Being from a small town in Pennsylvania the number one thing that my friends want to see when they come to see me in LA is movie stars. It's hard to explain but spotting a movie star isn't like going to the zoo and finding the zebra in its cage; its something that just happens. On the last day of my friend, Ashley's, trip out to California I had exhausted all of my usual star-spotting venues and had all but given up. Everyday she called her family and sadly answered no when they asked her if she saw anyone. Then it happened, at all places we could have seen someone, it was at Disneyland.
We had arrived at the park early that morning hoping to beat the Sunday afternoon crowd and score some fastpasses to Splash Mountain, since it was 9am and already 100 degrees. We walked around the park a little so that she could see what Disney had to offer before we went off to Splash Mountain. When we arrived the line for the fastpasses had a 15 minute wait in the sun. Things weren't looking so good. When we finally got ours Ashley looked like she was going to wilt. She looked at me and said "do you realize that in Pennsylvania it hasn't broken 70 degrees yet? I'm going to die." We walked over to one of the fruit stands for some shade and to find a drink when it happened. One of the cast members said "look it's Alec Baldwin!!!" Ashley suddenly perked up and looked like a Phoenix raising out of the ashes. "Oh my god, Sam, look! It's Alec Baldwin!" Being oblivious to everything I looked around not noticing anyone. She spun me around and standing two feet away sure enough was Alec Baldwin.
As she fumbled for her camera I said "let's follow him." Knowing that this is something that she would never forget. We keep our distance and followed him from Critter Country through Frontierland. Ashley pulled out her camera and not wanting to run up to him to ask for a picture we began to take pictures of ourselves in what we like to refer to as 'stalking Alec Baldwin.' We followed him for about 10 minutes until a cast member came out to greet him and he was swept off to Fantasyland. Ashely immediately pulled out her phone and called home. I could hear her mom on the other end screaming "Alec Baldwin!!!" I could only smile. Even though he isn't one of my favorite actors and after living in LA for two years I'm not nearly as starstruck as I use to be it was fun to see one of my friends experience her first celebrity sighting. After the phone call she turned to me and said "let's not talk about this until we leave the park. I like the idea that we are one of the few who know that he's in the park." And we were. Not many of the passersby recognized him and it became our running joke throughout the day.
Later that night we went through our photos. Many of which were of his back in the distance and one of us grinning stupidity. Even better were the close ups of people's faces in the photos that we snapped at the right time just as they recognized Alec Baldwin passing by them.
Disney is a place that I've visited so often that I have begun to miss that magic that the park creates or even the allure that Hollywood creates. I love visitors because they help you see the pleasures in the every day things. Disney and celebrity spotting are a common thing to me, but seeing it through the eyes of someone who are experiencing both for the first time created great memories for me that will last a life time.