This year, Walt Disney would be turning 100 years old, but he isn’t the only one. Dee Kolofa was present for the grand opening of California’s Disneyland in 1955. Now, 68 years later, the grandmother has returned to the park for the celebration of her 100th birthday.
Kolofa’s grandon, Eric Sawyer wrote to Disney about his grandmother’s experiences at Disneyland, and her upcoming milestone. While he was hoping for a kind letter in return, Disney surprised Kolofa’s entire family by sending gifts as well as an invitation for them to all celebrate the special occasion at Disneyland.
The family was treated to special perks at the park, and Kolofa received a tour of Walt Disney’s apartment, telling The Orange County Register, “It’s gorgeous. I love the nostalgic pictures, and that the things that really meant something to him are up there.”
The centenarian made sure to ride her favorite ride, It’s a Small World, and snacked on beignets, her favorite park treat.
Regarding her time at Disneyland, Kolofa remarked, “It sounds hokey, but I think we all should be almost grateful that we live on the same planet as (Walt Disney), who had that much imagination.”
“I didn’t know they were going to do this much,” Kolafa said, speaking to ABC 7. “I guess it’s just seeing how great life is. I’ve had a lot of really neat things happen to me.”