A Disneyland fan discovered her boyfriend in a video she took at the theme park 6 months before they met
- Anyssa Martinez, 22, discovered her boyfriend in a video she took at Disneyland before they met.
- He had been performing in a parade she was watching with her family when he waved at her.
The 22-year-old California native told Insider that she met her now-boyfriend Nathan via Instagram in early 2020. They quickly bonded over their love of all things Disney, and slowly formed their relationship in the early days of the pandemic.
But as Martinez later realized, they had actually interacted once before — at a Disneyland parade she attended with her family. Nathan, as it turns out, was a performer who waved at her during the event.
Martinez posted about her revelation — as well as a clip of their first interaction — to TikTok on March 15. Her video now has more than 135,000 views.
When I tell you I almost died of excitement that day♬ original sound - frankiesaudios
Anyssa Martinez grew up in a 'Disney family' that would visit the theme park every year
Speaking with Insider, Martinez said her family especially loves the Main Street Electrical Parade. The event occasionally takes place at night, and features floats and characters illuminated by more than 500,000 glowing lights.
When the parade was scheduled at Disneyland in the summer of 2019, Martinez's family headed to Southern California, where Martinez was attending college, and stayed late to watch the parade together.
It was during the "Cinderella"-themed portion of the parade when a carriage driver tipped his hat, waved, and smiled at Martinez, who happened to be filming the interaction.
"I used to watch the parade on VHS almost every day as a little girl," Martinez said, adding that she's also a big fan of Cinderella. "So I was really surprised that someone performing in that part of the parade noticed me, especially with it being so dark. It just made me feel really special."
Fast forward approximately six months later, and a fellow Disney fan followed Martinez on Instagram.
"I showed up on his Instagram explore page one day, and we ended up following each other," she said. "He posted something about the new 'Star Wars' park, I responded to his Story, and we just kept talking. We completely hit it off."
Because the pandemic had just started and heavy lockdowns were in place, Martinez said their relationship moved "at a really slow pace." But because she was home so often, she had time to look back on pictures and videos she had taken during her weekly Disneyland trips. It was then that she noticed a familiar face in one of her favorite clips.
"I was watching the videos I had taken in 2019, and I was like, 'Hey that looks like Nathan. I think that's him,'" she recalled. "I sent it to him and he said, 'Yeah that's definitely me!' It was fate."
Martinez said Nathan also remembers their interaction vaguely, and that her family was "blown away" when she made the connection.
"It's really wild to think back to that time because I was swooning that day," Martinez said.
Disney now plays a huge role in Martinez's relationship with her boyfriend
While Martinez visits Disneyland as often as possible and creates social-media content about the theme park, Nathan works there as a performer.
"My boyfriend only moved here a few years ago specifically to work for Disney, so it's really the reason we're together," she said. "Now we both love going to the parks and seeing Disney movies together. We're actually going to watch the Electrical Parade together when it comes back next month."
The couple is so intertwined with Disney that Martinez can't help but notice the similarities between their relationship and those seen in their favorite movies.
"I feel like it's a theme in a lot of Disney movies where characters go on really crazy adventures and meet important people when they're not looking for them," she said. "And it's true — love comes when you least expect it."
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