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Old 07-04-2013, 12:35 AM   #46
annmarieda
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I absolutely love the motorcade pictures. I imagine for SW fans, it is just amazing to see all those characters. Although in the heat I can't imagine that some of them are very comfortable. Chewy...or the ewoks...those look to be very hot costumes.

I am glad JJ was able to preserve and participate. What a memory for him!!

I am sad though about the choking happening again. That poor boy! He is definitely in my prayers!
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:04 AM   #47
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So happy you told me about the new update/pics, JJ looks so happy and I agree, must have been a dream come true for such a faithful SW fan! I am so happy he had the opportunity to be a part of such a special parade! What a fabulous memory!!




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Old 07-04-2013, 09:40 AM   #48
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enjoy your 4th!
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:42 AM   #49
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I'm here!!! Gotta catch up then I'll be back.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #50
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Wow!! The parade looks amazing. So many costumes! So glad he got to participate. What a thrill!! He looks absolutely adorable in the pictures. Definitely in his element!
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:11 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by annmarieda View Post
I absolutely love the motorcade pictures. I imagine for SW fans, it is just amazing to see all those characters. Although in the heat I can't imagine that some of them are very comfortable. Chewy...or the ewoks...those look to be very hot costumes.

I am glad JJ was able to preserve and participate. What a memory for him!!

I am sad though about the choking happening again. That poor boy! He is definitely in my prayers!
Thanks. All the pictures with the SWW borders are from the photopass, the other's I took. The motorcade and Hyperspace Hoopla are the places to see most of the characters, but there is no M&G opportunity at either.

The characters had to be hot. I know how the kids were sweating jellybeans, and the spectators too. Can't even imagine being in a full head to toe costume.

For JJ, it seems like SWW had something magical everywhere we turned. At the end of SWW, I asked him if he was tired of it. He said, "no way!". I was growing tired, and ready when it was over.

The choking is really frustrating for all of us. My natural instinct is to want to do the Heimlich, but he's not choking on food. It's like a spasm in his throat. We just have to wait it out. I was told to talk soothingly to him and reassure him everything is ok. So I act like it's no big deal. Talk calmly and soothingly to him. He likes his back rubbed when it happens so I rub his back. His medicine has been increased. Don't see much change though. He had four choking episodes yesterday after we found a backsack he had made us search for for hours. Seems like once he relaxes from stress, that's when they set in. We stopped gluten and that didn't help, though it did help his nightly twitching to stop.

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So happy you told me about the new update/pics, JJ looks so happy and I agree, must have been a dream come true for such a faithful SW fan! I am so happy he had the opportunity to be a part of such a special parade! What a fabulous memory!!
It was a dream come true for sure. He says being in the parades was his favorite part of SWW. Happy Independence day too!

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enjoy your 4th!
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Wow!! The parade looks amazing. So many costumes! So glad he got to participate. What a thrill!! He looks absolutely adorable in the pictures. Definitely in his element!
The parade is definitely a great place to see all the characters, Hyperspace Hoopla is too. The parade on Saturday of the last weekend definitely had more characters than any of the other parades. Thanks, that's sweet of you to say. No doubt he was in his element almost every step of the way. There were a few times things got a hairy with him, but the majority of time he was in 7th heaven. His brain condition seems to flip the switch to 100% emotional with whatever emotion he is feeling. Thankfully there are more positive emotions for him than negative.
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:03 AM   #53
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A special bond of friendship and Stars of the Saga

Some time between JJís arrival at Sounds Dangerous and the end of the parade a special bond formed between JJ and a cm named Joy. Iím not sure Joy had any idea that she made such an impression on him. He wanted a picture with her and I asked if she minded if Iíd take a picture of the two of them. She was more than happy to oblige.


We had an ADR for Sci-Fi at 1:20. We were debating whether or not to keep the ADR. I was hungry. JJ was hungry and hot. He was so hot he had to get out of the heat NOW! So we went over to One Manís Dream to decide what to do.

