As an older woman, I have had the wonderful opportunity to seek out and enjoy many interests and hobbies that life has to offer. Although not the thrill seeking type, I am drawn to diverse and eclectic energies which grant me the opportunity to meet a lot of really interesting people. I have a knack for enjoying the fascinations of others without having to know its history. For instance, I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter area in Universal Studios without ever seeing a single Harry Potter movie. I moved through Hogwarts not recognizing a character, dragon, broomstick or wand but was delighted by the excitement it brought to others.
This brings me to my latest trip to Walt Disney World with my eldest adult daughter; a self-described Disney fanatic. I will preface this by stating that I worked for Disney back in the early 90’s and developed a deep appreciation for the brand. As a cast member, I was fortunate enough to learn the importance of attention to detail and care put into the guest experience. Heck, I even participated in the Tower of Terror sandbag/human testing before the attraction opened to the public. Getting wedged off track in the elevator shaft and having to be extracted by the construction crew was a thing, but overall, an unforgettable experience. But I digress.
Although I know I will feel as if I were hit by a bus, my IWatch stops counting steps after 1 million and I need a portable defibrillator, I go to the parks with my daughter because she is the most fun to watch react to her surroundings. This last visit did not disappoint; 13 hours in Hollywood Studios.
But what does one do in Hollywood Studios for 13 hours? Everything. Twice.
First things first, we meet with my old arch nemesis, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and get that out of the way. I must admit that my stomach bouncing tolerance is not what it was in 1994, but worth it to explain that Rod Serling wasn’t just some random fella chosen to be in the video. Next, Aerosmith coaster. The old stomach was really starting to question my choices at 8:30am.
It was now time to venture to the back of the park to the literal mother ship; Star Wars.
Now, I will be the first to admit, just like at Universal Studios, that I have never seen a single Star Wars movie. That’s right. No Hans Solo, Vader, Chewy, Billy Dee, nothing. I think we all have been bombarded with enough material since 1977 to have a general idea of the story, so I’m not a complete failure. Having no prior knowledge was not going to ruin my fun, in fact, my daughter made it her personal responsibility to fill me in on EVERYTHING. This brings me to the most recent Star Wars installment and the attraction we were about to experience.
“Mom, we’re getting on Rise of the Resistance”
“Rise of the WhoodaWhattie now?”
“Rise of the Resistance! We’re going to fight the First Order!”
“Can we First Order me a drink?”
Genie+ and we’re in. Without ruining it for those who haven’t experienced the attraction, I will share my brief explanation of what went on in there for approximately 30 minutes of walk-through, motion simulated, trackless, dark and speeding drop-ride action. In closing, please enjoy this text I sent to my other daughter who asked what it was like:
First off, I guess I was recruited for some covert operation and was taken aboard this star cruiser airplane looking thing with about 30 other people. There’s a dinosaur dude in the cockpit and the guy I recognize from the Dune movie trailer and hosting SNL comes on the screen and wishes us luck. So far, just a lot of galaxy out the window. Then, we get captured and taken out the door by the Rhythm Nation back up dancers (missing the earring key) and they take us to a holding room. They seem pretty full of themselves and are barking orders, not answering my questions and I have questions. Then, Adam Driver yells at us and demands we tell him where the secret something is. I mumble it’s in my pants because I like Adam Driver and the lady next to me giggles. Then, a laser breaks us out of the holding cell where we are instructed to run into a room and board the escape vessel driven by a droid thingy. Then, Adam Driver chases us through an enormous, multi-storied maze with all the Star Wars gadgets I’ve seen on toy store shelves all while insisting I give up the whereabouts of the secret somethingorother. Natalie is elbowing me because every time Adam Driver demands this, I keep pointing at my crotch and laughing. After what looked like a fierce space battle from my one eye because immersion rides make me nauseous, some random animatronic Black dude and the dinosaur looking guy again successfully help us to escape. It was awesome!
Upon disembarking the attraction, a cast member said “May the Force be the you”. I replied
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