There was a Groupon recently for half price zoo membership. I'd actually looked into a zoo membership about a month or so ago but was put off by the price. I just wasn't sure we'd use it enough to warrant the cost --honestly, its pretty reasonable, just didn't know if we'd use it. But half price??? Heck, I was all over that! Seriously love groupon but its only a good deal if you use them, right?
Anyway, I immediately checked out the special events coming up and found they were having a Star Wars day. Hmmm, that sounded kind of interesting. I was never all that much of a Star Wars fan but I've seen most of the movies. Anyway, it fell on a day they were having early entry for zoo members and I thought, what the heck, let's do it!
Unfortunately, its finally become summer here in so cal. After the last few months of super mile temps we're having a bit of a heat wave and its been above 100 each day. So we got there super early (yes, I was in front of the LA Zoo at 8am!!). Since the Star Wars thing wasn't starting for about an hour and half we checked out some of the animal exhibits including the giraffes (my personal fav), black bear, rhino, snow leopard, etc. G was only mildly interested in the animals. She'd look at the animal for like 10 secs and then say "when are we going to see the characters?" We mosied back down to the Star Wars area about 30 mins before it was scheduled to begin and encountered nothing short of a mob!
There must have been 500 people there waiting to see the characters. No organization of any kind although a couple informal "lines" had been started but people had no idea what they were lining up for. It was a bit comical really. Anyway, G and I finally got ourselves into a line to see we didn't know what and waited. As luck would have it, we'd chosen luckily, and were standing in the Darth Vader line! It went along pretty well and we were finally so close to being next.... then, DV left!!! Ugh!!! DV where'd you go? When are you coming back?? We waited for a bit but he didn't return. We finally decided to try the other "line" and were successful in seeing R2D2 and then DV returned!! Ugh!! The DV line was 100s of people long again. Shoot! What to do?? Then I just decided to be bold. I walked up to nearly the front of the DV line and saw this super cute little family. I explained that we'd waited before, gotten shut out at the last minute and asked if they'd let us in line.... they did!! I was so happy!!! Note: again, I'd chosen luckily because the guy standing behind them was P*$$+D!! Kept mumbling to his friend "sure, they waited before, that's a likely story". No way he would have let us in line :-)
We finally got to see the the evil one. Its funny because G has never seen the movies but I showed her some stuff online and she was super excited to meet them. My kid loves characters! After that, it had gotten really hot. We sat for awhile so G could eat her sandwich, visited the petting zoo (G's favorite part no doubt) and then hightailed it out of there.
You'd think with the temp at 104 by that point there wouldn't be much of a crowed.WRONG!!! People were flooding in the gates and the Star Wars area was even more crowded than earlier. By the time I got home the thermostat on my car said 108!!! Yowza!
G was all decked out in her Star Wars dress. I just happened to run across it online and thought it might be fun. It really was. All the characters really liked it! We also took a pic with the gorilla statue again. We'd done that last time we were at the zoo almost 2 yrs earlier. Maybe it will be a little tradition for us... dunno.
Same spot: November 2009
With all the characters. I felt so sorry for them. I can't even imagine how hot they must have been in those costumes.
One of these guys tried to hand G his gun for the picture. G got a worried look and said "no thank you"
With R2D2. He moved and made noises like the one in the movies. I was actually hoping C3PO would be there. I always kind of liked him. Chewbacca wasn't there either but I can't imagine how hot he would have been.
Orange guys... the one on the left has a tiger painted on her helmet. Very nice!
The little family was so nice, they even offered to take our photo! So sweet!
Again, not sure who most of these guys are G just wanted to make sure her picture was taken with as many as possible. But, I can tell you that there were 100s of 40 yr old men there who knew EXACTLY who each one was. I could hear them talking about them very excitedly about which movie they'd been in and commenting on errors in costuming and weaponry. Cute!
This was a kid. I asked him if he was hot and he shook his head up and down very slowly. I think he was responding in character. Alternatively, he was about to keel over from heat exhaustion. One or the other for sure.