Disney’s March of the FIRST ORDER – REVIEW

Love Star Wars?  How about the Stormtrooper March, known as March of the First Order.

Hey guys, today we will talk about one of my FAVORITE things at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – the Stormtrooper March, also known as March of the First Order.  This is a totally cool, semi-intimidating “parade” like event that happens daily, every hour, on the hour, in the daytime AND perfect for ANY Star Wars Fan.

I remember when I first saw it, it was a few years back, the kids were SO much younger and very new to the world known as Star Wars.  We were waiting for our late breakfast reservations at Hollywood & Vine and sitting on a bench when I start hearing the “March” music…you know the tune when Darth Vader is entering a room.  I ran to the center of the park with my camera ready for action and was amazed.  I think I even cried.  How did I not know this was happening…turns out it was NEW, very, very NEW…I witnessed one of the first shows they ever did.  It was so amazing, thrilling and a bit scary…I mean this was before Stormtroopers were walking the park searching for the Resistance.  To see them ALL march like that, to music…Dark Side music…I mean you skip a beat a little.

The kids, of course, wondered why mom ran away and they join me…front and center.  We were hooked.  I had to hold my youngest hand, but he (secretly) loved it too.  WE saw it 3 times that day, lol.

What is it?  Basically it is what it sounds like…it’s Stormtroppers marching.  They march down Hollywood Boulevard towards the stage that is center to the park, directly in front of the Chinese Theater.  They march like they do in the movies, like when they are following a Dark leader AND in this case…they are following the leadership of Captain Phasma – eek.  She actually speaks and commands that people give up Resistance followers and join the First Order.  Between her voice, the music and the sounds of several marching Stormtroppers…you step back a little.  They march to the stage, do a little show (which has changed a few times).  I won’t spoil it, but the mini show is a nice way to complete the march and even see a few surprise characters.

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The March of the First Order

If you want to see the show, up front and close…wait near the stage.  If you want a clear view of the march, watch from the street, store front on Hollywood Boulevard.  Watch it a few times, watch it every hour if you want…but if you are a STAR WARS FANATIC like me, you will WATCH, CRY and Repeat!

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Watch out…the First Order is coming.

NOTE – if you have young padawans or kids who aren’t into Star Wars or on the intimidated side…you might want to watch it first before inviting them…or just skip it.  I have heard from a few clients that it was too “intense” for their younglings.  Just a heads-up.  But my growing Star Wars Nerds love it and at this point follow Stormtroppers around the park hoping they will arrest them for being “good”.  Kids, lol.

Let me know what you think of the show and ENJOY!!  I would love to talk Star Wars some more (I can’t wait for Galaxy’s Edge), contact me for a quote if looking to vacation at Disney.  Mahalo for Reading and FOLLOWING along.  Did you know you can sign up for Blog Emails?  Nina

NEW Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy at Disney World – REVIEW

Alright CARS Fans, a NEW attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has OPENED!  READ for my honest REVIEW.

So…while at Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, exploring the land with all my fellow “toys”, we decided to try out the NEW experience – Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.  To quote Disney “Get pumped for a high-octane, first-of-its-kind show that’ll put you right in the middle of the Disney-Pixar Cars Universe”.  Sounds AMAZING, right?!?!?!

Location:

So this NEW show is located near Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, its around the corner.  You go past The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, thru or past Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and towards the back where you will see a CARS area.  Complete with Cruz Ramirez and DJ (who is from Disneyland), Photo Op.

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Look its DJ, straight from Disneyland – complete with this rock’in tunes.

The Show:

Spoiler Alert – I will talk about this show, honestly, and show video.  STOP if you want to be surprised!  You enter into a Theater Space, with curved stadium seating…so all seats are decent viewing seats.  There is a GIANT screen in front and all around you.  This serves as the backdrop for the show, its also a place for “other” characters to appear AND it serves as the “Race Track Simulator” that Lightning uses (like in the Movie).  Tow Mater appears first (on screen) and welcomes you and introduces his best bud – Lightning McQueen.  Lightning shows up as an actual Car, LIVE, at the front of the theater.  He talks, moves and races while up there, using the same Animatronic technology as in Frozen Ever After in Epcot.  He is basically a base of a car with animated features that help him interact and chat with the audience…which is pretty cool.  And watching him move and talk is pretty FUN to see and entertaining to figure out, how its all done (or is that just me?).

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Lightning McQueen!

Honest Opinion:

I found the show to be cute, a nice place to cool-off and will give your Cars fans a little show.  The show is simple and short.  My kids might find it cool, the first visit…after that I am not sure they would bother returning.  I feel kinda let down with this show.  What it is, is cute…but what it could have been…could have been amazing.  When I first heard they were doing a Racing Academy…I was imagining the old Lights, Motor, Action Show…like a stunt show but with CARS characters.  Like the Indiana Jones show, but with Cars.  To find out it was another tech show in a theater kinda made me sad.  So many little and big fans that would love a real Cars/Pixar attraction.

