Disney World: Star Wars Weekends 2015

Last year, we took my nieces to Disney World for their first trip, and specifically planned it to be during Star Wars Weekends in May. This is a family of Star Wars nerds, so this was a must-do for the kiddos first time there.

Legends of the Force Motorcade

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Ian McDiarmid – PALPATINE!

The Legends of the Force Motorcade, or as we called it, the Star Wars Parade, was probably the highlight for our family. But for more reasons than just enjoying a motorcade of people in costumes and celebrities from various different Star Wars movies and shows. When we came into the park that day, slightly later than we intended because we were trying to run to get the girls signed up for Jedi Training, an employee stopped us. She noticed that we were all decked out in Star Wars, including the adorable two little girls, and asked if the girls would want to be in the parade as little padawan representatives of the Jedi Training Academy. Of course, we said yes. And they needed one adult per child to go with them behind the scenes at Disney before the parade and walk behind them during the parade and wave to the people. Uh. Yeah. I definitely volunteered to go with my brother.

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Best of 2015

There were a lot of ups and downs to 2015. Being unemployed for a few months really ruined some travel plans or me. But there were definitely a lot of great moments over all! I’d like to look back on some of my favorite things of the past year:

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Ian McDiarmid aka Emperor Palpatine

Star Wars Weekend 2015 at Walt Disney World:

While I fully plan to do an actual full post on the insane coolness which was this event, I do need to spoil it some now. In May last year, we took my nieces for their first ever trip to Disney World and Universal, and strategically planned it so the girls could go for Star Wars Weekends. Well, long story short, my nieces were picked to be in the opening parade, in which they’d be dressed as Jedi Padawans and given lightsabers and some quick training from the Jedi Academy, before leading the celebrity guests in that were riding in the parade. And they needed two adults to walk the parade with the girls… I WALKED IN THE STAR WARS PARADE WITH EMPEROR PALPATINE!

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BTS: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem (HHN 25)

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*WARNING* If you do not like or cannot handle scary clowns, fake violence/bodies, or any other intense images – this post may not be for you.

Jack is back, andĀ this year he’s presenting a sampling of the houses of Horror Nights past. I will try to note all of the references to previous houses/scarezones as I can, and hopefully I get them all correct. Ha!

While I don’t have pictures of absolutely everything, I will try to touch on some of the most important features of the house, as well as my favorites.

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BTS: Body Collectors: Recollections (HHN25)

*WARNING* If you don’t like fake dead people or scary things, don’t continue on with this post. Because there are fake bodies and other good stuff.

 

Body Collectors is a familiar face to Halloween Horror Nights, having had houses before. In 2005, the Body Collector’s maze was used in Halloween Horror Nights: Tales of Terror, which was the first time they connected all of the houses, scarezones, and shows into one large story event. The icon for this particular year was the Storyteller, Elsa Strict. She told you the story of the Terra Cruentas and their ruler, the Terra Queen. Sacrifices were made to the Terra Queen, and the bodies were given to the Body Collector’s to use. You can read more on this particular year of HHN here.

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Terra Queen’s motorcycle.

Another familiar scarezone and house used at HHN in the past is Shady Brook and their patients. Shadybrook housed a particular iconic clown at one point, until he started a riot that not only led to his own escape, but diminished the reputation of Shadybrook. Psychoscarepy was used again for a scarezone this year, mentioning the escape of some of the patients, but they also brought in the Shadybrook Rest Home and Sanitarium for a house this year as well.

Combine these two familiar houses and scarezones, and you have Body Collectors: Recollections.

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It’s a lovely winter night, and it seems pretty peaceful outside of Shadybrook, right?

This was seriously one of the coolest entrances to a house I’ve seen. It looked like we were really outside in the snow, and it was in the same building as the Freddy vs Jason house. The Art and Design team were really on top of their game this year!

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Looks like she was…. fired. *snort* Anyway..

