Monday, June 22, 2009

Family Vacation part three: Star Wars Weekend!!!!!!

This is it. The day you've all been waiting been waiting for, Star Wars Weekend! Or as I like to call it, NerdFest 2009. Actually, it wasn't as bad as I thought. Only about 1/3 of Hollywood Studios guests were dressed as characters from the movies. There were quite a few others who were only wearing Star Wars shirts, or some kind of accessory to let everybody know they were there for the Star Wars festivities.

We got there as the park opened, which turned out to be a good move since they had stormtroopers manning the gates. It was pretty neat. They set it up so you could hear them talk to each other, and they were making fun of the crowd walking in. Here you can see one of them pretending to take a picture of the crowd. Obviously there were a lot of cameras aimed at them.

Throughout the park there were several stations set up where you could get autographs of characters or real people that were part of the Star Wars universe. I didn't know any of the people since they were part of The Clone Wars animated show. I've never watched any of that. We tried to get our son to get some autographs from the characters, but he wasn't up for it. Look out, there is Jango Fett!

The first thing we did was Go see The MuppetVision 3-D movie. The kids didn't want to see it at first, our son thought it was for babies, but they both enjoyed it. It was one of the 3-D movies where they add effects in the theater to make it more like-like. They had bubbles blowing in the theater, water spraying on you, and puffs of air at certain points. It was pretty fun. Of course, I used to watch the show all the time when I was younger, so that helped. Oh, and my favorite Muppet, Beaker, was in it. It's always a good show when Beaker is involved.

After the show, we walked around to check out some of the shops, then it was time for The Jedi Academy. Again, our son didn't want to participate, but we watched the whole show, in the heat, with my 7 year-old on my shoulders. The whole time. To say I was hot after that is quite an understatement.

But, the show was fun. They did a great job of making the kids they called out of the audience part of the show. First, they showed them how to do some basic movies, then Darth Vader shows up. With Darth Maul no less.

Then the kids had to fight both Darths one-on-one. All the characters did a great job. Especially the person playing Darth Maul. He had the stalking down really well. He may have been a little too goo though, one kid was crying as he was fighting Darth Maul. I felt bad for him, but he fought anyway. A true Jedi he was.

After that show we walked into the Star Wars shop. Wow, I've never been in a shop so crowded. But, hey, the kids have to get their Star Wars stuff, right. At least it was nice an cool in there.

We walked out of the store and pretty much stumbled upon the parade route. We got really lucky. We were looking for a snack bar and I happen to look down and notice the white stripe that marked the border of the parade route. Instant front row viewing! Needless to say we stayed where were, I went to get popcorn and some water and Jenn got some smoothies. Her throat was now killing here as the kid's were before we left. Have a sore throat and a fever in 95 degree heat is fun, no? We got to see a lot of cool characters in the parade.



some Tie fighter pilots, one of which couldn't possibly fit in that small cockpit,

and an Imperial Guard.

We had a quick lunch at Starring Rolls, which I recommend as a nice change from the burgers and chicken nuggets at every snack shop in all the parks. I had a nice ham sandwich while Jenn had a veggie sandwich. Good stuff.

Then we went to go see the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. It was completely different than I thought it was going to be, but it was fun. I thought it was going to be characters acting out scenes as if they were the characters in the movie. Instead it was a show where they showed you how stunts are done. They'd explain what was going to happen and then pull the stunts off. Like I said, it was cool, just not what I was expecting. Of course, if I paid attention to the name of the show it probably wouldn't have been a surprise.

Oh, I almost forgot, on the way out we saw some people who had obviously dressed up for Star Wars Weekend getting their picture taken. The funny part is some parents were taking pictures of their kid with these people. I think they thought these characters were part of the show and not just some "regular" Star Wars geeks.

So, we headed back to the hotel so Jenn could get some rest. The kids played with their new toys they bought while the parents took a break. Then, it was time for dinner at The Animal Kingdom Lodge at a restaurant called Boma. It was okay. That is about the best I could describe it. It was a buffet with decent food, it was just more expensive than it needed to be. The hotel was neat though. There was an area with animals that you could watch from the lobby, or your room if you were lucky enough to be on the right side.

After dinner we went back to the Magic Kingdom to watch the SpectraMagic Light parade. Then headed back to the hotel and watched the fireworks from the boat dock outside our hotel. It was a long day and the kids, and parents were ready for bed.

I think the next post will be the last about this vacation. You're welcome...


Florinda said...

I'm going to assume that you planned this trip KNOWING that there would be a Start Wars Weekend during it? NerdFest'09, all right. I don't think Disneyland is doing that this year. You have just made three out of four people in my family envious (my 14-year-old stepdaughter doesn't care).

I am a sucker for the Muppets, and enjoyed MuppetVision 3-D when we saw it out here. Why am I not surprised that Beaker is your favorite :-)? (Fozzie Bear is mine, and my husband is a Gonzo guy - in more ways than one...)

Too bad your son didn't do Jedi Training Academy. My stepson got picked for it, and then wanted to go back again the next day, but the rest of us only wanted to see it once.

I'm enjoying your posts - WDW without the heat and humidity!

Mike said...

Florinda: No, we really didn't plan it that way. Seriously! (My son's new favorite word. :)

I think he would have liked it if he did it. He gets stage fright sometimes though. :)