The McDermotts went to Disneyland this weekend (it was Ty's birthday wish, he turned 27 on Saturday!).
I love that he loves the magic kingdom as much as I do. Tyson and I started dating in July of '99, and in August, he asked me to go with his mom and his sister and himself to Disneyland. The entire trip is one of my most treasured memories, EVER... it was so fun to be young and in love and getting to know his wonderful family for the first time. I had butterflies in my tummy the whole trip!
After we got married, we went again on our 'honeymoon,' and had just as much of a blast.
We went a third time with my family just after Dawson was born, and we (again) had a great time with our new little guy taking advantage of every possible photo op, and pretending he actually knew what was going on.
But this time. Ooooooo, yes my friends. We have 2 adorable, completely coherant kids who felt the magic of Disney every ounce as much as we have through all the different seasons at the kingdom in our relationship.
So, this time... was my favorite time EVER.
I don't intend to photo-blog the entire trip, I couldn't possibly fit it all in... and honestly its nice to have some family memories be just our family's to share.
The world must know... that WE have a young Jedi master in our midst.
Dawson is currently going thru an ongoing superhero/villain fetish (as I'm sure most 3,4,5,-35ish year old boys do). Just recently Dawson's good friend Kaeden had a Star Wars (or 'Star Works' as Dawson insists it is called) themed birthday party. Dawson now lives, breathes, sleeps, eats, PEES Star Wars.
So, of course Star Tours was the first ride Dawson wanted to visit at the Magic Kingdom. We rushed straight there the moment we entered the park, hoping to beat the lines, and low and behold, there was only a 5 minute wait. Dawson made the 40in height requirement no problem... but Anabelle... was one big hair-do under the line. Like, we are talking a fraction of a centimeter. The Nazi college kid attending the ride would not budge, he cruelly banished her from the ride.
I almost cried tears. It crossed my mind to tell him she had cancer or something... but I was afraid if karma really exists she would actually end up getting cancer as my punishment for lying to a Disney worker... So I just discretely flipped him off when he wasn't looking and we made a plan to meet at the exit (which conveniently dumps into the Star Wars themed money pit gift shop).
At said gift store, Dawson immediately fixated on purchasing a light saber. He's been coveting them for awhile now, and for the mere cost of a human kidney, our little Jedi actually got to build his own light saber, hand selecting the handle, coloring, sound effect, etc. off the assembly line in the shop.
When we rang up our purchases, the gift shop worker suggested we go to the "Jedi Training Academy" show, and get there early as Dawson could possibly be picked out of the audience to participate.
I NEVER expected it to happen, but we thought he might enjoy the show anyways.
Oh, it happened all right.
And it was AMAZING. He was one of the first kids hand picked from the crowd.
There were about 20 kids chosen to role play in this theatrical production done up in all its magical Disney splendor, where the "Jedi Master" instructs the little Jedis that are pulled from the audience on how to 'use the force' in an attack against the 'dark side.' They teach the kids basic light saber choreography (they provide the cloaks and the light sabers for each lil Jedi on stage...),
and then... DUH,DUH,DUH, DUH-DUH-DUH! DUH-DUH-DUHHHHH!," smoke starts hissing, the stage comes rising out of the ground, and none other than Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and a fleet of storm troopers come crashing into the academy out of nowhere (SHOCKING, I know!).
It was breath taking. Even for grown-ups.
Perhaps I was vicariously living my own childhood fantasy, but I actually choked up.
Dawson stood there barely able to move or breathe the entire time as he watched all his 'peers' battling the various bad guys... and then, it was his turn. He had been chosen to fight VADER himself. When the instructor yelped "NOW DUCK!" at Dawson, he just stood there blankly with stars in his eyes, and the instructor teased "Oh, That's right! You don't even NEED to duck!"
Dawson was able to come around to the moment just in time to take a mighty swipe at "Darth Vader's head... VICTORIOUS!"
At the end of the show, Vader and Mal realize that none of these young masters will join the dark side and since the force is too strong for them to handle alone, they run for their lives.
Then, each Jedi is awarded an honorary training diploma as they have withstood evil and graduated on to be great and powerful Jedi Masters.
Little do the marketing masterminds at Disney realize, they just might have been training the next little Anikan Skywalker... most of the signs are already there. HA!
So, needless to say, this was the brightest of the many highlights of our great trip. We had SO much fun, I can't believe we were only there a day. It felt like time just magically stood still and allowed us to fit everything in.
This Star Wars experience just gets more and more real to Dawson as time goes by and he lets it all sink in. He loves to remind me several times a day "Mom, you don't need to be afraid of Vader, I will protect you from him." "Mom, STORM TROOPERS are AFRAID of ME! They RAN AWAY from me." He has gotten suuuuuuper cocky in the cutest way... who knew such blatant arrogance could be so freaking adorable?
OH, and back to the part where Anabelle didn't make the height requirement on Star Tours.
Welp, since Dawson (predictably) insisted on riding again after his little 'experience,' we waited till the shift change, and then I miiiiight have taken Anabelle aside and stuffed her shoes with a stack of napkins.
She loved the ride almost as much as her brother.