INFILTRATING THE LAND OF MICKEY MOUSE
On Friday, May 20, we arrived at the MGM Studios park at 8:30 a.m. with the park due to open at 9:00 a.m. As we were walking toward the gates from the Disney boat, we could hear Star Wars theme music playing. Once at the gate, we see two Stormtroopers standing above everyone waiting in line, on the gate structure, carrying on a conversation. They were telling jokes to entertain everyone before the gates opened. One joke I remembered was “Why did the Sith lord cross the road? To get to the dark side!”
Once allowed thru the front gate, we had to wait again near the Star Tours Ride for attendants to separate people who were there to get autographs verses people there to purchase exclusive items at the Tatooine Traders store. The two celebrities appearing this particular weekend were Daniel Logan (young Boba) and John Goodson (concept modeler for ROTS). The majority of people got the autograph wristband for Daniel Logan. We did not get into the autograph lines. Instead we headed for the Traders store. Unfortunately, since I am still recovering from knee surgery last year, I could not run like some people did to get to the store first. When we finally got there, we were probably about the 100th person in line. It took us about 3 hours to get into the store to buy exclusive pins, coins and Darth Mickey. I heard that it took some people 5 hours to get into the store.
After making our purchases, we walked down Mickey Avenue and ran across the line for taking pics with Darth Vader. He would occasionally point at somebody in line and then make a fist. There was one little girl dressed as Leia who he really picked on. For the rest of the day, we went on some of the MGM rides.
On Saturday, May 21, we arrived at the park around 10:00 a.m. According to the schedule, a Star Wars Edition of “Who Wants to be Millionaire-Play It” was to take place at 10:30 a.m. When we entered the building, we were given two special passes and told to go right instead of left where the rest of the people were going. We learn in a few minutes that we were randomly selected to sit in the Fastest Finger Row for the game. That was cool. We got to sit in the bottom row. Then to start the show, the MC said we will be bringing out the last contestant who was still sitting in the hot seat. Guess who it is? Greedo with a G. Guard as his friend in the audience. Then when Greedo misses a question, two Sandtroopers come out to take him away. We never made it to the hot seat, but two people did. Some of the prizes available to win were action figures, ROTS books, pins, jackets, and the grand prize was a Disney Cruise. The second contestant actually got to the last question to win the cruise but missed it.
Next on the schedule was “Stars of the Saga-Star Wars Celebrity Talk Show.” This was a live interview with Daniel Logan and John Goodson with a Q&A session at the end. Daniel Logan stated that he was one of 5,000 kids to audition for the role of Boba. John Goodson stated he was only hired originally to do one movie and now has been employed for 8 years. Two questions stand out in my mind directed to Daniel Logan. “Do people call you Boba Fett when they see you in public?’ And he states, “Well, people actually call me Baby Boba.” Also when asked, “Which Disney park do you like best?” And he states, “The two water parks where all the cute girls are.”
Next up was “Behind the Force: The Saga Continues”, a show depicting a behind-the-scenes look at how George Lucas and his team painstakingly produced Episode III. Then for the rest of the day, more MGM rides.
On the last day, May 22, we caught the Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade with many SW characters walking along. We saw the 501st Legion, Darth Maul, Chewie, R2D2, Aurra Sing, Darth Vader, the Emperor, and more. Then we caught another SW Edition of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” show.
Lastly, we attended the “Star Wars Weekends Hyperspace Hoopla” where characters participate in the day’s closing event. The funniest parts were when the Cantina Band members start dancing to an Outkast song and the last Stormtrooper on stage also dancing to the same song after all the other characters have left the stage.
There were some activities we didn’t participate in, mainly for kids. These included Jedi Training Academy, Padawan Mind Challenge, Hasbro Zone for Gamers, and Tatooine Trivia Trials. All in all, we had a great time for our first trip to Orlando. Enjoy the pics.