Monday, July 2, 2012

Ravenna's First Disney Visit

I like to think I grew up at Disney. Some of my earliest memories are of going to Walt Disney World when I was two years old. Growing up in Southern California, going to Disneyland was almost a yearly event for most of my childhood, and when we lived in Orange County it became almost a weekly event. My siblings and I knew Disneyland better than we knew our own hometown. Many of my happiest memories, including becoming engaged to Andrew, were made while at Disneyland.

 My family is obsessed with Disney! My dad worked there as a teen, as did my brother Aaron, and now my brother Chris and my sister Rachelle currently work there and love it! There are definite perks to being a Disney employee, particularly if you are a relative of a Disney employee. When daily tickets to the park are now close to $100, those "get in free" perks are a definite blessing.

For years my brother Chris has been asking me to bring Ravenna to California so he could get her in for her first visit at Disneyland. When my Nana passed away at the end of February after a long and amazing life, our trip to California for the funeral provided the opportunity.

I cannot say enough about what a great place Disneyland is to visit. Yes, it is very expensive but at least for the price they do a great job of making the visit memorable. If you have food allergies, for example, the employees will bend over backwards to try to meet your needs. The firework show is so magical it brought me to tears.

Ravenna was tall enough to ride most of the rides which was a lot of fun being able to take her on my favorites but wasn't so great when she got totally soaked on Splash Mountain. The poor girl was sobbing, "I do not like that ride!" as she walked past all the people waiting in line. It was so sad but funny at the same time. Luckily I had thought to bring her some extra pants and underwear so a quick run to a shop for an overpriced t-shirt and voila! All better.

Look at that face!
Watching Ravenna experience Disney for the first time was very special for me. Having so many happy memories of one place made seeing her delight in it all the more touching. Seeing her rock-out at a cover-band concert in Tomorrowland was one of the highlights of my life. What a wonderful time!

Thank you to, Rachelle, Chris, Oma and Opa for helping give us such a perfect Disney experience!