Two paths. Two possibilities present themselves, each with the promise of immeasurable delights. One path steeped in tradition; one a new and exciting undertaking. Which to choose? Which to choose?
A bit earlier this month, Coffee With Kenobi put forth the inviting temptation to accompany our very own media specialist, Lisa D., to Disney World in Orlando, Florida for the opening showing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi! Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t hesitate to take CWK up on its very generous offer … but two very important – to me – events stood in the way
of accepting this exceptional invitation on the spot – Christmas, my very favorite time of year, was just around the corner, and I had soooo much to do to prepare for December 25th, and I had tickets to see the film [three times in a 24-hour period 😉 ] with members of my family. That is a tradition I have relished for years. It wasn’t that I doubted having a fantastic time with Lisa at Disney World. I just didn’t know if I could afford the time away from home at this hustling and bustling time of year, and I wasn’t altogether sure if I wanted to forego seeing The Last Jedi with my family. I can imagine at least some of you saying: “Melinda, that is a no-brainer! I would not have to think twice! Go!!!” Believe me, I understand that thinking. 😉 I was on the verge of reacting in just that way … but you don’t know how important the Christmas season is to me, of how much I love getting ready for that special day [and uncharacteristically for me, I was quite behind schedule even at that point], nor are you likely to realize just how much it means to me to share the experience of seeing a new Star Wars movie with my family. We’re such big SW fans, and we look forward to each new release a great deal. Seeing it together is the climax to the anticipation with which we’ve been dealing for the past few months!
The wait is over!!!
When Dan and Lisa approached me with this wonderful opportunity, I asked them for a few days to mull it over, and to give some serious thought to my very busy schedule. Could I get everything done and go away for the four-day trip? When all was said and done, I decided if I made a concerted push to do everything in the time allotted, and my family didn’t mind my absence at our scheduled first viewing of The Last Jedi, I could make the trip work. [You can breathe a sigh of relief now. 😉 ] I was going to Disney World to see The Last Jedi, and to enjoy three and one-half days of pure joy as Disney’s guest!
I left behind Wisconsin’s frigid 11-degree weather for the balmy environs of Orlando to meet Lisa in our comfortable room at the entertainment giant’s Port Orleans Resort-French Quarter. Decked out for Christmas, Lisa and I enjoyed the festive flair of our hotel and its grounds. We enjoyed experiencing The Last Jedi, complete with a red carpet extravaganza, at Disney Springs, reveled in visiting all four of Disney’s Orlando theme parks – the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Animal Kingdom [all three in one day! Whew,
what a whirlwind!], before spending our last full day at Hollywood Studios. In addition to spending the day riding rides and attending shows, we capped our last day with Star Wars Galactic Nights. Neither Disney nor Lisa knew how much I was looking forward to attending Galactic Nights. I was supposed to attend the fun-filled Star Wars-themed evening during this past April’s Celebration Orlando, but an injury kept me from doing so. Here I was getting a second chance! Next to seeing The Last Jedi, attending Galactic Nights was the highlight of the trip for me! Lisa and I attended the panel about the progress of Galaxy’s Edge, the incredible Star Wars-themed hotel and grounds planned for both Disney World and Disneyland, rode Star Tours more than once [what Star Wars fan wouldn’t! 😉 ], and watched the beautiful fireworks display that capped the evening. The bursts blossomed to a medley of film clips from all the Star Wars films to date [projected on the side of Hollywood Studios’ rendition of Hollywood, California’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre] and John Williams’ iconic scores. Lisa and I had great seats for the viewing. 🙂 For sustenance, we supped on Root Leaf Stew [w/lamb chop]. Quite frankly, I don’t know why Luke Skywalker grimaced when he ladled out a bowlful of the concoction in Yoda’s home on Dagobah. 😉 It was rather tasty. 🙂 Too soon, our weekend was over, and it was back to Wisconsin’s cold for me. Not to worry, my heart was warmed by the great time I had at what many consider the Happiest Place On Earth.
As much as any writer might be reticent to admit that a picture paints 1,000 words, I thought I’d let some of the photos I took over the weekend speak for themselves. I hope you enjoy my photo array:
Before I sign off, I’d like to make one comment about Disney and its connection to Star Wars, if you don’t mind: Back in 2012, when it was announced Disney had purchased Lucasfilm and all its subsidiaries, my friends and family asked how I, a fan of the franchise since 1977, felt about this turn of events. “I’m guardedly optimistic,” was my pat reply. On one hand, I believed Disney was a company committed to quality … but would it be able to do justice to the stories in the franchise I – and tens of thousands like me – had loved over the years? Say what you will about The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and now The Last Jedi, Disney has proved it is committed to giving Star Wars fans films they can enjoy. [I, for one, have loved the newest additions to that galaxy far, far away.] And after enjoying the Disney/Star Wars experience down in Orlando, I believe that dedication has been cemented in my heart [for that is where SW is so securely ensconced].
Thank you for stopping by to read this, my last post of 2017. I invite you to leave a comment in one of the boxes below. I always enjoy reading what you have to share.
I hope you all have been enjoying a most blessed holiday season. Happy New Year! See you in 2018!
p.s. [tongue-in-cheek] At the end of last month, I vowed to wear a Star Wars shirt every single day of December. It would be my way to commemorate the opening of The Last Jedi. To set the stage, I have made similar “vows” in the past, but something always has come up [not a lack of Star Wars shirts 😉 ] to break my streak [probably forgetfulness ha ha]. Here it is, the last day of December, and I am happy to report that I have stayed the steady course. Each morning, I have donned a Star Wars shirt of one kind or another. Today’s fare, my Coffee With Kenobi sweatshirt [since CWK is a SW-related website, it counts 🙂 ]. This has been a fun endeavor in discipline – not to mention it has been a memory-building lesson. 🙂
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