Review: Season of the Force 2018 – Disneyland Paris
Any fan of Star Wars should make a trip to Disneyland Paris before March 25th. Returning in 2018 is Season of the Force. The first edition of this new event took place last year and a lot has been improved in the months leading up to this year’s edition. More information on what to expect for Season of the Force 2018.
Season of the Force 2018
Walking into Studio 1 we got really excited. The doors open into a tunnel with lights on it which makes you feel like you are traveling at lightspeed. When you pass the tunnel you see the first fan made models and the excitement builds even more.
Fan Made Models
While getting ready for Season of the Force, we noticed that the Disneyland Paris website had some imagery in the style of a UFO sighting. Later the Disneyland Paris Social Media accounts shared a video of something ‘landing’ at the Walt Disney Studios park. When we arrived at the Park we finally knew what it was all about.
Scattered through the park you can find fan made models of various Star Wars vehicles. Yes, you read that correctly; fan made. Several groups within Europe have teamed together and brought some of their masterpieces to the park just for Season of the Force. As a Star Wars fan you will be in for a treat. While the TIE Fighter and X-Wing are not within arm’s reach, you can enjoy their beauty while you walk into Studio 1. The detail on both space crafts are amazing. And I can only wonder; where do they store them?
When you walk towards the Production Courtyard you will see two more space crafts: An A-Wing fighter and a ETA-2 Jedi Starfighter. Also here you can see the amazing detail and work that went into making these models. As these models are displayed on street level, ropes have been put around them to keep guests at a safe distance. Cast Members are also near to make sure nobody jumps the rope.
After you have been amazed by the models on the Production Courtyard, you can find one more model near Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Here you can find the Combat Assault Tank. Scale wise, this vehicle fits nicely next to the X-Wing. Also here, the details and the sound effects are out of this galaxy. Just like with the X-Wing and the TIE Fighter, I have one question; how and where do you store it?
The addition of these models is a great change from last year. Not only creates (or enhances) this the relationship between Disney and these groups. For the visiting fans, there is more to see than just characters and some shows. We haven’t spent a lot of time looking at the models, but each time we walked in or out of Studio 1, I stopped and looked at the X-Wing and TIE Fighter. Kudos to the builders, and kudos to the Imagineer who came up with the idea of giving the builders and their teams the opportunity to showcase their work.
If you want to get more information on the models or the groups who made them, you can go to their own respective websites;
Back from last year is the roaming around of two Stormtroopers. While we didn’t really enjoy it last year (they were more stationary taking photos), this year it was great seeing them walk around the Production Courtyard. While they still stopped for some photos, they kept on moving all around the area which makes it a fun sight to see. Often people don’t expect a Stormtrooper to appear next to them. Big thumbs up for this year’s Stormtrooper Patrol.
First Order March
Several times a day, Captain Phasma leads her group of Stormtroopers downRue Georges Méliès towards Place de Stars. Last year we were able to just see this march happen, this year it was a lot busier at the park. This caused us seeing the first showing behind a large group of people and the second showing to be the first in line.
While I love this 5 minute show, it takes a while for the Stormtroopers to make their way to the Production Courtyard. When you hear the music start, it will still take about 5 minutes before they reach the stage. The show itself is not spectacular, but is fun to watch. And when you line up for this show, you will have premium viewing for the next show.
As not much happens on or in front of the stage, I would almost recommend to stand alongside Rue Georges Méliès to see them march by. The show is presented in English and French, so make sure you grab a program to see the times for the language you would like to see it in.
Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
The second daytime show and also returning from last year is Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away. While the show is almost an exact copy from last year, some scenes have been changed and/ore added. It was great seeing some scenes from The Last Jedi and Rogue One being added to the screen.
Some other great surprises was the addition of Rey (The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi) and the Imperial Death Troopers (Rogue One). It just gives you the sense that the show is kept up-to-date with what is happening on the big screen. While the Imperial Death Troopers were somewhat active, I missed some things with Rey. She basically walks onto the stage and that is it. I would have loved to see her making some moves. It was sweet to see her hug Chewbacca and pat R2-D2, but that was about it.
Having seen this show several times last year, I was pleased with the additions. Even without the additions I would have been happy with what was show on stage and on the screen, but the extras made this show a bit better than last year’s.
English and French
Also this show is presented in French and English. Grab a program to make sure you are lining up for the right times. As it is a lot busier this time at the park, it might be harder to get a good spot to see everything. We had good spots for the March and this show, but as they moved the crowd markers in between shows, some people lost their premium viewing for the A Galaxy Far, Far Away.
Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration
The day ends at Walt Disney Studios Park with Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration. This show is also back from last year and is presented daily at park closing. Also here, some small modifications have been made to add scenes from Rogue One and the Last Jedi.
