Updated March 10, 2017
Season of the Force has arrived at Disneyland and it doesn’t disappoint on any level. I’m only mildly knowledgeable when it comes to Star Wars and I have thoroughly enjoyed everything. This new part of Disneyland can be found in Tomorrowland.
This area is very crowded and you’ll want to know what you’re going to encounter prior to visiting. After walking down Main Street and taking the right into Tomorrowland, you will immediately notice the congestion. It’s crowded! But, it’s super, super cool.
Let’s look at what Disneyland has to offer.
In this article
Hyperspace Mountain – Nothing short of amazing! This is the former Space Mountain themed now for Star Wars and the upcoming movie. It feels less scary than the normal version of Space Mountain and the effects are super cool. This is a VERY popular attraction and should be first on your list. We’ll cover strategy further into this post. Must be 40″ or taller to ride.
Here is what you can expect from the ride:
Star Tours – Redesigned for Season of the Force – The former Star Tours has been transformed into one that matches the movie. BB8 is a big part of it this round and you travel through space and down into the water, as well. The original Star Tours made me violently ill. This was milder, in my opinion. Kids will love it. Must be 40″ or taller to ride.
Here is what you can expect from the ride:
Star Wars Launch Bay
Formerly known as Innoventions, this building has been completely transformed and it’s my favorite part of the Season of the Force. The first floor includes the Star Wars Launch Bay. The second floor is rumored to be under renovation from what used to be the Super Hero HQ.
Here’s what you can expect:
Star Wars Launch Bay
*Character meet-n-greets with Chewbacca and
Darth Vader Kylo Ren Darth Vader (he’s back!) are here. These guys can be seen from 10am-8pm each day.
Current average wait times are about 20 minutes.
A couple of photos from the meet-n-greet:
Darth Vader’s line:
Current average wait times are about 30 minutes.
A photo from the meet-n-greet:
There is a Star Wars themed souvenir shop, too, on this level and they will do package check for you and hold your items until the end of the day if you wish.
Also included is the cantina. It’s a cool photo op.
In between the two character meet-n-greets, you’ll find interactive games only available at Disneyland. There are also super cool pieces on display from many of the movies:
Upon entering The Launch Bay, take an immediate right to watch a short film that will catch you up to speed on the movie franchise. I love this part. Don’t miss it.
There is also a Disney Visa Cardholder meet-n-greet with
Darth Vader Kylo Ren Darth Vader. It’s open from 4-8pm each day and is available to Disney Visa Credit Cardholders (not Debit). You must have your driver’s license with you to confirm identity.
The line up starts here:
Super Hero HQ
****Since April 3, 2016, Thor will no longer be seeing guests. Captain America is now available instead, along with Spider-Man, and they’re currently over in Hollywood Land in California Adventure. Check out my character post for details on Captain America and Spider-Man.
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
The Jedi Training Academy has theming to match Season of the Force. Trials of the Temple now includes a sign up registration that begins during Extra Magic Hour. Cast members will fill 1/2 of the day’s available spots during Extra Magic Hour (also called Magic Morning) and will leave half for those arriving at regular park opening. It is imperative that you go immediately here at park entry to ensure your child gets a spot. Most often, the entire sign up registration is full within an hour of park opening. Once it’s full, there will be no option for your child to participate.
***If possible, try for a morning without early entry privileges if you are not staying at a DLR Hotel. Magic mornings happen on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at Disneyland.
The sign up location is in Tomorrowland, on the outskirts of the Star Wars Launch Bay, closer to Autopia. See photos for reference:
When it’s your turn, your child will be asked his or her name and age from the first cast member.
Then, you’ll proceed to the second cast member, where you may choose a time to participate. You may choose from the options that are still available. If you arrive early enough, you can really plan your day well. Otherwise, you’ll have to take what is left. Upon choosing, you’ll be given a piece of paper confirming your time. Keep that. You will need it when you return at your time.
Insider tip: Once you finish registering your kids, and if it’s open, go directly in to meet characters if this is a priority for your day. We saw Chewy, Kylo Ren, Spider-Man and Thor….plus tried on Iron Man suits……all within 30 minutes of entering the Star Wars Launch Bay and Super Hero HQ building. Below, I provide other tips on Hyperspace Mountain and Star Tours. Read this post thoroughly to decide what works best for your crew.
