R2D2 Catching Next Flight Out of Anaheim
by, 08-08-2011 at 10:11 AM (5204 Views)
An interactive, animatronic R2D2 rolled through Disneyland this weekend, but won’t be around for long.
The character, operated similarly to PUSH the talking trashcan, began appearing in Tomorrowland Friday morning August 5. “Artoo Detoo was an immediate hit with guests,” noted one employee. “Kids, grown-ups, and cast members were excited to see him. WDI and Lucasfilms planned this as a test—guest reaction and equipment durability. Artoo will be gone in a week.”
The character is expected to make its first publicized appearance August 19-21 at the D23 Expo in Anaheim. And after that? “Some cast members think the droid will be going to Florida, just like Lucky the dinosaur,” said one unhappy Disneylander. “If it happens, no one will be surprised. A lot of Disneyland cast members hate the way Walt Disney World is dictating how we operate. ‘Florida’ has become the new ‘f word.’”
Ironically, the “driver” for the new character—the updated Star Tours 2.0—is proving considerably more popular in Anaheim, where the day’s supply of FastPasses are often gone by noon, than in Orlando. Soon after the ride’s debut at Disneyland, two Imperial Stormtroopers replaced Buzz Lightyear in the area’s character meet & greets. They pose for pictures, but decline to sign autographs. Buzz was banished to Disney California Adventure.
Consequently, the cast member said, “Hopefully Artoo will stay (in California). But that all depends on Burbank. Maybe if there is enough positive guest feedback, hint, hint…”