Anna's Blog: Disney fun as trip nears end

PUBLISHED: 11:59 08 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:59 08 September 2016

The Saffron Walden Young Carers Group visit Disneyland

The Saffron Walden Young Carers Group visit Disneyland

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Youngsters from the Saffron Walden Young Carers Group are currently on the trip of a lifetime in the USA after raising the money themselves to get there. In total, £24,000 was raised through car washes, quizzes and other fundraising events to take 11 members of the group to Florida.

Tim Atkinson with members of the Saffron Walden Carers Group at DisneylandTim Atkinson with members of the Saffron Walden Carers Group at Disneyland

The carers group, which is based at Fairycroft House, is made up of young people in Saffron Walden who look after members of their family on a regular basis.

Among the 11 to make the trip to America is aspiring journalist Anna Percival, 16, who is writing an online blog for the Reporter about her experiences.

Nearing the end of the group’s trip, here is Anna’s fourth entry...

I learned two things from playing crazy golf with everyone. One, some people are very competitive, I mean VERY competitive and two, a nine year old is very capable of beating two adults at crazy golf even when they cheat. It was a lot of fun even though we had to stand out in the glaring heat for over an hour.

Luckily after finishing golf we went to an all you can eat pizza restaurant which everyone seemed to need (particularly the air con) because golf turned out to be pretty draining, surprisingly.

Apparently it was so draining that one of us managed to, somehow, eat eleven slices of pizza (which I think is sort of impressive).

After we’d finished eating and convinced a certain someone that eleven slices was enough the group split up. Half of us went back to the house while the rest of us went to Old Town to see the car show.

Now, cars are stereotypically viewed as a boys thing and being perfectly honest I’m not really what you’d call a ‘car person’ but it was actually pretty cool. A lot of the cars looked like vehicles you’d see in old films. It was also really cool to see Old Town at night (as opposed to when we went during the day) because there seemed to be a totally different atmosphere.

Overall, it was a really nice night, especially as it was only a small group of us which made a pleasant change to being with a large group constantly.

Another thing that’s stereotyped as a boy’s interest is rockets and space but I’d argue otherwise because when we went to Kennedy Space Centre I found it pretty incredible to see everything that humans have managed to achieve over time. I mean humans going into space, one of the most dangerous environments, and getting to explore it seems remarkable and a huge part of our history. Although the day was really interesting there was a lot of tension within the group and everyone seemed to be getting pretty emotional yet no one wanted it to ruin the day.

After all, we don’t get to see these pieces of human history in Walden so it would have been stupid to spoil it by acting childishly. It is sometimes acceptable to act like a child and mess about though for instance, in order to cheer the group up which a certain adult did by dressing up as woman. When I say dress up as a woman I don’t mean a woman’s top and jeans, I mean a dress, sandals and full make-up. This certain adult (who was also the one doing all the other stupid things while we were away) looked hideous but he did manage to succeed in cheering everyone up and it was made even better when he struggled to remove the make-up.

It was the perfect day for him to do this as well because we were going to the one place where it’s perfectly acceptable to be a child- Disneyland! Disney was, after Universal Studios, my favourite outing of the whole trip but unfortunately it was also our last outing as the next we were going home. The whole group was totally psyched to be going to Disney, I mean who wouldn’t be? It’s probably one of the most exciting places to go and definitely the best place for us to have gone to on our last day. When we entered the park we were in a part called Main Street which, quite obviously, is a street that was pretty old-fashioned and it was pretty cool (although it looked WAY cooler at night) but the thing that really grabbed everyone’s attention was at the very end of Main Street. BAM! Right there in front of you was the iconic Cinderella castle. Personally I felt like I was on one of the ads for Disneyland where you see the kids standing by the castle and all their dreams have come true. It kind of felt like another of my childhood dreams had come true by being there and I was having an internal meltdown because it was Cinderella’s castle right in front of me, an image I had only dreamed of or seen on every Disney movie.

Honestly, I felt like a little kid again and I’m pretty sure everyone else felt the same. After getting over the initial feeling of awe and about a million photos had been taken we went on the first ride. This turned out to be the Seven Dwarves Ride. Whether it was worth the hour and a half wait in intense heat is debateable but it did turn out to be pretty fun. To cool off we went on a ride called Splash Mountain next which, as you can guess, was a water ride. It wasn’t just a water ride though, it was a water ride with a 50ft drop so it was lucky that no one was scared of heights otherwise they may have passed out. It was a pretty weird ride as well, it was based on a Disney film I’ve never seen. Maybe if I watched it the ride wouldn’t have seemed so strange but that’s questionable. Anyway the group then split into two so we could go on different rides. Our group went to the Space Mountain ride which was so awesome we went on it twice, it was as good as (possibly even better than) The Revenge of the Mummy ride at Universal. Even better, we barely had to queue for it as one person in our group was in a wheelchair so we got put in the fast pass lane.

The best part of the day came at the very end though. It was night time by this point so there was a fireworks show over Cinderella’s castle. It was amazing because with the fireworks the castle lit up and they had audio clips from different films to play with different fireworks. If I could go and do it all again I would, it was truly magical.

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