As the show relies heavily on projection on the Tower Hotel, you might want to find a spot a bit further away. We stood in front of Stitch Live (we did the same last year) and had great viewing of the stage, the screen and the projections. While last year there was a handful of people to watch the show, this time the entire Production Courtyard was filled with people. And while that makes viewing hard at times (thank you dad for putting your kid on your shoulders) it also adds to the atmosphere when people “oooeh” and “aaaah”.
Just like last year we loved the show. The combination of projections on the Tower, the screen, performers on stage, lighting and pyrotechnics makes this a true spectacle to see. When you are a Star Wars fan you will love the fighting scenes when the lasers shoot over the Production Courtyard. Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration is a great closure to your Star Wars themed day at Walt Disney Studios Park.
Season of the Force Menu at Restaurant En Coulisse
What is a special season without a special menu? We have seen it before with Halloween and Christmas, and thus Season of the Force also got its own menu. In Studio 1 at Restaurant En Coulisse you can order the special Season of the Force menu. For 15,99 you get a Charolais Beef Burger on a red bun, a side salad or french fries, raspberry mousse, and a drink.
We have seen the combination of a colored burger before, and while previous times we always thought it was a bit on the dry side, this time it was good. The red burger didn’t have any effect on the taste of the rest of the burger. The meat was nicely cooked, and the vegetables, though being a bit limited, were also good.
The fries were standard french fries, but it seemed like they were cooked in fairly new cooking oil which we really enjoyed. Along with some condiments this made for a taste side dish to the burger.
As a dessert we had the raspberry mousse which unfortunately missed the chocolate Stormtrooper. Not that it would have added to the flavor. Three people out of our party choose this menu and had this dessert, and nobody really liked it. It really tasted chemically. Which was a shame as the rest of the menu was nice.
Even though we didn’t like the dessert, you unfortunately can’t choose any other option. This is something we hope Disneyland Paris will consider in the future. But the burger and the fries were spot on. We even liked it better than some of the other colored burgers.
One other note I want to include is that Restaurant En Coulisse finally has Cast Members who check whether people who sit down already have their food. Where normally we have to roam around to find a seat (and end up eating while sitting on the floor) this time we were able to find a seat quite quickly. This is a great change and should happen at other food establishments as well.
Special Season of the Force Dessert options
While we waited for Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration, we picked up the other Season of the Force desserts; a Dark and Light side cupcake and a Churro Lightsaber. The presentation is great. With enough theming to really make it a seasonal food item.
Both cupcakes have a little chocolate disc with an image, and a lightsaber tops it all off. Unfortunately the cupcakes were really dry. The frosting was okay, but because they were kept in a fridge, the cake part was really dry and impacted the flavor.
The churro itself didn’t look that great. It was really dry and broke apart even when we were still carrying it in the lightsaber case. It had a bit of a sweet popcorn flavor to it, which is not bad, but as the churro itself didn’t taste that great, it just didn’t hit the sweet spot.
Themed food options are a must for these type of events, but unfortunately the quality of the dessert options is that not good. Hopefully when you have it, it will taste a lot better, but for now, we will pass on them.
Star Wars at Disneyland Park
Even though the shows take place at the Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Park also has some Star Wars themed experiences for you. Over at Discoveryland you will find Star Tours which now also includes some scenes from The Last Jedi and ends on Batuu. Hyperspace Mountain is still going strong and will put you inside a space battle. If you feel like meeting Darth Vader you can head on over to Starport to get your picture taken with the Dark Side. And Star Traders is the place to be for any Star Wars-themed merchandise.
In a few weeks Stormtroopers will also start patrolling Discoveryland. A big miss at the moment though is the Star Wars Training Academy which is currently on hiatus. It would have been a great addition to Season of the Force to have young kids take part in a Jedi training.
Season of the Force Merchandise
While we missed this last year (not even sure whether it was available), with the Season of the Force 2018 edition there is some merchandise available. While there is loads of Star Wars-themed merchandise available, including Porgs and other things from the Last Jedi, you can also get Season of the Force specific merchandise. Especially that type of merchandise is something fans will buy each year and make a nice collection out of it.
While it was really cold during our trip to Disneyland Paris to experience Season of the Force (last year it was warmer but we had snow) we really enjoyed everything that was on offer. We liked the Red Burger Menu at En Coulisse. We loved the fan made models. It was harder to get a good spot for the various shows. But it was great to see that it got busier and that people were enjoying Season of the Force. For me it is a five star event. Unfortunately due to the poor desserts, I have to take one star back (for now).
Related Park(s): Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Park