Star Wars Launch Bay opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Tuesday, December 1st. This has been anticipated for months. Disneyland opened Season of the Force while we were there a couple of weeks ago: it was a very different experience than here. It looks like Walt Disney World will not carry that name for the offererings, which include Star Tours; Star Wars Launch Bay; Path of the Jedi; an updated Jedi Training Academy and a variety of food items, treats, popcorn buckets and sippers. I was actually very surprised at how much opened yesterday.
What Launch Bay isn’t is a museum for props. As at Disneyland, everything behind glass is a replica. But those who enjoy Star Wars should enjoy the experience. While it was brisk with guests on Tuesday morning, the area wasn’t packed like Disneyland. Star Wars Launch Bay opened pretty quietly, though the date was known online. The end date has not been announced, but a lot of work went into the building (for me, it was almost unrecognizable) and I can’t imagine it will close too soon.
I could have added an easy 100 more photos into the article, so expect much more than what you see here!
Star Wars billboards/posters are around the park.
Unlike Disneyland, Season of the Force isn’t on the banners/signs. This just says Star Wars Launch Bay.
Cast Members were selling themed treats in the courtyard. Many of these items will be recognizable from Disneyland.
BB-8 treats are sold at Disneyland as well.
Overall, I like the Star Wars Launch Bay at Walt Disney World better than Disneyland – mostly due to the layout, and I enjoyed seeing all the concept art in the queue. There is more than what I’m showing.
BB-8 concept art.
R2-D2 and C3P0.
The artwork is from all the episodes, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Kylo Ren’s Shuttle is in this art.
Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader from The Empire Strikes Back.
The Empire Strikes Back poster.
This is a Star Wars Launch Bay map. The busiest section when we were there were the meet and greets with Chewbacca and Darth Vader. The galleries weren’t always busy, but the Cantina usually had a crowd around the Jawas.
Cast Member Matt was ready for the opening day!
Here is our video overview of the Star Wars Launch Bay.
I mentioned that the galleries weren’t always busy. There is a movie that lets out into this gallery, so every so often it’d be busy for a few minutes. Then it would empty out.
This is the Celebration Gallery, with the “Ships of the Rebel & Imperial Fleets”.
There are a couple of large cases in this room.
Galactic Empire case.
In the Disneyland version, these words – and more of the scrolling text – can be found on the floor. It is very impressive for photos. Here, it is one line.
When we had gotten into line, it said 40 minutes wait to get into the building. We waited about 10 minutes. Originally it was told to us that Chewbacca and Darth Vader would be a 2 hour wait each, but they never hit that mark while we were inside the building. We waited about 35 minutes for Chewbacca (and I think that long because it seemed he took a break), and about a half hour with the Disney Visa card for Darth Vader. Guests with the Disney Visa do receive a special meet and greet, but it wasn’t ready and instead we had a Fastpass line for Darth Vader.
I do like this setup, and we found it at Disneyland as well (at least in the Marvel area, as we didn’t have a chance to meet the Star Wars characters there). Each family has private time with the character. We were up next here, and we could not see Chewbacca until we turned the corner.
Chewbacca was in fine form, and showed us his Chewie Chill.
Chewbacca makes Wookie noises, and we have that video below.
Here is our video with Chewbacca!
Darth Vader speaks in the same way guests can meet Talking Mickey.
Darth Vader was ready for us to come toward him for a photo.
Here is our video with the talking Darth Vader.
This is the Chewbacca meet and greet line. It was short in this photo, about 15-30 minutes based on the line we were in (and depending if Chewbacca took a break). When Chewbacca was there, the line moved pretty quickly.
I took this photo at one point, I don’t think the line was really that long when I took it.
This is a longer Chewbacca line from above. While we were in the building, the line was sometimes short and sometimes longer.
Rey’s Speeder behind glass.
Darth Vader’s line did move more slowly because the Disney Visa line funneled in with the standby line. But that won’t be the case for long. That said, I think these wait times will be longer at times as guests find the Launch Bay.
