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Celebrity Hosts Announced for Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on April 2nd, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


As previously mentioned in this post, Star Wars Weekends – one of the most popular month-long events at Walt Disney World Resort – returns to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios galaxy in May and June this year.

Today, we’d like to announce two of the talented Star Wars stars that will serve in Celebrity Host roles this year. They are both Star Wars Weekends veterans, so we’re especially excited to welcome them back again.

Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor to Serve as Celebrity Hosts for Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor – who provide the voices of Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively, for the popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – will join us for the duration of the 2012 event in their host roles.

James is the Official Celebrity Host of Star Wars Weekends 2012, and Ashley is Celebrity Host of “Behind the Force,” a show that gives fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

One of the most versatile voice actors today, James not only is famous for the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but many other popular characters from films, television, advertising and video games. He’s the current voice of everyone’s favorite resident of Bedrock, Fred Flintstone, and has a list of character voice credits including Green Arrow, Johnny Test and Ratchet (from the “Ratchet & Clank” video game series), just to name a few.

Ashley, who provides the voice of Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s eager Padawan learner, is no stranger to Walt Disney World Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. She practically grew up (literally) in the middle of the magic. Her father was a longtime Disney Parks cast member and her first plunge in show business was as a parade dancer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s full circle for Ashley; little did she know that the street (Hollywood Blvd.) where she performed in daily parades would someday be the same street where she’d be center stage as one of the featured celebrities in Star Wars Weekends motorcades. In the time since Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuted, Ashley also has become a fashion designer and head of her own company, “Her Universe,” that specializes in merchandise and apparel specifically for female sci-fi fans. Look for some of her latest Star Wars-inspired designs this year during Star Wars Weekends.

We’re excited to once again welcome James and Ashley, who entertained Star Wars Weekends audiences last year in their Celebrity Hosts roles, back for another year of galactic fun. We hope you’ll join us!

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for future updates about the event, special activities and the rest of the Star Wars celebrities that will make appearances each weekend.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

22 Comments 5 Replies

1

Sean on April 2nd, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Oh I can’t wait, it’s going to be a great time!

2

Tracy from IL on April 2nd, 2012 at 4:00 pm

It makes it really hard to decide on a dining reservation time when WDW doesn’t release the event schedule. Please post it asap.

 

Gary Buchanan on April 2nd, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Tracy, Thanks for writing. We are still working on a Wookiee-sized variety of activities and experiences for Star Wars Weekends 2012, so unfortunately we do not have an event schedule to offer. Stay tuned – we will make official announcements here as information is delivered by our trusty astromech droids.

3

Bill on April 2nd, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Tracy the last event is the Hooplah at 7 pm ALWAYS. None of the guest stars will be there for that one.

4

David on April 2nd, 2012 at 5:26 pm

My group will be THRILLED to know. We were starving for any news! Maybe I can get those that backed out to get back in.

5

Erin on April 2nd, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Woohoo! Cannot wait to surprise my boys with this! We will be there for two of the weekends! :)

6

Amber on April 2nd, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I agree with Tracy! Disney blogs posted the PDFs of the event schedule after we went last year. I’m always afraid that our ADRs will overlap the Hoopla. Based on past experience, I always assume it’s at 7 pm-ish. Though, looking at last year’s PDFs show it was at 7:45/8:00/8:00/8:45.

7

Darrell from MI on April 2nd, 2012 at 9:08 pm

great news!They are both wonderful hosts!

8

MELANIE from IL on April 3rd, 2012 at 12:42 am

I want the shirt James is wearing. Where can I get one???

 

Gary Buchanan on April 3rd, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Melanie, I checked with our wonderful Disney Parks Merchandise team, and as far as they could discover this morning the shirt James is wearing is no longer offered as a new item at retailers. (It was not a Disney Parks product and was not sold at our parks, but this is the info. they found out in their research this morning to try and help you with your question).

9

Paul from ON on April 3rd, 2012 at 2:18 am

There are over 100 restaurants at WDW, 90% of which you really don’t need reservations for. It’s almost impossible to plan such a huge event that far ahead. Live a little and do a walk up to a restaurant (just not in Hollywood studios).

Ashley is the most amazing person around. Star Wars and Disney fan, and not an arrogant bone in her body.

10

ANNE on April 3rd, 2012 at 3:53 am

I have wanted to go to the Star Wars Weekends for years and I am finally going this year, travelling half way around the world. However I am not a fan of the Star Wars Clone Wars series. So I am really hoping that where will be something for the Star Wars movies fans, not just the cartoons.

