VIDEO, REVIEW: Star Wars – A Galactic Spectacular, Is It Better Than Previous Show

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It’s no secret that Symphony in the Stars was one of my favorite fireworks shows of all time, so when we broke the news that Disney was going to kicking the show up a notch with new lighting, projection mapping, and fire, to say I was excited would be an understatement.

Last night, Star Wars – A Galactic Celebration debuted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you haven’t seen it yet, we do have video:

There are some fantastic “WOW” moments in the show, from a smoke cloud that is used as a projection surface, to the fact that all of the trees in the Center Stage area were rigged with lights (which is actually why I chose the spot we were in to film this). There is some fantastic newer technology at play in this show and the projections, lighting, and effects around guests are stupendous.

My major issue with the show is the amount of fireworks and the location of them. The new launch site behind the park is far, far away and very off center. As you can see in our video, we are standing at an extreme angle, but the fireworks appear straight away from us despite that. Also, there is a lot less pyro than the previous show. Some are saying it is budget cut related, but I tend to think it’s just a different style show and the fireworks not being so close gives the show less of an impact. The thing that made the Studios fireworks shows different was how close you felt to the action and the large barrages of fireworks they would use to make up for the fact that they couldn’t do as big of a show as Magic Kingdom. Apparently, if we want Star Wars and Toy Story Land, we’re going to have to live with this new launch site for fireworks. Luckily, this show does its very best to counter that with a lot of really neat effects (barring the flamethrowers which missed the debut show).

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is really good, it just lacks the bang of the previous show, but you may just be distracted enough by all of the new, fun technology they installed to notice. It is definitely worth seeing on your next visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]


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  • I also loved the previous version. Saw it as many times as I could. Not sure if there are actually fewer fireworks in this one. The show is five minutes longer, so they may be just more spread out. I do wish they had put the launch site more in line. The land is there and has been cleared. They must be using that space for something else. I’m just really happy the are doing Star Wars fireworks. The park went so long with none at all. Will be seeing this new show live tomorrow.

  • We were thrilled at the SWFWs at HS. Just awesome! The changes do seem like a downgrade, losing some of the oomph the original pyrotechnics provided. The encircled FWs are still in the show, but how about the huge color changing FWs? And the old finale shook every last cell in our bodies, in a good way :D

  • I just saw the revised version last night and I’m still upset about how they ruined it. The previous version was spectacular and left everyone in awe. This new version was a huge disappointment. There are practically no fireworks and certainly no finale anymore

  • Sorry, I saw the show last year probably 3 times a week for six months. It became our favorite show of all time. Now, audience seems to enjoy it, but that moment after the show of total shocked awe, and then thunderous applause with ear splitting hollaring and whistles, has been replaced with applause and “Boy, was that good”. Now, it’s just another fireworks show. Really great, but not spectacular. There’s just no way you can begin to discribe the old show. Very, very disappointed.

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