Friday, March 6, 2020

Florida Day Two: Hollywood Studios to Epcot (Part Two)

At Galaxy's Edge in Hollywood Studios
Once my brother Jonathan and I made the transfer from Epcot to Hollywood Studios, the Star Wars voyage began (I was not gonna waste that extra money I spent on the Park Hopper option, so we made sure to go between parks on the same day at least twice). The new Star Wars area of WDW's Galaxy's Edge was one of the big draws for the whole trip. And if you haven't been living under a rock, you know that the new Star Wars ride Rise of Resistance is supposed to be the most exciting theme park ride of all time and if you don't get on it, you will regret it for the rest of your life. No pressure or anything! I'm not that much of a Star Wars nerd that I would die of disappointment if we missed this one-but I figured we should at least try to get on Resistance. (I have seen all of films of the franchise include the stand-alone single shots Rogue One and Solo.) The ride is so popular they don't even have lines to get on. You have to enter a lottery for boarding times via the MyDisney app the minute the Hollywood Studios park opens every morning at 8AM and they usually fill up one minute later.

Waiting to board Millennium Falcon: Smugglers' Run
We decided to scope out the new Galaxy's Edge area of the park and wake up early the next day to try for a spot. As we got off the gondola from Epcot and raced to the Star Wars area, it was dark and rainy. The whole environment had a noir-ish, spooky feeling. It was like being in Blade Runner or The Wandering Earth, a Chinese sci-fi film I watched on the plane flying to Orlando. Of course, we couldn't get on Rise of the Resistance, so we did the other Star Wars ride Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run. The single rider line was pretty short whereas the Standby Line was 90 minutes. (Helpful WDW Hint #5: Always take the Single Rider line. This is for rides which require groups of six and need another single person to fill up the quota. Jonathan and I wound up together anyway and we did not have a long wait.) Once you get on board the Millennium Falcon, it feels like you're on an actual rundown spaceship. You wait with others in a realistic galley surrounding by flashing lights and dirtied up controls. My first time on board, I was assigned Engineer (single riders usually get that low-ranking position.) You are assigned a crew of four and your mission is to hijack some valuable cargo and take it to a bunch of smugglers. Pretty exciting. It really feels as if you are in control of the ship. A sleazy smuggler gives you instructions and two pilots guide the Falcon. Two Engineers and
The menu at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
two Gunners fire the blasts by pushing buttons. The ship moves as a movie projects in front of you, simulating flight and getting struck by enemy fire.

We explored Galaxy's Edge where everything feels like a Star Wars movie, even the bathrooms. Dinner was at a quick serve called Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo (where Jonathan's discount did not apply). Chicken and beef dressed up in "alien" sauces served by Disney staff dressed as space crew.

Then we took the boat back to Epcot and pulled our old trick of getting in line at the most popular ride just as the park closes. This was Frozen Ever After which was in the Norway Pavilion in the World Showcase. Like a lot of the WDW rides, it's basically a smooth run past animatronic recreations of a Disney film. Since this one is relatively new, it's been very popular and we had to wait about 40 mins. The evening ended with Epcot fireworks and we got back to the Marriott Courtyard for an early evening since we planned to get up at 6 am to try for a spot on Rise of the Resistance.

Day Two (Part Two)--Hollywood Studios/Epcot
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers' Run (Single Rider)--Engineer
Dinner at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
Boat Ride back to Epcot
Frozen Ever After
Epcot Fireworks

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