Today is MAY the FOURTH, my friends.
May the Fourth Be with You.
(Raise your hand if that makes you want to say "And also with you." or alternately "And with your spirit." #starwarscatholics)
In other words, it's STAR WARS Day so I'll give you one guess what this post is about...
We're talking all things STAR WARS LAUNCH BAY at Walt Disney World in Disney's Hollywood Studios Park. I am pretty extremely bummed that Star Wars Weekends are gone, but I can't wait for the new Star Wars Land to open, and in the meantime, I have to say...the Launch Bay is a pretty awesome stand-in.
Staring contests with Kylo Ren, hanging with the jawas, sampling some dark side chicken and waffles...
In the words of Poe Dameron, "WE'RE GONNA DO THIS."
Storm troopers be strolling...they were out front and in the courtyard, on patrol. SO cool.
Of course there's a Launch Bay vlog...watch it here!
As you walk through the big launch bay facade past posters of Star Wars characters, the first thing you'll pass is the Theater. We did stop to watch the documentary-style film...it was mostly a montage from the movies interspersed with clips of Star Wars creators talking about how cool it is to be able to work on Star Wars after having grown up on Star Wars.
If you're not familiar with Star Wars you won't really know what they're talking about, and if you are familiar and a fan of Star Wars you'll kinda just feel like they're bragging. It had some cool clips but nothing unique or new - it mostly just felt promotional. I hate it when Disney feeds you old marketing material in the parks instead of creating a new story for you to enter into. It seems like the new Star Wars "live show" in front of the
hat Chinese Theater is the same. Luckily the Launch Bay itself IS immersive and has some awesome stuff...
"Our journey begins with an awakening..." Be sure to look down as you enter the Launch Bay to take in the intro on the floor!
It is funny walking in here for the first time and seeing how they transformed the space from what it used to be when the Animation Academy and Mickey and Minnie meet & greets were back here. The layout is still largely the same, they've just switched things out and added new theming.
You'll find a life-size pod racer just to your left as you enter. The room with all the ships that you saw in the vlog was just beyond the pod racer. To get the characters you go straight ahead.
Rey's costume and Jakku speeder and BB8 are on display slightly above the rest of the space (picture the spot where the Incredibles used to meet & greet...I think this is in the same location).
This droid has my heart. <3
The meet and greets with Chewbacca and Kylo Ren are side by side - to the left you'll see a resistance base in a secret temple...to the right the very imposing entrance to a First Order command deck.
There are some details to admire as you wait in the queues - a display of helmets (either pilots or storm troopers) and lightsabers (again, sith or jedi depending). We had heard bad things about the lines and so headed straight for the Launch Bay at rope drop both days. It was pretty funny...everybody else entered the Animation arch and turned left for Toy Story, but we skipped straight ahead to the Star Wars. Even so, the lines do build quickly. We met Kylo and once we were out hopped in the Chewie line which was about 25 minutes. After a visit with the wookie the Kylo line still wasn't that long so we waited about 15 minutes and met him a second time. I'd do Chewbacca first and then Kylo Ren if you want to meet both.
Just breaking into a First Order base, NBD. I could totally be part of the Rogue One crew.
We met Kylo Ren a total of three times because we have a Kylo Ren maniac (my brother Dart) in our family. When I asked if I could take a selfie Kylo Ren said, "You have my consent!"
Our experiences with Kylo really varied. One time he was merely silent and menacing. The other two times he talked and tried to convince us to join the First Order and (as with the selfie question) even replied to basic remarks. One time he tried to stare my Dad down which was hilarious...my Dad has not forgiven him for the Han Solo thing and was not even having it. "Go over there and take a picture with the kids, Ben." LOL.
"Don't be afraid I feel it too..."
Ok, I'm so NOT scared in this picture...just a little alarmed...that happens when you're being hunted by a creature in a mask...
Kylo Ren brought the dark side, but I loved meeting Chewbacca too. Wookie hugs are the bestest. :)
The selfies are strong with this one.
Let's move into the cantina area, shall we? This space was so much fun, and there were so many details and nods to things in the movies - I've heard you can even find C-3PO's arm!
No droids allowed! Over in the corner there's a dejarik board to test your skill...now if only it actually had the holographic figures...
Chillin at the bar, as one does...
I think Athos's cantina photo wins though...the jawas in the background!
Jawa casual. I loved how these guys would pop up and surprise you. I was vlogging and talking about the blue milk when someone appeared at my shoulder. Thought it was a brother. Nope. It was a jawa. We complained about the service...that blue milk must be days old...it's totally solid. ;)
What happens when you try to take a selfie with a jawa...he tried to steal the Rose Petal!
As far as I've heard, the jawas do still trade for junk.
As far as I've heard, the jawas do still trade for junk.
There is no food in the Launch Bay itself...but you didn't think I was going to close this post without talking about Star Wars cupcakes, did you? I miss Jabba the Cupcake and Yoda, although BB8 is pretty fun. The classic peanut butter Darth is still present. You can find these at Starbucks and Starring Rolls and some of the counter service.
My favorite force-filled food addition was over at the Backlot Express...dark side chicken and waffles!
Sith waffles. So evil but so delicious.
What's your favorite Star Wars addition at Hollywood Studios?