So she wore her Leia dress for the whole trip. Including the flight home.
The first thing June said when she woke up was how much she wanted to try fighting Darth Vader that day. We got ready and then headed to Downtown Disney to grab more beignets for breakfast.
We spent the whole second day at Disneyland, including an extra hour in the park in the morning since we were staying at a Disney hotel. That extra hour really is nice to fit a bunch of rides in before the lines get very long. So we did!
The Finding Nemo Submarines...
"Mommy, you just sit and RELAX. I will control how high we go." (In case you're wondering, it was as high as the thing could go.)
Then we stood in line to sign June up to get Jedi Training and try battling Darth Vader. It was a pretty long line and I was getting pretty nervous that June wouldn't get a spot in one of the earlier shows. (We flew out that evening, so the later times wouldn't work.) While we were waiting, some Storm Troopers came along.
I was so thrilled that we got a spot! June was so cute, solemnly answering the questions that would determine if she could go on stage. ("How old are you?" "Can you take instructions from the Jedi Masters?" "Are you brave enough to fight a member of the Dark Side by yourself?" June gave the cutest, most determined nod to that question.)
Then it was off to more rides!
Finally, it was time for Jedi Training. First June got her Padawan robes and stood with her fellow trainees. We parents were ushered over to where the show takes place so we could get some great photos.
You guys, it was SO CUTE. They were all so adorable and small. Getting instruction from the Jedi Masters:
Getting her own lightsaber:
Then they practiced a little routine of moves with it:
Then they all used their hands to use the Force to lift up a secret Jedi Temple.
The idea was that the temple held whatever your fears were, and that you had to face your fears. In that sense, they told the kids, Darth Vader wasn't real, he just represented their fears. (All the kids were so excited-slash alarmed by his presence, I'm not sure if the kids picked up on that whole briefing.)
There were actually two bad guys... Vader and a female bad guy called the Seventh Sister. In general, the little ones went against Vader and the bigger kids fought the Seventh Sister. I wasn't sure who June was going to end up against since she kept getting out of line to get a better look at the other kids' battles, haha.
Finally it was her turn! Oh my goodness, how my heart exploded to see her bravely walk across the stage to look up at this hulking, masked figure! She was so cute! The Jedi Master said, "I see you are half the size of Vader! But I can sense that you are twice as strong!"
Some of the little ones just held up their sabers and Vader, a good sport, would 'attack' their stationary weapons. But June did it! She parried and ducked. (How STINKING cute is her little 'duck' maneuver??)
The only bad thing was that I got a leeeeettle too excited trying to take pictures and video at the same time. I was holding both cameras and got my signals crossed, meaning that I stopped recording for about a second of the encounter. Oh well! I mashed up my two clips I did get and got this little video. June and I have watched it about a billion times by now.
Afterward, she got a little pin to commemorate her victory. She was so excited and proud. I basically smothered her with hugs and kisses, telling her how proud of her I was. "I was a little scared when Darth Vader first came out," she said to me. I told her that that only made her even more brave, to be a little scared and do it anyway, and with such gumption!
We went on one more ride, got a little more ice cream and then headed for the airport.
The trip was just so wonderful, you know? June was at such a great age, where the magic was there, where she was old enough to understand and look in awe at everything around her. I loved getting to spend the time with just her, in the hotel, in the parks and out to eat. I really think that these will be some of those memories that I keep in that best-of slideshow of my life.