Star Wars is everywhere, not just on late-night reruns and toys, but on clothing and food and all kinds of merchandise. At the Disneyland Resort, Star Wars has taken over Tomorrowland by way of Season of the Force, a series of limited-time experiences such as Star Wars-themed food, a Space Mountain overlay (Hyperspace Mountain), and a gigantic exhibition called Star Wars Launch Bay.
Star Wars Launch Bay is located on the ground floor of Tomorrowland's Carousel Theater, which used to host Innoventions and still hosts the Marvel Avengers characters on the second floor. The exhibit features Star Wars character meet and greets, Star Wars videogames, Star Wars artifacts, and behind-the-scene sneak peeks. It's from visiting Star Wars Launch Bay that I actually found out the most about the new Star Wars movie, so if you're planning to visit Disneyland, make sure you leave an hour or two to visit Star Wars Launch Bay! There is so much to see and do, but here are my top 7 experiences (I chose the number 7 in honor of Episode VII!) at Star Wars Launch Bay:
1) Star Wars MemorabiliaVisitors to Star Wars Launch Bay can wander through a series of galleries displaying authentic replicas of film props, costumes, models, artwork, and other memorabilia from the Star Wars universe. In the Light Side Gallery, you'll find replicas of Rebel pilot helmets and Jedi lightsabers. In the Dark Side Gallery, you'll find replicas of Stormtrooper armor (you'll be able to how the armour changes over time) and lightsabers of the Sith. The Starship Gallery features models of famous starships and their pilots. The Preview Gallery features props and costumes used in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie.
2) Launch Bay TheaterThe Launch Bay Theater plays a short clip giving fans a behind the scenes look at the making of the Star Wars movies. The clip features appearances by the brightest creative minds behind Star Wars, including The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm president and The Force Awakens producer Kathleen Kennedy, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards. It's really interesting to watch, and if you're feeling tired, this is the perfect place to sit and rest your weary legs!
3) Character Meet and GreetMeet iconic Star Wars characters like Darth Vader, Chewbacca or Boba Fett. Characters stay in a closed-off room and guests line up outside. As with any character meet and greet, not all characters will be around, and they do take breaks. The lines can get pretty long!
4) Video GamesThe Game Center has multiple video game stations with Disney Infinity 3.0 systems. Guests can play current and upcoming Star Wars video games, including exclusive Disney Infinity 3.0 content.
5) Launch Bay DecorThe interior decor of the building is just as interesting as the exhibits. As you enter Launch Bay, look down: the carpet has a welcome message written in the style of the iconic text that scrolls down the screen in every Star Wars film. Look around from side to side: Aurebesh writing (the writing system used to represent Basic, the most common language in the Star Wars galaxy) appears everywhere. The two-floor atrium is lined with light bars that look like lightsaber beams. You really feel like you're inside a Star Wars battle ship!
6) Star Wars CantinaTattoine comes alive in the Star Wars Cantina set! This area was inspired by the Cantina in Star Wars: A New Hope, the "hive of scum and villainy" in Mos Eisley where Luke Skywalker first met Han Solo. The Cantina is selfie paradise for Star Wars fans -- you can pose by the bar while pretending to play holochess or sabacc (2 popular games in the Star Wars galaxy)
7) Star Wars merchandiseDon't leave Launch Bay without spending some time in Star Wars Launch Bay Cargo. The Launch Bay's souvenir shop sells Star Wars memorabilia for the most serious Star Wars fans. If you're thinking Star Wars t-shirts, key chains, figurines, light sabers, BB-8 droids or board games, think again. Think bigger. Think reproductions of the original 1970's Kenner toys. Think personalized D-Tech phone cases and Dooney & Burke Star Wars bags and autographed movie photo stills. Think lightsaber lamps and umbrellas.
A word of warning: you might have to borrow money from Jabba The Hut to afford some of the things on sale here. The Kenner toys cost almost $100 and original paintings cost $500 and up.