Friday, June 10, 2011

A Walk Around The World With Ridge-- I'm Home...sort of

What an adventure I had this May. I went to my first Star Wars Weekends and was there for the reopening of Star Tours. To make it even more crazy, my trip consisted of two trips in one. I was part of the fun from May 19-25, went home to Birmingham, worked for two days and then went right back for Memorial Day weekend. Why didn’t I just stay the extra two days instead of drive all the way home to work? Well at the time this made perfect sense because vacation time is finite and I needed as much of it as possible to make the rest of the trips I already have planned for the rest of the year.  The most important being July so I can go and see the new baby in our family, Little Miss Ashley. So like I said it made perfect sense when I planned it.  Knowing all the trouble I have had now, I wish I had either stayed or just not taken the second weekend.

Arrival for my first part of the trip was to Pop Century Resort. Now yes my family and I are DVC members but in an effort not to single handedly drain all the points for the year, I stayed on my own dime.  I did what everyone should do and called Travel with the Magic and got a room booked.  Thanks Kelly!

My trip was far from smooth sailing.  If you have followed the blog you already know I had a bit of car trouble about 2 hours south of Birmingham in my old haunt of Auburn. After having the car repaired I had a relatively uneventful drive into Orlando, getting to check in at the Pop around midnight. Lucky for me I always do online check-in but until this trip never knew how handy it would really be. When I got to Pop, the computer system for check-in wasn’t working. So I let the CM know that I had completed online check-in and he took my driver’s license and walked over to a counter and came back with a check-in packet. Because they had a little warning that the computers were going to be down all the people that had pre-checked-in had their packets already made. So that was a painless moment.

I wandered over to my room and like the crazy person that I am, before I could bring anything into the room, I had to take pictures of it.

The room was a good size and was very clean. I was in the 50s building and there is a fun framed poster on the wall with lots of little bits of memoriblia featured.

I very much liked that the T.V. had been updated to a flatscreen model on swivel base that almost pivoted 180 degrees.

After taking pictures and unpacking, it was time to hit the hay because Friday was the grand opening of Star Tours: the Adventures Continue and George Lucas himself was going to be there. I was looking very forward to the day and got up early, having only what I would call a nap.  I got over to the park, picked up my annual pass from guest services while also getting my Tables in Wonderland card and headed into the Studios. Having never attended the Star Wars Weekends before I was unprepared for the people in costume, lightsabers as far as the eye could see and the socially awkward adults buying everything they could get their hands on. I went straight to Star Tours to get a Fastpass because I knew from the tweets and other chatter that FPs were going to go fast and the lines will be long.

Now a mistake I made early on was NOT fully reading the schedule and didn’t realize that the opening ceremonies were at 11.  During that time I was trapped in the merchandise line in Jabba’s Hutt. On the bright side I got several exclusive pins, a coin and a writing pen. So while I missed being in the sun and George Lucas telling Darth Vader he was “about to meet his maker,” I bought some cool stuff that not everyone got to have.

Come back for more next time when I tackle my new favorite attraction and the rest of the crazy trip.


  1. We love Pop Century!! Thanks for taking pics of the curbed my Disney appetite today. :0)

  2. Hmm... trying to convince my hubby that we don't always have to stay at a moderate or deluxe resort... maybe seeing some first hand pics, not "photo shopped" Disney website pics, will show him that it is in fact pretty nice. Sorry you missed the ceremonies, but hey, you got some cool stuff!


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