Karen: It's time for another internet-shattering Super-Blog Team Up! This time, the theme is (surprise) Star Wars! All things Star Wars are up for discussion and dissection by the various members of this coalition. For our part, we'll be sharing my trip a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...or maybe it was just last month in Anaheim,
Karen: The week before Thanksgiving, my husband and I traveled to Disneyland and met up with an old friend there to take in the pleasures of the park all decorated for the holidays. Ah, who am I kidding: we all wanted to see what Disney was doing in the park to tie in to the new Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
Karen: As is turns out, they had basically given Tomorrowland a Star Wars facelift, proclaiming "Star Wars: Season of the Force" in big banners throughout that area. Music from the different films played constantly throughout Tomorrowland and Star Wars themed treats and toys were everywhere. Of course, there will actually be a Star Wars Land in Disneyland eventually - construction on the area, north of Tom Sawyer Island, will begin in January - but this temporary change really affects only a few attractions.
Karen: Star Tours, which has been a mainstay of Tomorrowland since 1987, got revamped in 2011 to allow a random sequence of different planets that guests could experience with each ride. The ride has been updated again to include a segment that is directly connected to the new film and it's a lot of fun. I won't spoil it (if you really want to know, you can find it out there in other articles online). The new segment is always included with each ride.
Karen: Venerable Space Mountain became Hyperspace Mountain for the foreseeable future, and I heard it was great -but sadly, I can't tell you first hand, as that's one ride that's always left my head spinning!
Karen: The old Carousel of Progress has been transformed into the Star Wars Launch Bay. This served as a large theater/showroom/meet and greet/giftshop area. There were tons of models and props from all of the Star Wars films. Honestly I don't know if these were props used in the films or replicas, but they were all quite detailed and impressive. One part of the building was showing a documentary about the making of the new film. I only watched a little -I still want to be surprised! - but it sounded very interesting, and I am hoping this might be an extra on the eventual blu-ray.
Karen: Two character meet and greets were available:if you were looking for a good guy, then you were able to go into what looked like the Rebel base on Yavin (the planet at the end of the original Star Wars) and get a big hug from Chewbacca! Chewie was very friendly, although I couldn't understand anything he said -and he did make all those wookiee sounds just like in the movies. My husband and I got a picture with him.
Karen: If you're feeling more on the dark side, you could go see the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. Boy, that guy didn't let up. He kept telling us we didn't know the power of the dark side, and we would wind up joining him. He was not a hugger...at all.
Karen: The old Captain EO theater was converted to show Path of the Jedi, a ten minute film that included highlights from all of the previous films, and a short clip from the new film, with some extra effects included, like lights and wind. Some folks scoffed at this, but I have to say, I enjoyed seeing moments from the original trilogy up on a big screen again, in a beautiful, sharp picture. If anything, it got me excited for the new film, which obviously was the point of all of this! In that respect, Disney did a great job -probably every fifth person I saw in the park was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt or hat, and you could feel the enthusiasm for the new film. If there was anything that didn't go over well, it was the wretched food offerings at the revamped Tomorrowland Terrace. The chicken sandwich reminded me of the nasty frog-creatures Jabba gulped down in Return of the Jedi, and I was told the burgers were equally awful. Do yourself a favor and go have lunch over at Cafe Orleans instead.
Karen: All in all, we really enjoyed this taste of Star Wars at Disneyland and can't wait to see what the Star Wars Land will be like in a couple of years. I'm sure it will be fantastic. More than that, I can't wait to see The Force Awakens in a couple of days! May the Force be with all of you!
Bronze Age Babies Extra:
I couldn't end the post without giving you a look at the Super-Hero HQ that sits right above the Star Wars Launch Bay. It seems a little empty at this point, but there's a whole section of Iron Man armors, and we also saw an Ant-Man costume among other things. Didn't do the meet and greet with Spider-Man or Thor though. Maybe next time!
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