In 2018, Disneyland decided to jump start a series of “after dark” special ticketed events. Similar to the Halloween party events in October, the park would close off to regular ticket holders and annual passholes. 2018 kicked off with “Retro Night.” We were promised this would be the first of many “after dark” events. The second set of after dark events turned out to be Star Wars Nite, similar to Galactic Nights in the Florida parks. Guests were allowed to dress up as their favorite Star Wars characters. Surprise treats were made for the event as well as a fireworks display. Of course, the event occurred in early May to celebrate “May the Fourth.” The first night sold out within hours; a second nite was made available. We were able to score tickets for the second night for $99 each. Not only we were celebrating Star Wars Nite, we were also celebrating Jared the Greek’s birthday, born on the fourth of May, a true Star Wars nerd.
Jared the Greek went in his Imperial Officer captain’s uniform to the event. The main parts of the costume were bought from Sky Cosplay, a Chinese dealer. The accessories were collected from Amazon, Interstait, and the hat is from Star Wars Launch Bay’s gift store. Jared has had this cosplay since the early part of this year. We did get the belt buckle from Launch Bay, but couldn’t find a compatible belt for it. His Star Wars imperial officer name is Captain Zechs Aznable, at least that’s what his Star Wars gamer tag was. We also concluded that he was the only imperial officer present during night two of Star Wars Nite.
As a fan of the original expanded universe, I ended up bounding as Mara Jade, the hand of the Emperor who was originally sent out to kill Luke Skywalker…and then marry him. The dress is from Stop Starring, the cloak is from Your Highness, the wig is from Tasty Peach, and the tiny light saber is from one of the many gift shops in the parks. The style was inspired by last year’s unofficial Old Hollywood Star Wars Day in which Disneybounders got together to do 1930s interpretations of Star Wars characters. I was not living in SoCal during the get together, but it did inspire me to do several Old Hollywood inspired Star Wars bounds. Mara Jade rockin’ a black wiggle dress and leopard print was one of my bounding goals.
Disneyland After Dark
For this event, ticket holders for the event could enter three hours prior to the start of it. Star Wars Nite started at 9PM. We went into the main park at around 7PM after our Lyft had dropped us off. There were still the crowd from the regular attendees waiting for the fireworks. All the Star Wars Nite attendees were wearing their special lanyards as they were filtering into Tomorrowland. We decided to grab dinner at the new pizza place in Tomorrowland and carb up for the night. The event would go on until 1AM the next day. We overheard the Pixar fireworks from Tomorrowland. Once we were done with dinner, we went into the former site of the Starcade for photos with sets that were created for Star Wars Night. Here you could find the trash compactor and wampa from the original trilogy.
There was a quick Star Wars fireworks display; the best views were by the castle. Themes from the prequel trilogy and original were played and synced to the display. Once the fireworks went off, this completely kicked off the event. Florida’s DJ Elliott played music that mixed Star Wars and popular music. One memorable mashup was “Cha Cha Slide” and the Cantina theme. Tomorrowland also had Hyperspace Mountain ready for this event; surprisingly enough there was not a huge wait for the temporary rendition of Space Mountain. Longer lines were at the photo op zones. Rey reportedly had a two hour wait while the Ewoks had a line that circled around Tinker Belle’s forbidden forest. We were able to score a few photo ops with the Star Wars Rebels characters; those had a short wait.
Tomorrowland felt like the main hub for Star Wars night. There were already lines forming by Launch Bay to get photos with Rey, Vader, and friends. Captain Phasma lead the march of the first order throughout the exterior of Launch Bay. Also, because this was the second night of Star Wars Nite, we had a few celebrity appearances. At the Jedi Training Academy, we had Ray Park (Darth Maul) and Daniel Logan (Young Boba Fett) demonstrate some light saber moves. Ray Park lead dark side training with his signature double bladed light saber. Ray Park and Daniel Logan were announced to appear on the day of. This was a pleasant surprise for our visit; we definitely made sure to check out the light saber show.
Overall, it was a pretty exciting night. I was tepid about attending these “after dark” events in terms of seeing where the price would match the experience. It was a thrill going on Star Tours with hardcore Star Wars fans; cheering on every jump to light speed to giving C3PO a round of applause at the end of the journey. Even regular attractions decided to change up a few lines of dialogue to make way for Star Wars; the Jungle Cruise even added some Star Wars themed puns.
Photos and Stuff
It was better than the book AND video game.
Considering that Mara Jade was the fandom waifu of the 1990s…That time Mara Jade used to dance for Jabba the Hutt…it’s canonical in the Legends timeline…seriously, read Heir to the Empire. That ish still holds up.
Final Attraction Count
- Together Forever
- Hyperspace Mountain
- Star Tours
- Star Wars Fireworks
- Meet and Greet: Jabba’s Barge
- Jedi Academy
- Meet and Greet: Sabine and Chopper
- Winnie the Pooh’s Bizarre Adventures
- Haunted Mansion
- Jungle Cruise
- Indiana Jones
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Meet and Greet: Ahsoka
- Dumbo’s Flying Elephants
- March of the First Order
- Hyperspace Mountain
The only complaint I had about Star Wars Nite was the odd choice in food selection themed to the event. For example, I’m not sure why the pizza place in Tomorrowland would serve “Dagobah Ramen,” after all, there were plenty of ramen shops in Dagobah. Yoda’s green tea would have been much more thematic…or even Mandolorian bubble tea. Also, I had to question why the bulgogi dish was prepared with potatoes, but that’s just the Korean BBQ food snob in me. The one thing I had as far as event food was Beru’s Milk which was a jasmine milk boba tea. Most themed food items of the evening were in the dessert and snack category. There were light saber churros, Darth by chocolate, and imperial themed beignets.
The night was eventful. Though there were a few things that I missed out on such as the Ewok photo ops, this was a fun event to check out. Not bad for our first Disneyland After Dark! It was a treat to see both actors from the prequels – Daniel Logan and Ray Park – doing light saber demonstrations. While I was half expecting Mark Hamil to show up on Star Tours, seeing a few celebrities that have creatively contributed to the Star Wars universe was pretty neat. The park wasn’t too crowded and it helped that I knew what was being offered prior to going. Depending on the theme, we would do Disneyland After Dark again. Not sure if we’d pay $300 a person for the Pixar Pier VIP treatment though!
If you do plan to check out Star Wars Nite in the future, do save about $99 per person. There wasn’t any AP discounts, but they did offer ticket sales to AP’s first. I wouldn’t be surprised if the food offerings here would be featured in the new Galaxy’s Edge, but if anything, this is really building up the hype for 2019’s opening of Galaxy’s Edge.
“Low key, I want to watch episode one again.”
“Gonna collect honey pots for the Empire.”
“You’re gonna DIE here!”
“I need to stop by the house” *points to the Haunted Mansion*
“Can Obi Wan be the 1000th ghost?”
“I’m not going on Splash Mountain in my uniform…”
“Oh hey…it’s a Weasley.”
“*starts recording video*” **fireworks start immediately*”
“I just saw Ray Park do flips and shit. This night just paid for itself.”
“Han Solo and the search for the Millennium Falcon.”
“Would you like a Solo poster? Please take another poster…”
“That’s a lot salt.” “That’s the fandom!”
“One more year!” “One more year!”
“We have the head of Captain Phasma.”
“Tarkin is requesting a status report. How do you answer?”
“I will eat you!” – said Captain Aznable to the Wampa
“If you want to join the Rebellion, let me know.” – Sabine
“You haven’t Rebels, man?! You need to see Rebels!”
“Job’s done. The bitch is dead.”