Leia WordsPrior to our Walt Disney World trip, I had only a passing aquantaince with the Star Wars franchise.  I had seen each the original trilogy only a handful of times, Episode 1 no more than three times, and had missed Eps. 2 and 3 all together.  I had riden Star Tours one time, only two years prior, and, with the exception of an Ewok obssesion carried over from childhood, I didn’t feel any deep connection with the Saga as a whole.

So, when we started making plans for WDW and knew that we had to take my friend’s husband to Star Wars Weekends to make this trip complete, I started watching the movies over again and trying to gain enough of a cursory knowledge of what I would experience at Hollywood Studios for the big event.

Ewok Village

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I started to appreciate the films and characters in a way that I never had before.  However, it wasn’t until we walked up to the Studios’ turnstlye and saw Storm Troopers on the rooftops that “appreciation” turned to something more like “healthy obsession.”

We were on a mission when we got to the park that morning – although, if asked, I will vehemently deny making a numbered, coded map to plan out our every step.  Our first stop was Star Tours for Fast Passes, then it was off the Jabba’s Hut, the one-stop shop for all things Star Wars Weekends.

Amidala

Disney definitely does merchandise right, and while we were super disappointed that the Star Wars Vinylmation had sold out the previous weekend, we found plenty of other odds and ends that would later fill our suitcases.  The two kiddos had loads of fun wielding fancy toy light sabers, and my friends had lots of fun chasing down all things Boba Fett. ;-)  Faces painted, bags of goodies shipped off to our hotel, and with sigficantly lighter wallets, we headed back to experience the all new Star Tours attraction.

While I had only been on the original Star Tours once, I was really looking forward to the updated version, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.  Armed with my new knowledge of all things Star Wars, I had so much fun literally diving into the Galaxy… our ride sequence was Droids, Hoth, Leia, and the Death Star… and it was AWESOME!  And yes, I squealed, giggled, and yelled like a giant nerd, but I loved every minute of it.  I even picked up my own tiny, magnetic Wicket the Ewok since I never got my own Ewok when I was a kid.

Anakin

The rest of the day was hot and busy and lots of fun.  We took on the Rockin’ Roller Coaster, saw loads of Star Wars characters roaming the park, waited in the blazing sun for the Motorcade, and had a throughly enjoyable lunch at the Sci-Fi Dine-In (even if we were exhausted, sweaty, cranky, and starving by the time we made it to our late-afternoon reservation :D ).

The pure magic of the day?  Watching my friend share his love for Star Wars with his girls, who both, regardless of their age, soaked it up excitedly and passionately.  I loved every minute of watching my friends experience the magic of this special day and I was so blessed to be able to be a part of it.

© 2011, Rays of Disneyland. All rights reserved.

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