There have been teasers all week, but this is our last sea day and the culmination of the Star Wars cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy. On schedule, we got up and went to the Royal Court dining room for brunch. Ship guests are already out in force (pardon the pun) in costume to enjoy the day. Don’t worry, if you don’t bring anything to wear the Disney gift shops aboard to there to help you out. It is Star Wars Day at Sea.
Brunch was not the elaborate buffet I have had on some ships, but rather an extended breakfast menu with lunch-type options. This is the only sit-down venue available today for breakfast or lunch. We ended up having really fun waiters and it was a great start to our day. The food was ho-hum, but the experience was fun.
When you arrive on the ship at the beginning of the week you are given a selection form to rank 5 special character experiences for Star Wars Day at Sea. It was due a couple of days ago. Last night we got tickets to two events (our first and third choices). They tell you they will try to get you at least one of your top three choices and I was anticipating only one ticket and was excited to have the two opportunities. We also went to a presentation earlier in the week that got us an additional ticket (to see our fourth choice). Since one of the five options was an Jedi training for children, the most popular selection but not one we wanted, we got most of the character greetings we hoped for. We will miss out on C3PO and R2D2.
We decided to get in line early for our 10:30 am meet and greet and were surprised to find that they had already started the photo sessions. So go early and avoid the line. We started at the top of the chain with Darth Vader who had several prerecorded messages he could share with you. Rocky and I are dressed in Stormtrooper shirts, so Vader let me know that “the Empire appreciates your support.” We did individual pictures and one together. The ship had set up cool backgrounds too. This photo shoot was in the Tube and the cave-like setting fit the mood.
Disney has done a good job of using somewhat out of the way venues that guests wouldn’t normally venture to at this time of day so as to be not too “in your face” to guests who did’t have tickets. Without tickets, you were unable to get in. You might just not have got this selection, but most of the guests missed out simply because they did not turn in the form.
After Vader we headed to our second meet and greet with Chewbacca. The appreciative greeting I got from Vader was reversed here with Chewie. He was most disappointed when he saw my shirt. I told him that I was a rebel spy that had infiltrated the stormtrooper ranks. He really wasn’t buying that, but we got a good picture anyway.
We did note that there were more people dressed in the dark side theme at the Vader shoot, while Chewie attracted guests dressed as Rebels. There were also lots of family groups and parents with young children there to see Chewbacca. My favorite family had dressed their youngest as an Ewok.
Next we headed to the Costume Celebration in the Lobby Atrium. This was not a costume contest, but a chance to show off your creation. There were some pretty good ones.
It will come as no surprise that this is a day filled with Star Wars trivia options. Trivia was in the daily Navigator and there were trivia contests at every age level throughout the day. They even have a super fan contest tonight. For those that need a little education, they offer a Star Wars 101 class on board. We decided to enhance our Star Wars education with a lecture from Shawn Kelly, an animator with Lucasfilms’ Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Kelly started there as an intern and has worked himself up through the ranks, having now worked on 29 films including all three Star Wars prequels, Jurassic World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Pacific Rim, and Avengers. He is the lead animator on all of the Transformer films.
Kelly was so excited about the opportunities he had had in his career and to be part of Star Wars Day at Sea. He was on board with his family. He showed clips of the animation process at various stages and even showed us some behind the scenes work on Rogue One which will be shown on board tonight. Rocky and I have seen the movie, but it will be fun to look for these elements when we see the movie again tonight. Shawn Kelly’s presentation was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
Next it was up to deck 11 for Pool Patrol. Stroomtroopers filtered through the pool deck looking for rebel spies and Boba Fett made an arial entrance onto the deck to assist with the search. Even those who were unwilling to give up a day in the sun by the pool for the inside Star Wars events got a taste of this special day through the Pool Patrol. There were almost too many events to do everything, but enough variety for alternative tastes.
Next it was time for our last scheduled meet and greet of the day with either Kylo Ren or Captain Phasma. We ended up meeting the captain who looked us over as potential recruits. I am not sure I passed muster in spite of the shirt I was wearing. Afterwards, we went to McGill’s Pub for an adult animation class. We learned how to draw Yoda and had a nice cider in the process. Finally it was back to the atrium to see if any other characters might appear.
We started out at the top of the atrium where the changeling from Episode Two was sneaking around. She was really into character and pretended to stalk me as I tried to get pictures. I finally just walked up so we could get a picture together. Kinda cool that they had the bounty hunters out and about.
There is not a production or entertainer on stage tonight, but rather there is a showing of Rogue One, the most recent Star Wars saga release, in both the Walt Disney Theater (the production stage) and the Buena Vista Theater (the movie theater). We opted for the more comfy seats in the movie theater. I really like Rouge One, perhaps a little darker than the other Star Wars movies, and enjoyed looking for the details that Shawn Kelly had told us about earlier in the day.
Throughout the Star Wars Day at Sea, the cast members-all Disney employees are called cast members-wear special Star Wars name tags. There were announcements over the PA regarding the invasion and continued search for the rebel spies, and even the captain gave his announcements including galactic data. When we got to the dining room, our waiters also had special outfits for the event. All of the menu items were named for different planets and themes from the Star Wars universe.
To end the evening we were back up on the pool deck for Summon the Force and an attempt to rid ourselves of the First Order invaders. They do a cheesy stage show just like they do on Pirate Night. It is really not about the plot of the play but the opportunity for the crowd to cheer or boo as they showcase the characters.
The invading order was vanquished and our ship’s captain restored to command of the vessel. Of course, it wouldn’t be Disney if the evening didn’t end in Fireworks. We have had fireworks at sea twice on this trip, truly special.
Fireworks were followed by a special buffet (we had a similar one on Pirate’s Night aboard the Wonder) and a Galactic Dance Party. What a day! A Star Wars fan couldn’t ask for more.