I’m Going To Disney World, Part 4: Star Wars!

So, where were we?

Star Wars

Last time in Part 3, I dreamed a dream, of Des dreaming a dream, of a hotel we call “The Lightning McQueen Hotel”, which is actually a Cars family suite in the Art of Animation Resort. We arrived there just after sunrise, got our MagicBands and found out that our Disney travel agent ROCKS because Cassidy really did get a purple one. Meanwhile, our rental minivan was idling on the curb while Scarlet, Des and I were in a magical but real world of Cars dreams come to life. Sort of. Got that?


Star Wars

We drove from the resort to Hollywood Studios, which probably didn’t take too long. I was likely in a daze of sunshine, palm trees (transplanted or not), and the beat of my own heart, which beats in time to the Star Wars movie scores. Did you know that? Ask my doctor. It’s true! As you can tell from the first photo, everyone in my family was wearing a Star Wars shirt. In fact, we got to the park before the gate was up, and I noticed that entire families had Star-Wars-coordinated their outfits. These were my people! I was their person! Except, I don’t have a good Star Wars shirt or two (or three) apparently?

I do have Star Wars underwear, but sadly, no photos of that.

And so, it wasn’t a crowded day. We went through security and metal detectors and purse searchers, and everyone was friendly, of course. The gate finally lifted, and we bolted to line up to sign up for Jedi Training Academy. On line, we talked to many other Star Wars nerds fans and learned some good ins and outs of the park. We signed Scarlet and Des up for 2:00pm, even though they told us over and over they didn’t want to do it. We signed them up anyway, because Jedi Training Academy.

Heading to Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World? Here's everything Star Wars that we did, and all of this before 10:00. So much to see and do! #StarWars

Help me with something here, people. Throughout the day, we’d walk by the young Jedis training against Darth Vader and Scarlet and Des both looked at me like I had three heads. They said, “He’s a bad, bad guy, and also dead, right? So I’m confused. Why is he here, and why would you want us to train against a bad, bad guy?” Well oh my stars, they’re right!

They’re too young to stop believing that all of these princesses and Jedis and villains are actually REAL – (yes, yes, I know they’re real people, and that princesses and villains are real life things and that Jedis are kinda real too because of the power of the human spirit..) – but too old not to exercise sound logic. Cassidy and I spent a lot of time explaining why we’d take our dear children to a park teeming with dragons and awful villains. We explained that they’re reformed, or under control, or imprisoned, and that there are a heck of a lot of good guys there who outnumber them. And isn’t that based on reality?


Chewie is real! We loved on him and when it was time to say goodbye, he said “Bye” in his famous way.

Inside Star Wars Launch Bay, we saw a Jawa peeking around a corner. I shrieked. Then one came up behind me to scare me, and I shrieked, and it shrieked, and I asked where the Banthas were, and we all hung out for some quality time together.

(Des is THRILLED.)

Then, I went to meet Kylo Ren, while the rest of them chickened out and wandered around Star Wars Launch Bay.


Heading to Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World? Here's everything Star Wars that we did, and all of this before 10:00. So much to see and do! #StarWars



Heading to Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World? Here's everything Star Wars that we did, and all of this before 10:00. So much to see and do! #StarWars



Heading to Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World? Here's everything Star Wars that we did, and all of this before 10:00. So much to see and do! #StarWars


We chatted. He was not nice. He told me I was part of the resistance and I said, “Always”, and he said I was no longer welcome near him, and I said, “But should we hug or something?” And he declined, but I think he wanted to hug me.

Then we met back up, and the kids were so curious about Kylo Ren and why I’d want to hang out with someone who killed his own father. Excellent question, that. And why did I come back so flushed and giddy after hanging out with someone I would never let my kids near even in a galaxy far, far away? Iron-clad logic, that. Alas, the kids usually give in to the magic and wonder and stop asking so many darn smart questions. Just let the darkness and the light take you away, young Jedis!

Next up, we made our way outside because they were all going on Star Tours and I was going on The Great Movie Ride. There were always Star Wars shows going on at a main stage, and Stormtroopers patrolled through the park often. I even got stopped by an employee because there was a Star Wars parade crossing in front of me. Des saw two stormtroopers and said, “I want to go tell them they’re bad!” So we raced over to them and Cassidy said, “My son has some words for you”. They turned towards Des and he froze. Instantly bolted between Cassidy’s legs so scared. Then they started with the “Hold on there….calm down….calm down….calm down….calm down. The threat has been removed. You’re out of danger.”

Stay tuned and you’ll read about it!

Next up, more stories! FROZEN sing-a-long! More photos – and not ONLY phone photos like this post turned out to have?

I’m Going To Disney World, Part 3

This whole post is about dreams. Des dreaming his dreams, and me dreaming my dreams of Des dreaming his dreams.

You may say I’m a dreamer.. but I’m not the only one. I’m all sorts of weird things. Some people say I’m a realist, and some say I’m an idealist. Some say I’m an introvert, and some say I’m an extrovert. I think you know by now that I’m somewhere in the middle of all of that. I get jaded and withdrawn, sure, sometimes at the same time and sometimes at different times. I can ask what the point of anything is, when really I already KNOW things as facts. Magical things. Magical facts? Magical realism. I don’t even know what that means, but just go with me here. I believe in all sorts of dreamy and magical things..

..but I believe we’re responsible for most of it. That’s right. US!

Like my grandparents, who lived to 100, and fulfilled all sorts of dreams. They raised a family, they traveled the world, they created art, traditions and legacies, and they had lasting love. That’s all REAL to me. Science and love and something else.

We all have our own version of that “something else.” And that’s ok. You can believe in any number of things.

And while it took me 24 years to fulfill my dream of seeing a moose, and 36 years to fulfill my dream of Alaska, there were all sorts of age-appropriate (and not) dreams along the way. I like to remember them. I like that many were fulfilled. I like to watch my kids’ dreams unfold, and then refold, and then unfold, and then come alive in all sorts of glory and grandeur.

And popcorn. And piano keys. And colors. And rainbows. And drawing. And.. and.. so much!

(The photo says it all. He can’t take his eyes off of the Car.)

Where we left off, in part 2, we had spent two days having fun in the sun and at Disney Springs outside of Disney World. I left off with a photo taken only seconds before we got into our rental car, to drive into the Walt Disney World Resort – to first head to our hotel, and then to head to Hollywood Studios. And if you came here looking for pictures of Kylo Ren, Stormtroopers, and Sofia the First, I promise it’s all coming. First, let me indulge you and myself with photos of Des fulfilling his dream to stay at The Lightning McQueen Hotel! Known to us adults as a Cars Suite at the Art of Animation Resort.

Tomato. To-mah-to. Let’s not call the whole thing off!


I get tingles when I think about it! The morning sun was rising over the Orlando area as we drove to Art of Animation Resort. I don’t know if it had really sunk in for Des that we were going to the Lightning McQueen Hotel! He was still half asleep.

When we parked, Cassidy went in to get the bands, and I could already see the giant Radiator Springs sign. That was it. I could not resist! I said, “We have to go there now! Now!” So off we ran, me trailing after the kids and trying to capture it all.

There was a lot of squealing.

I hadn’t expected Scarlet to get as excited as she did, but she has watched the movies 20 times too.

I know we all look like SUCH tourists.

And I totally love that.

Next up – Hollywood Studios, of course! Sassing Stormtroopers, watching Star Wars fireworks, finally getting into our room to see what delights await us. It’s all SO GOOD! Wait until you hear about the FROZEN Sing-a-long too…MEMORABLE.