I had two months left of graduate school when I went to Disneyland for the first time–I was 25. My new bestie from Australia (whom I had met on a Contiki tour in Europe about 18 months before) and I met up in Los Angeles to have a much needed girls trip as we had both endured a lot of life turmoil since we last saw each other face to face in London.
Our first stop was, of course, Disneyland as we are both Disney nuts. Well, actually it was a doctor’s office, but that is a whole other story….
My friend D had been to Disneyland numerous times and has visited Disneyland Paris. At that point, I had only been to Disney World. The fact that I could hear people screaming from Twilight Zone Tower of Terror the night before we went park hopping fueled my excitement.
I was surprised at how small Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was–I had forgotten that Disneyland is obviously smaller than Disney World. I still loved the pink walls and for whatever reason, it reminded me of cake. lol.
Even seven years later, I still remember a lot about this day–buying our Mickey Mouse ears and laughing at the vastly different sizes of our heads, outrunning kids to be first in line at Pirates of the Caribbean, having a breakfast of Churros and then riding Splash Mountain three times in a row. My Aussie friend and I make the most out of our limited time together–especially when a day at Disney is part of the itinerary.
Until now, I have never been to Disneyland without my friend D–after this inaugural trip, we met up another two times. The next with another of our Aussie friends, Rach, after they both came to visit me in Winnipeg for Christmas. We had gone to Las Vegas for New Years and then Disneyland for New Year’s Day.
The third time I walked the streets of Disneyland was when I ran the 2010 Disneyland Half with one of my friends from University. My dear Aussie friend decided she would surprise me by showing up the day after the race, as my 30th birthday gift. I think I might’ve woken up the entire hotel when my friend showed up at the hotel that morning!
It is going to be awfully weird to be in Disneyland without my Australian friend and hard core ride companion. Though, on the plus side, we are already starting to put together a plan for going to see Walt’s Palace in Florida, together, in the coming years–once her daughter/my niece grows up a little.
For this reason, Disneyland will always have a special place in my heart–it has been the home to many good times with a friend whom I rarely get to see but is always in my thoughts!
Happy Small Friday everyone! 🙂