A Disneyland Engagement Story

I am impossible to surprise. It’s not that I don’t like surprises or that I go on some mission to ruin them, it is that I just find out on accident. My husband has been the victim of this many times. There have been billboards, commercials, Facebook posts and so many things that have ruined so many of the adventures he has wanted to surprise me with. However, there was one time that I was completely, 100%, totally, breathlessly surprised: when I was proposed to.

February 2012.

I worked all the time. As a small business owner working hard to be a leader in social media I was on the go all the time; networking, meeting, tv spots, hiding in random coffee shops clicking away doing posts, answering emails, editing photos. From the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, I was ALWAYS on my phone making social media magic.

So, when my boyfriend of 2 years asked me to black out 4 days to go on a surprise trip, I was like ‘Seriously?! Where to?’

I was told ‘Not telling.’

I was dumbfounded. I mean, what was I suppose to do with that? How was I suppose to just go away in the middle of all my work? More importantly, how was I suppose to pack?

But Stephen stuck to his guns and didn’t tell me anything. I worked a lot to get things set up to run while I was away, put up an away message on my email and packed a ridiculously large bag ready for snow, heat and everything inbetween.

We headed West and ended up across the street from Disneyland! This place just so happens to be my all time favorite place in the world. To me, everything good and magical happens there. It is a time warp to a magical, more innocent place where it is ok for you to be silly, let your dreams run wild and exude pure happiness. It is impossible to be unhappy there and even though at its core Disneyland is always the same, it is full of new possibility and memories at every turn.

I was over the moon excited! My husband was taking me to Disneyland for 3 days! And as if getting to go to Disneyland wasn’t amazing enough as it is, my very greatest friends in the world, Karen and Dan, were joining us for this crazy adventure. I was floating on cloud 9 and was busting with excitement with getting to share my special place with the people I loved so much.

Day 1 was filled with sharing my favorite traditions, like riding Pirates of the Caribbean as the first ride at Disneyland (that is always the first thing we do always) and eating giant corn dogs while waiting in line for a fast pass, riding Star Tours and cuddling up to watch Fantasmic while squeeing and dancing with excitement through the whole show.


disney engagment

It was magical and exhausting.

By Day 2, we were sore and our feet were killing us. We all had really lost our luster, but still had so much desire to do as much as our poor aching feet would allow. We went to California Adventure and went to work. After a full day of riding Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, California Screaming, Tower of Terror (which boyfriend was not happy about) and Toy Story Midway Mania we were ready for a big yummy meal. We headed to the magic kingdom to eat at Big Thunder Ranch.

Now, the whole trip we became obsessed with the big celebration buttons at Disney. Our friends got 1st Time Visiting and Anniversary ones (it was an early wedding anniversary trip for them) and we got Celebrating ones. For some reason we challenged each other to collect buttons. Dishonest yes, but we are really competitive.

While waiting for our reservation to Big Thunder Ranch, we went and bought a few souvenirs. I decided that I wanted the ‘Just Married’ button and was planning to tell the sales clerk we were there celebrating our honeymoon to get the buttons (I know, I know dishonest but stick with me). However, when we got to the counter I slipped and said we were celebrating our engagement! I felt like a total fool and I was worried poor Stephen would feel pressured, which was the last thing I wanted since things were just so great between us.

So at dinner, Karen and Dan went to do something and I was talking with Stephen. I apologized for messing up the conversation with the sales clerk (I didn’t get buttons by the way). I also assured him that I didn’t want to pressure him and that I was totally perfect with how things were. I also said that we should collect the buttons honestly, that way they will have good memories (see I got back on the Disney straight and narrow). He agreed, smiled and kissed me and went back to his cobbler.

After paying, we started walking to head to World of Color, but then my friends said they wanted to get pictures of the castle at night. So, we walked over there. But then they started walking through the castle and I was thinking what are you doing? Then they stopped right outside the tunnel right over the golden spike marking the center of Disneyland. They stepped away to take pictures so I went to the side to get out of the way.

Then, my super cautious worry wart boyfriend put down our bag of purchases and stepped away.

I went and picked them up and was like ‘what are you doing?’

He just took them from my hand and put them down and said ‘they are fine.’

‘But someone could take them.’

‘Put them down.’

So, I did. I then realized that Karen and Dan had their camera pointed on me.

‘What are you doing?’

Then Stephen takes my hands, takes me to the golden spike and says ‘I have one more surprise.’ He pulled out a tiny beige box from his pocket, opens it and gets down on one knee.

‘Will you be my wife?’

Shocked and excited, I said ‘YES!’ immediately and kissed him before he could even get up.

disney engagement

Everything was kind of a blur of happiness. I think I said ‘oh my god’ like a million times. Karen quickly wiped out bride and groom Mickey Mouse ears for us along with ‘Just Engaged’ buttons! (Yep. I earned that one fair and square.) I was so excited.

disney engagement

In true Disney magic fashion, a cast member appeared out of no where and congratulated us and offered to take us to ride any ride we wanted in Fantasyland. Off to Dumbo we went! Sitting in a pink one of course, we couldn’t stop smiling and kissing. It is still one of the most magical and amazing nights of my life. My friend actually sat in the Dumbo behind us and captured this amazing photo, with his smartphone at that.


We were so excited. Even when we went back to our hotel room we couldn’t sleep so we went to the IHOP across from Disneyland for a late pancake snack. (We now go there every time we go to Disneyland.)

Day 3, was filled with more smiles and rocking our new Mickey Ears and buttons. We got so many congratulations and I got to show off my ring to everyone who asked. We got our ears inscribed with ‘Desiree’s Fiance’ for him and ‘Stephen’s Fiance’ for me and we just loved on each other all over the park (PG of course).

disney engagment

I haven’t been surprised sense, but that is one hard surprise to top. We got married 16 months later (read about it here) and honeymooned in Disney World. From that moment, our relationship has been filled with magic and wonder and I will always have the best story and memory for starting my new life with the man I love.

Here is the video of how it happend. Yes I was totally confused and surprised.


Post by Desiree Martinez.