 

Gary Buchanan on April 3rd, 2012 at 11:03 am

Anne, We’re glad you’re able to experience Star Wars Weekends this year. There is something for every Star Wars fan. For example, more than 60 characters from the films are featured in the theme park; it’s one of the largest gatherings anywhere of Star Wars characters. There will be Star Wars celebrities from the entire saga appearing in parades, special talk shows and autograph sessions throughout the event. We’re still putting plans together, so stay tuned for future updates.

11

Dana on April 3rd, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Hi Gary, We are very very excited for Star Wars Weekends! By chance is there any news on upcoming Pins & Vinylmations for this year?

Thanks so much
Dana-FL

 

Gary Buchanan on April 3rd, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Dana, Glad you’re going to join us. Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller will most likely zip into the galaxy soon with an update on the merchandise for this year’s event, so keep checking back as we move closer to the big opening day for Star Wars Weekends 2012.

12

Christopher on April 3rd, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Any news yet on the other guests? I am trying to schedule with DVC for the weekend(s) my group plans to attend but this is necessary information to plan which weekends to be there.

13

Christy on April 3rd, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I agree with some of the bloggers it is very hard to plan anything when we don’t know anything!
I don’t understand this isn’t like this is the first time this event has occurred at WDW. Please post the schedule of events asap.

 

Gary Buchanan on April 4th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Christy, thanks for writing. I love the enthusiasm you have for the event. While it is an annual event, we do our best to improve it and aim higher each year. For example, the last few years have seen an additional celebrity appearing each weekend, the addition of new, “one-man” shows by both Star Wars stars James Arnold Taylor and Ray Park, and an even bigger and better “Hyperspace Hoopla.” The days’ events are currently being prepared for the 2012 edition. But please stay tuned – we have received word from the Rebel Alliance that an R2 unit may be arriving this week with another transmission for us to share.

14

David from ON on April 3rd, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Star Wars weekends are the best! Attended our first last year and I want to make it an annual event! SW weekends just take the Disney magic and ramp it up a notch!

15

donna on April 3rd, 2012 at 5:23 pm

My kids will be so excited hear about Ashley hosting again!!! She is a favorite in our house!

This will be our third Star Wars weekend in years past we had ADR’s and we miss so much…… This year we are planning on doing only Quick serve’s so we can get in on the Star wars action.
Looking forward to it!

16

sheri from NY on April 5th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

we too are feeling anxious about our first star wars weekend….i can not wait to see my kids faces when we arrive….the whole trip is a surprise! i am also finding it difficult to make those reservations for fear of missing something that they are going to love….hope everything works it self out soon! melanie from il you can find that t-shirt on ebay if you really want it. ;)

17

Dean on April 6th, 2012 at 12:09 am

I am so looking foward to star wars weekend became passholders and went last year for my first time. It was an awesome experience. So happy to hear James and Ashley will be hosting again, just knew they did voice over which got me intrested, but when I heard thier stories and expereinces got me hooked and looking foward to being there and seeing their shows as well as hoping to meet them. When you get the fast pass for autographs is thier any way there can be a line to be able to get all of them? wanted to get Ray Park and Jemey Bulloch, but both lines were very long and had to choose. By the time I got my fast pass for Jeremy and tried to get Ray thier were out.

18

Kyra on April 7th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Will the Jedi Training Academy shows be running during the weekends?

19

melissa on April 12th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

went last year and had a blast!! cant wait for this year…but its disheartening not to know the schedule of events or any of the limited edition merchandise that will be available to be able to plan accordingly and especially financially…running out of time to save $$$$ :)

20

jennifer on April 29th, 2012 at 1:59 pm

My family will be attending SWW for the first time ever!! I am a little skeptical as previous blogs mention the extreme heat, high volume crowds, aggressive people and very long lines for autographs. How true is this?? We will be there for the last weekend. Is there a chance to take pics of our kids with the characters who are roaming around as well as autographs versus waiting in line? Any helpful tips will be appreciated. I know the schedule is not out yet but from prior history when is a good time to have a sit down meal during SWW and not miss out on any parades etc…

21

jennifer on April 29th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Also, when and where can I get the 2012 SWW guide map to know where the meet and greet characters will be located.

22

jennifer on April 29th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

will the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun parade still go on during the Star Wars weekend??

22 Comments