A Jawa tried to trade sunglasses for Jeff’s video camera.
A Jawa reaches for blue milk (not real milk, bolted down) in the Cantina.
Here is our video of the Jawa!
This chess table from the Star Wars films can also be found at Disneyland.
Guests can play Disney Infinity Star Wars games.
I have shown just a handful of the models, including the Milennium Falcon.
BB-8 is in the next ride vehicle.
BB-8 is very small in comparison.
A First Order Stormtrooper behind glass.
When we visited Disneyland, there wasn’t much information about what was displayed. Here, there are signs everywhere (and it may be the same now at Disneyland).
This is the Disney Visa Credit Cardmember Character Experience that will be open soon. We were told it will not necessarily always be Darth Vader.
The shop itself was not that busy, except for the MagicBands. But again, that will change at some point. Watto’s Grotto across the park offers merchandise with rarely a wait right now too.
This First Order Stormtrooper lifesized statue costs $9000.00.
Boba Fett, $3050.
Here are the prices.
The Darth Vader bust is $2250.00.
At Disneyland, the lightsaber umbrellas here were extremely popular. While we were in the store, these and lamps for sale seemed to be the shelf items selling the fastest. These umbrellas are not full sized, but the ones in the boxes are.
The Star Wars Launch Bay shirt for sale is the same as in Disneyland.
There is a MagicBand display with a variety of different bands.
We were told one of the most popular MagicBands was this Darth Vader one. Purple has been an elusive color.
Another popular MagicBand is this Stormtrooper band.
Outside of Star Wars Launch Bay, Path of the Jedi is being shown at the former Sounds Dangerous theater. We saw it in Disneyland, and it is worth a visit.
We found these treats inside Starbucks, but they aren’t only here. We also didn’t try any yet. Darth Vader, BB-8 and Chewbacca are in cupcake form. I’ve heard good things about the BB-8 Lemon Cupcake, and I’m not sure if the Darth Vader Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake is exactly the same as Star Wars Weekends.
We purchased the Darth Vader popcorn bucket previously, and the TIE Fighter popcorn bucket at Disneyland (where it is less expensive). I also picked up a couple of the BB-8 sippers at Disneyland.
Here is a look at the Chewbacca Stein, Darth Vader popcorn bucket and BB-8 sipper. The BB-8 is called a stein in the above sign, but that is pretty generous. However, it is adorable and worth picking up.
Here is a look at the TIE Fighter popcorn bucket.
When we were at Disneyland, the TIE Fighter line was an hour or so most of the day. I entered into the line in the evening, when it was only a half hour. 🙂 There was no line for the popcorn buckets yesterday. But they also weren’t being promoted at all.
The BB-8 sipper is a different price here with punch in it.
At Pixar Place, there was one different cup. And the prices here do not include tax.
Here is a linup of the items here.
At the Backlot Express, there are food items themed to Star Wars.
Here is the other side of the sign.
These treats and buckets/sippers can be found here.
We purchased the Dark Side Chicken & Waffles. It was good for a photo, and I like the paper. I would suggest saving your chicken & waffle needs for Sleepy Hollow at the Magic Kingdom, it is much tastier for less cost. The waffle won’t have Darth Vader, but you can use your savings toward a specialty treat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Our friend purchased this Royal Guard Burger and Blue Milk Panna Cotta (no sugar added). Nothing seemed to be a big hit, but he did like the brisket. I tried the Panna Cotta and it was had a nice flavor, but isn’t something I would order.
These Corellian Spice Fries were nothing special and not worth the extra cost. Our friend purchased them too. Again, the paper is a nice touch. Disney tends to be good with treats, so I would really save most Star Wars food for that.
Next door, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple opened. Thanks to Dave Drumheller from WDW Guided Tours for these few photos, we missed each show.
New is the Seventh Sister.
We don’t have video of the show, but may eventually.
Overall, except for the food, we thought the new Star Wars offerings we experienced were better than anticipated. The character interactions were more than expected, and that was a big bonus.