Trip Report: “Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure” Day 5 – Full Day at Summit Skywalker Ranch

Today’s Disney Parks Around The World – A Private Jet Adventure trip report will be short and sweet. Day 5 was a much-needed day of rest and relaxation at Summit Skywalker Ranch. Morning opportunities included 6:30 am yoga (I slept through it), an 8:30 am hike to the Observatory with the Skywalker Fire Brigade (I slept through it), and a breakfast buffet from 7:30-9:30 am (I slept through it). This was a day to recharge my battery for the next leg of this Adventures by Disney itinerary, which takes us to the Disney Parks of Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

Summit Skywalker Ranch has a strict no-photo policy indoors, and outdoor photos are only allowed outside, provided a person is in the photos. A Yoda statue stands at the entrance to the retreat, and we took a moment of zen with the Jedi Master. The first official activity I partook in was a Pixar Studios Presentation at 10:00 am. Dug Days director Bob Peterson and producer Kim Collins presented 3 of the Disney+ shorts from the series (“Puppies,” “Flowers,” and “Science”) before talking about their paths to Pixar Animation Studios. Bob Peterson worked with Pete Docter to write Up and ended up voicing Dug after lending his talents to the talking canine in story reels.

(Deborah Coleman/Disney/Pixar)

(Deborah Coleman/Disney/Pixar)

We were then treated to the bonus short in the series, Carl’s Date, which is currently playing in theaters attached to Elemental before joining the other shorts on Disney+. Bob and Kim shared how excited they were when Elemental director Peter Sohn expressed an interest in reviving the tradition of having an animated short play ahead of a new Pixar film. They shared photos of Ed Asner’s recording session for the short, which was done in February 2020, just before the pandemic (Bob had to record Dug’s line from a closet at home). Bob and Kim also took a few audience questions. Bob had shared that while in college studying mechanical engineering, he made an animatronic version of his own head inspired by visits to Disneyland. I asked how it feels to go to the parks and see a character he voiced, Roz from Monsters, Inc., represented in the parks with an animatronic. He reminisced about the recording process, having to say every kind of identifier possible (eg, “You in the red hat,” “You in the blue hat,” “You in the yellow hat,” etc…). But even more special was riding Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! at Disney California Adventure and having Roz flirt with him.

Bob Peterson had the honor of revealing our Pin of the Day, which depicts Carl Fredricksen’s house from Up flying over the Skywalker Ranch valley. There was some free time before lunch, and many of the adventurers took this opportunity to visit the Skywalker Ranch store, which was able to ship directly to homes in the continental U.S. (a few of the Guests on the trip are from Canada). A gallery of artwork inspired by Star Wars was also open throughout the day, with many of the pieces depicted in the 2010 book Star Wars Visions and select prints for sale through Acme Archives.

I took the opportunity to stroll through the hallways admiring George Lucas’ personal collection of movie poster artwork from around the world. Much of it is from the golden age of Hollywood, and there are even some Disney posters, including classic animated Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck shorts, plus feature films like Bambi and Saludos Amigos. One of my favorites was a large French poster for MGM’s The Wizard of Oz from 1946, which used a European castle in place of the green Emerald City and also depicted Dorothy’s dress in pink instead of blue.

Lunch was served outside at the entrance to Summit Skywalker Ranch, with beef brisket and andouille sausage accompanied by sides of roasted vegetables, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread muffins. With a spa on the premises, many Guests were opting to sign up for a massage, which I thoroughly enjoyed. A Skywalker Vineyard wine-tasting tour was also offered this afternoon.

In the evening, we gathered together for an exciting 4-round game of Star Wars Trivia, hosted by one of our Adventure Guides, Loz, who is a huge Star Wars fan and dressed up as Rey for the event. It was a nice mix of questions, with some that anyone should know (What is the name of Han Solo’s ship?) and some that were a little more niche (What was the name of Queen Amidala’s decoy?). The winning team received a small prize.

Dinner was another exquisite affair of culinary masterpieces paired with wines from the Skywalker brands. Tonight, the catering team went above and beyond with accommodating dietary requests, assigning seats so that the team could quickly and efficiently deliver meals to all 75 Guests at the same time.

Tomorrow will bring a full day of flights, with a stop in Anchorage to refuel before continuing on to Tokyo. Bags need to be outside our room by 11:00 pm for a hands-free transfer to the airport. I decided to pass on the evening’s screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark in favor of getting to bed early. But make no mistake, this experience at Summit Skywalker Ranch has been one that I will never forget. Next year’s iterations of this itinerary don’t include this stop, so I feel so lucky to have gotten this incredible experience. Until the next trip report, see ya real soon!

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Disney fans will soon be able to travel the globe from the comfort of their homes with Disney Around the World from Ravensburger. We brought along an early review copy of the game and look forward to playing it during downtime on this adventure.

Coverage is presented by Ravensburger’s Disney Around the World – Coming Soon

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).