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Fans flock to Disney's Hollywood Studios to pay tribute to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (w/ video)

Fans raise lightsabers and umbrellas toward the sky in tribute to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

Chelsea Tatham | Times

Fans raise lightsabers and umbrellas toward the sky in tribute to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

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January

Park guests couldn't turn a corner in Hollywood Studios without seeing Princess Leia hair buns and fans toting lightsabers.

What started as a small, fan-created event grew into a park-wide celebration on Saturday to remember the lives of Star Wars' Carrie Fisher and her mother, Singin' in the Rain's Debbie Reynolds.

Fans paid tribute to both by dressing up as the many iterations of the galactic Princess Leia and her beau Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Others donned bright yellow dresses or coats and carried umbrellas for Reynolds' iconic character, Kathy Selden.

Leias crowded the Star Tours ride to fly over Jakku, Naboo, Hoth and Coruscant with C-3PO as tour guide. Umbrella-toting fans rode The Great Movie Ride in the Studios' replica Chinese Theater to catch a glimpse of the Singin' in the Rain scene.

Chelsea Tatham

And at the end of the night in front of the Star Wars stage, hundreds gathered to hold up lightsabers and umbrellas to honor the late Fisher and Reynolds, who died within a day of each other at the end of December.

The event was the brainchild of Oakland resident Katie Shuman, a longtime Disney fan and fashion blogger who had no idea a simple Facebook event would take off the way hers did.

"I am a huge Star Wars fan, too, and when I heard about Carrie's death I knew that I had to have a day at the parks where I could dress up as her to honor her legacy," she said.

Shuman, 22, said she and her friends love combining their passion for Disney and vintage fashion by ‘Disneybounding' as their favorite characters "with a dapper twist." She used her blog, The Dressed Up Dame, to promote the tribute event through local fashion and Disney fan groups.

According to the event page, more than 4,000 said they were interested in attending and more than 1,200 went throughout the day.

"When I started this event I expected like maybe 100 people to even be interested in coming," she said. "But I'm happy that so many people are wanting to pay tribute to two wonderful women."

Though Shuman is not affiliated with Disney, the park reached out to her last week and offered to create a slideshow of Fisher and Reynolds for the tribute.

At 6:30 p.m., fans raised neon lightsabers and umbrellas to the sky to honor two iconic stars while a special mix of Singin' in the Rain and the Star Wars theme played.

Contact Chelsea Tatham at [email protected] Follow @chelseatatham.

[Last modified: Sunday, January 15, 2017 4:01pm]

    

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