Saturday, November 23, 2013

All it takes is faith, trust and pixie dust!

Hello everyone! Our names are Sara and Taylor and we thought it might be fun to share our experience of becoming part of the Neverlander family, being one of the newest members!
 SARA: I’ll start off with my story and have Taylor take over at the end. First off, Taylor and I have been dating for 3 years now and one of the things that has drawn us together is our Disney fandom. My family always tells me I was raised as a Disney girl and I was lucky to find someone who loved the parks just as much as I did. We were shown the Neverlander Social Club through a friend on Instagram and were excited to see a group of people who shared our excitement for Disney. Taylor was actually the first to reach out to one of the members, I remember cause I was stuck in school and was so jealous that 1. he was at Disneyland, and 2. he got to meet a Neverlander before me! I soon got to meet and experience my first Neverlander meet when we went to wish Angel a happy birthday. I was so nervous, and even though Taylor will never admit it, I knew he was too. To make it less awkward, we went and bought a bag of Mickey M&M’s from Downtown Disney to break any tension that there may be. While I didn’t know most of them, everyone was very welcoming and I could tell that the bond between all of them was more of a family than just a social club.
From then on we continued to meet more of the Neverlanders, and with over 60 members, it is quite an intimidating task to take on. As most people know who have met me, I am extremely shy at first, but once you get to know me I’ll start to open up for new friendships (which is why I chose Flower as my first Neverlander patch). As we got to meet and become friends with more of the members, we got invited to our first official meet in July. Looking back, I would only change one thing out of that entire day, my voice was shot from being sick and I was too afraid to tell anyone! I didn’t want to miss anything but I pretty much sounded like there was a dying frog in my throat, and as a result I was afraid to talk to most of them. Luckily Taylor was there to help me afterwards to ensure me that they are still my friends and there will always be another time to meet the others. From then on I pushed myself to ignore my fears of being insecure or afraid and put myself out there for everyone to meet. I reached out to more of them through Instagram, supporting their crafts, and of course more Disney trips! While my whole journey was long, it was never just about becoming part of a club. It was gaining friendships that I know I’ll cherish forever and gaining the courage to be myself.
 TAYLOR: Hey everyone, Taylor taking over. (If you don’t know me on Instagram, that joke probably made no sense, but whatever.) Basically becoming Neverlanders was a long journey of becoming life-long friends with people who we once saw as strangers. I’ll be honest, getting to know people on a personal level is hard, let alone having over 60 members to get to know, but everyone is really nice and truly has a kind heart. We began being invited to meets and going to charity events and became very close with those around us. We got asked to go to the first ever Neverlanders Anniversary meet, being that they began about one year ago and we’re stoked that we got invited! It began with everyone bringing breakfast and at the end of eating, greeting everyone, and presenting the founders with a gift, and then ending with a group hug.
 Then we were told about a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt was described to the invitees (Sara, Lucy, Aaron, Justice, Paul, and myself) as a regular scavenger hunt, but if we, the invitees won we couldn’t win the “real” prizes because we weren’t in the Neverlanders. To be honest, we understood that and Angel even joked around about us being able to win hugs, which was pretty funny. So our team of invitees, nicknamed Team I aka Team Trashcan, decided it was our time to shine and beat them at there own game, even if there was no prize. So our team rushed inside and began the scavenger hunt with huge speed. Nearing the end of the scavenger hunt, our scavenger hunt papers spelled out, “Will you be Neverlanders?” and “Welcome to the family!” We began walking towards the next destination only to find a loving semi-circle of strangers that had become our friends and truly our family asking us if we would accept.
 Of course, we all turned red and ran for hugs from everyone. Cyndee and Angel created something special, something unique, something that is hard to describe. The whole idea of being in this family is unreal, we really care about these people and the morals they uphold not only as a Social Club, but as people. We respect each and every one of them. We are damn proud to be part of this ever-growing family, we love them so much. Thank you all for this, and may many memories form in our near future with you. Hope to see whoever read this around the park ;]
-Sara and Taylor

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finding Neverland

Home is where the heart is. My heart is at Disneyland. My wife and I had our second date at Disneyland! Melissa has been an annual pass holder her entire life, I purchased my first annual when I was 18 but I was born and raised in Anaheim so my family would go about 4 times a year. We would love when relatives would visit because that would mean we are going to Disneyland. When I did purchase my pass only a handful of my friends and they would go about twice a month. I was offended! To me my pass ment I had a key to Disneyland and if I have a key I'm going to use it! So after school I would head to the park and ride a few rides, grab lunch and people watch . I did not mind going alone I found out a lot about myself sitting on the benches at Disneyland just observing and thinking about where I am in life and where I want to be in the years to come. Fast forward two years and I meet Melissa! As soon as we found out we both Keys to Disneyland we ditched school hopped on a bus and went to what I call home. Since meeting Melissa I have not gone to Disneyland by myself. More and more of our friends started becoming AP's but with time they would lose interest. When Melissa and I became pregnant with out daughter our good friend told us if Riley is born in Disneyland she gets in free for life. So naturally when Melissa hit 37 weeks we went almost everyday hoping She would go into labor but that did not work out she went into labor before te park opened and we have a beautiful daughter. With our son when Melissa went into labor she wouldn't dialate so the dr said go walk around for a couple hours and then we can admit you. Melissa looks at me and said well we are going to Disneyland. She was having some heavy contractions but she was determined. Cast members would walk up to her and ask if she was ok when she had a contraction and she would say yes it's just a cramp. We hung out at Disneyland for about two hours and i told her we should just go back to the hospital. We have a handsome son and are as happy as can be. So we go to Disneyland about twice a week now, but we used to go more before Melissa went back to work. We would have fun at Disneyland but would notice our daughter would look at other children and be very curious. So when I found out about The Neverlanders I had asked my friend Rick (Save the Panduhs) about them since I saw him post a picture with then at Disneyland. He told me about the club and that they closed membership at the time. I saw that the Zombies had two kids, then I noticed Sarah had two. I thought the club was awesome I noticed more and more kids in the club as I started following more members. This is the main reason I am proud to be a member of The Neverlanders. The kids all get along so well! They learn from each other and even look out for each other. Rick introduced us to Amanduh and she is amazing. With her what you see is what you get! She is as real as they come. Both of them slowly started introducing us to different members at Disneyland the two that we met besides Rick and Amanduh where The Sisters Vero and Cehcee. Instantly we had a connection. We also met Jeebus and Adrian that day! (At the time they where not in the club) after haingung out with them for sometime we ran into Angel and Cindy I'm DCA I thought they were awesome. Slowly we started getting invited to functions outside of Disneyland and they kids loved it. I spoke to Melissa about it and told her I think it's awesome that even though the club is no accepting  members at the moment they still want to be our friends. At that moment is when I realized this isn't just a social club they really care about each other it isn't just a Club at Disneyland they are really a family. When we where asked to become a part of the family of course we said yes! But nothing had changed we had already formed a strong bond and had been coming to most of the functions that the club held. We already felt like we where part of the family! Bottom line we found Neverland and we will never grow up! Another day I'll write about our invitation it was magical!