Feature Article: The Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios - A Walt Disney World Attraction Review - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |   follow us on


Forums Closed
As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.

So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.

Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.

And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.

We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm​. You made it all happen.

There are other changes as well.

Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:

We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.

It's time to move on and move forward.

PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.

But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.

So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.

And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.

That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!

If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.

So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!

Best wishes for a wonderful and magical new year!

Go Back   PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums > Welcome! > Using Your PassPorter: Tips and Answers > PassPorter News
Register


Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.

To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.

If you think you've already joined, log in below now. If you don't remember your member name or password, please visit our Member Name and Password Recovery page. You are also welcome to contact us.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-05-2016, 09:40 PM   #1
PassPorter News
PassPorter Guide

Community Rank: Globetrotter
 
PassPorter News's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,041

Post Thanks / Like
Feature Article: The Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios - A Walt Disney World Attraction Review

The Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios - A Walt Disney World Attraction Review
by Tracy Bratlie

Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally arrived in theaters last December!

To celebrate, the Disney Parks have dreamed up new attractions, experiences, merchandise, and food offerings. In the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is becoming Star Wars Central. Fans used to go there on weekends in May and June to geek out at Star Wars Weekends, but now, the Park has year-round Star Wars goodness. One of the newest experiences is Star Wars Launch Bay, located in the former Magic of Disney Animation building in the Animation Courtyard section of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I got to experience it on December 10, less than two weeks after its premiere. It is a walk-through exhibit showcasing all seven of the Star Wars films as well as Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD.

The outside of the building hasn’t changed much. It was repainted to look a bit sleeker, and it has a huge First Order flag on display. There is a pair of First Order Stormtroopers patrolling the entrance. They instruct guests to remain calm and orderly. These guards take their duties seriously, so you won’t get a hug or an autograph. Move along!

When I arrived, there was no wait to get into the building. I had heard that when it first opened, there were lines to get in, but it wasn’t a problem for me. At the entrance, Cast Members will instruct you that you may either watch a twenty minute film tribute to the Star Wars movies or skip the film and go straight into the exhibit. I hadn’t seen The Force Awakens yet, so I opted to skip the film (Disney says there are no spoilers, but I wanted to be safe).

Inside, you will find two meet and greet options, Chewbacca and Kylo Ren. I felt like it would be weird meeting a Star Wars villain, so I headed to the Chewbacca line. It was posted as a twenty-minute wait, but it only took ten minutes. While in line, we could look at an exhibit of light sabers belonging to various Jedi from the films and cartoons. I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the weapons (nerd!).

I loved meeting Chewbacca! This was absolutely the highlight of Star Wars Launch Bay. He meets guests in a dedicated room. Much like meeting Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom, you can’t see Chewbacca until you are next in line, so it feels special when you get to the front of the line. His area is decorated in that vine-covered stone temple style of the Maz Kanata’s compound, which suits Chewie’s wild nature. He is tall and friendly, and he has a great Wookiee growl. We got some great PhotoPass pictures. My sister looked like a little kid again, meeting her favorite character!

[Disney Visa cardholders have access to a special line to meet Kylo Ren from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., so they may be able to shorten their wait time, and they get access to the PhotoPass photos at no charge.]

After we left the meet and greet area, we went into the walk-through exhibit. Honestly, it seems underwhelming at first. The old Animation building essentially just got a new paint job. But Disney took the time to add details to the sparse, temporary area to make it work. The whole room, from floor to ceiling, looks worn out, just like the films. On the left, there’s a little photo-op of the Mos Eisley Cantina where Luke Skywalker met Han Solo. It doesn’t look like much, and we were about to walk right past it. But a Cast Member (not a PhotoPass photographer) offered to take our photo holding the fake drinks at the bar. It came out fantastic! We also got a great photo of my sister and I playing holochess in the Millennium Falcon. Allears.net reports that you’ll find walk-around characters like Greedo and some Jawas in this area, but they were not around on the night I visited.

In display cases, you can view detailed replicas of iconic Star Wars props like the Millennium Falcon, pod racers, and Stormtrooper helmets. There are also some exhibits on specific characters including Rey from the new film.

One of the last rooms in the exhibit is a display of Star Wars inspired artwork. These pieces are actually for sale, if you want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on them. It’s like a very crammed version of the Art of Disney store. I was tempted to buy something, but I resisted.

To no one’s surprise, the exit is through a gift shop. But this is no ordinary gift shop! Launch Bay Cargo offers high-end fan merchandise. Serious cosplayers can purchase a Darth Vader costume for $4,000. The far wall contains a display of high quality miniatures intended for collectors. There are some fun items like lightsaber umbrellas and lamps. There is even a MagicBand on Demand station, where you can design your own MagicBand and have it printed right there. You can also get a phone case printed. And, of course, T-shirts!

I loved my visit to Star Wars Launch Bay! I capped off the evening with a ride on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, which included a teaser look at some of the locations in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Added to PassPorter's Article Collection on 05-03-2016 09:05 AM

What do you think? Please add your own comments, experiences, or news related to this article in this thread! Reader feedback is welcomed and encouraged.
PassPorter News is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Feature Article: Top 10 Things I Love About Disney's Hollywood Studios - A Walt Disney World Park Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 0 01-29-2015 07:10 PM
Feature Article: Mama Melrose's at Disney Hollywood Studios - A Walt Disney World Dining Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 2 06-07-2014 06:42 AM
Feature Article: Enjoying Walt Disney World Without Thrill Rides - Walt Disney World Attraction Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 5 11-25-2013 01:50 PM
Feature Article: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow - Disney's Hollywood Studios Attraction Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 0 04-25-2013 08:20 PM
Feature Article: Overlooked Attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Walt Disney World Attractions Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 0 12-20-2012 10:40 PM








Please login or register to hide these ads -- it's free and easy!

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:05 AM.

-->

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.4.0 Patch Level 1 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) 1998-2017 PassPorter Travel Press/MediaMarx, Inc.
Celebrating 19 Years of Making Dreams Come True
Ad Management plugin by RedTyger