“Kennewick High graduating class of 2011! Now that you have graduated, what are you going to do? … WE’RE GOING TO DISNEYLAND!”
And that is just what we did.
We have dreamed about this date for over a year now: June 6th, 2011. On that date at 4 o’clock in the morning, our group of 13 high-school graduates would arrive at the airport to board the earliest flight to Las Angeles. This group consisted of 11 of my closest high-school friends, my twin sister, my parents and our neighbor who came along as an extra chaperone. Since the beginning of our junior year, my mom, sister and I humored the idea of taking a large group of our friends to Disneyland, and thought about just how much fun it would be with all of us there. That idea matured and eventually formed into a real plan. Come summer before our senior year took place, we came in contact with our travel agency and set the plan into action.
Senior year had a whole new meaning to all of us now that we have two incredible journeys to look forward to: Our graduation ceremony and our graduation trip. Throughout the year, meetings took place, information was gathered, reservations were made and fundraisers were set into action. The logistics of the trip were carefully planned out by our incredible travel agents, who made this magical journey possible. As the date came closer, everyone, adults included, began to get antsy. When the 6th arrived, landing in the LAX was when everything set in. Only an hour until we are in the happiest place on earth!
It is inevitable that something goes wrong on any vacation, and this one was no different. Somehow our reservations did not seem to be filed correctly in the Disneyland Hotel’s system, so our whole group was told to wait in the hotel lobby for an hour. Little did we know that something that went wrong would be our best memory of our trip. Half an hour into the wait, a cast member brought out a bouquet of Disney balloons and pins that say “Just graduated!” No more than 5 minutes later, I look over…and see Pluto walking towards us. For the majority of our group, this was their first touch of the wonderful world of Disney. Suddenly, we went from being graduated seniors in high-school to being a child again, lost in the excitement of seeing your first character in Disneyland. Pluto stayed with us for about 10 minutes then wandered away on all fours. With all of us still caught up in what just happened, suddenly Chip and Dale wander into the lobby! Seeing as though we were the only people in the lobby, it was apparent that the lady that gave us the balloons and pins was working her magic especially for us.
The next 2 days went by in a blur. It is true the saying that time flies when you are having fun. The most amazing part of it was knowing that I helped take a part in giving my friends the best gift of all. It was truly satisfactory seeing their excitement when seeing the castle for the first time, watching their awed expressions while watching the amazing fireworks show, and hearing them laughing while on the rides.
It was an unforgettable experience, plainly put. They deserved it for being such amazing people and friends of ours. It provided many of the kids an escape from their stress, and gave them an amazing memory that will forever be in their hearts.
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