Major “Star Wars” Marketing Push Begins at Disney with “Season of the Force”
I knew there was a reason I got excited when Disney bought “Star Wars” and it wasn’t just the promise of the new films. Disney was going to make “Star Wars” come to life and that has absolutely started.
Mind you, I’m not just talking about the ground-breaking for “Star Wars” land at Disneyland in California (work begins at Disneyworld in Florida early next year). I’ll sit by and wait for three or four years with everyone else on that. Instead, I’m talking about the here and now with the “Season of the Force” – a new set of attractions and enhancements I got to experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last evening.
Our night started innocently enough with a visit to “Toy Story Mania” in an effort to prime the pump for the evening to come. From there we strolled through “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights” (an attraction I guess ironically to this story having it’s finally year before it’s torn down for the “Star Wars” expansion) on our way to “Star Tours”.
“Star Tours” was promised to have been augmented with new footage featuring the planet Jakku from the upcoming “Force Awakens” film. Every tour this month is supposed to include this new footage and let me tell you, it was there and it was cool.
I won’t spoil it with words here, but I am including this trailer for those interested. My only other comment is that it has some whip to it so avoid the back row (unless you like that sort of thing).
From there we crossed the park to the former animation attraction which now houses the new “Star Wars Launch Bay”.
This was awesome. This was Disney at its finest.
The attraction starts with a video presentation which celebrates the cultural impact of the films, while at the same time teasing future additions to the franchise. A surprising nof attention was paid to next year’s “Rogue One” release, which was nice.
Once the video was over, it was nerd Christmas. There were props in display cases everywhere. Mace Windu’s lightsaber? yup. Luke Skywalker’s pilot helmet? Of course. Photo opportunities were available with Chewbacca and Darth Vader. There was an area to play “Disney Infinity 3.0” (You know, the “Star Wars” one).
They even had a random Jawa.
Then, after all of the models and props they dump you into the store and the store is glorious. Everything from lightsaber umbrellas (which light up) to books to toys to full costumes (At-At Driver costume, seriously)….
I seriously had to fight to keep my credit card in my wallet.
And what really set it off was that the cast members were so enthusiastic. They obviously knew they had probably the best jobs at Disney right now and it showed.
This really was Disney at it’s best. Hollywood Studios had grown stale and while there is a lot of exciting long-term projects which are going to fix that, this short-term band aid could be just what the doctor ordered.
At some point there is also supposed to be an accompanying fireworks show themed to “Star Wars”. Last night was an early close (8:00 P.M.) so perhaps that is being reserved for the weekends.
It’s worth noting that the “Star Tours” addition and the “Launch Bay” will also be featured at Disneyland – along with a temporary “Space Mountain” re-theme into a “Star Wars” attraction. So that means “The Season of the Force” is on both coasts (as it should be).
All told, this reviewer gives it 5 out of 5 random Jawas. Can’t wait to go back.
Here are some photos:
(Images: Disney Parks Blog)
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