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. The people in this photo lined up 1 hour early.
Here’s the view looking down the street at 11:00am. People are scrambling for viewing spots.
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:
- Arrive at 10:20am – yes 1 hour and 10 minutes before the parade. (You could easily sit on a nearby bench by arriving that early)
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.
From this vantage point, you have a pretty good view of the things happening on the stage.
The one guy from the stage comes down and interacts with the guests.
The best view of the parade was actually on the jumbo tron at the stage.
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…
Hey Minnie and guy’s ear and other guy’s armband.
Photo of the guy’s other ear and his iPhone.
At this point a bunch of little “Padawan” kids march up and take their position to watch the parade with the best viewing possible!
The kids are excited because the characters would be sure to wave at them.
After the characters pass you, you can see them again on the stage. See the cool image on the jumbo tron?
Yes, Donald, we know you feel you’re number 1.
You have to respect a man who can wear his boxers in public, in full view.
More jumbo tron.
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.
I just had to zoom in as far as my 55mm lens would allow me. I had seen enough ears and armbands.
The person always reminds me of Space Balls!
Biker Trooper guys. I think they ride Harley’s in Episode 6?
I’ve never noticed this bounty hunter chic before. Is she new?
The Tuskens arrive to steal everything in sight. Hold on tightly to that Ice Cream Bar!
Look, it’s the Detroit Lions football team! Go Megatron!
Owner and head coach. He has the big head after improving the record to a whopping 7-9.
Some guy looking for his plane. Flight delays and cancellations happen frequently in Orlando. Hope he had travel insurance.
This lady doesn’t seem impressed with my humor.
Chewbacca’s brother. I think his name was Tobacca or something like that.
Best view of Chewie in the parade for me. I’m glad I used that pirate guy’s Character Locator and met him with an Ewok after the parade. Wait of about 40 minutes. You don’t get Ewoks at rope drop either.
Chewie, we paid a lot of money to have you wave at us! Chewie, don’t leave! Come back! Wave at us!
Never mind, you’re going to greet all those little kids whose parents arrived at 6:30am or earlier to sign you up and hope to get this opportunity.
Oh, sure, wave at those guys! Hater.
More premium parade views.
Ahsoka did pass us to the left side. I met her later after waiting about 10-15 minutes. She’s always really sweet.
Speaking of being really sweet, Ashley Eckstein waved at me. Chewie wouldn’t, but she’s a lot nicer than a Wookee.
Stop having an attitude about this parade dude, or I’ll freeze you in Carbonite.
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?
Thanks for sticking your cell phone up right as I snapped!
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 may in 2015). 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?
The people who paid to watch the parade are over here. Look left.
Thanks, that’s a little better.
He kinda reminds me of Flynn Rider. What do you think?
Here’s the third character that was wasted. His name is Chopper. He’s the new Droid. I had hoped when they nixed R2-MK from this year’s line-up that he might appear with the other droids, but nope.
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.
Good thing I met Darth Maul by lining up at 8:30am! Oh, there’s that CM with the Premium view again.
They are happy because they can see everything.
More Tuskens appear to restore order. Do not complain about being two or three people deep in the Premium viewing area and only having two ice cream bar choices after arriving 30 minutes early!
Peter Mayhew portrayed the role of the real Chewbacca in the Star Wars films. He’ll return for his role in Epsisode 29, ummm 7.
There’s that Premium view CM helping us out with photos again.
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.
Don’t complain about people jumping into your photo in the Premium viewing area!
The man in charge must have cleared all the people jumping into my photos.
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 :)
Hey, smart alec website guy, knock it off with the smarmy commments and enjoy your Mickey Premium Bar.
Hey, the gang’s all here! Let the festivities begin. That means that all the roaming characters will finally show up and Ewoks will appear with Chewbacca.
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?
Beepity beep beeper. The Lucasfilm fella on my left was really concerned that Chopper would be harmed in the melee, but he wasn’t even grazed.
If you want a decent photo of Ezra and Sabine on stage, stay the RIGHT of the stage. You could also sit up front at the Behind the Force show. Maybe you won’t have someone’s hand in your photo too.
Peter Mayhew had both knees replaced and is doing amazingly well.
Bust a move Star Wars peeps.
We’ll end with a final shot of Ezra and Sabine. Ezra looks a little Captain EOish in this pose, huh?
My summary of the parade is that you’ll need to waste over an hour of your day and arrive One Hour and 10 Minutes early for the “Premium Package” 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?