This past Saturday saw the one-day special Limited Time Magic event "Star Wars Day" occur at Disney's Hollywood Studios to coincide with the "May the Fourth Be With You" gag. The event was a one-time celebration of Star Wars in the park, that showed off finally what a good Limited Time Magic event looks like.
For those that were not at Star Wars Day, it was basically a Star Wars Weekend-Lite event, where there was special Jedi Training Academy classes that allowed adults, Star Wars characters around the park to meet, a DJ dance session with DJ Lobot and a special fireworks show in the evening. Throughout the day there was something happening for guests to enjoy related to the event.
Probably the only bad part of Star Wars Day was Star Tours being closed for the first 4-5 hours the park was open. We never got word as to why Star Tours was closed for so long, but by lunch time it was open and then everything was fine.
What I think made Star Wars Day a success was the fact there felt like there was a real budget put behind it. Previous Limited Time Magic events have felt like there's been little investment made by Disney, financially or creatively, into them. With Star Wars Day, there was a lot going on and as a guest, people seemed to feel like this was in fact something special worth checking out.
Like so many Limited Time Magic events, many are tied into things that would already be happening at Walt Disney World anyway. With Star Wars Day, it gave Disney an opportunity to get the Star Wars characters that will be needed in bulk for Star Wars Weekends some practice with lighter crowds. Usually we'd see unannounced character meet and greets near Star Tours but this year they tied it into a bigger event.
By far the best part of the day had to be the special fireworks. Even before the event began, I spoke with a lot of people who were excited to see the fireworks. After all, fireworks outside of what we see in Fantasmic! is rare in the Studios so it's a treat to see them when they are offered. I really enjoyed the mix of classic Star Wars music and movie quotes to the pyrotechnic display. Fantastic presentation.
What needs to be taken away from Star Wars Day is that Limited Time Magic events need to be more like Star Wars Day and less like "Choose your favorite logo" or "Buy a tshirt". Guests get made fun of a lot for being naive but most are smart enough to recognize cheapness when they see it. Star Wars Day was certainly not cheap and it reflected in a lot of positive feedback from everyone I spoke to. Let's hope the rest of the Limited Time Magic events follow the example of Star Wars Day.