Walt Disney World, MGM Studios, Orlando, FL
May 24, 2006
Story and Photos by Jimsjedi

 

SANDTROOPERS INVADE ORLANDO
What's up Troops and Troopettes? I am back from my week vacation to the main mouse himself (Mickey), and while the family and I were on vacation we just happened to be there for the first of the Star Wars Weekends (I swear this trip was planned before the dates were announced).

"We have it all under control sir!"We had two days to check out MGM Studios before the event actually kicked off. They had all the billboards and banners in place, and I was sad to see that they removed the Skiff to put in place a stage, but I am sure it will be back. I took my son on the Star Tours ride, and from there he was hooked. He rode that thing (no lie) twelve more times during our time in the park. He drove my wife and I nuts because that is all he talked about. In a way you could see the smile coming through as I complained to him to gently shut his trap. His 4-year-old sister rode it twice, but was scared and told me she will never ride it again. After the ride, we ended up in the Tatooine Traders Store and purchased a few things, which included a Star Tours Speeder 3000 for my son, and a shirt and Star Wars Weekends cup for myself. They did have the latest wave up to the Heroes and Villains on display, with some Commander Codys and Firespeeder Pilots thrown in there, but for $10 each I passed. They also had plenty of last year's exclusive, the Mickey/Yoda two-pack, so of course I had to get one.

Will the real sandtrooper PLEASE stand up!On Friday morning we made our way to the park as it was opening, it was so cool, because they were blaring the Star Wars theme music at the gates, and they had the 501st Florida Garrison on hand with four stormtroopers on the top of the roof entrance. As we made our way toward the Star Tours ride there were characters all over the place. From Tusken Raiders, Darth Vader, Queen Amidala, the Emperor, Aurra Sing and plenty of sandtroopers and clone troopers. They were all giving autographs and taking pictures. This was very cool to see, since all the kids and most adults were just going nuts.

Rick riding in the Star Wars Weekends parade.We made our way to the autograph area where I was going to meet Rick McCallum (no offense to Warwick Davis and Peter Mayhew, but I have already met them before). I found where Rick was at, but was denied access because I didn't have a coupon to meet him. This was not right, I asked where I could get the coupons and they said they were already out of them. It was 10:15am and he started signing at 10:00am. Please keep this in mind. If you are going to one of the other Star Wars Weekends you have to be there when the park opens, usually at 9:00am. So head on over to the Indiana Jones Ride/Theater and pick up an autograph coupon. This is the only place they hand out the coupons. You might get lucky and get a walk up, but I was told the chances would be slim. I was not able to attend the other days, but you can read about that over in The Blog section of the forums where I will recap my vacation ordeal.

We did end up catching the Star Wars Parade and it was very cool. Jedi Mickey led things off, and the amount of characters there was just awesome. To see Star Wars take over was just fantastic and my whole family really enjoyed it. There were plenty of other Star Wars activities going on, but again I was on a family vacation, so I had to take what I could get.

The Tatooine Trader store in MGM Studios.On another note, only on the weekends The Tatooine Trader in MGM and Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney are offering all five VTSC figures for $60, and that includes the mail away George Lucas Stormtrooper. They are not selling him separately and you must buy one of each, not five of the same one. Limited to two sets per person. This thing looks really cool close up and I can't wait to get mine.

That's all for now. If you are going to one of the three remaining weekends, I hope you have a great time.

PHOTO GALLERY
To see the photo gallery containing 53 photos click here.