You enter the doors of Shadybrook to find that terrible things have happened to the nurses. What’s going on? The Body Collector’s have returned and they’re on the hunt for body parts once again.

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This was a really cool little boo hole for one hallway. Patients freezing to death reaching in at you as you walk through the house. It honestly looked like it was a real window leading outside.

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*insert creepy sounds here*

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This was a body that a Collector was working on harvesting. Poor doc didn’t stand a chance.

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Fun fact: the Collector’s are modeled after the Gentlemen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Which is cool if you’re a nerd like me and love Buffy. But it’s also CREEPY AS HELL to walk into the room with these things all grinning down at you.

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This super cool chandelier of the dead has been used in a few different houses over the years at HHN from what I understand. Unfortunately, I don’t remember which houses. But it’s still pretty interesting to look at, and a great conversation piece for Halloween enthusiasts to have in their homes.

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Here we have a horrifying spine removal. There’s a scare actor on the table screaming in pain as their spine is torn out with, a horrible accompanying sound, by one of the Collectors. They had two tables that unlocked and pulled out quickly to change out the cast members faster.

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The big room that everyone remembers is THIS room. The main Collector orchestrates the assembly of new Collectors, so you have these dummies being put together by Collectors all around you. The heads floating had “headless” scareactors beneath them to stand up suddenly and terrify onlookers trying to make it out.

Honestly, this was my first Body Collector’s house, and it was really awesome! I hope HHN does more with them in the future!

Did you go into Shadybrook? Have any questions? Drop me a comment!

~Angel

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2015

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I’ve been to Disney several times, but an especially fun time of year for me is Halloween time, when the decorations change up for the season. I’m very passionate about Halloween, and love to attend what events celebrating my favorite holiday I can. So, for the first time last year, I went to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and when they announced the special Sanderson Sisters (Hocus Pocus) show earlier this year, I was ready to buy my tickets and go.

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Review: Bag of Holding – Con-Survival Edition

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I saw the Bag of Holding – Con-Survival Edition at ThinkGeek quite a few months ago, and wanted one of my own. As an avid con attendee myself, I know the importance of a good bag for convention attending. So, I put my Con Bag of Holding to the test for Wizard World Chicago – a big con, with loads of people, a busy schedule for myself, and no room for errors.

I will admit, I love the thought put into this bag. ThereĀ are two mesh pockets on the sides of the bag, perfect to hold my water or soda bottles. One of the mesh pockets has an open bottom with a drawstring / toggle pull at the bottom so you can either close it, or – as I used it – you can slide a poster into the pocket and tighten the toggle pull and TH DAH! no accidentally sitting your poster down and wandering off without it. Granted, I did have a difficult time maneuvering with my posters, but I also had a long narrow box I was rolling my posters up and sliding them into. Because while the pocket can hold my posters – it can’t exactly protect them. But I had thought of this ahead of time.

Another issue I had, and probably my only other real negative, was the pain in the rump of not being able to zip my bag when I had 11×17 prints in the bag (as seen above.) HOWEVER – I’ve never had a con bag I could zip and carry those in. Most of my frustration was related to the fact Wizard World didn’t give me a giant plastic bag with my VIP, which is what I was accustomed to. So, technically, this isn’t the fault of my Con Bag of Holding.

Now, back to the positives!

I definitely had more than enough room for my charger, wallet, maps, books, schedules, random small purchases, etc. And they didn’t all have to be clumped together, because of the large amount of pockets and whatnot. I knew where things were, could easily reach them, and didn’t have to pull over into a corner to awkwardly dump my bag out and figure out where my photo op schedule went. There is also a really nice pocket perfect for an iPad or other eReader type device, which I didn’t use. But hey, worth a mention.

So, did I consider my bag worth buying? Yes. Will I be using it at all other cons I attend? Probably. Unless the situation requires a backpack.

Check out the Bag of Holding – Con Survival Edition for yourself! Maybe it’ll become your go-to con bag.

I’ll have a post up soon about Wizard World Chicago itself!

~Angel