disneylibrarian (NDD#270) (17 Posts)

Riley McDaniel grew up in Corpus Christi, TX in a low-socioeconomic household and one of the favorite family activites was to watch The Wonderful World of Disney (along with it's other reincarnations) on Sunday nights. Although the family couldn't afford to take a trip to Disney World made it his dream to one day see that magical world. This dream served as one of the many aspirations to do well in school and attend college. Today, Riley has a masters degree in Library Science and serves as a librarian at Red Oak High School in Red Oak Texas where he continues to give Disney as a source of inspiration to students. His family, a lovely wife, eleven year old son and seven year old daughter, lovingly refer to themselves as Disney Geeks. They can regularly be found hosting Disney parties whether it's for simply the premier of the Phineas and Ferb movie or a child's birthday party. As members of the Disney Vacation club (Wilderness Lodge home resort) the family can be found at Disney World once a year and Riley gives mini-seminars on planning the perfect Disney vacation.

I am a member of the Star Wars generation: saw the original movie at age 5 at the drive-in, collected the toys, played as Luke on the playground, doubted Vader was Luke’s father, and passed on my appreciation to my little brother. The summer before my senior year of high school my brother and I watched the original trilogy once a week. By the end of the summer we were saying the lines before the characters, and turning our bunk beds into X-wing fighters (If I were feeling nice I let him play Wedge and I took Luke). Now, my son has his own set of the movies, has dressed as a Star Wars character for Halloween multiple times, and we constantly have our own fanboy moments. I tell you this because like most of my Disney stories the importance of the role of Star Wars in my life comes back to family. When we went as a family to Disney World the first time, I had the pleasure of bringing my brother on his first trip to see The Parks, and, you got it, it was a Star Wars Weekend and the three McDaniel boys could hardly get on Star Tours fast enough. How amazing now that two of my passions come full circle together.

The three McDaniel Fanboys

Disney has bought Lucas Films! The cost for this dream partnership, a mere 4.05 billion. Walt Disney wasted no time in announcing some of their plans for the franchise, including Star Wars Episode 7 by 2015. Did you get the goosebumps like I did? The discussions go onto include creating the long anticipated television series, probably with a Disney XD destination. George Lucas gives his vote of confidence (4.05 billion will do that) in Disney continuing on his legacy, saying, “I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

The whole Star Wars/Disney family

As I look forward to what was only a dream before, taking my son to a midnight premiere of a Star Wars movie, I wonder what magic Disney will bring to the Star Wars world, or I  could say, what more magic will Star Wars bring to Disney World? Will we see a Star Wars World, a la Harry Potter World at Universal Studios? We can only hope…A New Hope.

For now, close your eyes, wish upon a Death Star, and imagine the theater going dark, the castle and fireworks filling the screen..and then, cue the music while “Star Wars: Episode 7” fills the screen.

My son takes a strike at Vader.

Even my little princess shows some Star Wars love



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