Saturday 8 October 2016

Working for Disney...well...almost!

OK so that title may not be quite right but this is the closest I've gotten to working for Disney!

So let me explain. From my previous posts you may be aware that Simon and I have ventured into the world of cosplay and have become official members of the Mandalorian Mercs Costuming Club. Now just to bring you up to speed Mandalorian Mercs are based around the Star Wars character of Boba Fett and Simon, over the past 18 months, has created costumes for us both. This culminated with us becoming official members in June of this year closely followed by our first outing at Star Wars Celebration London in July.

Since July we took part in a comic-con at York and then we spotted an event that we just couldn't resist. To mark the launch of the new Star Wars Rogue One toys the Disney Store in the UK were on the look out for costumed characters to help with their promotional events. Disney Store contacted the Mandalorian Mercs and other costuming clubs looking for volunteers and as we are fortunate to live close to the Disney Store in Nottingham we put our names forward.

So on Sunday 2nd October we got our kit together and headed off into Nottingham and the Intu Victoria Centre. I must admit rolling a rather large storage trunk through the centre's car park and into the mall area was a bit strange...especially when bumping into an old work colleague while waiting for the elevator. And I'm not really sure what our teenage daughter and her friend thought to it all as they had taken advantage and joined us so they could go shopping!

Thankfully we hadn't got far to go between the elevator and the Disney Store and at 10.30am on a Sunday morning it wasn't too busy. As this was our first 'troop' like this we really didn't know what to expect but on arrival the staff couldn't have been more welcoming and pleased to see us and completely put any nerves and apprehension to bed.

So going behind the scenes or 'off stage' as I think it's referred to in Disney speak, we were shown to a very small staff room where we could get changed. Abi and the team were very intrigued by our costumes and we explained how we had become involved with the world of cosplay and how Simon had created the costumes, which inevitably led to the trying on of helmets!

Now to change the pair of us into Mandalorians takes about 45 minutes...there are lots of parts to each of our costumes that have to be put on in a certain order, especially when helping each other at the same time! But once in costume we made our way 'on stage' (otherwise known as the shop floor) but not before the store manager changed the video that was playing in store to a Star Wars themed one!
Front of store!

We then spent the next four hours camped out at the front of the store welcoming guests of all ages. We had some great interactions with lots of 'high-5's', 'fist bumps' and photos...lots of photos! The reaction from the public was often that of surprise but always with great humour and a want to get involved from the very young to the not so young! We had lots of photos taken that were accompanied by 'I need a photo for my boyfriend/husband/dad etc', 'he'll be so jealous'. We even had a few 'Snapchat' moments and one guy who filmed us for his vlog! But it was the reactions of the children that were the best and we had some very special interactions that obviously meant the world to some of the younger guests.
One of many, many photos taken
And I even got to have a photo with a little girl who used to attend my pre-school. Thanks Imogen for stopping by to see me :)
It was lovely to see you Imogen!
Mickey Ears were of course worn - how could I not?!

By the end of our day we were exhausted, a bit achy and very aware that despite wearing helmets for the vast majority of the time we hadn't stopped smiling all day.

A big thank you has to go to Abi and the girls at Disney Store, Nottingham for looking after us, making us feel so welcome and their generosity of magic!

Thanks Abi & Maya
Can't wait to do it again!!