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Several days ago Disney’s Hollywood Studios debuted its newest nighttime spectacular, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.

Much like other recent Disney shows including Disneyland Forever and Celebrate the Magic, this show leans heavily on projections on the park’s current icon, The Great Movie Ride with some pyro thrown in to keep things exciting. If you are planning on seeing the show in the near future, here’s what you need to know. 

1. It’s not really a fireworks show, per se

Though it does involve pyrotechnics, calling Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular a fireworks show is a bit of a misnomer. Like Celebrate the Magic at the Magic Kingdom and the Tree of Life: Awakenings at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is primarily a projection show. However, the difference here is that this show uses fireworks (as well as lasers, fire effects and spotlights) to enhance what is being projected on The Great Movie Ride. So, for instance, while a battle is being projected on the screen, lasers burst forth to simulate blaster fire, and fireworks crash in the distance to simulate what that might sound like.

While this new show definitely does not feature as many explosions as its predecessors at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is still absolutely worth seeing, even if the fireworks element has been dialed back a bit. 

2. Line up in front of the Great Movie Ride to get the only good spot 

One of the strong points of the previous nightly spectacular, Star Wars: A Symphony in the Sky was that pretty much any spot in the front half of the park afforded a great view of this massive fireworks display. Obviously Hollywood Blvd. provided the best views, but if you wanted to see the show without dealing with a massive crush of guests, the top of Sunset Boulevard as well as the far side of Echo Lake all afforded great views of the grand spectacular.

However, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is a much different show. Not only does standing anywhere other than in front of The Great Movie Ride mean that you won’t be able to see the projections (which, as mentioned previously, are quite a large part of the show), but it also makes it hard to see the fireworks as well. Although Star Wars: A Symphony in the Sky’s pyrotechnics were all over the place, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is much more restrained, with only a medium amount of pyro going off, and only on the right side of The Great Movie Ride. 

Of course, what this show lacks in pyrotechnics it makes up for with other effects, including laser lights, spotlights, towering fire, and more. However, these effects have to be seen straight on to be appreciated, and if you are anywhere other than the dead center of Hollywood Blvd. right in front of the Great Movie Ride attraction, you simply won’t be able to see them.

Because of this, it is incredibly crucial that you arrive at least 30 minutes to an hour early to secure a good spot for this show. While standing around at Disney’s Hollywood Studios while you could be taking a spin on Toy Story Midway Mania or lining up to see Fantasmic, can be quite boring, because views of this show are so restricted, it’s really the only way to ensure you’ll get a good spot and will be able to see everything

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Comments

You are exactly right about having to face the Movie Ride directly. We got there an hour beforehand and had to find a place to the right. From there, we missed at least two-thirds of the projections. They do project scenes onto the buildings adjacent to the Movie Ride, but that was blocked by a row of trees. Very disappointing.

I guess that because of the Magic Kingdom fireworks, they feel the need to project scenes onto something, but the Studios don't have the open space to really allow it. The Symphony in the Sky was far superior.

Saw them opening night and one more time before we left. First time we were in front of the Trolley Car Cafe and while we could so most of the graphics on the theater, we couldn't see the pyrotechnics over the trees. Then we sat right in front of the theater between dessert party area and the Brown Derby and it was hard to see some of the graphics on the theater. I didn't really think there was a great spot to see the whole show and was pretty disappointed it wasn't more of a fireworks show like Frozen was. Other than that, it is really cool and enjoyed it for what it was.

Does anyone know how long this show is continuing? I am travelling Mid August and would love to see it

In reply to by Paul (not verified)

Same here. We are traveling mid-Dec and I am curious if it will still be ongoing, and if so, if it will still be at 9:30 or if it will be moved to earlier in the evening.

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