For your little Jedi, a big year this will be! If they (or you) can’t wait until the new movie hits in December, you can visit a convention that’s bigger than the Death Star. Star Wars Celebration is coming to Anaheim April 16-19, and it’s bringing all kinds of beings from galaxies near and far. Use the force and the freeway to bring your whole Rebel Alliance to this once-in-a-lifetime event.
In A Galaxy Not-So-Far Away…
Star Wars Celebration is four days of intergalactic fun, where fans of all ages come together from around the world to celebrate the pop culture phenomenon that is Star Wars. The convention is a love letter from George Lucas to his fans, and it’s in a new city every year. From Tokyo to Indianapolis, it could be anywhere, which is why we’re so lucky that this year, as our little padawans anticipate the new movie, it’s landed in our own back yard.
Get The Most Out of Your Intergalactic Voyage
There’s so much to see and do at this convention it’ll make your head spin like an astromech droid. The best way for all-knowing Jedi parents to enjoy their visit is to plan ahead. Visit the official Star Wars Celebration website to check the schedule (guests and activities are being announced and added daily). That way you’ll know ahead of time which panels, screenings and events to hit first. Star Wars Celebration has already announced special guests like Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker themselves: Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, as well as kid-fan favorites Freddie Prinze Jr. and Vanessa Marshall, Kanan and Hera from Star Wars Rebels. Planning out your day saves time on-site and gets you organized ahead of time, so you won’t miss your favorites. They even have an app you can download to keep you updated at all times.
What kinds of things, aside from meeting amazing Star Wars actors (from all the movies and TV shows, and even behind the scenes) will your family want to see? How about screenings, game debuts, a bounty hunt that the whole family can do together, cosplay contests and checking out millions (literally) of fan and commercially made Star Wars objects.
Wear a Costume, You Must
Cosplay has gone mainstream, and dressing up like your favorite characters has become a source of pride and an expression of fandom. At Star Wars Celebration you’ll find families donning the simplest of everyday cosplay to elaborate costumes that took months to make. Celebration will be filled with people dressed in Stormtrooper armor and homemade droids will be roaming the halls. It’s every kid’s dream come true: Star Wars come to life. So be sure to wear your best costumes to get the most out of the day (and delight your kids).
“Tell Jabba I’ve Got His Money”
If you’re used to your little ones asking for things they see at the grocery store, then hold onto your wallets, because the Exhibit Hall here is the big leagues. The showroom floor has every sort of Star Wars merchandise you can imagine and it’s easy to get sucked in and spend a lot of money. You may see the same items multiple times, priced differently each time. Here’s our tip: write down or take a picture (always ask the vendor first) of the merchandise, booth number and row number so that you can find your way back to that location. Then you can save a little Imperial Currency for things like Jedi Academy, or college.
Know Before You Go
Bring plenty of snacks and water to get you through the day. Strollers are fine, especially when they look like this.
The celebration takes place April 16-19. The hours are Thursday from 11 a.m.–8 p.m, Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Everyone over 5 will need a ticket, and all kids under 18 must be with an adult. Tickets are $35 for kids ages 6-12 and $60-$75 for adults per day and $60/kids, $140/adults for a 4 day pass.
Star Wars Celebration
Anaheim Convention Center
800 W Katella Ave.
Don’t forget, May the 4th is Star Wars Day! How are you going to celebrate? We’ve got some great ways to celebrate Star Wars right here in LA, today and every day.
—written and photos by Jenn Fujikawa