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Realityland's David Koenig

R2D2 Catching Next Flight Out of Anaheim

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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…”

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Comments

  1. WDWLocal's Avatar
    Are you the "unhappy Disneyland" you alluded to in this article? Either way, whoever it was is completely wrong!

    For one thing, the whole bit about Star Tours 2 being more popular in Anaheim than Orlando is incorrect. The only reason why he/she is wrong is because DL's Star Tours only has 4 simulators (leading to longer waits) while WDW's version has 6 of them, resulting in slightly shorter waits. That makeover is equally popular on both coasts.

    And WDW is not running DL in any way, shape or form whatsoever! Florida is NOT a new "F" word!

    In addition, this will not be the first time that a Living Character Initiative offering will have moved to Florida for a short time after a DL stint. Lucky the Dinosaur and the Muppet Mobile Lab, for example, all did stints in Anaheim before being shipped to Orlando for WDW stints.
  2. RStar's Avatar
    I think the "One Disney", I think it is called, has a lot of people upset. I have been told, for example, that in the candy shop in DtD Anaheim, we can no longer get the mini cupcake sampler because, while they were very popular in California, they didn't sell well in Florida. This only leads to more rivalry between the two coasts, and has been eroding at the uniqness of each resort.

    Besides, if these "tests" as they call them (Lucky, R2D2, etc.) are so popular, why can't they make two, one for each coast? I know they are a bit pricey, but if the test is successfull, why not build another???




    Quote Originally Posted by WDWLocal
    Are you the "unhappy Disneyland" you alluded to in this article? Either way, whoever it was is completely wrong!

    For one thing, the whole bit about Star Tours 2 being more popular in Anaheim than Orlando is incorrect. The only reason why he/she is wrong is because DL's Star Tours only has 4 simulators (leading to longer waits) while WDW's version has 6 of them, resulting in slightly shorter waits. That makeover is equally popular on both coasts.

    And WDW is not running DL in any way, shape or form whatsoever! Florida is NOT a new "F" word!

    In addition, this will not be the first time that a Living Character Initiative offering will have moved to Florida for a short time after a DL stint. Lucky the Dinosaur and the Muppet Mobile Lab, for example, all did stints in Anaheim before being shipped to Orlando for WDW stints.