the goreliks / disneyland family photography

growing up in san diego, I remember very vividly the weekday morning my mom surprised me with a trip to disneyland rather than school. I squealed. I jumped up and down on the bed. I couldn’t believe it! finally. it was happening. I was going to disneyland.

I have learned though, having lived in los angeles now for many years, that children who grow up here- often simultaneously grow up going to disneyland. your family has an annual pass, so on any given day you go to disneyland for a few hours, hang out with mickey, ride a few rides,  maybe eat some food, and then go home. no big deal. just a little dose of disney magic to get you through the day.

this concept blows my mind.

disneyland was such this mystical, and very unobtainable, gem of a treasure of my childhood. I know it is for most people. families save for years, get on airplanes, and fully soak in every ounce of wonder that the mouse kingdom has to offer over a period of a few days. but with the perks of being los angeles residents, some families make disneyland excursions just as accessible as going to the neighborhood park. what an incredible gift for these children to grow up getting to experience elements of fantasy, wonder, and imagination on such a consistent basis.

the goreliks are one of these disneyland los angeles families. well, at least, for now! typically, they would make it out to disneyland once or twice a month, getting there first thing in the morning and leaving before naptime (and the crowds). sweet 3 year old matthew had a gameplan- what rides he wants to ride, what characters he wants to see. and on a beautiful winter day, I joined their family for a very special disney trip.

for how much of a monthly routine has been established in matthew’s world- it is soon changing. in just a few months, he’ll be a big brother. his family of three, all the traditions and routines that have been created in the three years of his existence, will soon be bent, molded, and shaped different to include a beautiful new human being.

so I captured, for the last time, one of the gorelik’s favorite things to do together as a family of three. a disneyland hiatus will be happening for the next few years, until the new baby is old enough to join in the fun. and what makes this day even MORE special?!

between matthew’s last visit and this one, he grew.
he grew to be exactly 40″ tall.

and in the disneyland universe…that opens a whole new world of rides and experiences that he had never done before! so ontop of getting to forever preserve these last few moments of the current gorelik family size, I captured matthew experiencing rides for the very first time. the timing of everything couldn’t have been more perfect.

so… here it is… a day in the life of the gorelik’s at disneyland. a fleeting and treasured activity that will eventually include a fourth member. and that little baby, oh goodness, what a life full of adventure and laughter they will live!