I got my Disney Insider today and immediately opened it curious to see if my favorites had made the list of five favorite Disney World restaurants. Most of them had but my absolute favorite was at the top of the list. I read the description of California Grill and its delicious food and got to the last sentence, “As if the evening weren’t magical enough, the music to the fireworks spectacular Wishes is piped into the restaurant and onto the observation deck, so you can enjoy your meal while watching the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle.”
A memory came to mind and tears streamed down my face as I recalled the first time we took my daughter Darian to California Grill. She was 5 years old and when the lights were dimmed and the music to Wishes started playing she looked at us wide-eyed and squealed with delight. We had seen Wishes at the Magic Kingdom the night before and she made the connection. When the fireworks started to go off she took her mommy’s and daddy’s hands and swayed to the music. It was one of those moments that I, as a parent, felt I had made my child truly happy and that was priceless.
My little girl is growing up and has turned 15. It is tradition in our spanish culture for her to have a Quiñcenera. It is a very big celebration very much like a Sweet Sixteen. Before her birthday we asked if she would like this celebration and she very sadly said no. She explained that no one would attend and what was the point. My husband and I were saddened by this but we had to agree, you see Darien has not been very lucky with friendships and school. She has been bullied her whole school career. She gets by with much love and support from her family and is happy at home. We asked her what she would like instead and she was surprised we had not guessed. She said with the happiest of smiles, “I want to go to where I had my first happiest, happiest memory. I want to go celebrate at Disney World and especially to California Grill where I still remember watching the fireworks with my two favorite people in the world!” I was stunned as she recalled all the details of this very special night. It had meant to her as much as it had to us!
We have booked a very special Disney World vacation for her this coming August and at the top of our list is California Grill. We want celebrate at her happiest place and nothing will ever beat that! We are sure she will leave all her troubles behind and have the happy time she deserves! It is why we keep going back to Disney. It is really a truly MAGICAL place! Our magical place.
- Susan Rodriguez, 45, Park Ridge, NJ
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