We have our own ďspotĒ there. Another family was in ďour spotĒ. So we had to find another. We parked JJís wheel chair and we sat on the floor as we tried to decide if we were keeping the ADR or ditching it. OH!! This spot was so much better. This spot was like an arctic zone. Cold air was blasting! We were cooling off quickly. So quickly in fact, it was like the old days at Disney. Remember when you needed a sweater in the summer because indoors it was freezing?

Cooled off and now all three of us hungry, we headed to ABC Commissary for lunch. Surprisingly there was not much of a line, and many tables were available. I got the fish and chips as did dh. JJ got chicken nuggets, yogurt and fries.

We donít normally eat fried food at home. I wasnít sure if it was the fish and the heat or the fried food. But my stomach was horrible. The pain was excruciating. Dh ordered the same meal as me, and he was fine. The pain I was having was almost as bad as when I had gall stones and needed my gall bladder removed. It was bad. However, I did not feel sick. Keep this in mind. Weíll come back to this in a weekend or two.

During lunch, we decided to go see Stars of the Saga. We had time on our hands before the 3pm show. We were going to see some characters. We stepped outside of the commissary and saw the Fab 4 M&G. We were going to do this, but my stomach sent some sharp pains and there was no way I could stand the heat anymore. I was going go back inside the commissary and wait for them. But neither of them was game for that. Somehow we ended up back at One Manís Dream. We walked through it slowly and got to the waiting area for the movie. There was 12 minutes on the countdown clock. OUCH!! My stomach got worse. I couldnít sit or stand there. I had to leave. They stayed, I grabbed a water bottle out of the cooler bag and walked out. Didnít have a plan, but I walked and drank my water. My pain began to subside. I guess that should have been a hint to tell me what was going on, but I was oblivious to it. Feeling better, I sat down near the exit of the attraction by the store there and waited for them.

Once they got out, we still had time left. We walked around Tatooine Traders, the store near Mama Melrose that has the muppet merchandise, and stopped at Writerís Stop. These are all great places to stay cool. Closer to show time, we headed over to get in line for Stars of the Saga.

Usually the parts of the queue that have shade, now had sun due to it being overhead. As we got in line we heard someone shouting JJís name. We looked over and someone opened rope in the queue and was pointing to a shady spot for us to park him. It was our friends from last yearís SWW and Celebration VI. They saw JJ in the parade and they had a feeling heíd be there for Stars of the Saga. They had already informed everyone around them that they were saving a spot for 3 people. And introduced us to the people in front and behind them as the people they told them about. We got JJ in the shade. Dh and I were in the sun. I pulled out the umbrellas, then we were in the shade too! Sort of. The shade for JJ was a nice surprise. Pixie dust from friends.

Both last year after SWW and this year before SWW I had called and talked to someone at Disney about the queue for the Premiere Theater. Itís a really bad spot to wait for anyone who is heat sensitive. There are spots in the queue where there is little to no air flowing. When the sun hits and everyone is packed in like sardines it becomes a bake oven. This even happens in the shade on a hot and humid day, itís just amplified more in the sun.

The most obvious answer is to have one person wait and the other take JJ out of line. This works ok if he is on foot and not using the w/c. The queue is too narrow to squeeze the w/c around all the people to get in and out. The other obstacle is traffic flow. Close to the time they are going to allow the queue to move across the street and into the theater, they block 2 areas of traffic so the people in queue can walk. So if you are too late getting back, you canít get in line til they re-open the traffic once everyone is inside the theater. By then there may or may not be seats left inside as there is no saving seats in the theater.

