Rebels Clip: Art Attack

The second of four Star Wars Rebels shorts has arrived!  In the second of four clips that originally premiered at Star Wars Weekends, Sabine Wren sneaks onto an Imperial base to decorate.  Explosively.

Somewhere, Grand Admiral Thrawn is sitting back and stroking his chin and saying, “But it was so artistically done.”

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So You Want To Go To Disney World – Mission: SPACE

Introduced to Disney’s Epcot resort in 2003, Mission: SPACE instantly became one of the most intense attractions at Walt Disney World. Teams of four enter a flight simulator strapped to a centrifuge to embark on an interactive mission to Mars where not everything goes quite as expected.

The Geek Appeal

Ever daydreamed about being an astronaut or blasting off into deep space?

Mission: Space is the second of Walt Disney World’s two space-themed thrill rides. The difference between this attraction and Space Mountain, however, is thirty years of technological advances, and those innovations have translated into an extremely geeky ride.

The fun starts in the waiting room where you’re greeted with a video of Gary Sinise of Apollo 13 fame (Or Lieutenant Dan if you prefer) acting as your CAPCOM and explaining what you’re in for. From there you’re ushered into another holding area where you’re given your assignments for the mission. Depending on where you’re standing prior to entering the ride, you’ll be assigned the role of commander, engineer, pilot, or navigator.

Inside the ride itself, you’re treated to a simulator full of all sorts of knobs and dials and switches designed to look like the interior of a space shuttle or Apollo era capsule. Ever wanted to pretend you’re an astronaut? You’ll get your wish on this ride, because after playing with the instrument panel, the centrifuge spins up and simulates a launch experience so real your entire body will get pinned back into your seat. Trust me, you won’t even be able to lift your arms.

Attraction Strategy

Unlike Space Mountain, Mission: Space is an extremely efficient ride and can move guests through the line in a hurry. Even on the worst days, the longest you’ll typically wait in line as a standby is thirty minutes. In the off-season months, it’s often a walk-on ride. With that in mind, a fastpass isn’t usually necessary for this ride, so don’t feel compelled to use one unless there’s nothing else that interests you as an option at the park.

Is This Attraction For You?

Mission: Space is a violent and very spinny ride, but here’s the other interesting part of this attraction: There are two intensity options. The most intense version known as the Orange Line features a centrifuge that simulates rapid acceleration. There’s also the Green Line that features the same simulator but locks the centrifuge in place, only moving the cabin about in a manner similar to the likes of Star Tours and flight simulators seen throughout the country at various theme parks and museums.

If high thrills and spinning work for you, the Orange Line will prove exceedingly entertaining. If you can’t handle that but can deal with a more traditional flight simulator, the Green Line is the ticket.

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Rebels clip: ‘The Machine in the Ghost’

This is the first of four shorts that will be airing on Disney XD leading up to the Rebels premiere.

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So You Want To Go To Disney World: Space Mountain

Welcome to the first installment of our ongoing series on traveling in the Orlando area, home to numerous theme parks and attractions. This series is intended to provide geek-focused recommendations for places to visits, events to see, and attractions to ride. 

­­Space Mountain was introduced first at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in 1971. Like the Matterhorn Bobsled ride at Disneyland, it’s a steel-tube coaster but with a twist: it’s indoors and in the dark. Two separate tracks send cars and riders down a fast-paced course with sudden twists, turns, and drops that you can’t see coming. The best part? You’re riding through a starfield as if you were in a starfighter.

Over forty years later, it’s still one of the most popular attractions in all of the Disney parks.

The Geek Appeal

Space! Let’s say that again. SPACE! You’re flying through a projected star field in a car designed to look like a rocket with dramatic music blasting in the background. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re in the cockpit of an X-Wing and caught in the middle of a wild run through asteroids and obstacles, this is the ride for you.

Even the queue is full of geeky and spacy charm. The line leading towards the loading area is modeled like a space station corridor you’d expect to see in the likes of 2001. Additionally, the standby line features team-based mini video games that task you with stocking space freighters or blasting away dangerous asteroids. It’s a clever feature, and a life saver since Space Mountain will feature some of the longest lines in all of Disney. Which brings us to…

Attraction Strategy

The easiest thing you can possibly do is grab a Fast Pass+, which you can book online with a MyMagic+ account or at the park the day of. If you can book online, do that, because the available slots can vanish in a hurry the day of and FP+ will allow you to book weeks in advance of your arrival. With FP+, you can expect to be blasting through the ride within 10-15 minutes of entering the line.

If you don’t want to use one of your available FP slots on Space Mountain, or if you’ve already used up your allotted amount for that day, plan on getting to the park as close to rope drop (opening) as you can and doing this ride first. Later in the day, you can try riding during one of the bigger night time events like the Electrical Light Parade or the Wishes fireworks show. Otherwise, you can expect to be in the standby line for anywhere from 60-90 minutes.

Is This Attraction For You?

Ask yourself a few quick questions. Are you okay going downhill really fast? Are you okay with quick turns and drops you can’t see coming? Are you okay being strapped into a car and doing all of that in the dark? If the answer is yes, go for it!

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So You Want To Go To Disney World

It’s no secret that Brian and I are fans of the Disney parks. We live ten minutes from Walt Disney World Resort (henceforth abbreviated as WDW) and are card-carrying premium annual passholders. We visit the parks at least twice a month, usually more than that, especially if there’s a special event or family is visiting.

