Cast Members Gather at a Wellness Event Led by Ashley Eckstein and the World Disney World Ambassador Team
On Monday, September 26th, at 6 o’clock in the morning – well before sunrise this time of year – Walt Disney World hosted a one-of-a-kind event for a group of about 300 Cast Members. Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels – and now host of the new Star Wars Mindful Matters series, hosted an intergalactic Cast wellness event in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where she led Cast Members through a series of mindfulness techniques, including meditation and deep breathing.
We’ve followed Ashley from originating the voice of Ahsoka Tano to creating the clothing line Her Universe to becoming a truly open and honest mental health advocate. Her work in mental health led her to embrace even more than ever before the extent to which being a true Jedi is really about your mindset. In my interview with Ashley before the event, she explained that “being a Jedi is not just about fighting with lightsabers. I would argue that it’s about the mental lessons of being a Jedi. So I’m excited to share those today.”
Ashley went on to explain: “Now that I’m a bit older, I realize that all of these lessons that I learned that were in a galaxy far far away are actually relatable to my everyday life. And I was using these lessons in my everyday life. And I realized that we can all be Jedi. Jedi are not just these characters that we watch on screen and that we love. We can actually be real life Jedi.”
You can find more of my interview with Ashley in my Instagram Reels.
Ashley worked with the 2022-2023 Walt Disney World Ambassador Team and so many others to make this Cast Member event a reality. I also had the opportunity to speak with current Walt Disney World Ambassador, Ali Manion, before the event and she explained: “For me personally, meditation is definitely something that I practice every day – so I’m really excited to be here with Ashley and to learn some techniques and to combine the Force with meditation and mindfulness. I think it’s going to be an offering that all of our Cast Members will find really useful and hopefully can apply to their roles as Cast Members each day.”
Ali went on to explain more about Disney’s Be Well Be You program:
“Here at Disney, Be Well Be You is an incredible program that we have for our Cast Members where they are able to earn Wellness Minutes and Rewards that are going to help them in the long term. Everyone’s wellness journey is different and I’m so proud to work for a company that is dedicated to ensuring that each Cast Member has the resources and tools they need to go on their wellness journey and to be successful in all that they do.”
She went on to talk more about just how special this particular event was. As she said, “one of the cool parts about our wellness program is events like this. We have Sunrise Yoga. We have a Cast Fit Friends & Family 5K. But something unique like this that we can bring to our Cast where we combine our incredible brand here with Star Wars and wellness” is just really special. And Cast Members earned those Wellness Minutes that we just talked about just by attending this event!!
Cast Members were able to sign up on a first come first serve basis for this unique experience. Unlike areas like the Hub and Main Street in Magic Kingdom, which can host upwards of 2000 yoga mats at similar events, the ground around the Falcon seemed to be relatively full with just 300 Cast Members and the yoga mats that they were gifted at the event, which made for a more intimate experience than perhaps we’ve seen at runDisney or Cast Member yoga events.
An incredible view of hundreds of yoga mats surrounding the Millenium Falcon just before Cast Members arrived at the event.
Attendees were able to bring home their yoga mats and these gifted items – an Andor poster, a signed note from Ashley, and a 50th Anniversary Celebration Magnet.
There really was just so much joy there – from both the organizers and hosts and the Cast Members who were able to attend. I’m so incredibly grateful to Disney for inviting me to be a part of it and to bring it to you. Ashley called it a “pinch me moment” when we spoke and I think we can all agree with that.
You can find Ashley’s new series, Star Wars Mindful Matters, on starwarskids.com and on the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel – as well as on all resort televisions at Walt Disney World!! What a great way to decompress with the kids (or without!) during a hectic trip!!
If you were there I’d love to hear from you about what you thought of this event!! Otherwise, until next time-
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If you’re missing home (or love someone who is) and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.