Oga's Cantina and Disney Magic


Apr 12, 2009
After my recent post in this board from January 14th ("My Mom") I can sure say with confidence that I did not expect at all to be back here so soon posting another thread here. Those that read my "My Mom" post will know that my biological mother, who passed away a few years ago, kicked me out of the house when I was just a young teen.

It's true. I could have been homeless, or not finished school, or never went to college - all of those things were possible at that time in my life.

But none of those things happened, because of the family that took me in. Jill became more of a mother to me than my actual mother was. In fact, I was thinking about it recently and realized I spent more time living with Jill and her family than I did my actual mother. When you see me refer to my sisters on these boards, it's really Jill's children I am referring to. They may not be any blood-relation to me, but they are my family nonetheless. I don't know what my life would have been without them.

Just before the virus hit, I took 13 of my close friends and family members to Disneyland for a week. We stayed club level at the Paradise Pier hotel, ate at Napa Rose, had the reserved dinner seating for Fantasmic, and even rented a party bus to take us to Universal for our VIP experience. (Jill, being a huge fan of "The Good Place" really enjoyed that part of the backlot tour!)

Jill was recovering from back surgery at the time. I had suggested to her that maybe she just wait for the next trip. It was clear (regardless of what she said) that she would need to be in a wheelchair the entire time, and I was afraid she might not be able to do much or have that much fun. Of course, I wasn't going to tell her not to come if she insisted (which she did).

We actually got quite a bit of bonding time, even if only hanging out at the hotel together while everyone else was out in the parks. We all took turns being on wheelchair duty, and even though Jill didn't get to experience a huge number of attractions, she said how much she loved being with everyone at meals and in the club and just hanging out.

I am so very greatful that she came on the trip with us.

On our last night at Disneyland, all of the family members piled into one of the big booths in Oga's Cantina. We spent our allotted 45 minutes there, with Jill being as happy as I'd ever seen her. My oldest sister (2 years younger than me) was totally freaking out because of the starwarsness of the place and was giddy beyond belief. It was great for Jill to see. That night will live in my memory.

Jill passed away last Saturday. That night at Oga's Cantina was the last time she was physically together with all of her children. That in itself is odd and surreal, but also strangely comforting and magical. That is a special place to me now, and when I get back there again I'll certainly be drinking one for Jill.

Sometimes the Disney magic doesn't come from Disney at all, but rather from those you can share it with.
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TAGS?? It's all about the 'likes' now!
Mar 7, 2001
...although you might think that Jill was a treasure to you, you probably were a "found treasure" to her. Bringing the two of you together was God's way of performing a bit of "Pixie Dust" magic. Hold on to those memories....BTW, glad you got to share those moments together - sadly, not everyone gets to do that...

[they were planning a family trip to WDW and were supposed to go this past week...:sad1: ]
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Dan Murphy

We are family.
Apr 20, 2000
Thanks for sharing these thoughts about Jill and you, Alex. very beautiful. God speed for Jill, and blessings for you, your sisters and all who knew Jill.