One of my favorite places in the world is Disneyland. Growing up in California, Disneyland was a place that we frequented. It was our way of vacationing really. My most vivid memories of Disneyland included my grandmother. Oh, how I miss her so. She would gather us up with a cooler of food and drinks and we would make our way to Anaheim from Hollywood. I can see her face and hear her voice telling us to pose in front of the giant Mickey at the entrance of the park.
Every time I visit Disneyland or have an opportunity to share about the exciting things happening there, my heart is overwhelmed with joy. I often shed a few tears and take long breaks wishing that my grandmother could have a chance to visit her favorite amusement park and see the many exciting adventures and celebrations like Pixar Fest which opens today, April 13th through September 3rd. She would absolutely love the Pixar Fest celebration!
Smiling as big as Texas with tears streaming down my face I can tell you with certainty exactly what her “favorites” would be from the Pixar Festivities. So, if you don’t mind I want to share from a very special place, my list of “sure to be my grandmother’s favorites” at Disneyland during Pixar Fest. Is that okay…thank you!!
FIRST FAVORITE – FOOD
I can tell you without hesitation that the first thing on her list would be the food – no doubt. She would absolutely LOVE the creatively themed and very familiar fried bologna sandwich. She used to make them for me when I was a kid. I know she would try the deviled eggs and toast, I can hear her saying….”hhhuuumm let me try it with toast” all the while wondering if Disneyland’s deviled eggs were as good as hers. I’m telling you what I know. Then she would treat herself to a piece of the Pixar Fest Celebration Cake. Actually, we would share it, but it would most definitely make the list.
SECOND FAVORITE – PARADES
Watching the parade was probably her most favorite thing to do. I remember how excited she would get when it was time for the parade to start. And we always had front row seats right on the curb, she made sure of it. So, I am confident when I tell you that BOTH the “Paint the Night” parade and the “Pixar Play Parade” would be on her list of “MUST DO” for sure. I still remember seeing my very first “It’s a Small World” parade at Disneyland with her. It was the best.
THIRD FAVORITE – FIREWORKS SHOW
The fireworks were the highlight of our Disneyland experience. It was usually the last thing that we saw before we left the park each and every time. I know that my grandmother would truly enjoy “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” because not only is it fireworks but there’s also a projection on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. She LOVED the castle just as much as we loved the fireworks, two of our favorites combined…. heavenly.
My grandmother wasn’t really big on rides. As a matter of fact, the only ride I remember her ever riding outside of the Carousel was the now “Finding Nemo” Submarine Voyage. It was her favorite. However, she would make sure my brother and I rode everything that we wanted to in the park. So, she would certainly encourage us to enjoy the Monorail and Cars Land.
My grandmother was INCREDIBLE! Not only did she expose us to the magic of Disney, she exposed to us the power of true love. She was somewhat like Elastigirl from the INCREDIBLES because she had the ability to stretch. She stretched her money to ensure that she could take care of her children, and grandchildren. She stretched her mind to think of a better life and create it. She stretched her heart to love beyond fault and pain. She stretched her hands to give to those in need. And she constantly stretched her arms around me and said “I love you Shantrell” with a huge smile on her face.
I feel so blessed to have been selected to be part of the INCREDIBLES 2 press event, it has given me yet another opportunity to live vicariously through my own life experiences – and share them with you. I suppose that is why I am so excited about INCREDIBLES 2, I am seeing myself and the many amazing women that helped shape me as a SUPER like Elastigirl.
It’s going to be an epic movie, so mark your calendars for June 15th. AND if you are going to be in California or wanted a reason to go…well you got it – Pixar Fest is going to be amazing. Check it out and thanks for reading…I appreciate you!