It’s beginning to look a lot like Star Wars!

It’s been a difficult and emotional year for the Disney goer who holds Star Wars dear to their heart. From the announcement of a coming Star Wars Land, the ending of Star Wars Weekends, all mixed in with the hype of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and surge of new Star Wars merchandise and media, it has been an absolute emotional rollercoaster.

So I believe it simply comes down to this… What do we do now? How do we still enjoy Star Wars in the Disney Parks and plan to experience this new wave of Star Wars hype during our next visit?

Below are 5 ways you can still have a “Force-filled” Disney experience during your next visit. (I highly suggest speaking to a Disney Travel agent to get more details and assist you in scheduling each experience.

    1. Star Wars Launch Bay – This new, interactive experience should be at the top of any Star Wars fan’s list. The Launch Bay provides an opportunity to view props and replicas from the Star Wars universe in addition to exclusive behind-the-scene showings in the Launch Bay Theatre. Kids will enjoy the opportunity to play the new Disney Infinity 3.0 and probably the greatest perk, meet and greet some of their favorite heroes and villains.
    2. Star Tours: The Adventure Continues – How can you visit Hollywood Studios as a Star Wars fan, regardless of the time of year, without experiencing Star Tours? The ride has been revamped and now offers a new experience to reflect the lastest installment to the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens! This is a fun experience for the entire family (family 40in or taller of course) so make sure you grab a FastPass+ for this one and enjoy the ride!
    3. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple – This would probably be my number one recommended stop but not everyone has children and unfortunately this isn’t really geared towards us older folks. This is a once in a life time experience for any aspiring young jedi and only takes approximately 20-30 minutes of your time. However, the time invested is a bit more as you want to make sure you research available times, fit them into your FastPass+ schedule, and allow time to stand in line. Remember you cannot make a reservation for this experience and there are no FastPass+’s to my knowledge. If this is for you and your family, make sure you jot down your time and get in line. It’s well worth it!
    4. Watto’s Grotto – It was a tough call between Watto’s Grotto and Tatooine’s Traders but honestly, while Tatooine’s Traders looks great, you can probably find most of these items at any other major retail store or Disney Park retail locations. Watto’s Grotto has some very unique items and most importantly “Build Your Own Lightsaber” is an experience you just can’t beat. Watto’s has items for all ages from housewares and fine art to toys. There is also a photo opportunity with a T-47 Landspeeder that makes for a nice keepsake. If you’re looking for toys such as LEGO Star Wars and action figures, Tatooine’s Traders is probably more for you (which I recommend visiting anyway) but Watto’s Grotto is a much more niche and unique opportunity for all ages. If you want to capture a small piece of Star Wars Weekend and the cherished experience of constructing your own lightsaber, this is a must stop on your journey.
    5. Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular – Beginning Decemeber 18th, 2015, you will be able to experience a night like none other. While the public has not seen this event at this time, the released information seems to be good enough to sell me on the experience. This spectacular features Star Wars themed fireworks and effect accompanied by all new music from The Force Awakens by John Williams. Make sure you know the schedule and you get to your favorite viewing location early as the Star Wars hype will ensure this is a well attended event. For the ultimate experience make plans to attend the Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party for a special viewing location and Force-filled dessert!

So while Star Wars weekend may be gone (hopefully not forever), it is evident Disney is making an effort to offer the best experience possible for Star Wars fans while the new Star Wars Land is under construction. While I am not for certain of Disney’s plans and timelines, I would fully expect Disney to continue to take advantage to the hype and popularity of the Star Wars franchise.

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May the force be with you!