Hollywood Studios' Star Wars Guided Tour
In January of 2017, Walt Disney World added a new tour to its lineup and what a great addition it was! Taking place in Hollywood Studios, the Star Wars Guided Tour is a 7-hour extravaganza with its focus on Star Wars related to the Disney Universe. Now I know your initial thought is along the lines of.. “What in the world do you do for 7 hours?!”... well here is your answer. The tour includes a lot, so this post will give you a breakdown of what it includes and if it is worth it.
First up, some housekeeping information. This tour takes place only in Hollywood Studios and is offered Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The price tag is $121.12 before tax, which is a decent price for a 7 hour tour. Currently, no discounts are available. It must be booked in advance over the phone, full payment is due at the time of booking. It is a walking tour, so bring good shoes and be ready to walk.
Children are welcome to attend at all ages, but they must have an adult over 18 accompanying with them. Like usual, you must have a separate park admission since it is not included in the tour price. Check out this link if you are interested in booking the tour.
Now onto the fun stuff!
You are asked to check in 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour in front of the Great Movie Ride. They have signs and cast members to point you in the right direction in case you can’t find it. Our tour time was 2:45, times vary depending on park close. You first check in with a cast member who finds your party on the list and hands you a menu to look at for dinner. You then move onto the next cast member who will take your dinner order and provide your “credentials”.
While they wait for everyone to arrive, they have cold water bottles available for you to drink. Take it and keep it with you during the tour, especially during the summer! They then hand out listening devices to each guest and explain the general guidelines of the tour. For children with smaller ears, they have headphones rather than the usual earpiece. Our tour group had around 40 people and 2 tour guides. Jason and Julia were both incredible tour guides; in fact Jason was one of the writer and creators of this very tour.
This tour really focuses on Star Wars and how it ties into the Disney Universe. So to begin you are taken to see Path of the Jedi with priority seating. While waiting to enter the theater, you learn some very interesting facts regarding the Star Wars. I won’t give anything away, but these are things I had never knew or heard before.
After the movie is over, you are taken to the front area of the park for the March of the First Order. You have a section reserved for your tour group. While waiting for the First Order to arrive, your tour guide will continue on filling your head with cool Star Wars facts. You are seated literally next to where the First Order begins their march. Once they are past your group, you are ushered to walk behind them and quite literally “march with the First Order”. This was my father's favorite part of the entire tour. You feel like a complete VIP!
Captain Phasma and her troops make their way to the stage in front of the Great Movie Ride and you are moved into a priority viewing area for their “display of force”. The area is front row, just off the the left side a bit. After the show, you then are given another cold water bottle and a bathroom break. You then move back into the same viewing area for Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.
Next up, you move towards Star Tours. You enter in the FastPass line, but you will bypass it by using the wheelchair entrance to the ride. They provide some really unique facts about Star Tours and its history in the park. Once the ride is ready for you, you load into your ship and take off onto your adventure.
At this point, it is time for dinner! Since you put in your order beforehand, your food is waiting for you at the Backlot Express. There is an entire section of the restaurant reserved for your tour group. You are separated into tables that correlate with your planet on your nametag; for us, that was Hoth. During your meal, you get a special visit from some of the First Order troops.
After everyone has finished, one tour guide takes any children of age that want to participate in Jedi Training and their responsible adult to prepare. For those who are not participating, you are allowed to go on Star Tours again. Post ride, you are sent to your priority viewing spot of Jedi Training and watch the show commence.
At the conclusion of training, your guides bring you to the Launch Bay. They walk you through the artwork exhibit and give you some more fun facts. You then watch Meet the Makers before entering the bay. It is then that you part with your tour guides and attend the Star Wars Dessert Party. Guests of the tour are allowed into the dessert party first and once everyone has gotten their first round of food, all other dessert party guest are let in.
The dessert party itself is quite a spread; it includes a lot of desserts as well as savory items to help make you feel less guilty about your food choices. Some of my favorites were the flatbread, the cheddar and olive sabers, the freeze fried Nutella truffle, and the mango juice. The choices are endless and there is plenty to go around.
During the party, you have priority access to character meet and greets excluding BB8. But at this time, it was basically empty. We met Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, BB8, and interacted with the troopers and jawas. You are free to roam around and the bay, but are asked to meet back at 9:00pm to move to your firework viewing area.
It was closer to 9:15 when they escorted the party and tour guests to the viewing area. As you enter the roped off section, each guest is given a Chewbacca stein as a commemorative gift. The viewing area for the show is one of the best and for the final few minutes of wait time, the First Order troopers are walking around and interacting. Once the fireworks end, you are officially done with your tour and the park has closed.
Whew… that was a lot (to type and to do)! Is this tour worth it? Absolutely. Especially if you are already considering the Star Wars Dessert Party. My father and I both felt like it was extremely worth it. In fact, for everything you do and get, I’m surprised it is not more expensive than it is (knock on wood). Now if you have a family of 5, the $$$ is going to add up quickly. But if it is in your budget, and you are a Star Wars fan, this tour is a must. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below and we'll do our best to answer them!