Monday, 28 May 2012

Star Wars Invasion at LEGOLAND Windsor

To celebrate the opening of the new Star Wars Miniland at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, March 24th and 25th 2012 saw Star Wars Invasion come to the park. The UK Garrison sent the Empire’s finest troops to take over the park, with various Star Wars activities taking place over the weekend. I checked the event out to see what was going on and share some images...

As guests entered the Beginning area of the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, Star Wars characters were everywhere. With classic Star Wars themes playing from the sound system, it was an immersive Star Wars experience. A full sized Landspeeder was waiting for Padawans to try out the driver’s seat and get a photograph. 

Of course Star Wars Miniland was extremely popular all day, with quite a queue for the attraction. Once inside, guests can move around scenes from each of the six films as well as a scene from The Clone Wars. Like the traditional Miniland, in order to scale many of the environments correctly the models are far from “mini”. 
Jedi Knights watch over the entrance of Star Wars Miniland, and during Star Wars Invasion extra additional characters patrolled the exhibit and ensured that everything was in order. 

Costumed Star Wars characters were patrolling the entire park, truly justifying the term “Invasion”. As well as walking around the park, certain characters could be found in specific places at specific times. With a special Character Hunt entry forms, guests could get a stamp by being in the right place at the right time. Collect all of the stamps and guests were entered into a prize draw to win lots of LEGO. 

The Build and Test Workshops temporarily housed a special Death Star corridor backdrop, a particularly great photo opportunity to meet Imperial troops and a beeping, whistling and moving R2-D2.

The highlight of the day as far as seeing characters from the Saga went was the UK Garrison Character Parade, which saw a huge number of troops march day. From Darth Vader to Han Solo, and all the way to Shadow Stormtroopers, the parade was full of authentically costumed Star Wars legends. 

The Padawan Training Camp featured a Jedi Knight on stage, teaching young volunteers the secrets of the force and the art of lightsaber combat. Once the Padawans were ready, Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper came on-stage and the budding young Jedi had to defeat them. The show ended with a message from Master Yoda. 

Finally there was the opportunity to see The Padawan Menace LEGO Star Wars special on the big screen, utilising the park’s 3D theatre (although the film is in 2D). The occasional special effect was added, such as flames popping up in front of the screen, to add extra drama to the already hilarious special.

The Star Wars Invasion event was an immersive, well thought out event with plenty of added value in addition to the attractions already at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort. Stay tuned for a more detailed report on the Star Wars Miniland attraction in a future article. 

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