When Innoventions closed we all speculated on what exactly it would be and now we know: it has been renamed the Tomorrowland Expo and features two floors of fantastic fun, with one dedicated to Marvel and another dedicated to Star Wars called the Star Wars Launch Bay. Located on the first floor of the Tomorrowland Expo, Star Wars Launch Bay is the central space for fans to celebrate all things Star Wars. If you are a Star Wars fan, you are going to LOVE it. I promoise. (Tomorrowland Expo is open daily.)
There are a lot of wonderful things inside the Launch Bay, but I am going to tell you the best part up front: it was my kids’ smiles. Aidan is 10-years-old now. For those of you who have been reading since the beginning, he was 3 when I started Babes. I don’t want to say that he is “over the magic,” but I haven’t seen that glow in his face or that Disney sense of wonderment in a really long time, and quite frankly, as a Disney-loving mom that can be heartbreaking. But while it Star Wars Launch Bay, it was like Aidan was a tiny boy all over again getting to experience magic for the very first time. As I write this I can barely see my screen through the tears just thinking about how it felt to see him like that one more time. For moms like me whose boys are getting older (and love Star Wars), I promise you that you will love this experience as much as I did. THIS, is what Disney magic is all about.
Character Meet & Greet Galleries: Guests who visit the Launch Bay can “join the Resistance” and meet Chewbacca at a Rebel base or “come to the dark side”and meet Darth Vader in a Star Destroyer. Both experiences are incredible. Actually, “incredible” doesn’t begin to describe how cool it is. I honestly don’t know what came over me when I met Chewbacca; I lost it! The video below gives a brief overview of the Launch Bay and shows me pretty much losing it with Chewie.
When it came time form kids to meet Darth Vader, they were left totally and completely speechless.
I know what you are thinking: the lines to see Chewbacca and Darth Vader are going to be really long, but do know that it is much more than a character meet and greet; the dark- and light-side galleries offer really special opportunities to see helmets and lightsabers belonging to some of the most iconic Star Wars characters. My boys literally couldn’t believe their eyes.
In case you didn’t notice, the helmets and lightsabers aren’t just from the movies, but belong to some of the characters from the animated series. The fact that the animated characters had their “props” there blew my kids’ minds.
***Keep in mind that Disney Visa Credit Cardholders are entitled to a special Disney Visa Imperial Meet and Greet in the Star Wars Launch Bay daily from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Be sure to have your Disney Visa Credit Card to get in!***
The Cantina: Want to relive the iconic Cantina scene? Now you can! The Cantina is a gathering place to take photos with a holochess or sabacc table. (Sabacc is a popular card game played throughout the galaxy, often with high stakes. Holochess is a chess-like game that utilizes holographic representations of the playing pieces.)
Movie Artifacts Area: Basically, this area is a super awesome Star Wars museum with authentic replicas of props and costumes and starship models. You can even see Rey’s Speeder… and it is life size!
Get Gaming: Guests may play current and upcoming Star Wars video games at the Game Center, including new and exclusive Disney Infinity 3.0 content created exclusively for the Launch Bay.
Launch Bay Theater: Love to soak in Star Wars trivia? Here, guests can watch a short video that includes exclusive interviews with the directors, writers, producers and other key crew members who continue to bring the saga to life.
Star Wars Launch Bay Cargo: This is basically the Disney Gallery for Star Wars fans. This fantastic store sells high-end artifacts and treasures, including signed memorabilia, studio models and personalized D-Tech on Demand mobile device cases. (Click here for more information on custom cell phone cases.)
Other Star Wars Launch Bay Facts:
- Throughout the space, guests will find Aurebesh writings in the environment. Aurebesh is a writing system used to transcribe Basic, the most used language in the Star Wars galaxy.
- Inspired by the iconic opening crawl in every Star Wars film, a welcoming text scroll on the carpet will greet guests as they enter the experience.
- First Order stormtroopers patrolling the area outside Launch Bay are on a mission to find members of the Resistance.
Star Wars Launch Bay will likely be the anecdote that gets all of us through until we get to quench our thirst for Star Wars in Star Wars Land. Of course, as always, stay tuned to our Facebook page or subscribe to our updates via email (in the sidebar of the blog) for the latest Disneyland news as it happens.