Experiencing Star Wars

Cue the theme music!

Picking up where our story left off yesterday, the Webmaster had discovered the line for the Millennium Falcon Experience – which was also sold out.  For the 4 seats in the cockpit.  You could get about 4 more people in there, but it was standing room only.  So the Webmaster got in line, and waited for well over an hour (he later called himself the “queue camel”) while the kids played in the tots area (Ane stayed with him for part of the time, but then she got bored).  FINALLY, it was our turn.  The “experience” was about an 8 minute video played out on the screened-in replica cockpit windows of the Millennium Falcon:

Because it surrounded you, there was a really cool feeling of movement as the video dipped and bobbed – all while C-3PO narrated about what exists in outer space, as you watched some really great Hubble/NASA video.

A family of four and one single guy were also in the cockpit with us.  Dad and older girl had the front seats, while Mom and little boy (probably around three) sat in one seat.  The Webmaster took Tad in his lap and sat in the available seat.

When the video started and the cockpit lights dimmed, the little boy from the other family flipped his lid, screaming that “it’s scary!”  Poor mom had to take him out because he would not calm down.  Ane, never one to miss a silver lining, claimed the empty seat.  I was holding Rerun and stood between the two back seats.  The video was fun, but at $3 a person… wow, were they raking in the cash on that one.

And one of the most fun parts was that they’d built a small hallway leading into the cockpit that really did make you feel like you were on board the Millennium Falcon.  As you can tell, it was great for photo ops.

After that, we had lunch (I’d packed a sack lunch for the kids), Rerun managed an hour-long nap in the stroller (something he hates doing, which tells you how tired he was), and then we killed some more time at the gift shop and the genetics and human body exhibits (which were interesting, but not as younger-kid friendly).  And then, FINALLY… it was time!

And when Ane, Tad and I walked through the door to the Star Wars Experience, this is what greeted our eyes:

The whole exhibit was really more about the science aspect of the Star Wars stories… but it was still a total nerd paradise, full of costumes and props and models.  I got some really nice pictures of things, plus I took about 15 minutes worth of video on our video camera, so the Webmaster could get an idea of what was there and see the kids’ reactions.  (Yes, Oddball, I know you want to see the video.  Talk to the Webmaster, not me.)

We saw great costumes:

Huge models of some of the most classic ships:

And some fun props, including lightsabers!

My biggest problem was simply keeping track of the kids by myself.  Tad would have been content to just wander around for hours, but Ane wanted to look at the science experiment stations (build your own floating LEGO landspeeder using magnet forces, build your own R2-style droid and see if you could remote-control him).  Tad, of course, had no patience for that.  We did go to the Robot Theater, which featured an animatronic Threepio interacting with a video of a NASA scientist who designs robots, talking about robots of today and comparing them to the Star Wars droids.  Ane was a little bored, but Tad was enthralled with the talking Threepio.

The kids also rode the air-compressor “landspeeder” that was near the entrance where the full-scale prop was located.  I took video of each child “driving” the “speeder” in circles as it floated on air.  You had to be at least 5 years old to ride this contraption, and both kids insisted on doing it.  I was nervous about letting Tad do it, but he did it beautifully.  I shot video of both kids – couldn’t take pictures and shoot video at the same time, and video was better for this.  Sorry.

By the time we had seen everything, it was after 5, we were all exhausted, Rerun was losing it (the Webmaster and I keeping in touch via text and cell phone calls), but Tad really didn’t want to leave.  I couldn’t blame him – but he was more mad that we wouldn’t buy him a Vader costume.  It was the Halloween kind, so it wasn’t anything special.  There was a pretty decent Star Wars gift shop at the end of the exhibit that everyone could go to (even if you didn’t have a ticket into the exhibit – it was just outside the exit doors), but there wasn’t anything that you couldn’t get on Amazon or at any toy store.  The best souvenir that we have, ironically, is the poster advertising the Star Wars experience at the Science Center – which wasn’t being sold there at the gift shop.  We got ours from M., our favorite children’s librarian, who gave us the library’s promotional poster right before we went and they needed space on the wall.

But it was fun, and I’m glad we got in, even though it made for a very long day.  The kids loved it, and it was worth the effort to know that they had enjoyed themselves so much.

And they all fell asleep on the way home.

2 Responses to “Experiencing Star Wars”

  1. Oddball
    May 18th, 2011 02:08

    I only wish I could have gotten my girls up to see that too. Another reason it sucks to be in Oklahoma, nothing like the Star Wars Experience comes here. Maybe it will get to Dallas.

  2. Nana
    May 18th, 2011 08:41

    I loved the way the kids copied the stance of the characters. And their eyes were so big!