This Happened on My Second Day of Living in Florida


The very next night, I went grocery shopping, fearing that if I didn't stock up on essentials I would happily bankrupt myself on tourist food. (Cuban food! Irish food! A GHIRARDELLI'S CHOCOLATE SHOP!)

Standing in line at my nearest grocery store, I found myself behind an Imperial Guard and two helmet-less Stormtroopers who were also checking out at Publix. You win some, you lose some.

Oh yeah and P.S. I got my first call to do some video/hosting work for Orlando Attractions Magazine on Friday. To see a special sneak preview of Star Trek: The Exhibition at the Kennedy Space Center. A place I have dreamed about visiting ever since I saw Space Camp in fifth grade.

But enough of all this catching up nonsense. Let's talk about Star Wars Weekends. At the gates, crowds were greeted by stormtroopers scanning for Jedi and Star Wars music blasting over the loudspeakers. Again...a tear or two (of sheer joy, I assure you) were shed.

In case you missed it and you were wondering, "Why on Earth would she post a photo of herself making a face that gives her Sharpay forehead?" Look again, above my head and a little to the right. Stormtrooper!

There were dozens patrolling the parks all day. In fact, EVERYONE was in the parks. Vader, Luke and Leia, even the Mos Eisley Cantina Band was out and about.

See? More Jedi than you can shake a stick at. I wouldn't do that if I were you though.

But none of that is even the best part. The best part is the brand new Star Tours ride. Star Tours has been around for years and years. I first visited with my mom, aunt, and cousins around the time that the original ride opened.

There's been so much buzz about the new version of the ride that I tried to ignore completely because I wanted to be surprised...and boy was I surprised. And I want you to be surprised too! So I'm not sharing details. But I will give you some pictures from the ride line and some great shots of Star Wars merchandise from the event tent aptly named "Jabba's Hut".

That would be a Donalf Duck version of Han in Carbonite and if you look very very closely you will see my very favorite henchmen sitting near him on the top right. I heart Salacious Crumb.

No explanation neccesary for these right?

And now for the ride photos..well, line photos. But still. If you don't know, Star Tours follows the story that you're boarding a tourist shuttle in the Star Wars universe. Much like an airport, the line takes you through security and you can also see when flights are arriving and departing. You can even watch C3PO and R2 running pre-flight checks.

(I'll share videos below. Sorry for the jumpy quality, it was shot on my iPhone and I don't have a very steady hand with it yet. I'm used to shooting with a regular camera.)

The outdoor portion of the line is built to look like Endor. No Ewoks though. Bummer.

Here's the video of R2 and C3PO. 

The line has a million little details and flourishes that fans of all ages can appreciate. The level of theming at work here is stupendous. It feels like Star Wars fans get the most love back from their creators out of anyone. All this! This little slice of "Let's all play pretend that Star Wars is real life together for a few weekends." Just for us? Amazing. 

We should all be more thankful to Papa Lucas. (Did that just get weird? Too far?) Anyway, there are also lots of references to the original ride that I appreciated. Including a pilot droid you may recognize, with some occasional flourishes of Paul Reubens voice-over still in play.

Anyway, there was a fun little silhouette section of hallway in the line that I wanted you to see. Of course, when I pointed the camera at it, the fun ones stopped coming by. But still, I want you to get the idea. Here's some video. When you  visit, try to spot recognizable characters and Star Wars species as they pass. If you get motion sickness, you may want to skip this one.

Well, I gave myself an hour of my morning to write a quick blog before it was back to work for me. I'm sitting under a pile of work. All fun work, of course. But work that must be done nonetheless. Being the realist that I am, instead of giving myself the week off to move, I tried to continue working. Bad idea So now it's catch-up time.  Lots of editing and VO and writing.

So here is where I leave you, with the promise of another very cool post coming this week...from Geek Heaven, Wish You Were Here!!! Enjoy the view from my new office.