Although Studios Central has had the dates for Star Wars Weekends 2009 for a few weeks now, Disney and Lucas have both officially announced the dates for Star Wars Weekends 2009, which will run May 22 - June 14, 2009. This year's dates signify a regression back to 2006, which was the last year that Star Wars Weekends occured in both May and June after a few years of it being June only and I, for one, am glad to have things coming back to May.
In 2007 and 2008, Star Wars Weekends shifted to June only dates primarily because of an official Star Wars celebration that was occuring Memorial Day weekend and it forced the event to change dates. This change, I think, was a mistake in that it shifted the event to a bad time of the year. June is a crowded and hot month of the year and the closer we got to July, the hotter it got with the Florida heat and the more crowded it got since more and more families embarked on their summer trips to Walt Disney World since their children were out of school for the summer break. It's not to say that May is an arctic blast by any means, but even a few weeks difference can feel a whole lot better.
By having Star Wars Weekends start in May once more this year, it will help with crowds considerably and I also believe it will be just a little cooler (temperature wise) and a few degrees really does matter when it comes to being outdoors in Florida in the pre-summer period. The fact that Star Wars Weekends occured partially in May for about 6 years or so before the change in 2007, speaks a lot to the fact that the event worked very well in that time frame. The beauty of the event is that it still occurs in the first two weeks of June as well so even for those who can't get away in May, you still have that recourse for experiencing the event in June.
Aside from the dates for 2009, we know very little else about Star Wars Weekends this year. Don't even bother asking about who will be in attendance or what events will occur because your guess is as good as mine. Right now, we just have the dates and not much else. There's speculation that this year may deal with the 10th anniversary of the Phantom Menace release, although I personally don't see that happening. Rather, I think 2009 will be a "business as usual" Star Wars Weekends where it'll be more of the same in terms of events and celebrities. There is however one event that is returning to Star Wars Weekends 2009 that I think you will all find most interesitng.
Last year Studios Central hosted a special dinner event in Disney's Hollywood Studios to celebrate Star Wars Weekends and this year we are doing it again. On May 23rd 2009, Studios Central will once again host a private dinner event for anyone to sign up for. It's being held right near the Backlot Tour entrance in a private (air conditioned!) room and it's a great opportunity for you to share a meal with fans of Star Wars and there will be fun for everyone, kids and adults! We had a lot of fun with it last year and you can find more information on this year's event by clicking here.
So we go into this year knowing full well when to expect Star Wars Weekends but not much else. Any year with Star Wars Weekends is better than no Star Wars Weekends at all but certainly it makes me happy to have the dates shift back to May and June and it leaves me hoping for even more changes, such as new events for 2009. That may be a bit far fetched at this point, but I can't help but dream of a few different ideas I have for th event, after all, it will be a little less hot out there in May so I might be able to enjoy a few more minutes outdoors during another fun Star Wars Weekends.