I was worried when I met Chewbacca at Disneyland. I had become the enemy…Afterall, I bought and was wearing an Imperial Officer’s cap. For those of you who just arrived on Planet Earth, Chewbbacca is a Wookie male warrior, smuggler and co-pilot of Han Solo’s Star Wars starship, the Millennium Falcon.
Chewbacca, who must be 8-feet-tall and hairy as an ape, hugged me when I walked into his room. I pointed to my cap; he forgave me and the photographer snapped a picture of me along with my wife; my son Derek, daughter Rachel,
daughter-in-law Amanda and granddaughters Nicole & Kyrie. Chewie patted me on my head, actually on top of my Imperial Enemy’s cap. All is forgiven. Chewbacca and I are BFF.
Security at Disneyland wasn’t so kind to me. Chewbacca may have run interference for me. Because of recent terrorist threats in the United States, everyone who enters the Happiest Place on Earth has to go through security — have all purses, bags and even storage compartments in strollers checked. If a visitor is suspected (like I was because of my Imperial cap) a visitor is pulled aside and ordered to go through a metal detector like the ones at airports.
Three times when I walked through the detector it beeped. After emptying all my pockets in a plate, it was discovered my 5-inch pocket knife and nail clipper were the culprits. Security told me the little file on the clipper could be a deadly weapon. Once a security person was asked to escort me out of the park because of my knife. Chewie’s “The Force” must have blasted into that security guy’s head because he had second thoughts and let me go alone with my knife in my pocket. On other visits to the park I left the two bad weapons in my RV.
As soon as you walk through Disneyland’s gates it’s easy to enter a land of make-believe. For four days I was both an Imperial Star Wars Officer, and also Snow White’s Grumpy dwarf. I rode in a speeding car in the Cars pavilion, blasted enemies with my laser gun, swerved enemy aircraft in Star Wars’ fashion, soared over California in a glider plane (even dodged a golf ball aimed at me), and followed Alice in her Wonderland adventures.
And Kyrie, 8, fought Dark Vader with her lightsaber; and Nicole, 10, took a good laser-swing shot at the evil Seventh Sister.
On my last day at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, I almost became another Disney character — Goofy. I almost bought a tall green hat with floppy black ears. I resisted. Then I remembered a few years ago I bought a Goofy phone and Goofy actually talks when the phone rings. I paid over $100 for it. So, I already paid my dues to Goofy. In a couple more years we plan to go back to Disneyland. I think I may then become Donald Duck. No, that can’t be….I refuse to walk around Disneyland without any pants on.
Regardless, this was a lifetime vacation for my family. Here are some more of my Disneyland memories: