We spent Friday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends, with the add-on of the Feel the Force Premium Package. The package cost $54 after tax and gratuity for each of us ($108.00 for 2 adults). The event promised premium viewing of the Legends of the Force Motorcade and Symphony in the Sky Fireworks, along with a snack and drink during the parade AND a dessert party in the evening. Specialty drinks were included at night, both with and without alcohol.
We arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios around 10:15 a.m. Check-in was to begin for the motorcade viewing at 10:30 a.m., but it had already begun when we arrived to Min and Bill’s at about 10:20 a.m. Some prime spots were already taken, but we were still able to get along the rope looking toward the stage. I am currently in a scooter (sometimes a wheelchair) due to a broken ankle, so having a rope spot was important.
Jeff took this photo after we had secured our spot. We were told that there were over 200 guests at the event.
We were given the signature cards of all the celebrities visiting during the first weekend, including James Arnold Taylor, Peter Mayhew and Ashley Eckstein.
A Disney PhotoPass card (paper, not plastic) was also included. It did not give us any personalized photos, but there are really nice professional Star Wars photos on it. Keep reading to the end of the article, and you can see a few of them.
The snack we were given was this Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar. There was also a fruit bar option, and guests could go back for a second if they chose. You can see the wristband for the Feel the Force Premium Package.
This was our view. There were quite a lot of guests in our area with this view, although many were behind us.
Beverages during the motorcade portion of the day were water, Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite.
It was actually a very nice bonus during the motorcade!
There were 4 or 5 rows of guests behind us at least, this is what it looked like at around 11:00 a.m. (motorcade was 11:30 a.m.).
Some guests were able to see the parade as it passed at the end of Hollywood Boulevard – you can see this area is past the Brown Derby.
Our location was great for the pre-show that took place, and not bad for the motorcade – except for some characters that didn’t pass by. As always, Jedi Mickey and friends led the parade. Plus, the official Disney photographers were across the way, and many of the characters looked that way instead more often (Minnie and Goofy especially).
Chewbacca looked like he’d be on his way, after he stopped to shake hands with the young Padawans.
But…he and the Ewoks made an exit before they reached us. Bye Chewbacca!
Mace Windu, Kit Fisto and other characters disappeared off to the right. It’s actually funny to watch on video, we’ll be talking about it on Mousesteps Weekly #101. I’m not sure why these characters didn’t finish the parade and enter the stage from the left like everyone else.
And the dark side? How about the back side of Darth Vader? That is all I saw. For premium viewing that required an upcharge, guests viewing the parade should see the entire parade (as really should everyone else who has park entry).
Before I even get to the dessert party, I will say that the location is neither perfect for motorcade nor fireworks viewing. It is a great area to watch events on the main stage at. At the same time, we both think the price point is lower than we’d expect.
We arrived over an hour before the dessert party was to begin, and there was already a line. We were let in at about 8:45 p.m., a little earlier than promised.
Tables were put out for guests to stand at. There were also shorter tables for those of us who needed it.
I mentioned that this is a great location for the shows, and the pre-show before the fireworks is a worthy replacement for the Hyperspace Hoopla. DJ Lobot played tunes before the event.
Jeff scoped out the desserts, and at first thought they were similar to what is being served at Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine. They aren’t. The Darth Vader and Yoda cupcakes look similar, but they are the same as what you’d buy in the park – just smaller. In fact, this one says they are the “DHS World Famous Darth Vader Cupcakes”. The other cupcake is new this year, “Yoda’s Chocolate Crunch Cupcake”. I expect to see both in the park again next year.
I didn’t really see the point of eating Rice Krispie treats when there were premium cupcakes around. 🙂 I think between the two of us, we tried everything.
The C3P0 Golden Laced Pot de Creme was good, I just tried a bit of it. The top was very sparkly, I will show that later on.
This Darth Maul dessert was delicous, and reminded me somewhat of a Hostess Suzy-Q (but better). I was told that some guests just nabbed the white chocolate Darth Maul instead.
This is a carrot cake dessert.
Drinks included coffee and tea.
Jeff went to get us drinks first. It took nearly 10 minutes. He also spent nearly 10 minutes at the dessert buffet. I didn’t see a lot of him during the first half of the party. They definitely need to have a way to expedite guests. He did say there was never a line for the coffee and tea.
Drinks include the Jedi Mind Trick with Rum, Peach Monin, and Passion Orange Guava juice. The Force drink includes Citrus Vodka, Lemonade, and Blueberry Monin. The Dark Side includes Bailey’s, Kahlua and Coffee. My favorite was The Jedi Mind Trick.
These two drinks were wonderful, but it did take a long time for Jeff to retrieve them. A wonderful Cast Member named Eric helped us out later since I couldn’t make my way around in the scooter due to the crowd. We did have drinks after the party as well, fortunately they were still open for a few minutes (but I don’t know if that will always be the case). All the Cast Members were terrific during the event.
Jeff went to the dessert buffet once, and came back with these desserts. Again, I didn’t try everything – but what I did have was so much better and more imaginative than the Illuminations Sparking Dessert Party.
Check out the sparkles in this dessert.
I saved most of my dessert tasting for the cupcakes (I had one of each). I’m not sure which one I prefer!
When I was sitting and waiting for Jeff, I thought perhaps the event wasn’t quite worth the price. But by the time it was over, we both said we’d do it again. We don’t need to have great viewing of the parade and fireworks, we can see it anytime. But especially with my broken ankle, it was nice to have a fairly uncrowded location with a terrific view of the stage. And the drinks and desserts were really top-notch. There are a few tweaks I’d made – including having the entire motorcade pass by during the morning. And a fruit plate would be nice. Again, this isn’t a perfect location for the fireworks themselves, since the big stage takes up much of the view. But guests will feel like they are part of the event, and the pre-show is great.
I held myself up on the scooter to take some photos of the stage. James Arnold Taylor hosted this section of the event, he really is always the dynamo!
This is what the fireworks look like from where I sat. What I didn’t notice – and what Jeff will share on the show – is how everyone you see in the photo above vacated the area quickly because they couldn’t see the fireworks well.
Guests left the party pretty quickly. It was nice to have the area to ourselves for a few minutes.
Remember that PhotoPass card? Here are just a few of the photos on it!
The Star Wars Feel the Force package is currently sold out, but keep watching if you are interested in it – you never know if space will open up. One guest we spoke with had just booked it a few days earlier. The event is held Friday, Saturday, and Sundays through Star Wars Weekends (the last day is June 15th).