Posted Monday, November 25, 2019 8:43 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Florida’s theme parks are in the midst of a roller coaster building spree of sorts. Between June 2018, when Slinky Dog Dash opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and October 2021, when Disney says Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot and Tron at Magic Kingdom will have opened, the parks are adding eight new roller coasters.
Read more from The Miami Herald.
I’ll also say our cold is colder up north because even when comparing 40° days, Florida isn’t still mostly frozen.
This is also why I can wear shorts & t-shirt later into the fall but don’t switch out of jeans & hoodie as early in the spring.
But then again, what do I know?
(Spoiler free) Galaxy’s Edge Impressions:
I figured since, I started related conversation in this thread.
I arrived at the Studios at 5:30 AM: The goal was to get there early enough to get virtually queued for Rise of the Resistance. The secondary goal was to get virtually queued earlier enough in the day that I could be back lounging at the hotel pool by early afternoon.
There were already between 5 and 10k people lined up and packing in at the early hour. I got herded in right behind the giant round planter. A harsh construction light shined right into the crowd as a backhoe chomped around dramatically close behind the construction fence. I already felt like I was facing off an AT-AT. The park started scanning at 6:30. In, I immediately got in through the app. No issues. No lag. Group 32. Not too shabby.
Once the park open, it absorbed the crowd and the place felt empty again. I headed back to Galaxy’s Edge via the south passage. Briefly stopping to look at the Echo Lake Christmas tree. Everything was lit up and quiet. With the sun not yet up, the park looked good.
It was cool to get the first glimpse of Star Wars in the dark with the lighting and watching it subsequently glow up. Galaxy’s Edge is vast. Completely blown away by the scale, was I. I was expecting something more akin to the Toy Story/Avatar areas, which I think feel cramped. This is enormous.
Not just pathway circulation (which felt empty even though 10 thousand tourists just bee-lined). The height of the rock work. It was akin to being in canyons of Arizona. I expected the Millennium Falcon model to be the size of a large truck. It’s a basketball court. I know there is some forced perspective on the plaza, but still. The variation of grade was a surprise too.
I meandered through the shops, enjoying the relative vacancy and the detail. The bazaar feels like EPCOT, in a good way.
Into the Cantina. The music was a little harsh for the hour, but the lighting was cool. God bless Disney for selling cocktails at 6:30 in the morning. I went with the non-alcoholic blue milk. A little sweet, I dumped it into my black coffee. The Cantina is awesome. The shops are awesome. The cast members do not break character. I remarked that I was a little surprised their readers did not take chip cards and the cast member when on about being in a galaxy a long time ago…
The sun was up, the virtual queues were sold out for the day and Millennium Falcon was a 150 minute wait. It wasn’t eight o’ clock.
I jumped into the 15 minute single rider line of the Falcon and was assigned engineer. I was not impressed with the Smuggler’s Run. It was too interactive for me. Too much work to do. I wanted to just sit back and enjoy. I found the visuals a little cartoony video game too. I was not impressed by the simulator. (The Avatar Ride, and Soarin’ are miles ahead of it). In fact hell, I did not find the experience any more impressive than the original Star Tours. Which made me want to ride and side by side compare against the original…
I had not been on Star Tours in about 10 years, probably since just after they did the renovation. It is really awesome how Star Tours feels like the original trilogy and Galaxy’s Edge feels like the new one. From a perspective of style, detail and technology available at the time of the build. It works and because of the Star Wars universe’s embracement of the dated feel of the original movies: The datedness of the ride no longer feels dated.
I got the Force Awakens and Last Jedi planets which were new to me. I wonder if the random sequences favors the new trilogy these days in effort of promotion? The tag ending of Galaxy’s Edge is a nice Disney touch. The entrance cast member (who with relief did not keep up the whole Galaxy Edge acting shtick) told me it was the 30, 1989). Respect the elders.
By this time it was almost 11 and I got the call. Half an hour through the caverns. Anticipation. Disney really likes rock work these days. Maybe a combination of good age weathering and insulation in the Florida heat, ease to repair, difficultly to deface.
Rise of the Resistance is as much of a walk through attraction as a ride. The Imagineers pull off more than one awesome slight of hand and the whole thing is awe inspiring. At one point, everyone is gets real quiet. Yes the room absorbs sound, but the mood put forth Yes you’re in trouble really stunts the crowd to silence. That’s hard to do these days.
It amazing how they turned waiting in line into the attraction. My jaw dropped at several points. It is really, really good and was well worth the 5 AM rise (of the resistance). The use of droid like maneuvering as a ride system is awesome. The use of the pull of the force is awesome.
The land feels pretty harsh in the high noon sun without diffusive vegetation. By the time I left, the land was so packed it was a dense wretched hive of scum and villainy. No longer pleasant to walk around.
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