"Tomorrowland." Hiro points forward.
In between two rocks stands the Astro Orbiter. Nobody wishes to ride it but it's cool none the less. The way the planets align in a skewed way with a spire in the middle of them all. Something an astronomer or any fan of the future would look at as art. Hiro leads the way from the right and works his way around.
Near Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters stands a character. The first one they've seen today.
"Wo-ho!" Hiro perks.
"I believe it's Woo-oo!" Fred corrects.
"It's Stitch!" Hiro points out. He feels like a little kid seeing his favorite action hero.
"Oh, I thought you were singing the Ducktales theme. But Stitch is cool too!" Fred says.
"Quick! Quick! Someone take a picture." Cass hops in. Of course she'd join, both Hiro and Cass are Stitch fans, they even dressed Mochi up as Experiment 626 one year for Halloween.
"We should've got an autograph book!" Fred exclaims. Hiro doesn't see himself trying to get many characters autographs though, maybe if they were famous scientists or something. Everyone poses for the picture.
"Closer." says the photographer. Baymax sidesteps. "Closer." she repeats. Baymax steps again. "Closer." Baymax squeezes behind everyone crouching. "There we go!" Finally the picture gets taken. Cass and the photographer exchange info while Fred talks up Stitch.
"You know, I'm a mascot too." Fred brags to Stitch. "Call me if- you know."
Star Tours is up first, no contest.
The Starspeeder 1000 full with R2-D2 in the droid pit and C-3PO standing near a control panel. On the wall is a blue list of departures, similar to a terminal list in an airport.
They pass by the luggage area where some droids attend to..well, each other. It must be a surreal experience for Baymax. He's seen the animatronics but none that were meant to be robots.
An attendant hands them glasses. Hiro takes a liking to them, inspecting them for all they're worth. They could be 3-D, certainly not AR.
The line has them waiting for the shuttle with a monitor to tell how close it is to landing. Once the ship arrives, they head inside an auditorium. Inside are theater seats with seatbelts attached. C-3PO appears on the new monitor. Clear for take-off.
"R2-D2! What's going on here? We are not ready for take-off. The captain isn't on board yet!" The monitor switches to feed of R2. "You know we can't fly this thing." Shutter doors descend down to give a viewport of the landing station. This is what the glasses were for. Next to it is C-3PO himself.
The seats shift forward, ahead is the Millennium Falcon perched on its own, being held captive.
The shuttle stops. "Hold it right there, captain!" A series of stormtroopers stand out in front of the vehicle. A droid shines its red laser eye, scanning everyone in the auditorium. "We're looking for this rebel spy, have you seen him?" A green wanted poster appears on the screen of Baymax. "Wo-ho!" Fred shakes Baymax's arm.
"No one on this transport could possibly be a- spy." C-3PO retorts before looking at the monitor. "Oh dear."
"This is the speeder we're looking for. Blast them!" Instructs one of the troopers. Maybe the glasses were actually for this...safety.
The Falcon BLASTS OFF as the speeder follows. The chairs swivel and tilt, air blowing in everyone's faces. Photon torpedoes zoom across the window. TIE fighters follow. R2 equips the blasters to fire back. "This is madness!" C-3PO yelps. Climbing the margin above the Star Destroyers, they jump to lightspeed. White particles fill the opening, a spiraling purple straw through space. A the end of it is a fountain of light that leads into a green blue planet.
"Where are we now?" They ship closes in on a series of trees. "The wookiee planet?" He claims to be a protocol droid but doesn't know the name of Kashyyyk. On either side ride scout troopers on speeder bikes. "And more troopers, what are they doing here?" Hiro squirms in his seat.
They shoot a wookiee off his fluttercraft, he lands on the windshield of the Starspeeder. The audience gasps, afraid he's going to bust through the glass. The wookiee gurgles in their faces. He slips and falls under the carriage. "No!" Someone in the audience sad that they lost their companion. One of the scouts looks back to watch but in the process hits a tree branch, knocking him off the bike. Classic Wilhelm scream. There's still another one though, along with a fluttercraft.
"R2, hit the brakes!" C-3PO instructs but R2 instead pulls the guns, blasting the remaining scout sending him spiraling into a tree. Kaboom! "It worked!" C-3PO exclaims. R2 squeals, dodging trees and platforms. "Not this way R2!"
"I'm sorry!" C-3PO apologizes, grazing over a community of various species and nearly running into a flying creature. A huge bonfire. R2 lifts up and rockets off into the stratosphere. "A transmission?" 3PO asks. R2 beeps approvingly.
