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Dinner with friends

Of all the benefits that I've enjoyed from running this website, the one that has always stood out as my favorite is the personal relationships I've made because of this site. I've made a lot of great friends from this site (I even met my fiancee through this site!); Many of which I talk to outside the realm of the site and these personal relationships really make the day-in and day-out routine of getting content up worthwhile. How I've created these friendships has been mostly through meeting in the parks for one reason or another and coming up later this year is an event that I think will lead to many new friends being added to my "list".

This year for the first weekend in Star Wars Weekends, Studios Central will be hosting a private dinner inside the Studios for members of this site. Let me tell you the genesis of this idea so you can understand why this is going to be so special. For the past 3 or 4 years now, we've held informal meets during Star Wars Weekends. Often they were simply meeting up at a designated location in the park in the midst of the Florida heat to put faces to the names we see online. These meets have been fun to go to and each year there would be some new faces to say hi to. For 2008, members of Studios Central looked to organize a dinner where we could get a dining reservation at one of the Studio restaurants for all of us to be in addition to the usual meet-n-greet. When I heard of the initiative, I was thrilled and put my name down. Afterward, however, I began thinking about the event and I came to a few conclusions about our meets.

The problem with our meets tend to be that they are outdoors in the hot and humid Florida afternoon and they have happened in the middle of the day which conflicts with Star Wars Weekend events. For either (or both) of these reasons, I think many folks would like to come to a meet, but opt not to. So I thought some more of what we could do to solve that issue so that we could meet up with everyone who could possibly come by that weekend. I knew I'd want somewhere indoors so we wouldn't be melting outside and it would have to happen at a time when Star Wars Weekend events were not occuring as not to cause a conflict in anyone's schedule. Borrowing a page from Winnie the Pooh's playbook, I sat myself down, tapped my temple and uttered some words to myself, "Think, think, think...".

After a lot of thinking (and phone calls and private messages and emails), I concocted an idea for a private dinner event just for those of us who frequent Studios Central. It would be a private dinner event, so anyone could come and of course it would be indoors so there would be no weather factor to deal with. I picked dinner so it could be after the Star Wars Weekends events wrap up for the day and I went with Sunday since by then, everyone would probably have done the events they wanted to do, met the characters they wanted to see and bought the merchandise their spouse would let them get away with. But then I began to wonder if anyone would even be interested in such an idea. Perhaps most people who read this site are some kind of nomadic, anti-social, vampires who don't want to have anything to do with the idea. So before I went ahead and made any plans, I laid out my idea before the site and asked for opinions.

Very quickly I received a cavalcade of positive responses, many of whom wanted to book their spot right then and there. With the knowledge that there was interest in the idea, I went back and began putting my plan into motion and the die has been cast. The best news is that you are invited! Yes, you, who is reading these words right now are cordially invited to join myself and other members of this site for a special private dinner during weekend 1 of Star Wars Weekends (June 8). Let me explain to you why if you are planning to come for weekend 1, that it's a great idea.

First, we have a special dinner event just for us. I've already gone on and on about how much fun it is to meet everyone. Consider that even if you didn't come to dinner with us, you would still need to eat dinner. Did I mention that our dinner is an all-you-can-eat buffet? Certainly the value you will get with as much appetizers, entrees and dessert you can stomach has to be a factor in deciding to come. Better yet, there's no dining reservation you would have to make and no line to wait in. It would be an hour and a half of a great meal and friends around you. Take a look at the menu and I dare you not to drool.

Not convinced yet? How about the fact we have a special group rate going with Disney? Our rate is better than any rate anyone in the public can get from Disney or even through other organizations. I know for a fact that our rate is better than what even AAA can get you. In addition, we have a special group rate on Disney tickets which allows us to sell you brand new tickets to Walt Disney World (in any configuration you'd like) for the prices that they were sold at back in 2006. And there's no minimum for any of this. If you want to come just on Sunday and stay one night and come to dinner and buy just one day in the parks, that's more than okay with us. And if you're planning on making a vacation out of the week(end), then I'm willing to bet you're going to be saving some money.

I can't believe I haven't even mentioned one of the coolest "perks" and that's where we are eating dinner. We're not in some boring old room somewhere across Walt Disney World property. We're going to be eating inside Disney's Hollywood Studios in a private room, backstage, called the Prop Shop. This room is very air conditioned and set out just for us. It's filled with various props from around Walt Disney World, some old and and some just not in use. Take a look at the pictures I took of the room and keep in mind the props are swapped out daily so there's bound to be some great surprised in store when we go there. Better yet, we have the room reserved for four hours. Dinner will available for for the first hour and a half and afterward, we're planning on really enjoying Star Wars Weekends by holding a trivia event (complete with prizes for the winner) and perhaps another surprise or two. We'll have more details as we get closer but certainly this event is going to be more than just dinner. It's going to be a great opportunity to meet Star Wars fans (and just plain Disney fans) while enjoying some good food and having fun in a great room.

In case you can't tell, I'm really excited about this event because I think this is the culmination of many years of enjoying Star Wars Weekends. This family-friendly event is going to be perfect for kids and adults (yes, kids are welcome and encouraged to come) and something I think that is going to be a great way to have some real fun in the parks. If you have questions, feel free to email me with concerns. If you're sick of me going on and on about the even and are ready to book, click here to book a package. And don't forget once you've booked to let us know you're coming and who else in your party is coming so we can see who else is coming. We've already begun booking folks and I can't wait to see everyone at dinner this year!

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A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 by