A fulfilled dream and squashed fears

10394007_10206052171332984_6929560696415468757_nWho says dreams don’t come true?  Not me!!!  It has been over 30 years since my first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. Some people think I am crazy for wanting to arrive early when I do visit. But one of the things I love about arriving prior to opening is seeing which families will be chosen to help open the park.  I will admit that there has been a bit of envy mixed in with the joy I have for those families.  Yet getting picked really wasn’t something that I hoped for.  It isn’t because I didn’t want to do it, but because I never thought I could be that lucky.  So you can imagine how surprised and thrilled I was when a cast member chose my family on Feb. 1, 2015.  I was giddy with excitement!!!!!!  I felt like a kid instead of a middle-aged woman.

IMAG1768 IMAG1769 IMAG1770

We had the opportunity to take pictures without the crowds in front of the train station.  We also received honorary citizen buttons and an extra Fastpass!  We loudly shouted that it was time to “Let the magic begin” and led the countdown of the opening of the gates.  Seriously the best morning at Disneyland EVER!!!! Like I said, I never thought that this dream would come true, but this morning proved that dreams do come true!!!

Those of you who follow my blog know that last year I challenged myself to have more fun, and I did!!!  This year I challenged myself to find a reason to smile every day.  So far, so good.  You also know that I have decided not to waste my precious energy by leaving my Christmas tree and décor up all year.  My family and I have declared it the year of Christmas!  After we were chosen to open the park, I turned to my husband and said that it really was the year of Christmas.  He laughed and agreed.  Our daughter then chimed in by requesting that we NEVER take down our tree!!! But there is another challenge that I haven’t shared with you yet.  This year I have challenged myself to face my fears.  Over the past 10 years, I developed deep fears of rides that wouldn’t have scared me prior to living in pain.  The only reason my husband and I can think of is that my pain and how I managed it was different than it is now.  Back then, I feared doing anything that would increase my pain level as my medicinal plan barely brought my body any relief at its average level.  An increase in pain would stay with me for weeks or months.  Now that I treat my pain with marijuana, I get relief from my everyday pain each night and knock out my reactionary pain.  Last summer, I took the plunge and decided to face my fear of Splash Mountain.  And guess what?  I loved it!!!  Not only did I love it, but it has also become a ride that I must ride every visit.  The only reason for not going on it is when it is closed for refurbishment.  I even rode it when it was only 38 degrees outside on New Year’s Day!!  I also rode Space Mountain, which was once a favorite of mine, yet once my life with pain began, I would have an anxiety attack just thinking about it.  I won’t lie; this ride still scares me, but not enough to never ride it again.  After that, I vowed to be open to trying new things and facing my fears this year.

I started this year by riding something that I had never ridden before, Goofy’s Sky School roller coaster on New Year’s Day.  It may not be something that I feel I have to ride each visit, but I will definitely ride it again.  On our second visit of the year, I went sledding at Olaf’s Snow Fest. This brings me to our third visit on Feb. 1st.  I felt pretty good after opening the park and felt like I could take on the world, so I decided to tackle two fears.  After spending the morning at Disneyland, we crossed over to California Adventure, where I would surprise my family and myself.

The first fear I decided to tackle was my fear of Mickey’s Fun Wheel.  Now, to be honest with you, I have never been a fan of Ferris Wheels.  When I first saw Mickey’s Fun Wheel many years ago and noticed that the carts were swinging, I vowed that nothing would ever get me on that ride.  So I always ignored this particular attraction.  Then last year, I realized that they also have NON-SWINGING carts!!!  But I still wasn’t sold on the idea.  Since this year was about facing my fears, I decided it was time.  WOW!!  What an incredible experience!!!!  The non-swinging carts really don’t swing!!  Unlike the carts at the Santa Monica Pier or at various state fairs, Mickey’s carts stay relatively still and are caged.  Nobody can lean out, and the fear of falling out was put to rest.  The best part was that I was able to remain in my wheelchair!!!!!!  My back wouldn’t have been able to handle sitting on the cart benches for the duration of the ride.  By remaining in my wheelchair, I could keep my body calm, and I didn’t have to worry about increased pain.  The views were spectacular, and I can’t wait to ride it again.


With a sense of pride from conquering my Ferris Wheel fear, my husband and I headed over to The Tower of Terror!!!  I have only been on this ride one other time.  For the past 9 years, I swore that I would never go on it again!!  A few times, my fear began to escalate, and I considered leaving the line.  So I made a deal with myself.  I told myself that if I really hated it, I would never have to go on it again.  Call me crazy, but I LOVED it!!!!  There was one drop that I felt was too long, but other than that, it was a fabulous experience!!!  Although the poor girl next to me might disagree, she had to listen to my screaming and deal with me grabbing her hand every time I went for the handrail.


Afterward, we noticed a character meet and greet that only had one person in line.  These Incredible superheroes were so much fun!!!


Forget about the Super Bowl!!!  By the end of the day, I felt like a champion and a superhero!!  How many people can say they were chosen to open the park and face two enormous fears and squash them??!!!  It was definitely a great day at the park.  Can’t wait to see what else The Year of Christmas has in store for me!!!!!

Wishing you a day filled with Pixie Dust and gentle hugs!!!

The Disabled Diva

Published by Cynthia Covert

Diagnosed in 2001 with psoriasis, followed by fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, endometriosis, and later a botched hysterectomy turned her world upside down. Cynthia shares her experience, advice, and tips for how to make life with chronic pain easier and less painful.

Comment Here!

Skip to content
This Website is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilitiesWe are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and applying the relevant accessibility standards.
Conformance status