Star Tours 2: The Fanboy Returns

In the wake of relinquishing my job and shutting down a Congressional office on Capitol Hill, I travelled to Orlando, FL to be in the wedding of my friends Josh and Terri Shepherd.  After the four day “wedding adventure”, I happened to have a free day in Orlando before meeting my grandma and driving to her house in Naples, FL the next day.  What to do with a free day?  As a Star Wars fanboy there was little choice actually, knowing that the new Star Tours ride was within traveling distance by public transportation.  Resolved to visit Disney Hollywood Studios and check the new Star Wars experience off my bucket list, I hopped on a shuttle to the airport.  In short order the shuttle dropped me off in a parking lot wherein I was to catch a Lynx public transport bus to Magic Kingdom.  When a  bus is the only option available, you take it (and secretly wish there was a Metro system).  I hadn’t realized how much DC has spoiled me in the area of public transport until that day because the Metro really doesn’t stop and buses do.  The bus ride took a little over an hour each way, and since I knew I would be going on rides, I kept the peripherals (books and electronic gadgets) to a minimum and had little to occupy the time.

Being in a totally different and unknown city sometimes makes adventures like these seem crazy because anything can happen, thankfully nothing did (in “Disney-speak” such an incident would be referred to as “un-Mickey”).  Upon arriving at Magic Kingdom (after passing through Downtown Disney and having flashbacks of Disney Quest and LaNuba, a Cirque Du Sole performance) I raced to catch a bus to Disney Hollywood Studios.  The best thing about Disney Transport buses is actually the music; you never know what you’re going to hear.  It’s rather ironic to hear “Duel of the Fates” from The Phantom Menace and worth raising a Vuncan eyebrow if the theme to The Godfather starts playing.  My first reaction to that was “wow, and this is a Disney bus?” but then realized the kids had no idea; no one else took notice.

Arriving at the park, I immediately made my way towards the back where Star Tours is.  As I drew closer, my singular focus propelling me like the quad engines of a Imcom T-65, a voice called out to me “You’re headed to the Star Wars ride aren’t you?”  I turned toward the voice and found an older gentlemen holding something out to me:  a instant access “Fast-Pass” to Star Tours that he couldn’t use.  In my mind I felt like this guy was telling me “it’s too boring to wait alone, take this!”.  I gladly accepted, marvelling at the kindness of a stranger.  How did he know?  Was it THAT obvious?  I wasn’t wearing a Star Wars shirt of any sort (I opted for “Flynn’s Arcade” threads instead).

Quickly walking the rest of the way to Star Tours – I only had a 10 minute window left on the Fast-Pass – I snapped a few pictures and headed right in; I’d forgotten there was a handicapped entrance but skipped the entire line thanks to this.  Before I knew it, I was in the front  row of the new Star Tours: crashing, and subsequently winning the Boonta Eve podrace on Tatooine, facing off against Boba Fett in the asteroid rings of Geonosis, and being chased by Darth Vader and his Advanced x1 TIE Fighter in the bowels of the Death Star II.  A second a flight a few hours later found me in the front row once again and in the midst of the Battle of Hoth (Walkers, Speeders, and the legendary harpoon and tow-cable combo came standard), the Battle of Couruscant, and a planet side speeder chase.  Both flights were full of wonder and I enjoyed them as much as I did when I first rode over 20+ years ago.

Unfortunately, on neither flight was I the Rebel spy…and wouldn’t tell you if I had been; the number of Bothans that would have have died to bring you that information would have been astronomical.

Posted on by Aaron in Star Wars

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

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