“Season of the Force” opened in Disneyland on November 16th, flooding Tomorrowland with costumed fans. The event will give imagineers some data for the new Star Wars land coming out in a couple of years. But did the they succeed in making the “Season of the Force” live up to expectations? And what should guests most look forward to?
The “Season of the Force” was much more than just a few cardboard cutouts of Chewbacca and Darth Vader. Space Mountain was transformed into Hyperspace Mountain, complete with a space battle and firing energy weapons. Star Tours now takes travelers to Jakku, the desert-planet setting featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and features a number of other Easter Eggs and guest appearances.
Innoventions was transformed into a museum of models called the Star Wars Launch Bay, complete with paraphernalia and live appearances from Chewbacca, Boba Fett, and Darth Vader. And finally, the Tomorrowland theater now shows The Path of the Jedi, a compilation of scenes from the franchise leading to the trailer for the new film, set to the theater’s wind makers and other special effects.
The rides and Path of the Jedi received much deserved applause – and massive lines. Cast members advised guests to pick up Disneyland fast passes for Hyperspace Mountain and Star Tours early, or be prepared to wait.
Also, as IGN points out, Disneyland does not have extra spoilers or never-released scenes of the new movie, meaning Path of the Jedi won’t tell guests anything more on the new movie past what they’ve seen in The Force Awakens trailers, but it is an emotion montage for people who need some reminders before the movie premiere.
The Launch Bay was also popular with a meandering line stretching through Tomorrowland, which was eventually tamed by cast members. Fans should be warned, if they don’t want to know anything about the upcoming movie, they shouldn’t enter the pavilion.
The story is fairly guarded, but new ships, characters, and settings are all on display, so is a bounty of high-end merchandise, including a $3,000 Yoda statue and a $4,000 Darth Vader costume. Some of the items are shown here on Mouseplanet,
Two souvenirs were also clear winners in the Disneyland’s Season of the Force – a popcorn bucket shaped like the new TIE fighter with its red trim and a BB-8 sipper found in the Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port. People lined up in mass, often picking up multiples of each item. Guests could also pay about $10 for personalized name tags in Aurebesh, along with a long list of other trinkets.
The food appeared to just be Disneyland’s normal fare, only dressed up with some artificial colors and clever puns, including Darth by Chocolate parfait, Light and Dark Side drinks (different flavored lemonades), and a Han Burger for the kids.
The main dish at the Tomorrowland Terrace was the First Order Burger, which aside from a distinctive black bun and fried peppers, was a fairly typical burger. Redd Rockett’s pizza port became a little more adventurous with the Dark Side Chicken Curry pizza, which is topped with chicken, cauliflower, cumin, fried beans, and pickled vegetables.
Overall, the Disneyland’s Season of the Force is much more than just a cheesy promotion for the new Star Wars film – it’s a very well-done promotion for the entire franchise. It reminds fans why they fell in love with the movies in the first place, giving them immersive experiences and then selling them some decent merchandise to take home.
It also reminds everyone how many Star Wars fans are out there. For future guests looking to experience the Season of the Force, be prepared for some crowds. The event began on November 16 in Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
[Image Credit: Tomomi Yoshida]