I had asked guest experience services if JJ could wait inside the doors of the theater until the theater was opened. The cm I spoke with said it sounded like a reasonable accommodation, but he didnít have the authority to give the ok. So he contacted the appropriate person and called me back once he had an answer. The answer was no, that it would take away from the magic of the experience as they practice beforehand. We understand Disney magic. However, while this was not ok for JJ, it was ok for other people we noticed. About 20 minutes or so before show time, we saw cm allow certain people who were not VIPs enter the building. One of these people was another disabled friend weíve known for years through Star Wars events. While it was only 20 minutes or so before everyone else was allowed in that could have helped. It was then that the queue we were in was asked to fill in all available area and we ended up in the hot sun for that time. Of course, we had two air conditioners and frozen water surrounding JJís body to keep his body temp down. That was also on him in the shade too. Something really needs to be done about this queue. Ok, getting off my soap box and now heading into the theater.



Our favorite part of the show is the pre-show with the stormtroopers. Itís always corny and makes us laugh. This year the show changed. It included ewoks!!









This weekend, Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and Ray Park (Darth Maul) were the guests. James Arnold Taylor was the host.



Notice how this w/c in front of me, made a shadow that looks a little like Boba Fettís hat.



At this point the battery on my camera suddenly died. So I switched over to my little point and click lumix camera.



The show ends with the Mickey Mouse Club song and a special guest appearance by the big cheese himself.


This ends our time at SWW for day 1! It was a fabulous day!! We accomplished:

1. 1 Character M&G Ė Queen Amidala
2. 1 Parade Ė But not just viewing it!!
3. 1 Show Ė Stars of the Saga

JJ had tried out for a play a few weeks prior to SWW. It was his first time going to a real audition. He had to sing 16 bars, learn a dance, and whatever else they had him do. He is in a special needs theater troupe where they have months to learn everything. But this was the real deal. He was cast as a dog which had one scene plus the finale. This evening was the first practice for choreography of the song and scene. We had taken two cars to DHS. Here is where things get a bit bizarre. JJ and I headed home. Dh headed to the resort.

As soon as we got home, I quick whipped up some leftovers for dinner. While I did this, JJ insisted he had to make soap for Joy. Itís a hobby he loves and can do on his own with supervision. So in between hurrying to get dinner together I had to supervise his soap making. He was so happy to be making these for Joy. Unfortunately, there was only enough time to melt, scent, color, and pour a few. He had to let them set while at practice.

Practice was an hour. JJ was on such a high doing the two things he loves the most, Star Wars and theater. When practice was over, he talked about how much harder this play was than his other plays. He said he had to sing and do the choreography at the same time. In his other troupe, he either sang or did choreography, but never both at the same time. His brain was getting a good challenge for him. At first they had him as a line leader, but he had too much trouble remembering when to start. So they put someone else in front of him so heíd have someone to watch. He felt like he left them down not being able to remember. I assured him they understood and were not disappointed in him.

He was exhausted after the hour of play practice. We headed home instead of to the resort. He headed straight to bed after his shower. Dh got a good nightís sleep at the resort. Our plan became to meet at DHS. This would give dh time to explore SWW on his own.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:01 PM   #54
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I am sorry you too were not feeling so well. Heat is hard for everyone... but that queue sounds like it does need to be changed.... and I just don't understand why they didn't let JJ in... but let others?
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:50 AM   #55
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I am sorry you too were not feeling so well. Heat is hard for everyone... but that queue sounds like it does need to be changed.... and I just don't understand why they didn't let JJ in... but let others?
Ann, you nailed it dead on. It was the heat. But I was too oblivious to figure it out. I thought it was the food.

Yes, that queue needs some work. They pump in air conditioning to other outdoor areas, wonder if something could be rigged up. Of course, they only use that queue for SWW so that wouldn't be too cost effective. But something needs to be done.

I don't understand either. It didn't make sense why it didn't spoil the magic for them, but it would for JJ?

