August 1, 2013 – Did you hear the collective sigh of relief? The day after Star Wars Celebration Europe ended its 3-day run, organizers announced that Celebration would be making its appearance in Anaheim, California, in April, 2015. The July 29th notice appears below:
I’m relieved that Disney will not be cancelling or pretending to put a “hold” on this global event. (Disney’s decision to cancel the “Clone Wars” animated series and to shelf other projects, such as “Star Wars: Detours”, raised some alarms among fans.) Kathleen Kennedy’s first-time appearance at Celebration Europe, and her positive comments about the event, helped to dispel these fears.
As an Orlando resident, however, I have to confess to some disappointment about the Anaheim location. Celebration V (2010) and Celebration VI (2012) were both held in Orlando, and it seemed to be an ideal location to host yet another Star Wars Celebration for many reasons:
● As a popular tourist destination, the city has numerous direct flights from all over the United States and the world and is easily accessible via air, train or car.
● Orlando is second only to Las Vegas in hotel-room availability.
● The Orange County (Florida) Convention Center is cavernous and has more than ample room to accommodate Celebration’s space demands.
● Diverse attractions (Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, Kennedy Space Center, etc.) make Orlando a popular draw.
● Orlando now has a proven track record in hosting Celebration.
On the other hand, I can appreciate the logic in “sharing the wealth” and using different host cities. Anaheim is, of course, the home of the one and only Disneyland. And did you notice the dates have been moved from summer to mid-April (April 16-19, 2015)? This makes sense as the Star Wars community will be hyper-ventilating for the premiere of “Star Wars Episode VII (still to be titled)”, expected to be released in May, 2015. That truly will be something to celebrate. See you in Anaheim!