From Disney marathons to visiting Tokyo Disney, these besties have done it all.
Friends may come and go, but best friends are forever. In Elite Daily's Bestie Check, we're celebrating the stories that make best friendship so special. Whether they grew up together or recently met through an app, this series explores the unique ways BFFs first bonded and how they maintain their strong friendship. Below, Disney fans and BFFs Anna Petrelli and Erin Weiss talk about how their visits to Disney parks around the world have kept their relationship strong, even as their friendship has gone long distance.
For best friends and longtime Disney fans Anna Petrelli and Erin Weiss, the Disney parks really are the happiest places on earth. The BFFs — who instantly bonded in Loyola Marymount University’s Tri Delta sorority when they discovered their mutual love of all things Disney — have made their frequent visits to Disneyland and Walt Disney World something of a ritual, starting their visit with a glass of white wine before riding The Little Mermaid attraction and picking up their fave snacks (dill pickle popcorn for Weiss, a Mickey pretzel with cream cheese for Petrelli) along the way.
With their magical blend of nostalgia, fun merch, and childhood-evoking memories, the Disney parks are so much more than just a day at a theme park for the BFFs. As Weiss sums it up, Disneyland is a “place of happiness” — an escape where you can forget your troubles and enjoy a day with good food, great friends, and fun rides — and, now that the long-distance besties no longer live in the same city, Los Angeles, it’s also an excuse to reunite.
From visiting Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea to doing RunDisney half marathons together, the best friends have also taken their Disney adventures around the world and are already planning another trip to Walt Disney World in September. Here’s their story.
- About Me: Overly sensitive Disney aficionado, crazy cat mom, probably listening to Taylor Swift
- Age: 33
- Current Location: Orlando, Florida
- Zodiac Sign: Gemini
- About Me: Adventurous, wine drinker, shopping addict
- Age: 31
- Current Location: Los Angeles, California
- Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
How did you two meet?
Anna Petrelli: We met in dance class during my sophomore year of college (Erin was a freshman). We were paired to be in a group dance together.
Erin Weiss: We met in college by fate. We were put in the same group in a dance class, then worked in yearbook together, and when I joined Delta Delta Delta and saw she was there, we knew we had to be best friends.
What was your first impression of each other?
AP: I remember Erin being friendly and chill when doing our dance project. When I saw her attend my sorority rush party later that year, I remember thinking, “Oh, that’s the cool girl from my dance class, I have to get her to join.”
EW: I thought Anna was really quiet, but really sweet. I saw that she liked Disney, so when I joined Tri Delta, I messaged her on Facebook and asked if she would take me as her little.
How long have you known each other?
AP: I think about 13+ years now.
EW: Technically 14 years.
How long have you considered yourselves best friends?
AP: We became fast best friends after Erin rushed our sorority and we were paired to be big/little sisters.
EW: 13 years! I shared a corny Instagram post about it when she moved.
What initially sparked your friendship?
AP: The night I found out Erin was rushing our sorority, I looked her up on Facebook and saw that she loved everything I did including Disney and dressing up for every occasion. Right then I knew she had to be my “little sister” and my friend. Luckily, she messaged me on Facebook and asked if I was taking a little. It was a destined friendship, and the rest was history.
EW: At first, I liked her because she was nice, and that goes a long way in college. But once I saw that she also loved Disneyland, it was game over.
Do you know if you are astrologically compatible? Do you care?
AP: I have no clue, but I think we are pretty compatible if you ask me.
EW: I don’t normally believe in astrology, but I’m an Aquarius and Anna’s a Gemini, so duh, we get along.
What do you do for work?
AP: I work in the event industry.
EW: I’m a film/TV producer.
Have you ever lived together?
AP: We have never lived together. I think the longest time we’ve spent together is probably on one of our international trips, either when we went to Israel or Japan.
EW: We’ve never lived together, but the longest time we’ve spent together is close to two weeks? It was when we traveled to Spain, Israel, or Japan.
What’s the longest amount of time you’ve gone without seeing each other in person?
AP: I recently moved to Orlando from LA, which has been so hard to be away from each other. I think the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other is a little over a month. I am about to not see her until August, which will be the longest we’ve ever been apart. Before I moved, I probably saw her every week unless one of us was out of town.
EW: We’re currently going through that right now since Anna moved to Florida. I think the longest so far has been two weeks.
How often do you text/call/FaceTime?
AP: We text every single day, pretty much all day.
EW: We text all day, every day.
What was the last thing you texted about?
AP: I told her she needs to watch The Summer I Turned Pretty because I need someone to talk to about it.
EW: Planning my trip to Disney World to visit her.
What’s the oldest throwback photo you can find of yourselves?
AP: From our sorority days.
EW: This was taken the night I became her little in Tri Delta.
What is your favorite Instagram photo together?
AP: Some of my favorite memories together are from our Comic Con adventures and dressing up. I loved this time we dressed up as Daphne and Velma.
EW: There are so many, but this one of us dressed up for Halloween is probably one of my favorites.
What’s one TV show you both can agree on?
