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Walt Disney World adds dates, fireworks to 2014 Star Wars Weekends

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On Feb. 21, Disney Parks Blog revealed some significant changes to Star Wars Weekends, the “Star Wars” fan event that takes place in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Walt Disney World has added a fifth weekend to Star Wars Weekends as well as a nightly fireworks show.

Disney Parks Blog announced the 2014, Star Wars Weekends will take place on five consecutive weekends between May 16 and June 15, with the last day of the event falling on Father's Day. The dates for Star Wars Weekends, which run Friday through Sunday, are as follows:

  • Weekend I: May 16 – 18, 2014
  • Weekend II: May 23 – 25, 2014
  • Weekend III: May 30 – June 1, 2014
  • Weekend IV: June 6 – 8, 2014
  • Weekend V: June 13 – 15, 2014

In describing the new evening experience for the Star Wars Weekends, Disney described a “gala fireworks show featuring ‘Star Wars’ music.” The description suggests a show similar to the “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks that have been presented on occasion.

In his tongue-in-cheek announcement, Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor, also revealed the 2014 Star Wars Weekends theme will be “Join the Rebellion.” The event logo, present on merchandise and promotional materials, features Mickey as a fighter pilot. “Join the Rebellion” also makes a subtle reference to Disney XD’s upcoming show “Star Wars: Rebels” that will air this fall.

James Arnold Taylor returns to host this year’s Star Wars Weekends. Taylor is an accomplished voice actor who, among the hundreds of characters he’s done, is known to Disney and "Star Wars" fans as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the animated “Clone Wars" series.

That Walt Disney World extended Star Wars Weekend was perhaps to be expected. Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2013, industry insiders and fans alike have expected, even demanded, Disney add a stronger “Star Wars” presence to its the theme parks. With regards to the fireworks show, it's worth noting “Symphony in the Stars” features John Williams’ original music as well as voice and sound clippings from the “Star Wars” films.

Hyperspace Hoopla not expected to return for 2014 Star Wars Weekends

While Disney fans were enthusiastic about news of an additional Star Wars Weekend the nightly themed fireworks, reactions were more mixed to news concerning the end of Snig and Oopla’s Hyperspace Hoopla. Hyperspace Hoopla is a comedic dance-off competition between “Star Wars” characters. The show was was marked by its parodic and sometimes risque take on George Lucas’s universe and characters.

Walt Disney World has yet to officially confirm the end of Hyperspace Hoopla. But Disney news-oriented fans sites such as WDW Magic and Inside the Magic both report the show will not return in 2014, the former saying this information was distributed to Cast Members.

Hyperspace Hoopla had proven to be extremely popular with Disney guests, with some guests waiting hours at the stage to guarantee a prime viewing spot. But the show also generated some negative responses, both the its content – with some guests questioning whether it was appropriate for a Disney audience or respectful of Lucas’ material – and criticizing how the show’s popularity created problems with crowds.

Kungaloosh! Put on your set of ears and join me in stalking the Mouse. Read more of my Disney Travel Examiner articles or sign up for a free subscription.

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