When Star Wars Land was officially unveiled earlier this year, we were very excited about the prospect of a galaxy far far away coming to life inside Walt Disney World. However, as the dust settles from the D23 Expo and more information has come to light about what steps are being taken to bring this experience to life, it has become clear that there is a lot being lost as Star Wars prepares to steamroll Disney's Hollywood Studios. And while some of these losses were telegraphed far in advance, it doesn't mean that we won't mourn some of these losses, including one that was just confirmed recently:
1. Star Wars Weekends has been cancelled
In a blog post detailing the opening of the Star Wars Launch Bay Disney casually mentioned that since this attraction gave fans a way to celebrate Star Wars every day, the long-running Star Wars Weekends event was found to be superfluous and was officially cancelled.
Of course, many fans were upset by this decision, and for good reason. Though the opening of the Star Wars Launch Bay does indeed provide guests with a way to experience Star Wars every day at Disney's Hollywood Studios, so does Star Tours, and that attraction’s existence was never used to try and cancel this massive event.
However, speaking more broadly, Star Wars Weekends was more than just a simple celebration or a way to experience Star Wars at Walt Disney World. This annual event brought celebrity guests (including huge stars like Mark Hamill and Frank Oz) to the parks, featured informative panels that took guests behind the scenes, and also had unique shows where kids could get Sith training from Ray Park or reenact Warwick Davis' early years with the man himself.
Though the character meet and greets and special merchandise that were a part of this annual tradition will certainly be duplicated at the Star Wars Launch Bay, this event's loss is definitely a big one, and is being keenly felt by fans who were hoping it would return in spring 2016. But unfortunately, Disney has pulled the plug on Star Wars Weekends, and now we can only hope that Star Wars: Season of the Force will live up to the long shadow cast by Star Wars Weekends.
2. Classic Disney’s Hollywood Studios Attractions are also being lost
Though the cancellation of Star Wars Weekends was a tough blow for Star Wars fans, those who enjoy other parts of Disney’s Hollywood Studios are also losing a lot while the parks bring Star Wars Land to life as well. Earlier this year it was announced that construction of Star Wars Land was responsible for knocking out the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, and we know that the clock is ticking on stunt show Lights Motors Action, which is also expected not to survive the transformation into Star Wars Land.
Also in danger? Pretty much every restaurant and attraction near Echo Lake, as well as MuppetVision 4-D, the Cars Meet and Greet as well as the Phineas and Ferb character experience. Though it could be argued that none of those attractions are really headliners, the fact is that Disney’s Hollywood Studios stands to lose a lot in the Star Wars Land construction process. Which brings us to our next point…