The Brighter Writer





TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2012

The Happiest Place On Earth



Oh...

Disneyland!

160 acres of dreamy perfection that has captured my heart since I was just a tiny little girl. A place of tradition to my Southern California based family. A place of peace, of memories, of laughs and of pure magic.

My mom's side of the family are all Southern Californians. Since 1949, it's been pretty much a constant of 75 degree weather and palm trees. The benefit of growing up in a family like this as a kid was having grandparents who lived directly up the street from the World's most famous theme park. We all had annual passes, even if we lived states away, mainly because we vacationed there so often, they paid for themselves with just a couple visits. (Spoiled? yes. Appreciative? YES.)

This is a picture of my mom with my aunt and grandmother at the entrance of Frontierland in 1957 heading to the Rivers of America to ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia. My mom was 6 years old. The park had only been open a year.



Dumbo The Flying Elephant

Being able to have photographic memories of my mom as a 6-year-old child riding the same Dumbo ride as now with her almost 3 year old granddaughter is mind blowing to me. What a trip to watch all of us enjoying the same place, time and time again for decades.



The Haunted Mansion



Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

We have so many photos of Mr. Toad I couldn't even fit them in 2 collages.







I can't even begin to count the number of times we've seen Mickey.



What a sicko...



And then there is Geppetto!:



Happiest Faces On Earth

In 2004, Disneyland started to collect 200,000 of the best family photos in commemoration of their 50th anniversary for mosaics placed around the park. My sister's photo with Mickey, taken 30 years prior, was chosen as a small piece of multiple collages. Still to this day, being a part of Hercules' neck, is the pride and joy of that year.



(closer view)



For a brief time, Disneyland offered guests personalized commemorative paving stones that were placed in the walkway between the main entrances to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. Although the stones are still there, Disney discontinued their "Walk of Magical Memories" back in early 2011. If you didn't get your stone then, your chance to be apart of Disneyland history is long gone, at least for now. My sister's stone was placed, complete with limited edition gold coin, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Park.



My point to all of this is that we love Disneyland. It is a part of me that was embedded by my family from the minute I was born. I'm incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to pass our tradition onto my own daughter because we're going back for Kalynn's 3rd birthday! You can take the girl out of the overpriced-theme park, but you can't take the overpriced-theme-park out of the girl!

We have a room at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel complete with heated roof top swimming pool, water slide and private firework viewing area with piped in soundtrack! There is no better place I can think of to spend a 3rd birthday than with her fellow princesses eating too many sweets, watching parades and riding rides.

See you soon So Cal!