In this edition of Theme Park Bits:
- Get unique antiques in Galaxy’s Edge.
- Lunar New Year celebrations are kicking off at the Disney and Universal parks.
- And more!
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is in full swing. Finally, both of the major attractions are open and operating regularly, but that doesn’t mean tweaks aren’t arriving to the many merchandise options in the land. Right now, if you head to the Launch Bay Cargo inside the Star Wars Launch Bay area, you’ll find some distinct shopping options straight from Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, including busts and statues of some of the franchise’s most well-known heroes and villains. This arguably may appeal more to the die-hard fans than some of us casual guests, but if you’re a die-hard, get thee to Orlando.
Here, however, is a pro tip. Let’s say you’re visiting Orlando. You’re about to go to the Happiest Place on Earth! Congratulations for you! Do me a favor. Hell, do everyone a favor. Keep it the Happiest Place on Earth by leaving your guns at home. That should seem very obvious to, I hope, all of you, but it wasn’t obvious to at least one group that brought a gun with them and told Disney security they forgot about it. It doesn’t really matter why you have a gun (and in this case, the couple – with their 4-year old child – said it was bought years earlier for protection). They’re not allowed in theme parks, because they give off a sense of danger, not safety. How about that!
Let’s move onto lighter topics. At Disneyland, as we recently mentioned, they’re gearing up to celebrate a very fitting Lunar New Year, the Year of the Mouse. And if there’s a holiday celebration at the Disney parks, you know what that means: food. And as you can see from the photo above, there’s lots of it to choose from through February 9 at Disney California Adventure. At the Longevity Noodle Co., you can get some of those items featured above, including a black sesame mochi donut, a Vietnamese cold brew, and chicken meatballs and lo mein noodles. Or head over to Prosperity Bao & Buns to get a Mickey-shaped Chinese hot dog bun, an alcoholic grapefruit spritzer, and more. It all sounds quite delectable.
Universal Studios doesn’t want to be left out, of course. They’ve got a Lunar New Year celebration of their own, even if they don’t have a mousy mascot to boast. Of course, Universal’s ad is being a bit more accurate – Disney might have called this the Year of the Mouse, but it’s actually the year of the rat. (You can see why Disney went with the mouse instead. Yes, they have Remy from Ratatouille, but he’s not as appealing as Mickey and Minnie.) Anyway, at Universal from January 23 to February 9, you can celebrate the Chinese holiday in style with characters from Hello Kitty, Kung Fu Panda, and the Minions, for some reason.
Let’s wrap up today’s column with a bit of rank speculation. One of the staples of the Disney theme parks are their parades. And when you think of parades, you may well think of the crown jewel of all, the Main Street Electrical Parade. Since that revival went away, the Magic Kingdom in Orlando has been without a nighttime parade. A recent patent suggests that we don’t have to wait too much longer for a new one, though. Disney is, per the patent, aiming to create ordered mapping on 3-D projection surfaces, which might imply that the Imagineers want to patent a way to do 3-D projections on parade floats. It’d be a novel way to spruce up the nighttime parades, and an attention-getter, for sure. We’ll just have to see what comes of this patent.
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