Next they handed out a piece of paper to hold your place in line. It was at this point that my nephew Ben, the 12 year old and oldest of the cousins began to realize that Jedi training is more for his younger siblings and cousins and he might be a little too old for this. As you can almost see the gears turning in this picture.
"I think I may be too old and cool for this."
Then they handed out the Padawan robes for each boy to wear. And amazingly, our little Nate who hates attention and dressing up on someone else’s terms, actually wore the robe. It was only when the camera came out that he began to question his choice of “participating in what he was asked to do.” Something he has made a career in ‘not’ doing.
"Maybe I can hide from my embarrassment under this robe."
"No one said anything about a camera."
After this they all went outside and lined up waiting for training to begin. Who knew the first discipline to becoming a Jedi was ‘patience.’ Apparently Disney did. It is a lesson everyone learns when going to the most magical place on Earth. Well Disney and the BMV, both magical and full of princesses. Let me now breakdown what each Padawan was thinking as they prepared for training:
"Patient you must be. The way of the Disney, it is."
"whatcha thinkin about?"
"I dunno, the force and stuff."
"We are the cutest Jedi in the galaxy"
"And we know it!"
"You get one picture of me smiling. One!"
"Why didn't Chewbacca receive a medal at the end of a Episode 4?"
"I've got to pee! I need to visit the little Jawa's room."
"One day when I am a Sith Lord, this will all be mine!"
"Not if I can help it, brother!"
"What was the cut-off age to do this?"
They brought them all on stage and were joined by their Jedi Master. He took them through a combo of moves and prepared them for light saber dueling. Every boy was super into it. Well everyone except a certain 12 year old, as his realizations became clearer.
"So I swing it like a baseball bat?"
"This reminds me of when Darth Plagueis fought Palpatine on Naboo 16 years before the Trade Federation Embargo."
"When Jedi's fart, is that considered a 'force push'?"
"Which end kills people?"
"Mom, seriously? Seriously."
When they had mastered the combo, they received an un-welcomed visitor.
He agreed to robe, the trivia, the fake blue light saber toy, even standing on stage in front of all these people. But then you bring out a real Darth Vader … “$#!% just got real!” And he wanted no part of it. At the time, of course. Because after all his cousins had gone through it and we were walking away, then the tears began because then and only then was he now ready to face Darth Vader. But of course it was too late. And since everyone was in a great mood after an awesome Star Wars experience, leave it to one of my children to try to ruin it. But good thing for cousin Ben who tried to sit on him as everyone climbed on the stroller, Nate got in a better mood.
But as you can see, the rain had started. We headed back to our resort for lunch and naps. But as the bus took longer than expected and so did a crowded lunch, the time for naps was quickly dwindling because we were scheduled for an early dinner this day. So with stress levels high, kids starting to complain and whine from fatigue and each second chipping away at precious nap time, we hurriedly gathered the kids, loaded the stroller with drinks and headed outside in the rain. Trying to save time as rest of the family started running toward our room to avoid the rain, I attempted to take the double stroller down a set of 4 steps. I’ve done it a hundred times and now considered myself an expert stroller pilot having navigated the crowds at Disney. Well I took the 4 steps with the grace of a dancer and mid-flight, I remembered I had loaded it with all our drinks, which in turn went everywhere. Into the seat, into the backpack containing our camera and snacks, all over me, all over the strangers next to me. And all while it poured down rain. And Lindsey looked back at me, rolled her eyes, and kept walking with the kids. I don’t fault her cause I would have done the same thing. Nap time is more important than anything at Disney. We got them back to the room, laid them down and I continued the search for the $300 sunglasses. I travelled back to Animal Kingdom by bus to search their lost and found, only to find out that they take their lost and found items from the day before to the “Lost and Found” building by the Magic Kingdom. Of course a phone call would have been easier and saved me an hour but no one said Disney was “easy.” So I got a 10 minute “bus nap” and the kids got about 1 hour for theirs by the time I returned back to the room. But we could have all used about 3-4 hours for a good recharge. But no one said Disney was relaxing either.
So as you can tell, the stage was set for an evening full of surprises and merriment,
The Joyful and Tired Dad
The Joyful and Tired Dad