As I'll get to on the last day of SWW, DH went that day without us. It was hot as blazes and he was in line for the voices show. He was in a somewhat shady spot. Behind him was a girl who obviously was a chemo patient. The family asked the cm if something could be done to get her out of the heat. The best advice they could offer them was to see if someone would let her wheelchair in the shade. Of course dh overheard and was more than happy to oblige. But as soon as he moved to let her in, someone else stood in his spot. He politely but firmly told that person that he was moving to make way for her and that this person needed to let her in. For almost an hour this girl was in the shady spot before the queue moved into the building. She was very obviously uncomfortable in the heat.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:08 AM   #56
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All caught up ! Got up this am, made coffee and went straight to the computer so I could catch up. What a great first day at SWW!! The motorcade was fantastic - so thrilled JJ got to be part of it. All of your photos of the characters bought back memories when I saw some of the first characters (from the 80's). I have not seen any of the newer movies but love the originals. I am amazed and some of the costumes (especially Queen Amidala). The meet and greet with Dee Bradley Baker seemed as awesome as it was last year and loved how he commented on JJ keeping secrets. How cool! That was very nice of Ashley Eckstein to stop and talk with JJ. He has obviously made a huge impression on her - which is totally understandable! Oh, the Ewoks are so cute!!! I think I still have on off the stuffed ones I got after the movie came out. So sorry about your stomach. As soon as I read about it I immediately wondered if you were dehydrated and having muscle cramps. The humidity this year has been horrible - makes the heat worse but just takes your breathe away.

Cant wait to hear more!! As always - great TR!
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:26 AM   #57
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All caught up ! Got up this am, made coffee and went straight to the computer so I could catch up. What a great first day at SWW!! The motorcade was fantastic - so thrilled JJ got to be part of it. All of your photos of the characters bought back memories when I saw some of the first characters (from the 80's). I have not seen any of the newer movies but love the originals. I am amazed and some of the costumes (especially Queen Amidala). The meet and greet with Dee Bradley Baker seemed as awesome as it was last year and loved how he commented on JJ keeping secrets. How cool! That was very nice of Ashley Eckstein to stop and talk with JJ. He has obviously made a huge impression on her - which is totally understandable! Oh, the Ewoks are so cute!!! I think I still have on off the stuffed ones I got after the movie came out. So sorry about your stomach. As soon as I read about it I immediately wondered if you were dehydrated and having muscle cramps. The humidity this year has been horrible - makes the heat worse but just takes your breathe away.

Cant wait to hear more!! As always - great TR!
I read this in the car yesterday. We headed to the MK. JJ's first outing in over 2 weeks. He did very well, there were no choking episodes yesterday!

The costumes can get very elaborate. Imagine walking with her headpiece on?!

There is something very special about the Star Wars community.

I agree, I think the ewoks are cute. We have a bunch of ewok DVDs at home. Some are from a cartoon series, and two are movies. Warwick Davis played Wicket in each.

It was heat and dehydration. I didn't head the warning signs, and eventually it caught up with me.

I still have 5 more hours of CE training to do. I was hoping to finish in June, but missed 2 hours last Saturday taking JJ to the doctor. Hopefully this week I'll get that done.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:48 PM   #58
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But as soon as he moved to let her in, someone else stood in his spot. He politely but firmly told that person that he was moving to make way for her and that this person needed to let her in. For almost an hour this girl was in the shady spot before the queue moved into the building. She was very obviously uncomfortable in the heat.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:05 PM   #59
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Would it disappoint you all if I throw in some Disney updates that are not Star Wars related. We ventured out yesterday for the first time in a couple weeks. We went to a Disney park for lunch and to get a new Duffy accessory. I'd love to share our adventure if you're all game.


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Old 07-07-2013, 06:17 PM   #60
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We were also surprised when we did not see the Storm Troopers on the roof this year. We got there very early and thought we might be too early so we waited and waited but they never showed up. We were glad to see them when we finally got through the entrances but I prefer them on the roof

Awesome to be invited into the Parade .

You got some really great parade pictures it must have been an amazing experience for JJ to be in it.

I hate that JJ had to wait in the heat. I think sometimes it is better to ask the CMs when you get there rather than call ahead because the people you talk to when you call do not have a good idea of how things really work.

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