Super Soap Weekend will take place next weekend for the 11th time and this is one of the more popular events at the Studios given its accessibility to the celebrities. Super Soap and Star Wars Weekends are likely the two most popular special weekend events at the Studios (with ESPN the Weekend a distant third in this columnist’s mind). Super Soap differs from Star Wars Weekend in that Star Wars Weekend is event driven; it focuses on lots of fun events throughout the day from trivia to Jedi training to characters running around the park. Super Soap, on the other hand, is more about the celebrities. Super Soap Weekend brings the entire cast from their top three soap operas, General Hospital, All My Children and One Life to Live and that includes A-listers such as Susan Lucci and Rick Springfield. In contrast, Star Wars Weekends attracts C and D list celebrities in recent years (with the occasional B lister in years past).
Being celebrity driven is exactly what interests most Super Soap fans. It offers a unique opportunity to meet the stars of your favorite soap opera in an interesting environment. Unlike Star Wars Weekends, there is simply one weekend and just a Saturday and Sunday to boot so time will be limited in terms of what you can see and do. The key is to prioritize. Celebrities likely are the priority for most folks going down and as a result, you’ll want to make very certain you’re dropping everything to see the celebrities you want to see. It would be a good idea to write down a list in terms of priority of the celebrities you’ll want to see and of course understand that stars like Lucci or Springfield will be among the most popular.
Speaking of popular celebrities, Rosie O’Donnell will be present this year, representing The View (evidently anything interesting on daytime ABC TV qualifies it to be able to come to a soap opera event). Likely Rosie will attract a huge crowd so if you’d like to see her, prepare for long lines and lots of lead time would be a good idea.
To make the celebrity meet-n-greet easier, Disney uses the FASTPASS system to get a guaranteed meet at a given time. This is great because you’ll know for sure that you will be able to meet whichever celebrity you desire provided you could get a FASTPASS. Because you can only get one FASTPASS per guest, you can only be on line for one guest at a time so it’s important to refer back to your priority list and get FASTPASS’s for the celebrities at the top of your list. Of course, like a popular attraction, FASTPASS’s for a popular celebrity will disappear quickly.
The key to meeting celebrities is to arrive early. When you arrive at the park, refer to the Super Soap Weekend event guide and look for where the FASTPASS distribution point is for each of the shows are (there are three distribution points, one for each show) and to make a beeline for the show that would have a FASTPASS for your top celebrity.
When you’re not meeting celebrities, there are events going on during the day. The Wide World of Soaps Live show will be running throughout the day and will constantly be bringing in soap stars to be interviewed and based on the event description, there will be an opportunity to ask the star a question (provided you get picked to ask a question). As mentioned, this event will be running throughout the day and other events have a similar format. The celebrity motorcades (Disney code for parade) will be running throughout the day (which likely will cause some issues if you’re trying to get across the park since it’ll be running numerous times) and will again feature the soap stars with an interview following the end of the parade.
“I wanna be a soap star” has a very interesting premise of allowing park guests to perform on stage with “one of ABC’s hottest hunks”. So you’ll be able to trade terribly written dialogue with a real soap star, which can definitely be a dream for some people (I guess it depends on the “hunk” you get. Even as a guy, I’d love to be on stage with Rick Springfield but my dialogue would have to involve asking the good doctor Rick to examine my “cousin” Jessie’s daughter).
The event with the most buzz has to be the Luke and Laura celebration going on. For those (like me) who have no idea who Luke and Laura are and why that’s important, I had to refer to a soap opera fan of mine so here’s the synopsis: "Luke Spencer and Laura Webber Spencer are fictional characters on the American soap opera General Hospital. Luke is played by Anthony Geary and Laura was played by Genie Francis. This pairing was credited with defining the term supercouple, and caused other soap operas to copy the successful formula." (Credit goes to Wikipedia for that)
This event is occurring on Friday, which is not a Super Soap Weekend date so if this interests you, you’re going to need to make sure you can get to the Studios on Friday. This is the first year they're doing an event like this and it seems to have alot of buzz around it so you should treat the Luke & Laura events as if it were a reguar Super Soap day in terms of preparing for crowds and such.
After reading all of this you should see the real attraction of Super Soap Weekend; it’s access. Generally, you can meet soap stars somewhere, but likely one or two at any given event, likely have to pay a fee to go and likely another fee to have something signed. Super Soap Weekend gives soap fans access to all of their fans at the same time in one place. Given the level of access, there is a stigma associated with this event of crazed women swooning over soap stars with manners left in the parking lot. Most fans are (likely, I hope) normal and not going to enter some sort of Twilight Zone insanity at the sight of Susan Lucci but be prepared for a test in your inter-personal skills.
If you’re going this year, be sure to have fun, write a trip report when you get back and ask Rick Springfield to sing “Jessie’s Girl” for me.