A hologram appears, this time from Admiral Ackbar. Hiro always thought he was funny because he looked like a goldfish. He looks over at Fred who seems to agree, barely holding in his laughter. "This is Admiral Ackbar. By now you know that your Starspeeder is carrying an agent to our rebel cause."
"Precisely. Deliver him safely to the rendezvous point that I'm transmitting to your R2 unit. Good luck." He puts his arms behind his back in a formal manner. "And may the force be with you."
A blue corridor through the cosmos.
Coming out, they appear right in the middle of a battle, laser cannons everywhere, Star Destroyers litter the sky. ARC-170s go by like the Starspeeder isn't even there, just trash in the way. "I wasn't programmed for this."
A ship explodes leaving buzz droids in its wake.
"Buzz droids! R2, Get them off before they rip us apart!" The monitor shows R2 shocking one of the droids in the center of their eye. "They've severed the controls." Flames appear on the right side, there's no telling what they've damaged. The seats dip forward as the ship dives headfirst towards the surface of the planet. Coruscant.
"Pull up. R2. Pull uuuuppp!" Into the city streets and back to leveling out. It feels like an accurate ride on top of Baymax. "Well done, Artoo." 3PO is eternally grateful but also scared for his life. They're driving on the wrong side of the road! Other speeders flash past. "Are you sure this is the right way?"
Artoo chirps gleefully. "Look R2, a platform, let's land there." R2 recklessly drives right into the platform, if there were speeding tickets in this universe he'd get a double fine. The front bumps the traffic guard, furiously waving his light sticks. "Yow!" Screams one of the girls in the audience.
"Stop." glitches out the droid, crossing his beams. Sparks fly from his processors. Poor guy. The platform starts sinking into a new lot.
"Welcome Star Tours, I trust our colleague is safe." A voice comes over the intercom. Baymax looks up. "I am safe."
"Safe? You have no idea what we've been through." 3PO complains.
"We're in your debt, captain."
"Captain? Oh, glad to be of service." 3PO humbly accepts.
Ahead in the landing zone is the Millennium Falcon. It beat the Starspeeder, it really is a fast ship that can do the Kessel run in twelve parasecs.
"Well, we're all in the Rebel Alliance now, so may the force be with us." The shutters close. "Oh, and thank you for flying Star Tours." finishes a muffled C-3PO. The lights illuminate. Everyone stands and claps but Hiro remains seated, looking at everyone, shocked.
"That ride actually has a load of different options so every ride is different." Fred boasts.
"Oh yeah?" Hiro respects. But it had to be that combination, didn't it? Tadashi was a big fan of Star Wars too, his favorite was Return of the Jedi. A lot of people bag on it for the Ewoks but for Tadashi, it makes sense he'd like it with how Baymax's design ended up being. That was just a thing they argued about, which movie was better, which character was better, even who knew more about it.
Hiro thought riding it would bring joy but it just reminded him of the hole, what could've been. Naturally, Kashyyyk being there is just a coincidence, it's quite similar to Endor after all which becomes a punch to the gut. Hiro tries to tell himself his experience was due to the ride itself but internally, it was much more than that, conflicted. And he couldn't show it.
"Yeah, let's go to the next thing." Hiro says, full of fake excitement.
"Well, what do you guys think about a break?" Aunt Cass suggests. It takes Hiro a bit off guard, like it threw off his groove but looking at her. He can tell she's a bit worn out. For her sake, he'll agree.
"It's kind of too early for lunch. But why don't we get some drinks?" She asks, making a big presentation of the stand in front of her. A Pizza Planet rocket. Honey Lemon snaps a picture before Cass moves away embarrassingly.
It would be cool if it was a claw machine from Toy Story but who can be picky? 'Delivering refreshment to a thirsty galaxy.' it reads underneath. Around it are little circular tables brandishing umbrellas. Everyone seems to already know what they want when they arrive but Hiro's left looking at the menu until he's the only one left.
"Uh, a lemonade please." Surely they'd have that. He's taken off guard when he sees the bottle pop from a tube and into the air. The cashier grabs it and hands it over to Hiro. Impressive.
They take a seat at one of the tables. There's an actual Pizza Planet restaurant behind it all but it's not modeled the same as the movie, kind of disappointing Hiro a bit. 'I bet they don't even have the Whack-A-Alien game or the Alien Slime drink.' He thinks to himself, still a bit sour. Not that the lemonade is helping, despite tasting alright, it too is sour.
The gang has found a new ride. Bumper cars. Cars of every color shimmer in the shade, shinier than Big Hero 6's armor. It's a stylistic choice though.
"Is this- safe?" Baymax asks, curious.
"Yeah, yeah. Why wouldn't it be?" He asks Baymax, observing the vehicles. Everything seems to be in order.
