[…] Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true […]
I’m a dreamer. And my defining dream that came true (and shaped my career and growth as a person) was being hired to work for Disney.
Yeah, this is a back-to-back post regarding Disney. Four parks (two locations only) within a month really brought out all my sappy, emotional Disney gratitude again, much like last year.
It’s 100% true – no matter how many places I travel to, the Disneyland Resort will always be part of my heart, as will Disney in general.
It always feels like I never left when I walk through the gates (of both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park). Places, faces, and the happiest of memories all flood back at once. I’m eternally grateful for everything I experienced during my time working on the property.
While my time there was brief, I wouldn’t take back a thing – those memories are golden. I learned and experienced so much – and I realize how lucky I was to be able to have played so much in my job (I guess I still do that now on cruise ships). But really, how many people can say that they’ve climbed the tip-top of California Screamin’ to “train,”
crashed driven golfcarts around and pretended to be legit (when I definitely wasn’t), and had Nerf Gun fights in their office? Oh, Disney.
I third-wheeled with my old partner-in-crime from Disney for about an hour before we parted ways, and then was off doing my solo thing again. Some may think I’m crazy for playing in the parks alone so often, but it’s truly gratifying. And as the literal definition of a single rider, there’s a lot more perks for me (I mean, I waited for max. of 1 min. to ride Matterhorn twice in a row – that’s bliss). And no one can judge you for how much food you buy (in addition to the backpack of snacks and food you also brought)… 😉
I had a lot more time to wander the entirety of both parks (last year, I barely had time to ride about three attractions). With all the construction and renovations in the past years, a lot has obviously changed – and a lot hasn’t. I’m still at my pure happiest points when I just have the chance to explore places and take everything in through my senses. My only regret is not taking more photos, since I tend to slack on photography when I come back to California.
I grinned ear-to-ear on Radiator Springs Racers. I welled up with tears when I rode Soarin’ Over the World twice (especially in the Sydney and Paris scenes). I had a perfect view of the Main Street Electrical Parade and waved childishly at Dopey, my childhood favourite (maybe because he’s my twin, lol). I yelped with delight when the new BB-8 transmission was shown on Star Tours. I screamed and was in pure bliss throughout my favourite attraction – Hyperspace Mountain (WHY IS IT GOING BACK TO THE REGULAR OVERLAY IN JUNE).
I met the lovely Jim Drennan (follow him on Instagram: @gsojim), a famous CM who creates epic magical moments by shining a professional photography light on you while using your camera/phone to take photos in front of the castle (no one else does this).
I finally met Chewie and died happily inside from his big hug.
I smiled and welled up with tears watching World of Colour (big thank you to Lissette for the VIP viewing area, ohmygosh – you’re the best).
I rode Gadget’s Go Coaster and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin at night with 0 wait and felt like such a kid again. I remember going on Gadget’s repeatedly when I was little – it was my favourite. Considering the fact that it feels like a 30-second-long attraction, man, I was sheltered… I guess that was my favourite before I was tall enough to ride Space Mountain (now my all-time fave FOREVER).
I bought this heaven… because Paris didn’t have it. And the food in these parks is the best of all parks (suck it, WDW, we’re always better than you). #friendlyrivalry
I ran into a few CMs (Javi, JT, and Lissette – you’re amazing!) that I haven’t seen in years and definitely shrieked with delight upon seeing them.
I got stuck on It’s a Small World for a little bit (thank heavens I was on the attraction and not waiting in the hot queue) – and experienced the paused attraction for a good 15 min. without any sound. There’s something a little creepy about just seeing the dolls bopping about with squeaks as the only sound effects.
I photobombed a lovely family on Splash Mountain (the dad was a selfie pro, and his face in the actual photo is priceless). My dress definitely flew up on the drop, and I’m thankful it wasn’t captured in the photo.
I thanked Paradise Pier for being my first home. I smiled and laughed while walking throughout the rest of DCA, since the majority of my park events were here and I remember all the sunny walkthroughs of Cars Land and Hollywoodland. It was such an amazing time in my career, both professionally and personally, and I never want to forget any of those memories.
I understand why so many people love Disney so much now. It’s like watching a film – it’s very much a beautiful escape from reality for most people. You’re never too old for Disneyland. I know that I value and love it a lot more now because it’s not part of my everyday work routine, so I obviously cherish my time there whenever I visit.
I’m a very sentimental person, and I’ve come to terms with that. I was overwhelmed with joy upon walking through the grounds again, watching the parades and shows (the perfection of World of Colour is on a scale of its own), and just taking in the overall sights and sounds of Disney. My favourite part of the day was actually when the 10:30pm Main Street Electrical Parade was happening. It gave me the chance to wander around Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and the esplanade when absolutely no one was around. It felt so eerie, yet beautiful – the only other times I’ve experienced certain areas that empty were when we got to frolick about before park opening (holla, cast canoe races).
Overall – the people who I’ve had the opportunity to work with, meet, and/or befriend – you all know who you are, and I’m so thankful to each and every one of you. A place is really only as special as its people (the same goes for travelling the world), and I’m pretty sure that some of the most incredible people in my life (plus their friends and their friends and so forth) are ones I met through working here. You are all real gems, and I’m inspired by so many of you. It’s such an honour to come back and visit while feeling like no time has passed (and yet it feels forever ago since I hung up my Ears). My inner Disney self hasn’t changed – I still love it just as much as I did when I was a little girl. I just eat a lot more now, typically wear a huge backpack, and don’t dress nearly as nice as I used to… that’s the main gist of actual changes. 😉
Like my visit last year, it really was a dream come true to revisit the parks again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder… 🙂
(Thank you again, Paula – you’re a star!) xx