Through the wrought iron safety gate of Disney’s Cars Land
Make-A-Wish fulfills boy’s dream to see Disney’s Cars Land
Lucas, 9, who has a form of muscular dystrophy, is one of the first to experience the new Disney California Adventure attraction.
By SCOTT MARTINDALE
As he watched the super-sized “flying tires” bumping and bouncing their way across an expansive arena, he inched his wheelchair closer and closer to the gate. It wasn’t long before his front wheels started drifting upward.
Lucas’ family is raising money to buy him a service dog, expected to cost $12,000 to $15,000. To make a donation to the Lucas Appleton Trust Fund, which is being maintained at Rabobank in Pismo Beach, call the bank at 805-773-5255 and ask to speak with the branch manager.
“Not that close, buddy!” a ride operator cheerfully reminded the 9-year-old boy.
“He’s so excited,” said his mother, Cassandra, shaking her head as she warned him (again) to not do wheelies in line.
Lucas, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy called Friedreich’s ataxia, was one of four kids with life-threatening illnesses who got to experience the new attractions at Disney California Adventure park Thursday through children’s dream-granting charity Make-A-Wish.
Lucas’ wish, to be one of the first children to experience Cars Land, was granted – and then some, as he excitedly reported.
“I wished I could come to this new land and they came over to my house and they saw how many cars I had,” Lucas explained Thursday, practically tripping over his own words as he recounted the day Make-A-Wish officials visited his home. “And I said I really liked ‘Cars,’ and they gave me my wish, and they gave me more than I wished for,” Lucas said. “No one has ever done anything like this for me.”
In all, Lucas, his parents Cassandra and Jeff and 13-year-old brother William received a five-day trip to the Disneyland Resort, including a personal Disney escort and VIP access to Cars Land’s opening ceremony.
Lucas, a big fan of the Disney-Pixar films “Cars” and “Cars 2,” first learned about Cars Land in January while watching Disney Channel, and he’s been talking about wanting to go ever since, his mother said.
“I’ve been shaking my head in disbelief at the amazing thing Make-A-Wish and Disney has done,” said Cassandra Appleton, of Grover Beach near San Luis Obispo. “We’ve all been smiling and laughing and having a great time and not stressing about anything. It’s just been so relaxing and so freeing – it’s been wonderful.”
to be continued