Disney sent me as part of the #StrangeMagicEvent filled with 25 mommy bloggers (okay, one was a dad) to Skywalker Ranch. All opinions are my own.
Strange Magic Blogger Press Event:
Taking A Tour Of Skywalker Ranch
Some days my life feels like a dream. When I received an email inviting me to go to Skywalker Ranch and screen the new movie Strange Magic I almost fell out of my seat! I started counting down the days to my new adventure… and now I get to share my experience with YOU! When I think of Skywalker Ranch, of course I immediately think of Star Wars and George Lucas! I grew up watching Star Wars and now I get to share those iconic movies with my kids.
Skywalker Ranch, located 40 minutes north of San Francisco, is the pastoral home to Lucasfilm’s celebrated audio postproduction facility, Skywalker Sound. The ranch is located on Lucas Valley Road, surprisingly George Lucas just found this amazing road and couldn’t turn down the opportunity to build his empire here! The Ranch is not open to the public and is gated. Due to living in California, I was fortunate enough to drive to this event… which meant I got to drive my car onto Skywalker Ranch! It was breathtaking driving up to Skywalker Sound. I tried to take it all in… rolling hills, a garden where they grow their own vegetables (and they use them in the two restaurants that are on site), cow pasture, a beautiful man-made lake (Ewok Lake)…then driving through the gate to Skywalker Sound. The gate to Skywalker Sound says “Skywalker” in Italian! How cool is that!!!!!
We started our adventure in the amazing Skywalker Sound building. This building occupies the 153,000-square-foot Technical Building, which features a world-class scoring stage, six mix studios, ADR and Foley stages, 34 editing suites, and a 300-seat screening room. Not only did I get to screen Strange Magic in the jaw-dropping screening room… I got to watch the film with George Lucas and Elijah Kelley (more on that later).
After lunch (which was beyond delicious — salmon, quinoa, salad, and a strawberry shortcake dessert), we walked down the path to view the iconic main house and the beautiful Lake Ewok. While walking, our tour guide informed us that George Lucas wanted a place to create films that wasn’t located in L.A. He used the money he earned from Star Wars to buy Skywalker Ranch!
During our amazing adventure at Skywalker Ranch, we were able to walk through a portion of the lower level of the main house. This 50,000-square-foot house is designed to look like a cattle rancher’s 1869 Victorian home. NO ONE GETS TO TOUR THE MAIN HOUSE… but we did and we all felt very lucky to walk through the doors and see where the magic began.
No cameras allowed — so the only photo I have from the inside of the house is the amazing library shoot that Lucasfilm sent us to use.
The entryway is enormous! You could see the stairway upstairs (which leads to many offices, including George Lucas’ office). There was a small display case to the right of the entryway (approximately 6 feet long) filled with memorabilia: models from Star Wars, Mark Hamill’s “hero” saber (Did you know that this saber when up into space!?!), artifacts from Indian Jones…including the crystal skull and Holy Grail!!!! I got chills being so close to these items.
The walls were filled with original Norman Rockwell artwork! The wood paneling was so intricate and breathtaking. The light fixtures were beautiful. I was in awe walking through the building. In a way, I was glad I couldn’t take pictures because I was able to focus on the beauty.
We did walk inside the Lucas Research Library. The Lucas Research Library is a full service research department providing reference for film, television, and theater productions. I don’t know about you, but with such an amazing view and endless titles I would be completely inspired!
George Lucas’ office is located on the second floor in the round spire on the right side of the house. We didn’t get a change to go inside, but just knowing where he works was pretty cool! The man, the myth, the legend…George Lucas! AMAZING!
After touring the house, we had an opportunity to shop at the Skywalker General Store. I have to admit I had way too much fun shopping there! I bought 2 t-shirts for my husband, a t-shirt for both of my kids, a t-shirt and sweatshirt for myself, and a box of 4 plastic wine glasses with Skywalker Ranch logo!
This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip! I am so thankful for this opportunity! Coming soon…Make sure you follow along to read more about Strange Magic, interviews with George Lucas, Elijah Kelley, and Gary Rydstrom, PLUS all the fun we had at Pixar for Inside Out and Lava!
Strange Magic is coming to theaters next Friday, January 23rd!
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Disclosure: Disney sent me on this press event and paid for all travel and expenses. All opinions are 100% my own.