I’ve just returned from Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars themed area at the Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando. (**Spoiler Alert** Best not to read paragraph 4 if you want no information about the new rides.) My inner child was thrilled to have the opportunity to pilot the Millennium Falcon, the spaceship featured so prominently in the movies. Of course, my inner child is happy whenever I get to spend time in a Disney theme park, which is why my partner and I added a day to our business trip to Central Florida last week. This was an especially fun Disney visit because my sister, her husband, and my dear friend Carrie drove over from Florida’s west coast to join us. What a fun group!
Whenever I’m in a Disney theme park with a group of people, I feel slightly responsible for everyone having a good time. I know it’s a throwback from my 7 years as a cast member in the 90s. When friends and family would visit, I was the one who organized and planned our day because I knew the lay of the land. Over the years, I learned it was best to not plan too much and simply allow the day to unfold. It’s okay to have a guideline, but you need to be flexible when things change. Not only is this a good strategy for a day in a theme park, but it’s also pretty good advice for life too.
Flexibility came into play from the very beginning. On the evening before our visit, I found out the park was opening an hour earlier than was listed on the website. To ride the newest attraction, “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” together, my friends and family would have to get up super early to meet us at the front entrance by 6:30 AM! I gave them the option to meet us later, but they were all in for the full experience. It turned out that extra hour helped them avoid Tampa traffic on the way over. We all converged at the perfect time and I was able to get us a highly coveted boarding pass for that ride at precisely 7 AM. Even though we were very tired at that early hour before the sun came up, it was quite an exhilarating moment!
After that small triumph, we followed the masses to Galaxy’s Edge to ride “Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.” Despite signs claiming a 75-minute wait, we were in the cockpit just half an hour later. What a fun way to start the day! It set the tone for the rest of the day to flow beautifully. Even our late lunch reservation turned out to be a blessing. Our boarding group for “Rise of the Resistance” was summoned shortly after twelve while most park guests were eating lunch. We breezed through the cue area and onto a shuttlecraft to begin our recruit training. It was a heart-stopping moment when we were captured by the First Order and the doors of our shuttlecraft opened to a cavernous room on a Star Destroyer filled with rows of stormtroopers in front of a huge window looking out into space. I won’t share what happened next, but you can safely assume we escaped since I’m writing these words.
Earlier in our day, we had a moment of indecision over which of two popular attractions to visit next. According to the app, both had a wait time of about an hour. One was steps away, the other was on the other side of the park. One might say I used the Force to determine which way to go. I closed my eyes and asked Spirit which ride was our highest choice. I got tingles through my body when I thought of the closer ride telling me that was the best choice. No tingles for the other one. That guidance proved to be spot on when the other ride’s wait time decreased to only 25 minutes later in the day. True, this was not a big life decision, but it was a great reminder to ask for guidance whenever I’m in doubt.
At the end of the day, I checked the wait times on the app one last time. I was shocked to see the wait time for “Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run” had dropped from 75 to 30 minutes. We all loved that ride, so we decided to end our day the same way it began. This time my sister and Carrie were the pilots. All I can say is, “Sorry, Chewie! I hope you can fix the Falcon!” We had a wonderful day, albeit a tiring one. It was truly a testament to what can happen when we don’t plan every single minute and leave room for Spirit to guide us. My guidance to write about this experience was confirmed when I received this message in a daily inspirational email from Neale Donald Walsch that very morning:
It is okay to want to make lots of plans, but it is also okay to make lots of room for that which planning can never produce.
If you could use some assistance in making room for that which planning can never produce, consider giving yourself the gift of Life Coaching or a private Family Constellations session. Both produce miracles. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information and to schedule a session.
Until next time, may the Force be with you…