We chose 11:30am for our performance time. We were told to be there by 11:05am. When you return, go up these stairs and hang out until the cast members start to collect the kids and put robes on them.
Your kids will wait here until everyone is ready. Here is where I would have done things differently: Once kids were settled and felt comfortable in their robes, I would have taken the opportunity to get a good place for seating at the actual performance area. You’ll just be standing around at this point. (Also, a photo will be taken of your child in his or her robe and you’ll get a photo card to grab that image at a later time. This image will be included in your PhotoPass package if you purchase.)
Once the kids are all robed, cast members will tell you to go find a seat. Had I been there earlier, I would have gotten front row and settled at the center of the seating area so that I could see my kids come down the ramp and into the Jedi Training Academy arena. Instead, I was seated with this view:
You’re better off as close to that blue railing so that you can see both angles….them walking in and then on stage, too.
Kids will become part of the show and eventually battle Darth Vader or the Seventh Sister.
The final line up:
Once your Jedi finishes, he or she will return the light saber and receive this button. They LOVE this:
Depending on when the park opens, these times could change. Be sure to check your day’s Entertainment Schedule to confirm.
I highly recommend being organized and registering your kids for this fun experience. My little ones really enjoy it!
Star Wars: Path of the Jedi
Stop in to watch this 10 minute short film that ties together past and present Star Wars and gives you a glimpse of what is to come. This is shown in the Tomorrowland Theatre from 8am to 9pm each day.
Star Wars Themed Food
Both The Galactic Grill and Red Rockett’s Pizza Port have Star Wars themed food. Plus, you can find other snacks like popcorn with Star Wars containers throughout Tomorrowland.
Walking Through Tomorrowland
Tomorrowland is filled with so many fun things right now and just walking through the area is an experience. Be on the look out for Storm Troopers. They don’t stop often, but occasionally, you might get lucky enough to see a scene like this:
There are souvenirs beyond those in Star Trader and they’re all pretty awesome.
Because this ‘season’ is so popular, the attractions are crowded and you’ll be better off with a plan. Take a look at my advice.
*Arrive an hour early to park opening and do one of two things upon entry:
- Take the family immediately to Hyperspace Mountain if you have any interest in riding this. Forget about FASTPASSES and get in line to ride standby. (This is your best bet. While I almost never suggest riding standby, this will allow you to enjoy the attraction and then pull FASTPASSES for Star Tours.)
- Select one person from your group to ditch the family and take everyone’s scanned theme park tickets to the FASTPASS distribution point to pull FASTPASSES for Hyperspace Mountain. FASTPASSES are not available for Extra Magic Hour or Magic Mornings, so they will not be passed out until official park opening. Be warned, however: If you choose this route, you might not be able to enjoy the attraction until later that day. On my recent visit, I went directly to pull a FASTPASS and was given an 8:50pm return time! If you get a return time like this, you should be able to pull another FASTPASS in the park two hours after you pulled those for Hyperspace Mountain.
*Once you either ride Hyperspace Mountain or pull FASTPASSES for it, proceed on with your other FASTPASS selections. More on FASTPASSES in a previous post.
*Star Tours is also a very popular ride here. Although you may be tempted to pull these FASTPASSES en route to ride Hyperspace Mountain, don’t do it. Every minute you spend getting to Hyperspace Mountain will result in a longer wait time. Ride Hyperspace and then once you are finished, then go pull Star Tours. You’ll still get a FASTPASS for later in the day, but you’ll have both of the major attractions covered this way.
*While waiting for one or both of the big attractions, enjoy the Star Wars Launch Bay, Path of the Jedi and other Season of the Force options. Character meet-n-greets get more crowded as the day progresses, so enjoy those early if you can.
*Slow down and take a deep breath. There’s a great energy to this part of the park right now and I want you to enjoy it. Try to tolerate the crowds and instead focus on the fun. Little kids are LOVING this area as much as adults right now. It’s really fun to see.
*If you’re considering wearing a costume of any sort, be sure to review Disneyland’s specific guidelines for Season of the Force.
I’ll be updating this post as things change – including the strategy for attractions and other important details. Leave me a comment if you have any questions.
Enjoy it all!
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