I have grown up with the benefit of going to Disneyland 1 to 2 times a year, sometimes more dependent upon on what summer camp I went to. I was a child of the 70s and 80s and my favorites were the Main Street Electrical Parade, the Starcade, Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Haunted Mansion, and Star Tours. Once I moved out of my parents’ home though I stopped going to the park. Going as an adult just didn’t have the same draw for me even though I missed it. Then in 2007 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and a trip to Disneyland was just not on my list of priorities. 5 years later my head exploded and I had a large cerebral aneurysm rupture. It blinded me and nearly took my life. I had special eye surgeries to fix the blindness and managed to survive the rupture with very little other issues.
A few years after the rupture I was sitting on the couch with my husband and son. I was watching a video of the Main Street Electrical Parade. I was missing my childhood friend and searched for an old video of it from the 70s. I plugged in my headphones, so as to not disturb the boys, and started it up. It was filmed from the viewpoint of being at the curb, in front of the Opera House. The lights dimmed and the announcement started and I was hit by a ton of bricks! I had to stifle a cry as I was instantly returned to my childhood and waiting anxiously at the curb listening to the announcement and the music. I watched the entire video and was overcome with the sudden need to go. I have stayed away for years for one reason or another and after nearly dying…I decided I needed to go.
It took a bit of convincing but the hubby relented and we had a weekend vacation at the Disneyland Hotel and Disneyland. It was a shock to learn of the changes over the years. There is now a park and an open air mall where I thought we would be parking. That vacation was all that it took and I wanted annual passes. I could not be convinced otherwise. It was a rough start as standing in line causes me significant pain and walking all around the park is also painful after a while. A half day at the park equals multiple days of recovery. I was finally able to get into the Disability Access Service, but it wasn’t easy, and I was gifted a used rollator by a good friend. I settled into a nice routine with my boy on our frequent visits.
Then the parade returned and I couldn’t believe my eyes. The first time I saw it again I had to wipe away tears. Even the second time, I still had wipe away tears. It was my childhood parade, the Main Street Electrical Parade that woke me up and brought me back to my home. This parade meant my life and meant my finally getting out despite my MS and despite my fears. It was only going to be at the park for a short time. I was afraid I would miss it but then they extended it and we made it twice. I was still sad to see it go and I unfortunately missed out on going to visit it one last time on it’s final weekend because of a broken toe. But I was able to see it with my son so he was able to see what brought me joy as a child. I will miss it but I am thankful I was able to get to see it one last time.
So if you have been holding back on doing something you used to love. Go! Do it! This life is short and we never know when it will end. Tell those you love that you love them. LIVE this life you have!
Here are a few of the pictures I took on the two visits that I like. Enjoy!