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  • Writer's pictureHannah O'Reilly

January 2023



Everyone who has taken a trip to Disneyland typically has a similar experience, which is along the lines of happy and enjoyable. Disneyland is filled with magic and wonder that everyone (yes, even the most serious of adults too) craves. And every time I go, which I am so lucky to be able to, I appreciate the time I have with my family there and the time I spend in the various lands of the parks. Even with aching feet and the grumpy mumbling of hungry dads, Disneyland is a place I can go to and lose myself- apart from worrying about my dog, obviously.


In January of this year, I was able to go to Disneyland with my mom, sister, and godmother. It was a little girls' trip and it was one of the best trips I've had in a while. We reserved tickets that just so happened to be on the first weekend of the 100 years of Disney celebration and also during Lunar New Year. We spent of first day in Disney California Adventure (DCA) and watched the Lunar New Year procession almost as soon as we got there. The procession was beautiful and fun to watch, as Mulan, Mushu, Oswald, and Chip and Dale waved while ribbon dancers and dancers dressed as flowers floated by. As I watched this celebration, I couldn't help but think how grateful I was to be there and see that, to experience just a smidge of Lunar New Year. It was a wonderful way to start the trip.



Not long after, my sister and I were able to get pictures with Iron Man (my sister's favorite) in Avengers Campus, after he hired my sister as his technical advisor. She was star-struck of course but as we walked away, she kept saying "I'm gonna be the next Pepper Potts" with the cheesiest smile on her face. And that evening I had my own flirtatious meet-and-greet with Thor and another with Loki. Yes, you read that right- both of the godly brothers. First was with Thor. I showed him my half-sleeve watercolor tattoo with Mjolnir on it, we had some light banter about Loki's big head, and then he hits me with "Have we met before?" And I MELTED. The eye contact, his hand grazing my arm... phew. I wonder if Asgardians have phone numbers because I'll be asking for that on my next trip.


After I escaped Thor's hypnotizing gaze, I spotted the iconic horns of Loki's helmet. I immediately ran over and swooped in to secure my opportunity of speaking to the God of Mischief. I showed him my tattoo half-sleeve, as I have his helmet inked right above my wrist. We had some fun banter too before I made a joke and he touched my shoulder as he laughed. Uh, yeah, that's right! The God of Mischief himself TOUCHED MY SHOULDER. Well look at me, snagging brothers like Miss Elena Gilbert.



The next day, I got pictures with Boba Fett and Fennec Shand in Galaxy's Edge (amazing, incredible, love them both) and had a drink at Oga's Cantina. I had the Outer Rim, which had tequila (yucky) and an exotic fruit purée with black salt around the rim. Once mixed, it was pretty good, but I probably won't get that again. Anyway, after enjoying a drink with my family, we roamed Batuu until our return time for Rise of the Resistance arrived. We saw Mando and Grogu but deemed it not worth waiting in the huge crowd to try to meet them. It was cool just to see them, in my opinion. Throughout this second day, we stayed in Disneyland and enjoyed graduation pictures for my godmother and I and some churros and Dole whip. We ended the day watching the new firework show, which was pretty emotional but very beautiful.


The third day we were back in DCA, seeing a bunch of people in 49ers gear (Super Bowl Sunday) and making our way back to Avengers Campus. When the football game started, the four of us decided to find a place to sit and eat some food while my mom and godmother watch some of the game. After finding a place, my sister and I took off to get some food of our own. We made a beeline to the Lunar New Year food carts and gathered up a variety of the themed food. We tried a quesabirria egg roll with a dipping sauce with a spicy kick to it, a plate of red spiced fried chicken bites, chicken potstickers with a hot dipping sauce, a Mandarin mousse cake, a lavender matcha-foam iced coffee, and a nonalcoholic drink called the dancing firecracker (best drink ever). The food was incredible, we even went back for more egg rolls and another mousse cake.



At the end of the third day, my mom and godmother surprised my sister and I with dessert party reservations for World of Color. We sat at a table and each of us got our own little box of desserts and we were able to order drinks too. The water show was amazing and emotional, very inspiring. I sat there in my chair, watching the water spray into the air and light up, just thinking about how happy I was and how incredibly grateful I was to be there. I am so lucky to be able to experience these things and take trips like these, to have such amazing family members.


Unfortunately, the last day of the trip arrived. We spent the first half of the day in Disneyland, riding rides we wanted to one last time and buying any souvenirs. We went through Downtown Disney as we left, stopping in more stores on the way. It started raining, which I loved. Most people don't like the rain, but the rain is my favorite type of weather. It was a good way to say goodbye to the parks for now. We got back to the hotel and said goodbye to my godmother, which is always hard because we don't see her much.



Overall, this trip really helped me to escape what has been going on in my life. I like to call these escapes "personal resets," because they help my mental state. I work full time, just got done with a dual bachelor's degree (did that full time too), and also some other mental and emotional stress going on as well. But anyway, my time in Disney this January was a great way to begin the year. It was a fun little graduation trip too, and I am so happy I got to spend it with my mom, my godmother, and my sister.

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