Star Wars

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Star Wars

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

By Mike Ellis.

The latest in the Star Wars series of films, The Force Awakens, opened up on December 18 to worldwide acclaim.  For me, this was a chance to experience a first.  When the original Star Wars movies came out in the 70s and 80s, we didn’t go to many movies, and as a result, I didn’t see them in the theater.  Then, when the Prequels were released between 1999 and 2005, for whatever reason, I don’t believe I saw any of those in the theater either.  So today, watching Episode VII in the theater was a brand new experience for me.

This review isn’t so much about the movie itself, because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone by having some spoilers revealed when there are people that haven’t seen the movie yet.  Instead, this review is about the experience, the feelings the movie generated, the anticipation, and yes, even the trailers, which I will share below for you to watch if you wish to.

The Anticipation

To my recollection, I can’t remember a time when a movie was as highly anticipated as Star Wars was.  I guess perhaps the final book in the Harry Potter series had as much buildup, or at least, it attempted to, but to me, this movie, which has generated a ton of pixels all across the galaxy we call the internet, easily topped that.  The totals for ticket pre-sales far exceeded $100 million dollars, and for the weekend, I believe the movie was at $250 million; this movie topped all sorts of charts, and people across the globe were excited for it’s release.

The Experience

Having all six of the first Star Wars films in my library at home, watching them on the TV whenever I care to is good; but when you are sitting in a dark theater, and all of a sudden, that music starts with the Star Wars logo appearing in the middle of that big screen is pretty sick.  Then, as you see the opening introduction, it hits you; you are watching Star Wars in the theater, and it doesn’t get any better than this.

Everything is better at the theater, in my opinion.  The movie is better; the popcorn tastes better; the music is better; the special effects are better; the seating is better (our theater had reclining seats which were very nice).

The Feelings

In my opinion, director J.J. Abrams does an incredible job with the Star Wars universe.  The story is well developed, the characters rich and engaging, the merge between old and new characters is very well done, and this film does answer some questions I had going into the movie.  All in all, this movie had it all for me; suspense, intrigue, drama, laughter, sadness, you name it, it had it for me.  Were there things I would have done differently?  Perhaps, although I’m not a filmmaker so I can’t imagine right now what I would change; still, though, I was quite pleased with the way the film was presented, and I really look forward to Episode VIII, whenever it is released.

The Trailer

The Star Wars trailer is really well done, of course, the producers of the trailer certainly did a bang up job of drawing in even more interest for the movie.  The anticipation for the movie because of the trailer was even greater for my daughter and I, and we enjoyed watching the movie.  In summary, I would say that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a great movie, one that I recommend for everyone that enjoys the Star Wars saga, and I am certain that we will watch the movie again in the theater in the future.  To this writer, the movie earns 5 Stars every easily.  What did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Silly Symphony Swings Video Post

Silly Symphony Swings

The Silly Symphony Swings are nestled in the middle of Paradise Pier!

After what feels like an incredibly long delay, today we begin our recap of things that we saw and experienced during our trip.  In today’s post, we’re taking a look at one of the sleeper attractions at the Disneyland Resort — the Silly Symphony Swings!  This is just a standard sort of attraction, nothing too special about it, except that it features music from the early Disney series of cartoons called the Silly Symphonies!  My niece Stephanie’s husband Shane took this video of the ride when he rode it in July, and here it is for you to see what you think of it.  It has great music accompanying it, as well as some great views of the Paradise Pier section of California Adventure!  Have a look, and enjoy!

What did you think of the Silly Symphony Swings video and ride?  Does it make you want to go ride the attraction yourself?  I think that this is one of those attractions that I’d love to have over at Walt Disney World.  What do you think?  Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

Character Meet and Greets!

Phineas & Ferb!

Phineas & Ferb at Walt Disney World!

By Mike Ellis.

Hello everyone, and welcome to My Dreams of Disney!  Today we are going to take a look at character meet and greets that you can experience!  This post is special because I’m sharing photos from the summer, when we were blessed to be able to go to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World this year!  Have a look and tell me what photos you like the most!  Thanks, and have a great day!

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37 Days til Disneyland – Jedi Training Academy!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

For all of the Star Wars fans out there, there is perhaps nothing better at any of the Disney parks then the Jedi Training Academy.  Located in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park, the Jedi Training Academy is perfect for your youngsters that want to take on Darth Vader!  The Academy is for kids aged 4 to 12, and you will want to look at the entertainment schedule to see when the Academy is performed each day.  In addition to the Jedi Training Academy, you can also take a ride on Star Tours and witness one of the 54 different scenarios that you can experience on the ride!  Has your child ever been in one of the Jedi Training Academy shows?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

I can’t believe that we are now down to 37 days until our trip to Disneyland! How many days do you have until your family takes it’s next trip to a Disney park?

Wordless Wednesday – Star Wars Weekends!

Star Wars Weekends

The Creator of My Dreams of Disney

Hello everyone, and welcome to my entry in the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, which is hosted by my friend Deb from Focused on the Magic!  This week, we are looking at Star Wars Weekends!  I’ve never participated in them before, but as you can see during the shot above, I was at the park during the week when the park was ready for the excitement.  Generally speaking, SWW are not something that I need to experience all that much — the crowds tend to keep me away.

However, I do have a few shots I’d like to share with you, so thank you for stopping by!

Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Darth Maul -- to this day, still the best Light Saber battle I've ever seen!

Darth Maul — to this day, still the best Light Saber battle I’ve ever seen!

Another shot of Darth Maul

Another shot of Darth Maul

Please take a look at the rest of the entries!  Just click on the link below, and enjoy!

Focused on the Magic