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Disney World Guest Shocked and Angered as Exclusive Wristbands Disappear BEFORE Park Even Opens!

Ashley Eckstein wristband mess
Credit: Holly Gately Instagram

Many Disney fans are aware of the struggles that the House of Mouse has been having with Disney+ for several years. Disney created a number of original shows just for the streamer, but many of them struggled to really take off. One of the biggest exceptions to that have been a series that takes place in the Star Wars universe.

Disney+ Disney Plus

Credit: Marques Kaspbrak, Unsplash

In just four years, Disney has created nearly half a dozen shows that take place in a galaxy far, far away. First, there was the massive hit, The Mandalorian, starring Pedro Pascal. Then, Disney created The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return, Andor, and, most recently, Ahsoka.

Ahsoka Tano made her first appearance in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which ran from 2008 until 2020. Ahsoka was voiced by actress Ashley Eckstein. The animated character was then brought to life by Haunted Mansion (2023) star Rosario Dawson in season 2 of The Mandalorian. Dawson was then given her own show, further deepening Ahsoka’s story.

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano in 'Star Wars' Disney+ series

Credit: Disney+

Related: Disney Confirms The Mandalorian MOVIE!

Ashley Eckstein is not only a talented actress, but also a gifted fashion designer. She took the character she originally voiced and brought her to Disney in a whole new way. Eckstein teamed up with Disney to create a pair of Ahsoka Tano ears, so fans could show their love for the actress when they visited the theme parks!

Ashley Eckstein Ahsoka ears

Credit: Her Universe Instagram

Related: New: Lucasfilm Confirms BIG Star Wars Universe Project Currently in Development

Eckstein recently visited Walt Disney World Resort, where she did a meet and greet in Disney’s Hollywood Studios — the home of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The only way to guarantee a spot in the meet and greet line was to get to Hollywood Studios and receive a wristband. Guests would then use those wristbands to get into the Star Wars Launch Bay for the event.

Sadly, many guests were left frustrated with Disney when they discovered that all the wristbands had been distributed BEFORE the theme park was open to all guests.

Ashley Eckstein meet and greet

Credit: Holly Gately Instagram

Holly Gately shared on Instagram that she was the second person to enter the theme park after the gates opened to all guests. She quickly headed to the area where Ashley Eckstein’s meet and greet would take place. But when she got there, she discovered that all the wristbands had been given out to Disney World hotel guests, who were able to get into the theme park half an hour before everyone else.

🔥 📛 😠 😡 Gotta Fix This Problem Disney! I personally witnessed the anger. @disneyparks @waltdisneyworld and @ashleyeckstein @shopdisney

Official page listed merch and meet and greet as follows:
When: Saturday, January 27 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

I was the second person in the park at 9 a.m., a 1 minute walk to Keystone, and the line was already long, which was fine, from hotel guests.

Before the park opened to guests, all wrist bands were GONE! Plus, apparently, half the hotel, early arrival guests got turned away also.

People were angry and disappointed, obviously. Maybe next time, say how many wristbands will be distributed. Be more open with people. Now, this just feels like a cash grab, lure people in with a promise, then you can’t fulfill the promise to the fans! What’s the phrase? Bait and Switch?

But to heavily advertise this, and then not even have enough for regular park guests, or Annual Passholders, and only half the resort guests?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Holly Gately (@thefunaticsblog)

Related: Disney Insists There Is Still a Lot of Demand for Star Wars Stories

While fans sympathized with her, others explained that Ashley truly loves her fans, and will spend a few minutes with each guest, getting to know them. That means that she can’t see as many guests, because there simply isn’t enough time. And one of the perks that Disney World hotel guests get is being able to take advantage of their early time in the parks.

Ashley Eckstein Ahsoka

Credit: Ashley Eckstein, Instagram

Others, however, said that this is one of the reasons that they don’t want to go to Disney for certain events. There is never a guarantee that you will be able to get into something you want. Holly noted that, even some resort hotel guests who were in the theme park early, were unable to get the wristbands they coveted.

Do you think Disney handled this Ashley Eckstein meet and greet correctly? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

3 comments

  1. I am always a little confused about the sense of entitlement that gets projected onto Disney or whoever when something does not work out for an individual. I understand disappointment, but not entitlement. The person or character can only handle so many people. If the number of “tickets” or wristbands or whatever are handed out, then that’s the way it is. Maybe Disney could share how many will be available, thus some folks could decide they probably won’t get one so they won’t try but…
    Not sure how the person thinks Disney should do it differently.

  2. So much has been taken from resort guests already. So while I’m not a Star Wars fan I’m glad to see something special for those staying on property.

  3. I am so sorry for those who didn’t get to attend the meet and great. Events can sometimes be tricky when they are new. There were signs by security showing a separate line for ANY guest who got there early and wanted to attend the special event. You did not have to be staying at a Disney resort OR anything special. You simply had to look for the event signs and get into the correct line. The line opened at 7:30am and closed after about 100 people. I only know this because I was about 30th in line and got there as soon as the parking lot opened. I drove 3 hours to attend and made sure I was there as soon as the lot opened. I Had no idea what to expect, so I went to the park gate as usual. Cast members directed my when I got through security asking if I was there for the special event. I am so happy for the opportunity and am so sorry for those that wanted to get in and didn’t.

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