Feeling carefree and youthful is always ideally on the menu for my birthday. It is still my wish to someday spend my actual birthday at the happiest place on earth.
After coming to the realization that it wasn’t happening this year, I jumped to the most reasonable trip I could think of to semi make up for it – meeting a Jedi master with a dash of Disney magic… in San Francisco’s Presidio.
I had heard of LucasFilm having a location in the Presidio (the Letterman Digital Arts Center) only earlier this year when a friend visiting had asked if I had ever been. Apparently there is a popular Yoda fountain outside that Star Wars fans near and far flock to when in San Francisco. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of this, so I immediately began researching. I found out that the Letterman building also allows visitors inside the lobby during business hours, and they have some pretty sweet Star Wars photo ops inside. Since operating hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and I was off work on a weekday, it was a done deal.
According to some blogs and Yelp reviews that I read, there has been some difficulty in locating this Yoda fountain. I’m feeling the mystery of the force already! Some wrote that they walked a long while, must have obviously appeared lost, and someone offered them directions. For me, I just typed in “Yoda fountain, San Francisco” into my maps app, and the location of the fountain was visible on the map. It guided us to exactly where we needed to park (I missed the turn the first time since I thought the lot was restricted. It’s not!), and you can see the fountain from the parking lot. Easy peasy.
After waiting for the massive group photo ahead of us to be taken, we jumped in and 20 photos later, most of them showed the back of my niece’s head and some of us laughing since apparently babies are fascinated with Yoda and running water. I told her that someday she’ll learn all about Yoda and hopefully she’ll be as interested in seeing him on screen as she is seeing this fountain.
The lobby was decorated almost like a library but will cool Star Wars memorabilia mixed in. Beautiful couches, plants, and multiple shelves occupied by books and figurines. The highlight though was being greeted by a life size Storm Trooper, as well as sightings of a life size Darth Vader and Bobba Fett. I needed photos with all of them!
We were at the Letterman building and fountain less than 30 minutes. Not sure if it’s worth driving very far specifically for it, but if you’re planning a day trip to the bay, I recommend all Star Wars fans take a small part of that day to check it out. We all are Star Wars fans, right?
A mile away, also in the Presidio, is the Walt Disney Family Museum. Yep, this is the same one I mentioned earlier this spring. Since my travel companions had never been, we took the quick drive over there. I needed my Disney fix.
Even though I had been there less than six months before and spent hours there, I still learned Disney facts I had missed the first go-around, like Disney’s exploration of animatronics for the 1964 World’s Fair. I also took a photo with the Griffith Park carousel bench. The park is where Walt took his daughters to ride the carousel as long as they wanted and began dreaming about a new concept – a family amusement park. I’m hoping some genius ideas rub off on me.
The museum did have a new special exhibit for Pinocchio that I wanted to see, but we were short on time. Luckily it is there until January 2017, so if I’m in San Francisco before then, I may be back to the Presidio.