We’re often asked if we get bored of Disney. The answer to that is an enthusiastic NO. WDW is huge. Our annual pass grants us unlimited admission to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Disney Quest, and Disney’s miniature golf courses. Because we live so close, we can go for an hour or two after work on a Friday as a fun way to start off the weekend. We can go for a few hours on a Saturday when we’re bored. We can laze around a water park during the dog days of summer on a Sunday afternoon. I love being able to go to Disney for a few hours and not have to run myself ragged. I can’t imagine being a tourist and having to pack everything in WDW into only a few days.

(Plus, it keeps me from getting too annoyed with the tourists!)

Disney is ever-changing, and it’s not a place you can just pop into and expect to get the best experience. To that end, Brian and I are here to help! We’re starting a column called “So You Want To Go To Disney World,” highlighting WDW’s geeky attractions, history, and strategies to help you get the most out of your trip. We’ll also be discussing other theme parks, like Universal Orlando Resort, and Kennedy Space Center.

Why should you care about Disney World, you might ask? First of all, Disney World is home to Star Wars Weekends, a month-long celebration of Star Wars held every year in May and June. Most importantly, Disney is now our lord and master, owner of the Star Wars IP. My first thought upon hearing that Disney had bought Lucasfilm was “ahhhhh more Star Wars in the parks! Gimme my Star Wars Land!” It’s taken awhile, but it looks like our wishes will finally come true soon enough–Bob Iger recently stated on a conference call that more Star Wars will be coming to the parks, and to stay tuned for an announcement next year.

Let’s clear up some misinformation first, because there’s a lot of it going around:

  • Disney is not building a Star Wars theme park.
  • At most, Disney will create a Star Wars Land inside of one of its existing theme parks, most likely Hollywood Studios (home to Star Tours).
  • There is no Harry Potter theme park. There are two Harry Potter “lands,” located inside the Universal Studios (Diagon Alley) and Islands of Adventure (Hogsmeade) theme parks.
  • The Avatar expansion is already under construction inside Animal Kingdom.

Got it? Good.

We look forward to sharing our love of Disney an other Orlando theme parks with you. Stay tuned for our first column, covering Brian’s favorite ride–a classic Disney attraction in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. Can you guess what it is?

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Tosche Station Radio #90: A Significant Presence

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It’s news from San Diego Comic Con and around the web on this episode of Tosche Station Radio!

Kicking off the show, the hosts highlights What’s New on the Blog. Bria reviewed Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #3, Star Wars Legacy #17, Rebel Heist #4. She also penned a column discussing her hopes for the new Leia comic. Stay tuned, we have an ongoing column discussing geeky travel tips and trivia in the Orlando area.

In Fixer’s Flash, the Friends marathon continues. There was also a whole bunch of movie action as the hosts saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the LEGO Movie, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Strap in, Deak’s Dirt is going to be a long one this week. Jason Isaacs IS the Inquisitor.No release date, but we did get twonew Rebels trailers.Hera and Sabine action figures on display at SDCC. Finally, the first seven minutes aired on Disney XD Monday night and is now available for your consumption online. In Expanded Universe news, At SDCC an Untitled Ventress/Vos novel by Christie Golden was announced.Previous announced books were also discussed. Del Rey has released a preview of the first 7 chapters of A New Dawn. Marvel announced three new Star Wars titles. John Jackson Miller wins the Scribe Award for Kenobi. Much deserved. Congrats! The Clone Wars soundtrack is coming says Kevin Kiner. Disney is planning a “significant presence” for Star Wars in the parks.

In Biggs’ Bull$#!&, JJ Abrams posts another video and there’s an X-WING!!! Badass Digest gave us the horrible “falling hand” rumor.Episode VII is currently filming in Skellig Michael and Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley are on set! Harrison Ford is walking without his cane. Hallelujah!

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

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My Hopes and Dreams for Princess Leia

Leia_Dodson1Or more specifically: My Hopes and Dreams for the Star Wars: Princess Leia comic by Mark Waid.

When Joe Quesada announced the three new Star Wars comic books at San Diego Comic Con the other week, one series in particular thrilled me more than the others.  We were finally going to get a book staring Princess Leia!  Mark Waid was instantly a choice that I approved whole-heartedly of to write my beloved Leia Organa and that was even before I saw his interviews talking about the book. Terry Dodson on art just made it even better.  They are both perfect choices for a Leia story.  Dodson is perhaps the easier to immediately see.  I’ve never found a reason to complain about his art style and judging from the cover we’ve seen?  We’ll get to see some pretty neat outfits on everyone’s favorite princess that are all logical for her to be wearing.  Dodson also draws a killer action scene so we’ll undoubtedly have a few of those to look forward to.

Waid, on the other hand, might be a little tougher to get.  For me, the gut reaction of perfect! came from his work on Indestructible Hulk over the past few years.  Bruce Banner can be a tricky character to get right but it wasn’t his great work with the Hulk that got me.  No, it was how he handled one Maria Hill who is not a character that all writers get right.  They might get the ‘bitches-get-stuff-done’ aspect of her but miss that there’s more to her than that.  Mark Waid, however, nailed writing her hook, line, and sinker.  Factor in his solidly good work on Hulk and Daredevil in recent years and I was sold.

What doubly sold me were his interviews.  In an interview with StarWars.com, he describe Leia as

I think that she is often misunderstood as short-tempered or what have you, and I think that’s unfair. She’s direct. She’s not necessarily impatient, she’s just exasperated easily by people who are not as smart as her. She’s not bossy…well, okay, alright, she’s bossy. But she is a princess, after all, so you have to allow her a little bit of that.

…and I let out a giant sigh of relief.  It’s these aspects of Leia’s personality that are so important to who she is and how she reacts to situations.  Reading what he had to say about what sort of person she is at her core made me even more confident about how he’ll handle writing her.

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