The Happiest Place on Earth

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There’s always this sense of nostalgia when I walk through the gates of Disneyland. Memories as a little girl who was filled with big dreams and a creative imagination, come to mind. Magic and wonderment are always evident here, and even as an adult now, I can come back with the same wide-eyed gaze. Dreaming and wishing on shooting stars make anything seem possible in Disneyland, and all of the other cares and worries go out the window. Here’s to dreamers, believers and innovators everywhere who have never let anyone stop them from doing the unthinkable.

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Sunday, my family and I spent the day at Disneyland. When I was little, we’d go three or four times a year, but as I got older, it was harder to find the time and it just became more expensive. But, every couple years now, we’ll make it down there and it’s just as magical as the first time I visited, though I don’t remember much at a year-and-a-half.

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We were able to ride everything we wanted, including Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Matterhorn, the Monorail, It’s A Small World, the Disneyland Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean and more. It was a blast! We were also able to do a little shopping for souvenirs on Main Street, had lunch at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ and even had time to visit California Adventure for a slight snack and refreshment. Later in the evening, we made sure to get a good spot for the beginning of the special 60th Anniversary parade, “Paint the Night,” by It’s a Small World (after grabbing a Mickey Mouse pretzel and cheese). Everything was more elaborate and detailed than the last float, a modernized version of the Electrical Parade theme song blasted through the air and all of the famous characters, including the princesses, Buzz and Woody, and of course, the owners of the park, Mickey and Minnie. It started cooling down just in time for the fireworks, and luckily, I already had on my new Mickey Mouse sweatshirt to keep me a little warmer. We found several spots before settling into a new place for the fireworks near the castle. We were blocked by a tree, but you could still make out most of the images of the famous films. The fireworks spectacular takes you on a journey through some of Disney’s most iconic moments and brings us into today, where incredible things continue to happen on the big screen.

My family and I have been to Disneyland close to a million times over the past 23 years that I’ve been around, but this was one of my absolute favorite trips. As I get older, I start to appreciate more and more all that my parents have done for me, whether it was trips to Disneyland or even simply being there to talk to. I can’t wait to have a family of my own someday to pay-it-forward and take them to Disneyland, so they can create their own memories and expand their imagination and be reminded of dreams coming true.

That’s all for now,

Shelby

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