AP: We both really loved Pretty Little Liars at one point.
EW: Pretty Little Liars.
What is your favorite memory together?
AP: I don’t think I could possibly pick a favorite memory because there are so many, but eight years ago, we drove to Vegas from LA after work to find the Kings hockey team and their Stanley Cup so we could take a picture with it. It was a wild ride trying to find them, but we succeeded and then we proceeded to drive home in the middle of the night so we could make work the next day. I showed up back at my office, in the same clothes from the day before. This is the type of stuff that happens when you’re friends with someone who is just as passionate about things as you are.
EW: Anna and I were two of about 20 people chosen to hang at the blue carpet of the Tomorrowland movie premiere. After getting to meet the stars of the movie (George Clooney!), we were surprised with a ticket to attend the actual premiere screening with the cast. After the movie, we were surprised again by getting tickets to attend the after party, which was a private event inside Tomorrowland at Disneyland. We had a total blast, and even got to spend a few minutes with Richard Sherman listening to some of his stories from his legendary musical career with Disney.
What’s one random memory you have of each other?
AP: That one time we ended up in a cycling class with the Backstreet Boys and mid-class they broke out singing their new song that had just premiered on the radio. We were in a class with a lot of influencers and we definitely did not belong, but it was amazing.
EW: One time we crashed a high school reunion that was happening nearby, and told people we were named Christina A. and Britney S. No one caught on. Or maybe I should talk about the time we did a spin class with the Backstreet Boys.
What is your favorite memory from a Disney Park?
AP: My favorite memory at Disney is probably when Erin and I went to the Tomorrowland premiere. We were only supposed to be there for the red carpet, and we ended up being surprised with tickets to see the film with the cast and tickets to the after party in the park. We were totally not dressed for the occasion either, which made it funnier. I remember getting off the monorail and seeing George Clooney (who we got to meet on the carpet), Alan Horn, and Bob Iger, which felt surreal. We got free food and drinks, and got to ride Space Mountain as many times as we wanted. We met Disney legend Richard Sherman and ran into Lance Bass at the Submarine ride. It was a completely unexpected experience and will forever be a highlight. We were not mentally prepared for such an eventful night!
EW: It’s impossible to narrow this down to one memory, but I am going to have to say running the Walt Disney World half marathon together. I am personally drawn to Disneyland and Disney parks because they instantly take me to a place of happiness. I can forget about all of my troubles and enjoy a day with good food, good friends, and fun rides.
How did Tokyo Disneyland differ from other Disney trips you've been to?
AP: Tokyo Disney, especially Disney Sea, was amazing. It was so fun to experience such a different Disney trip than we normally go on. Discovering all the new rides, merchandise, and food together was so fun and memorable. Everything there is just so much more unique and fun compared to the U.S. parks.
EW: It was fascinating going somewhere that was both familiar and completely out of our comfort zones at the same time. We had always talked about going, but nothing prepared us for the amazingness that Tokyo Disney Sea and Tokyo Disneyland really were. Besides the merch being way better, it was easy to tell that all the guests were truly happy to be there, and all looking to have a fun day. It was great being able to explore new Disney parks, since we are so used to the parks in California and Florida. Also, everyone’s Disney outfits were on point!
Which Disney movie do you think is underrated? Overrated?
AP: I have different favorite Disney movies depending on what era we are talking about, but I would probably say Hercules. Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride is underrated, and for overrated, I’d have to say The Incredibles.
EW: Alice In Wonderland (the OG) or Peter Pan are my favorites. A Goofy Movie is definitely underrated! Unpopular opinion: Up is overrated.
What is your must-do thing and ride when visiting a Disney park?
AP: For a must-do thing, get a glass of white wine and ride The Little Mermaid at Disney’s California Adventure. My favorite Disneyland ride is Haunted Mansion, and my favorite Disney World ride is Expedition Everest.
EW: My Disney park must-do is take a picture of the castle. My favorite ride at Disneyland is Pirates of the Caribbean, favorite ride at Walt Disney World is Frozen.
Which one of you is better at keeping secrets?
AP: I think we both know when we need to keep a true secret, but I guess I’ll say me.
EW: Anna, hands down.
What was your biggest fight about?
AP: We don’t really fight, and if we have, it didn’t last long because I can’t imagine being mad at Erin or not talking to her for more than a day.
EW: I think it was about lobster pizza.
Was there ever a time when you considered not being friends?
AP: I have never considered not being friends. She is my sister for life.
EW: Nope, never.
What’s one word you’d use to describe your friendship?
Why do you think your friendship works?
AP: We think very similarly, we enjoy the same things, and we have the same fears. It’s nice to have someone who knows exactly how you’re feeling pretty much all the time.
EW: We’re both so comfortable with each other that we are happy to go off on a new adventure across the globe together, or we can sit on the couch and binge Stranger Things together in silence.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from each other?
AP: Erin’s energy and authentic kindness that she gives off to every person she meets has shown me how valuable it is to be kind and open to people. I have a hard time opening up to people right away, so being around someone like Erin has always helped me be myself.
EW: Always include others, even if it complicates things.