of the show I actually watched, but it was obviously enough for me to be left speechless. There's just something extra magical when the music of Star Wars is timed to fireworks, all in front of the Chinese Theatre, and I can't wait to return and see it again someday.
Of course, in my usual style, I just HAD to DisneyBound for the day, coming up with an R2-D2 DisneyBound that felt the most real when I found this Lego version of our favorite droid!
But wait, there's more! While we couldn't get a reservation on Sunday for the Rebel Hangar, luckily they were serving all week long, so we headed back to Hollywood Studios the following day for dinner with the rebels! Now, as you all know, I was really, really, REALLY excited about meeting Chewbacca on this trip, and when it didn't happen on Sunday I was fairly dissapointed. So you can imagine my excitement when Chewie walked into the hangar, right past our table. The characters at the meal are different from your regular character experience, only staying for a few minutes, and you have to grab them more than they stop at individual tables. The Stormtroopers came by a few times, and I had the chance to trade with one of the Jawas, but Chewie took a while. In fact, he came and went twice before we managed to catch him, because when he was coming up the ramp that last time, I was all over getting a picture with him. And so, I finally got to meet Chewbacca, and it was the greatest moment of the entire trip to be honest.
You can also see the pictures of our meal, which was great! They serve it more in an appetizer style, so it's a great opportunity to go with friends and try just about everything on the menu, which is all themed to Star Wars. The entire thing was pretty makeshift, but I'd put some money on the idea that this was a test run for possible Star Wars dining experiences of the future, and boy do I ever hope they happen.
Overall, Star Wars Weekends was amazing. Hot and crowded, yes, but amazing. I can't wait for more Star Wars Weekend experiences in the future, because really, when else can you casually follow members of your favorite band around Hollywood Studios?
Have a magical day!
(Note: This blog post was written on June 23 due to travel).