Viewing the Star Wars Motorcade Parade is always a big deal to Star Wars Weekends fans. Some line up two hours early to secure a nice shady spot to view the parade. I like the parade, but to me the highlight is the 501st with the variety of character costumes that don’t appear throughout the day. I wrote a post last year on How to View the Star Wars Parade without losing your mind. I even ran into a nice lady using my tactics in front of Min and Bill’s when I was trying to check in for this “Premium” experience.
The My Disney Experience app told me to check-in at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner at 11:00am. Other information I had received previously told me to check in at 10:30am. I thought I’d see what the experience would be like if I followed that app’s advice. At 11:00am the even more limited parade viewing areas were pretty full. My buddy Matt from Attractions Magazine got this nice spot about 10:30am. He’s behind the guy int he red shirt.
So that app told me to check in at Min and Bill’s. I was in line and met some great friends of this blog. We waited in what looked like a regular food service line. When we arrived at the front the lady had no idea what we were talking about. The manager directed us that we needed to check in ACROSS from Min and Bill’s where there tiny table and the 3 Cast Members in Blue Uniforms were standing.
I checked in and was given a silver armband. I was given NO directions. I just stood there. One person waived like they wanted me to proceed on in. I asked what I was supposed to do and the person said, “There’s some ice cream and soda way over there,” and pointed in the general direction. I stepped forward and was given a little bag with something in it and told to “Have fun.” I wasn’t given any information on when I should return for the fireworks viewing in the same area.
I was to the left of this tree. If you’re spending your money on this package, here’s two tips:
1. Arrive at 10:20am – yes 1 hour and 10 minutes before the parade. That tip was provided by Jeff from Mousesteps in a conversation with him. His spot on the rope was farther left than mine.
2. Stay as far to the RIGHT as possible. You’ll totally miss a bunch of characters if you go to the left where all the ice cream is at. The left hand side also has no shade. UMBRELLAS? It is Premium, right?
Here’s the only ice cream cart that was available for the parade viewing. The only snacks were Mickey Premium Bar, Strawberry Ice Cream bar thing, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and water. I had hoped for some pocorn or a pretzel, but nope, that’s it. I grabbed an MPB and Coke. As I stood and chatted with some friends of the blog, I had several people push their way in front of me while I was standing fairly near the rope.
Usually, quality bloggerdom requires heavy editing of photos. I would usually crop this down to a cute photo of Dale smiling and waving, but I wanted you to see the perspective that I had on the parade. Ears, armbands, cell phones, video recorders, ipads etc…
The photos I took last year from the American Idol steps I mentioned in the above link were much better than these. Arrive more than 1 hour early and eat about 10 Mickey Premium Bars each to get your money’s worth from this experience. Oh, and sit in the shade on the far side rope too.
Best view of Chewie in the parade for me. I’m glad I used that pirate guy’s Character Locator app and met him with an Ewok after the parade. Wait of about 40 minutes. You don’t get Ewoks at rope drop either.
Great photo except I’ll have that guy’s hand in it and that lady CM appeared out of nowhere and showed up in a lot of my pictures. Why? I have no idea. No one moved forward or anything. I guess it gave her a Premium view of the parade?
Three new characters were totally wasted during 2014 Star Wars Weekends. This is Ezra and Sabine marching past. The DO NOT offer meet and greets. They pop in for the parade, the Behind the Force show and the closing pre-fireworks show. How do I get that type of full-time job?
This is Ahmed Best. I met him later in the day. I arrived at 5:00am to get a wristband and paper fp return time for 5:00pm. He’s a super nice guy and he actually does do the voice and acting for Jar Jar Binks.
And another joins the fun. These Fett people are late sleepers. The Disney app said they would appear about 4 times from 8:00 to 10:00am, but didn’t show up until 10:00am when it was Jango Fett. Daddy comes first.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the world famous back-side of Vader! I went straight to his meet and only waited a few minutes. Would have been shorter, but he was running late. Had a planet to blow up or something. Other people waited an hour or more. Whatever you believe, you should know that this pirate guy knows nothing about touring the parks and meeting characters 🙂
As soon as they allowed us to rush the stage, I made my way to Chopper. I tried to get a selfie, but my stupid old phone wouldn’t cooperate. No worries. We’ll only have quality selfies from now on with my all new Galaxy S5! Sounds very Star Wars too, huh?
My summary of the parade is that you’ll need to waste over an hour of your day and arrive at 10:20am to get a decent view and hopefully those CMs won’t keep popping up in your photos too. I felt like this event was very oversold as I’d like a “Premium” experience. As a Premium experience there should have been enough rope space for your family to enjoy the full parade experience. Too many characters bailed off to the other side, so viewing from middle to left is terrible and you’d do better with my other strategy and meeting the characters in the park.
I’ll do some witty writing about my Fireworks experience tomorrow. Any questions I can answer for you?