Steven here with my latest take on anything Disneyness. I have been taking a break from writing for the last couple of months due to selling my house, buying a new one, and moving closer to town. I really had forgotten how much junk a person can collect being at the same house for 20 something years. I almost thought of calling myself a hoarder when I saw all the boxes we had packed and moved to our new location.
During the time of unloading, unpacking, construction, and repair of the new house, the only thing that kept me going was the thought of being done and visiting the park in Anaheim for a well deserved break. I know it's summer at Disneyland and no one hates the crowds more than me, but I was still looking forward to it and went in knowing I would not be able to ride many rides or move down the street after 12:00 noon.
My mindset was to just try to get in to experience the new Star Tours ride, then maybe drink some coffee and watch the growing hoards as the day progressed. Well I arrived at about 8:00 am on a Monday morning, rode the tram into the drop off to see guests lining up outside the gate. I was in numb mode knowing that the wait for the Star ride would be 3 to 5 hours as a friend had told me. I was listening to various guests and their plan of attacks for running to the rides when I herd the gates of the park grating open. Wow, perfect timing I thought. We all walked in cattle style, and then most folks starting running for the gold not knowing they would be stopped to wait again at the end of Main Street.
After a short while the fan fare music started and the rope holding back the crowd dropped down and set us all off into the fray, with most everyone trying to haul buns to the new Star Tours ride. However Disney employees were ready for the onslaught, they had many security guards lined up to keep the runners in check, and as an old fat dude this was most welcomed. I followed the throng and very quickly realized I was in line for the ride with hardy no wait at all!
As always with the advent of a refurbished ride they send you into an entrance that you think is the short and skinny way in, but in reality it winds you though 30 various turns and pathways until you reach the real entrance. Well this was all very fast, I would say I was in the main entry way in 3 minutes tops. As I entered, I quickly noticed the space ship that R2 sits in was red in color now and was spouting a lot of smoke from the rear, nice touch. Then I looked up to see the all-new digital movie screen dominating the entryway with all new incredible digital images of the galaxy and the new destinations. This is a big change over the older screen that used to be there, this is bright, big, and digital baby!
Many things are the same, but the C3PO and R2 have new dialogue and there is a new "Thermal Scanner Droid" checking guests as they pass that is very funny. They have cameras pointed at you (in line) that show up on the screen behind him in various thermal colors. Whoever wrote the dialogue for this robot is very talented and I was happily entertained while being stuck in line in front of him. A little boy behind me kept physically pushing me to move ahead, however their was no where to go, the line was stopped. So after the fourth push I politely bent down to say that I was ready throw him over the rail if he did it again. It quickly stopped the abuse.
As I entered the ride entry pad, I noticed it was basically the same, but now they have robots talking to you above the doors (as it should be) explaining the rules of conduct and the how-to of the ride. As the doors opened I was a bit let down as I strapped my self in because the Star Speeder is the same cabin as the former, but to my delight they played out a scenario using one of the guests in her seat as a stowaway that the Star Troopers were after. This was a cool twist over the former ride. You then quickly find out that it is C3PO as your clumsy driver, he does not know how to operate the shuttle as did the former robot in the old ride, I thought this was a littler weird that it was the same scenario as the former story. That being said, I heard every tour is different and there are other destinations that the Disney crew members choose for you that are all incredible in their own unique way.
I do not want to ruin the rest of the ride for those of you that have not yet been able to experience it but I will say it is (all digital in 3D) and the image is far superior to the technology of the former tour.
The new journey takes riders on a sightseeing tour of the "Star Wars" galaxy, with possible stops at Hoth, Kashyyyk, Tatooine, Coruscant, Naboo or the Death Star, again depending on which of the random storylines your flight crew draws.
I left the experience with a big smile on my face and was amazed at how quick I made it on the ride. The rest of my morning was really great, I rode rides undaunted until about 10:00 am. As I walked out of Splash Mountain at 10:05 I realized the normal wave of guests had arrived. I was cool with it, I got my coffee and a corndog and sat down in a shady spot to people watch, as always, I was entertained most thoroughly until lunch time. My next stop was the Blue Bayou, I had reservations so the wait was not long, my experience was different to say the least. I have many things to say about it but I will save that for another article. Anyhow I am glad to be in my new digs, my recording studio is set-up and my Disney collection is everywhere you look.
I collect old Disney comics, newspapers, figurines, movie posters and toys that mean something to me. It keeps me inspired as I look and create in the room. New film classes start next week and I am excited to meet my new and returning film students, so I am a happy camper, hope you are too!
See you in the park
Steven grew up in Orange County. He worked as an entertainer at Disneyland and in Los Angeles on Disney films.
Steven Orsinelli Can Be Contacted at:
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