Last month (January, 2016) I had the opportunity to take a slow, leisurely walk through Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This new attraction (located where the Magic of Disney Animation once stood) is almost a placeholder of sorts; a taste of all the new Star Wars attractions and shows that are coming soon to the park. As a fairly big Star Wars fan, I had the chance to really geek out at all of the fun exhibits that Disney has on display in this area. I wanted to bring you a little bit of that “galaxy far, far away” with this: A Photo Tour of Star Wars Launch Bay.
The first thing I noticed was the heavy Stormtrooper presence in the Animation Courtyard. These guys weren't messing around. They patrol the area frequently throughout the day and while they won't pose for pictures with you, they seemed pretty cool with me and other guests snapping away with our cameras and iPhones.
There's a lot of movie posters and artwork in the outside queue, including some pretty awesome concept movie posters that weren't used. Here's a cool on of the later renamed Revenge Of The Jedi.
While the prequel Star Wars movies aren't everyone's favorites (yours truly included!) I still thought seeing these pod racer models up close was really fun!
While you couldn't sit on this speeder bike like you could at the D23 Expo out in Anaheim last summer, you could get close enough to take a great picture. What Star Wars fan hasn't dreamed of zipping through the giant trees of Endor on one of these bad boys? Luckily, if you have the new Star Wars: Battlefront game, you get to live out this fantasy in a video game! Pretty cool!
Next up was a model of Jango then Boba Fett's ship, the Slave 1. You can even see a tiny little Boba Fett at the controls of the ship if you look really close!
Here are a few more ships, including the famous X Wing from the Rebel Alliance. Speaking of the Rebel Alliance, the iconic orange flight suit was also on display. Unfortunately these were all behind glass. If the flight suit wasn't, I wondered if cast members would have noticed if I tried it on?
Then I reached the Dark Side section of the display, everyone's favorite side! I could almost hear the poor victims of Darth Vader gasping for breath as he Force-choked them out of their green bad guy uniforms!
Here are some pretty awesome TIE fighter models. Just like in the Slave 1, in the TIE Advanced ship you can see what I think is a tiny little Darth Vader getting ready to blow some stuff up!
Here's the Star Destroyer model which was really, really neat to see in person! I don't know if I'm the only one but I can't help but think of the ship in the opening scene of Spaceballs
whenever I see one of these ships!
John Williams awesome score instantly comes into your head when you read these words!
For me, it couldn't get cooler than seeing Rey's Speeder up close. Rey is such an awesome character and Daisy Ridley was amazing in the role. My five-year-old daughter really got a kick out of seeing this one in person too since she sleeps in her Rey pajamas almost every night!
These helmets were really neat to see up close as I was waiting in line to meet Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker's was especially cool! Oh, and I didn't experience the force choke from Vader this time around. I decided not to do anything to make him angry.
Okay, remember when I said it couldn't get cooler than seeing Rey's speeder up close and all that? Well, I might have told a little white lie. Seeing the Han Solo blaster and the Luke Skywalker lightsaber was the ultimate in Star Wars nerdery for me!
And, of course, no Walt Disney World attraction would be complete without a gift shop at the end! To be fair to WDW, though, this one has some really unique Star Wars items that I haven't seen for sale anywhere else, so there is a reason to stick around and browse a little bit!
Thank you for joining me on this Photo Tour of Star Wars Launch Bay! I hope you enjoyed your virtual walkthrough and if you'd like to go see this for yourself, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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