The World of Disney

So this Easter we took our kids to Walt Disney World Florida. They were already a little too old to get excited about seeing people dressed up as princesses or Mickey Mouse, and besides they’d seen that stuff a few years ago when we visited Disneyland in California. The Florida branch, however, appeals to the slightly older child (particularly those in the 35-55 age range) as the Hollywood Studios section features a fair amount of Star Wars and Indiana Jones attractions.

Two of our three signed up for the Jedi training activity. This basically involves being given a nylon Jedi robe and a plastic lightsaber and being marched across the park to a mock-up of a Jedi temple where you are taught a handful of saber moves.

I’d always wondered what the inside of an AT-AT looked like. Basically it’s a lighting rig:

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The Jedi younglings gather and a couple of “cast members” do a comedy routine and then encourage everyone to open the temple doors with their minds. “Use the Fastpass!” Umm, I mean, the Force.

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But who’s that lurking inside? It’s Kylo Ren’s grandfather! (oh, sorry. Spoilers for The Force Awakens, I guess).

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And he’s brought one of the Expanded Universe characters with him to help out, and perhaps for laudable gender balance reasons.

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One by one the trainees take turns facing their fears. The first boy was one of the smallest and was obviously, hilariously terrified. Unprompted he tried to ward Vader off with the Force:

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But there was no escaping the hand-to-hand combat. Judging by the look of terror on his face I half expected him to leave a little Padawan puddle on the stage floor.

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Thankfully he prevailed against evil, as, unsurprisingly, did all the other would-be Jedi. None of them chose a different path, as this little girl so memorably did:

And of course Kylo showed up too, probably because he had an imminent DVD release to promote.

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Meanwhile, back in the Magic Kingdom there’s a parade. No need to queue for hours for a meet and greet when you can just sit back and watch them all file past you. Some of the floats were very pretty.

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Sometimes the costumes outshone the floats.

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Tinkerbell was a little too smirky for my taste.

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Merida from Brave, astride a giant set of bagpipes!

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A giant fire-breathing dragon from Sleeping Beauty.

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Impressive, although I think the one at De Efteling is better. I did like the accompanying creepy stilt walkers, though.

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Oh Mickey, you’re so fine. You’re so fine you blow my mind.

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I wouldn’t rule out a return trip some day, as they’re planning to massively expand the Star Wars element. Plus, they’re currently building Avatar World next door…

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