"I miss the point. What is the- goal?" He blinks his eyes and tilts his head at Hiro. He must think it's a car crash simulator. In hindsight, it is kind of weird to make that a game, to the point of disturbing Hiro just thinking about it. But it's also a way to express your frustration, to give an accident a purpose. The point is not to get hit but to hit others. Hiro shakes his head. That's too deep to think about today.
"Here, let me show you." He pushes Baymax through the empty line. Baymax's big body nudges the barrier straps to either side. They reach the end and Hiro finds that the others followed him. Looks like they're all going to have a happy ride.
Boom! Bump! Bang! They all crash into each other. Baymax is of course delicate as can be, being self conscious about the whole ordeal but it's fun. Baymax waves at the camera as a cast member takes a picture. Tomorrowland was the place for a crowd of cast members gather around to look at the picture and marvel in it. A bit strange but Hiro shrugs it off.
To end out the land, Hiro stares down Space Mountain, taking a sip of his lemonade. The mixture of anticipation and anxiety gets to him, this was a true coaster, one of legend, if he went in there with expectations, he may come out disappointed.
Constantly improving. 'Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.' Innovation, a philosophy Hiro has more or less lived by but the mere idea can be a curse because you rarely feel like taking things at face value and living in the moment, you're always looking ahead. Some of these rides were designed decades ago and they update but the core remains the same. It's like the sentimentality theory, if you have a boat and it gets a hole in it, of course you repair it. You get more holes and more repairs and eventually you've replaced everything the boat used to be so can you still call it the same boat? I don't feel like we should abandon the past and move on with new and improved stuff every time but being a contributor to the repairs can make you forget what the original was meant to be.
Says the person who made rocket boots out of dishwasher scraps. Fred pushes him past the gate or else he'd would be standing there all day. But his fear only rises as they head down a long corridor, led by a red carpet. It's the ride he's always dreamed of and they're giving him as much suspense as they could but now nothing can stop him as he actually enters the queue. The journey is longer than any they've seen yet, it must have been a real blockbuster back in the day but now they have very few people to see. The wait must be work for a higher reward. Hiro just hopes it's not too similar to Star Tours, maybe they should've done this one first.
A voice comes over the intercom talking about space control as we enter the final area. Air conditioned and lit in red. A space port with doors leading in four different directions. Assuming that they're space pods but there's only one door open. They're thrust through this entire experience, the line much shorter than anyone could've predicted. In front is an actual space ship, thrusters still orange from take off. The side view only makes it seem that much longer, a full-on rocket versus a shuttle or 'speeder' as Star Tours was.
Hiro purses his lips as the cart arrives, a cast member directing him through. He takes the front seat. Four people per cart with two carts connected to each other like a train. This time, Fred becomes his seat companion. "How cool is this?!" He tries to pump everyone up. The intercom is still on but Hiro's already lost his attention to the beeps, hydraulics and steam compressors. The blue lights wave over Hiro's face, glare through his eyes.
The music starts and a choir sings. Neon ascending. "We are initiating power transfer in 3. 2. 1." Ahead is a more condensed tube with a shrill amount of beeping. Lights signifying stars spinning pass by as the car blinks its way through. Electricity through a power cable.
Everything is black. The car in front has disappeared into the dark. Another countdown. "Ahhhh!" A scream can be heard whizzing right to left. That must've been the other cart. Hiro can't make out where they're going or even the structure of the building, just that they're moving at a breakneck pace. The music is an essential part of the ride, making the spirals heard and the speed visceral. Hiro could only wish he could see everyone's faces but at the same time, doesn't want to take his eyes off the experience, it's hypnotizing!
Sensory deprivation, the feeling that you could hop out and float, flipping in space without any sense of orientation. Which way is up? Which way is down? What is the right way around when there's nothing to use as reference?
Suddenly, a firework of red, white, blue, and yellow explodes, slowing down the cart. Ahead is the exit. Hiro's head still feels the rush even as he climbs out. The rocket moves ahead. The number on the back: 0998. A memory. Over all too soon.
Hiro shields his eyes from the stark contrast of sunlight.
"Y'know, I've been calling a lot of the shots. I think it's time I let someone else take the reins, it's your vacation too." He humbly gives up his leadership pass but no one stands up to take it, they all just look at each other like they're not really sure where to go. Even Fred, who always has some sort of wacky scheme seems a little lost.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Once again, I'm taking some liberties and having bumper cars and that's meant to inspire DL to make Happy Ride with Baymax (when there weren't actually bumper cars previously). Since I included Star Tours, I probably won't be including Star Wars Land.