Actually we did cover this in one of the podcast for Nightfall Unlimited, the title Escorted Out of Disney World. In 2005, I met some of my dearest friends of all time at Star Wars Celebration III in Indianapolis. We ended up spending a lot of time with them and on the last day of the convention, Art and I did 3 costume chances. He Luke from all three Original Trilogy film and he allowed me to wear his Han Solo costumes and it was fantastic.
Fast forward more than a year, Art and Danielle invited Elizabeth and I to Florida to go to Star Wars Weekends at Disney World. So we headed out to Orlando, packed our costumes and took off. I was excited, it was another event to costume and dress in a Star Wars themed costume. It was a great trip and as a collector it was so much fun. We stopped at every Toys r Us, Walmart and Target on the trip to hunt for Star Wars figures and other collectibles.
When we finally got to Florida, we napped, barbecued and took a swim. Then it was time to break out the costumes and play. I donned my Obi-Wan Kenobi, Revenge of the Sith and loaned Art the Anakin costume and we grabbed a couple of lightsabers and stepped outside into the Florida night. Elizabeth and Danielle were behind the camera and took some really cool pictures.
The following day, Art and Danielle were set to march in the parade at Disney world for the 501st. They were dressed as Stormtroopers. I dressed in my Obi-wan costume and it was so damned hot in the tunic and cloak and Elizabeth dressed in her Episode II Attack of the Clones, Padme Arena costume. We walked around while we waited for the parade to start, saw a bunch of the actors Disney hired. There was a Darth Maul who was unapproachable and most were from the prequel trilogy. The costumes were good, the actors were not and there were long lines for photo opportunities. So we walked around some more and watched the parade.
When the parade was over Art wanted to change into the Anakin costume, which was his first time in a prequel costume. So he changed, we grabbed some food and headed to Star Tours. Star Tours the ride was pretty cool, it has changed since then, but I really liked it and they had different things around for photo opps. But then…then we decided to leave. We were ready to get back to Art and Danielle’s to swim and grill.
On our way through the park a couple of kids came up to the four of us and asked if we could take a picture with them and sign their autograph books. Now, this is against the rules of the park, it is the reason they hire the actors, who were jerks. So I was not going to turn down a little kid who wanted to take pictures of Star Wars heroes. So we stopped and took a picture with the kids and each of us signed the kids autograph books. When we looked up, there was a line of kids behind the first couple.
As the crowd grew, the security guards at Disney started to take notice. The crowd grew larger and finally the people at Disney had enough. The approached us and told us we had to stop. I tried to explain,”I am not going to turn a kid down who wants a picture.” They told us to finish up and leave the park. This was an outrage to me, here I am a paying customer in the magic kingdom, happiest place on earth and they were kicking us out. The people at Disney really wanted to disappoint some children that day. I think they did, the security let us finish up with the kids we just finished some pictures. Then they told the kicks we had to leave.
So we left the park and I was pretty upset, but what is a Jedi to do? I thought about coming back the next day, in costume, even though we were told not to come back in costume. I wanted to go solo on Disney, Han Solo. But we decided to just hang out and plan future costumes and talk about the next Celebration, which was Celebration IV in LA. Seems like were going to miss California based Celebrations.
Overall, it was totally worth it, we made a lot of kids happy that day. There were so many actors and they looked pretty good, but the lines were just as long as some of the rides. So why Disney? Why couldn’t the younglings have a picture with a couple of Jedi and a Senator from Naboo? So, if you go to Star Wars Weekends this year and if they let you costume, be careful and be mindful of Disney security.
That is it, we got kicked out of Disney World for making little kids happy. I have not been back since, I have been back to Orlando since, 2010, Star Wars Celebration V and it was amazing! May the Force Be With You…all.