Space shuttle Endeavour glides by Disneyland, Orange County
After Kodak moments at the Hollywood sign and the Golden Gate Bridge, the space shuttle Endeavour flew into Orange County and past the Happiest Place on Earth.
At Disneyland, scores of people gathered outside the entrance to the park, cameras and phones poised. Construction workers shouted to one another, "The shuttle is supposed to fly over at any minute!"
Gail and Dan Vincent, of Mission Viejo, waited steps from the entrance of California Adventure, Dan ready with a camera and binoculars.
"We're not even going to the park," Gail said. "We just came here for this."
Dan's cousin worked for NASA and told him this was a must-see event.
The two Orange County residents grew up during the height of space exploration. Gail said the space program has always been important to her family.
"It's something that is fascinating to my parents," she said.
Dan recalled growing up building model spaceships.
"It's a guy thing," he said.
As the shuttle flew over California Adventure, everyone simultaneously began clicking their cameras. Cheers and applause erupted.
Connie Perez, 59, of Norwalk flashed a bright smile. She was so excited when the shuttle flew over that she forgot to take a picture.
“That was totally awesome,” she said.
Her son, David Perez, 28, whispered, “Wow.” He said he used to collect flight patches. “To be able to see it flying …. Absolutely amazing.”
Self-proclaimed Disneyland freak Matthew Allen arrived at California Adventure dressed in his spacesuit from space camp when he was 12.
"It's kind of tight," he said.
Allen, 24, said his dream as a kid was to see the shuttle take off from Florida.
"Seeing it today is going to be a nice touch," he said. "I love aviation."
"I can already feel the chills up and down my back because I know its getting close," he said while waiting in front of Paradise Pier. "It's a magical thing because Disneyland is a magical place."
-- Nicole Santa Cruz at Disneyland
Photo: Space shuttle Endeavour, riding on the back of a 747, flies over the Santa Monica Pier and beachgoers in Santa Monica on Friday. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times