20 Years in the Making
By Madeline Brooks
I have been granted so many amazing opportunities as of recent years. This past summer I got the opportunity to attend the Cannes Film Festival, which was a nice formal introduction to the industry that SULA would teach me more about. Shortly after that, SULA provided opportunities such as working at Funny or Die, going to the Creative Arts Emmy’s, breathing the same air as Quentin Tarantino, accidentally crashing Kris Jenner’s birthday party, attending the American Music Awards, and the list goes on and on. Los Angeles has been the hub of opportunity for me, and last week I realized that those experiences were all just build up for what would undoubtedly be the single best day of my short 20 years on earth.
I bet you’re wondering what happened. Did I meet my idol? (No, but it nearly happened on my run-in with Quentin Tarantino). Did I get on the set of my favorite TV show? Did I meet my childhood crush, Cary Elwes? No, the best day of my life didn’t further my career and didn’t fulfill my most glamorous dreams. The best day of my life was made possibly by someone you may recognize, a little guy named… Mickey Mouse.
On November 24, 2015, a few friends and I woke up at 6:30am to venture off on my first ever trip to a Disney park (I’d been to Disneyworld when I was about 4 so it doesn’t exactly count). Let me give you a general breakdown of that day. Hours spent at the park: 15 ½. Rides ridden (in chronological order): 1) Indiana Jones 2) Pirates of the Caribbean 3) Splash Mountain 4) Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion 5) Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride 6) It’s a Small World 7) Hollywood Tower of Terror 8) Mickey Mouse’s Ferris Wheel 9) Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain 10) Big Thunder Mountain 11) Tiki Room 12) Midway Games 13) King Triton’s Carousel of the Sea 14) A leisurely stroll through Aurora’s Castle 15) Teacups 16) Peter Pan. Money spent: Too Much. Willingness to return to the real world: 0.
One of my favorite moments occurred once my friends and I got some ice cream and stumbled on to Main Street. Suddenly, a fireworks show started and there were lights projected on the buildings that changed depending on what Disney music was being played. I have never experienced a moment so magical than when the song “Let It Go” started playing and real snow started sprinkling from the sky. That was the first time I ugly cried that day. Since then, I’ve learned that I actually come from a long line of Disney lovers on my mother’s side. My (now deceased) uncle Mark first bought stock in Disney around 1965.
My time in Los Angeles has been beyond amazing and as it comes to a close, Disneyland provided the perfect cherry on top of this LA sundae. As I walked into work today, someone came up to me and said, “I don’t know what it is, but you look especially stylish today.” I was wearing my new Mickey Mouse sweater. As a good friend of mine said as I was writing this blog “You don’t have to provide any more reasoning as to why it was the best day of your life. Or why the Mickey sweater is what completes your outfit. It all just does. It’s wonderful.” I think she’s pretty darn right; Disney & Madeline somehow just make perfect sense.