“All of your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”- Walt Disney
Hello everyone! My name is Shannon Galipault and I was blessed to be crowned Miss Garden Grove 2015 in October! I would love to talk to you all about my favorite place in the entire world, which most people know as the “happiest place”, DISNEYLAND!! This quote above is one that I truly do believe in and has encouraged me to do many things in my life, such as get a job at Disneyland and compete in pageants.
I have to admit that I am quite the Disney nerd and could tell you way too much about the park, its history, and its amazing creator Walt himself. In order to save time, I will give you just a brief historical overview of Disneyland, and also let you in on why it has changed my life. Did you know that Disneyland is the only Disney park that Walt actually stepped foot in? Personally, I think Disneyland is the coolest park just for that reason alone. He put every ounce of his soul into creating a place where everyone would feel at home. “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past… and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”- Walt Disney
This speech is pure genius to me. Disneyland is not just some amusement park, it is a place for people to forget about the outside world and enjoy life through the eyes of a child. But this happy, growing, and quickly expanding company did not start out as such. On opening day, July 17th, 1955, everything that could go wrong did. Women’s heels were sinking into the still drying concrete, food and beverages sold out in hours, there were no drinking fountains, rides broke down, people snuck in illegally, and there was a gas leak in Fantasyland. Walt didn’t let that stop him, and in a matter of weeks, over a million guests had already walked through the Magic Kingdom’s gates.
I think Walt has an incredibly inspiring story, coming from such a small and humble lifestyle, to creating a place people dream of going to. His quote at the top echoes so much of what he had to go through and how I believe I should live my life. Ever since I started competing in the Miss America program as a sophomore in high school, I dreamed of being a Miss titleholder and winning Miss America. Being a teen, I never thought I would be capable or have the opportunity to do so. This quote reminded me that if I had the courage to go out on a limb, wear a swimsuit, partake in a 10-minute interview where I had no clue what would be asked, then I could achieve my wildest dreams. Competing for Miss Garden Grove and putting my soul and heart into it was going out on a limb, but look where I am now! I am competing for Miss California in June with the chance of winning and competing in Atlantic City for Miss America.
My job at Disneyland lets me create magic every day for people all across the globe. It has taught me many different things, but the most important one is that giving up is never an option. I am proud of my involvement in the Miss America Organization and will continue to give it my all until I reach my dreams. I encourage you to do the same.
Miss Garden Grove 2015