This just didn’t hit the mark for me, as a Theme Park goer.  Should you see the show, YES…why not.  Will this show amaze you and be something you go back to over and over again…perhaps not, not unless you have toddler.  Sorry Disney, this one didn’t cut it for me.  Cute but not amazing enough.  I know you are busy with Star Wars, but this could have been more, could have been something crowds line up for…its just not.  PS – we walked right in, no line, no wait, plenty of seats.

Hopefully this helped some of you, GO and SEE it for yourself, just don’t pump it up to the littles in case it falls short for them too.  If my kids loved it, I would “love” it and we would go over and over again…I just don’t see that happening like it does for Winnie the Pooh or Its A Small World, those rides we do over and over again.  Or the Frozen Sign-a-long…can’t tell you how many times I have seen that, lol.

Mahalo for Reading and FOLLOWING Along – Nina

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Nassau TOUR and REVIEW

Thinking about Porting in Nassau.  What to do, what to see and where to go with Disney Cruise Line

Ok – so today we are gonna talk about Nassau (which is in the Bahamas).  This is a very common or popular ports of call for ALL Cruise Lines to dock at.  YES, I said DOCK – no tender here 🙂  I have personally been to Nassau a few times as well as other Cruise Port locations (I am a vast wealth of knowledge, lol).  At first, our plan was to skip Nassau and stay aboard the ship (doing awesome ADULT-ONLY fun), but we decided what the heck, lets explore for an hour or so…so we did.

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The Disney Dream!

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IMPORTANT: Getting off the Ship

When you first get off the ship (WITH YOUR ID/PASSPORT and DCL CARD) you enter a “holding area” for lack of a better word.  Its a gated area, contained at the port…but its FILLED with local vendors calling out your name – “pretty lady, pretty lady – you need hair braids?”  They have drinks, snacks, Bahamas Merch (tees, bags, trinkets, etc) and the Hair Braiding ladies (PS – you can also get your Hair Braided on the Ship).  Walk fast or shop – totally your call.  And YES, you can barter here.

The Nassau Experience:

Then you can step outside of the gate and enter Nassau – this is where you can catch a cab/taxi or enter the city marketplace area.  SAFETY TIP – I wouldn’t venture too far into Nassau – either BOOK a Port Excursion with Disney, take a Cab to a beach or walk 1-2 blocks…that’s it.  On a Previous trip, I booked a DAY at the local Sandals Resort (another story).  Immediately entering this area, a friend got into a conversation with a local regarding “knock off” bags.  AS many people might say, “no thanks” – she was very interested.  So we found ourselves following this local lady into a few shops.  Shops that were dark, closed and could have easily been a human trafficking den…but it was early and they just hadn’t opened yet (but still, never keep your guard down).

Bags, upon bags, upon bags galore EVERYWHERE.  Knocks-offs from all brands and celebs.  Purses, wallets, hats, shoes, sunglasses, etc.  If this is your thing – I got their card 😉  ALSO it turns out this lady…she is like a shopper for the various shops (I think earning commission from the store fronts for bring you into store and purchasing).  She was very nice, friendly and a smooth talker…hard to say no (so again be firm if not interested).  After we left (yes people did purchase) we found others doing the same thing (other “shopper” ladies with signs showing pictures of purses).

Visiting the Local Marketplace:

AS other members of our group left to do other things, we stayed course and walked our few blocks, shopping in the market place before heading back to the ship…as we had pre-purchased the SPA day (the Rainforest Room).  Lots of shops, many were US brand locations too like Starbucks, Subway, Hard Rock, etc.  But we were interested in souvenirs for the kids we left at home.  See pictures BELOW:

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After we scored a few deals, we left…heading back to the ship – but NOT before we got our passports stamped.  Yep – FREE souvenir…get your passport stamped at Nassau!

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Proof you have been to the Bahamas!

**NOTE – Nassau is one of those ports that many have been too SO MANY times that they might decide to stay on-board the ship.  I was curious to see HOW many people actually were left of on the ship.  More on this subject later, but I was pleasantly surprised at the “openness” of the pool/spa areas – perhaps more people explored Nassau as we did.

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Remember…not only do I travel Disney for FUN and Enjoyment and LOVE, but its also my job.  So if thinking of a Disney Cruise – contact me for a quote.  I LOVE sharing all of my experience and tips/tricks of traveling.

Mahalo for reading and PLEASE FOLLOW my Blog – Nina