by Soarin’ Diva
My thirteen year old son has a nickname that we have used for him almost since birth. Most would consider it an unusual nickname, and many, many people have asked me why on earth that particular name is his nickname. What is it, you may ask? It’s Chewie. Yes, that’s right, I said Chewie. The origin of his nickname has been the subject of interest between many of our circle of friends. Why would we call him the name of a character from Star Wars? Or did it come from something else? I’ve heard some say they thought it came from the fact that he chewed a lot of bubble gum at ball games. I’ve heard many interesting background stories that some thought could be possibilities. The fact of the matter is, the name didn’t come from any interesting or intriguing story. It didn’t even come from Star Wars (insert “gasp!” here). It actually came from my oldest son, who was a couple of months away from the ripe age of three when Chewie was born. He couldn’t pronounce his baby brother’s name, resulting in the end of his name sounding like the word “chew.” From there, we started calling him Choo-Choo, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Fu Ma Chew, and eventually settled on Chewie.
Now that we have established the fact that his name didn’t actually come from Star Wars, I will say that his nickname does have a LOT in common with a certain Star Wars character. Since that seems to be the case, what choice, as loving parents, do we have, but to give him gifts for birthdays and Christmas featuring none other than Chewbacca? I mean, come on, it’s Chewie, the great big, lovable Wookie! He’s had Chewie birthday cakes made lovingly by his Grandma and Aunt. Over the years, he’s gotten Chewie blankets, shirts, underwear, stuffed animals, Christmas ornaments and the list could go on and on. When you have a nickname in common with such a lovable character, you can’t help but feel a kinship with that character.
This is why our family made it the number one priority of our most recent trip to meet Chewbacca. Our Chewie absolutely HAD to have his picture made with the original Chewie. I began our Chewie meet up planning by ordering him a button from an online shop that makes many different types of celebration buttons to wear to Disney parks. For an extremely reasonable $4.00, I nabbed an adorable “Chewie, we’re home” button from www.parkboundbuttons.com for my son. DIVA TIP: If you love to showcase your Disney side, check out this site as well as the many other sites out there that offer very affordable Disney park inspired merchandise.
As the day arrived for us to visit Hollywood Studios, we planned our day to make time to visit Launch Bay, which is where you can meet not only Chewbacca, but Kylo Ren, and even possibly trade some baubles with the Jawas and see some Storm Troopers in action. We kept a check on the wait time for Chewbacca on the My Disney Experience app, which let us know when the wait time was low so we could head on over. One of those famous central Florida heavy rainstorms hit as we made our way to Launch Bay. We were drenched, but really, who cares, right? A wet, rainy day at Walt Disney World is better than a beautiful day anywhere else! The first thing we did was to get directions to the special meet and greet with Kylo Ren for Disney Chase Visa cardholders. That one was a little tricky, but we did finally manage to find it. DIVA TIP: If you are fiscally responsible, I highly recommend that you get a Disney Chase Visa. You not only earn Disney cash to use on or toward vacations or Disney Store purchases, you also get to go to the special meet and greets reserved specifically for card holders! You can read a little more about it in this article written by Doctor Disney Devo.
With our Disney Visa meet and greet done, we quickly headed for the line to meet the one and only, world-famous Chewbacca. My son, dressed in his brown Wookie shirt featuring Chewbacca on the front, had his button proudly pinned on his shirt where Chewbacca could easily see it. The time came when it was finally our turn, and we couldn’t have asked for a better reaction out of Chewbacca. He quickly noticed my son’s button, pointing to it while speaking his Wookie language. When he saw the picture on the button, featuring himself as well as his best friend, Han Solo, he wailed in despair (awww, poor Chewie) raising his arms to his head as if to ask why he had to lose his best friend. My son couldn’t stop smiling, he was so happy. My whole family couldn’t stop smiling. He gave each of us a famous Wookie hug, because Wookies really DO give the best hugs, and we all posed for a picture together. After our group shot, our Chewie posed with the original Chewie for a photo of just the two of them together.
I have to say, even though you can’t carry on an actual conversation with Chewie…well, unless you know how to speak Wookie, this was probably in our top five most favorite meet and greets. Our family is a Star Wars family anyway, so we had a blast meeting Chewbacca and Kylo Ren, trading with the Jawas, and exploring Launch Bay. Even if you aren’t Star Wars buffs, don’t sell the experience short, I highly recommend heading to Launch Bay and seeing all they have to offer. After the small sample we got, our family is more excited than ever to see the opening of Star Wars Land.
Are you ready to meet Chewbacca and Kylo Ren for yourself? Are you ready to start planning your magical vacation and enjoy all that Disney has to offer, but you aren’t sure where to start? Contact our recommended travel agent, Patricia at All Dreams for Travel, and she can do all the work for you. Best of all, all of her services are FREE, all you have to do is click here to request a quote!
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