Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Miley Cyrus' Sweet 16: If Only All Sunday Nights Could Be Like This

miley-cyrus-birthday-cakeIt's almost impossible these days to come up with activities to satisfy the fickle personalities of my two girls. Kira would rather spend her time IM'ing her friends, and Kiyomi would rather spend her time - well, harassing Kira about her IM'ing. But when I got tickets to Miley Cyrus' Sweet 16 party at Disneyland, a miracle occurred: they actually agreed it was a good idea. I think I may have even seen them hug ever so briefly. So that's why, on Sunday night as most tweens were busy getting ready for school the next day, my girls and I were at Disneyland riding the Pirates of the Caribbean and stuffing our faces with cupcakes piled high with purple frosting.

(Important to note: I only got three tickets, so Rigel couldn't come hang out with us and thousands of squealing girls and their frantic moms. Obviously, he was crushed.)

The party took place after the park had closed to the public, and 5000 or so guests paid $250 each for a chance to party with Cyrus and her celebrity friends. The park looked amazing - purple (apparently Miley's favorite color) Mickey balloons everywhere and huge, candle-shaped inflatables towering over walkways. Only certain areas of the park were open, and Disneyland employees did an expert job of cheerfully keeping the crowd within the roped-off areas of the park. Who can argue with a nice lady wearing a plaid vest and waving you gently on your way with a glowing wand? I'm thinking of recruiting her to supervise my playdates.

The first thing we did was line up along the 'Purple Carpet' parade route where we were able to see the celebrities arrive, riding in open cars. Tyra Banks was one of the first to pass by, followed by Steve Carell and Cindy Crawford with their kids. High-pitched screaming from thousands of tween girls accompanied most of the arrivals, and I may have even let out a squeal myself when Babyface passed within a few feet of me. But you had to feel sorry for the cars that were met with only minimal fanfare. At one point the line stalled because the end-of-route interviews were taking a little longer than usual, and a car was stopped in front of us for a few minutes while the occupants looked around nervously. After many murmurs of, "Who is it?" filled the air, one voice said a little too loudly, "Oh, they're nobody." Those 8-year-olds can be so harsh.

There were lots of Disney stars, many of whose names I knew which made me realize I'm watching way too much TV with my kids, and Kira and Kiyomi were ecstatic when they actually got to touch the hand of some guy named Jason Dolley. (Some older girls to the right us looked pretty intent on having Jason touch something other than their hands.) Here's my picture of David Archuleta - the only picture I got that wasn't of the back of someone's head. As you can see I have absolutely no future as a photographer:

When Miley finally arrived, riding with Mickey Mouse himself, the screams were truly deafening. I took a short movie to try and capture it. I haven't heard this much screaming since last Christmas when the Macy's sale started and Spanx were half price:

The main event of the evening was Miley's concert on Tom Sawyer Island overlooking the Rivers of America. Her dad Billy Ray Cyrus did a short set beforehand. This proved to be the only snag in our evening, as finding a place to stand to watch the concert proved daunting; Disneyland employees were intent on keeping the walkway completely clear, so if you hadn't arrived early and grabbed a table in one of the eateries in New Orleans square facing the concert you were required to stand within a roped off area. We finally managed to duck under the rope and squeeze into a space, but it was nearly impossible for my girls to see over the crowd. The situation was compounded by a guy, who appeared to be around 17, who actually pushed Kiyomi out of the way in order to get a better view. I'm going to write more about that incident later and what I yelled at him, and even post a picture I took of him for full humiliation effect. Am I bitter? Why yes, I think I am.

If you've ever stood in line for an hour to ride the Matterhorn, you'll appreciate this: we walked right on - no one in front of us, and no one in back of us. Not all of the rides were open, but the ones that were had a similar situation - absolutely no waiting. And the unexpected treat of the evening ended up being stranded inside the Alice in Wonderland ride; halfway through the ride broke down, and an employee had to come retrieve everyone and walk us out, which offered a rare, up-close look at all of the sets. (Kiyomi was a little freaked out, and kept thinking the same thing would happen when were on the Pirates of the Caribbean, which I admit would be a little scary. I swear there's that one pirate who always looks at me funny.)

There were lots of activities scattered throughout the park: a Hannah Montana dance party, a "Makeover Zone" and a gaming area - unfortunately there wasn't enough time to visit them all. (Also, during the festivities Disney presented a donation for $1 million to Youth Services America.) The evening ended with a big crowd on Main Street singing 'Happy Birthday' to Miley and then a huge fireworks display. By this time it was around 11:30, and my usually tireless girls were practically falling asleep on the pavement, but they insisted on staying until the very last firework had faded. Funny, they perked right up as we were leaving, though, at the sight of the mega souvenir store in Downtown Disney. Apparently spending all of my hard-earned cash on plushies and snowglobes totally energized them.

I can be pretty cynical, but it really is hard to have a bad time at the Happiest Place on Earth, especially for a special event like this. The only drawback? It set the bar high for Sweet 16 parties - I didn't have the heart to tell Kira and Kiyomi that when their big day comes, they can expect pizza and soda in the backyard and a guy who juggles and does balloon animals. Oh, and no celebrities.

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Thanks to Michele Himmelberg in Disney PR and Maria Bailey for making this night possible!

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tags: | disneyland |

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  1. Wow. My Sweet 16 wasn't quite this exciting. It was at a bowling alley, and the guy I had a crush on showed up with another girl. Then, my dad broke his wrist when he fell down on one of the alleys. But we had great pizza!


  2. arin antoine10/08/2008 7:08 PM

    Much like Annie, my sweet 16 kinda sucked. I spent most of the day crying in bed cause your "pushover" best friend made me break up with my boyfriend the day before. I hated her for like 24 hrs. But I thank God everyday she made me do it. Cause now I can't stand him. haha

    Auntie Marsha, I love love love your blog. I feel like I can be closer to you even though I've only
    seen you like twice in my life. I know why my mom loves you so much. She tells me hilarious stories all the time. And thank you for reading my baby blog. It means a lot!!

    lots of love!!

  3. Ahhhhh - sweet 16. Mine wasn't so sweet, either. I went out to dinner with just my family members, which sounds great but my parents were right on the cusp of separating. They fought the whole time, and my older brother, bless his heart, felt so bad he took me out afterwards to a late showing at the local movie theater and then bought me my first (illegal) BEER.

  4. You are the coolest mom EVER. Oh and by the way, I thought of you and your girls on Sunday when we were flying back from Europe. On the music channel I was listening to? That song (that ONE SONG) by the Ting Tings.

  5. hey, i didn't get invited to this. you must be much more popular than me.
    sounds like a scream.
    ; )

  6. There was plenty of room for everyone to view the parade and concert. Where we were watching there were many empty spaces against the fence and no-one was there, whereas people were packed in other areas. Parents should have used their brain and taken their little ones to uncrowded areas for better viewing.

  7. "Anonymous":

    Unless you happened to be in one of those "empty spaces" when the concert began, it would have been impossible to navigate there, as employees were directing the flow of the traffic to very specific places.

    As to your comment that parents should have "used their brains," this makes me chuckle, because I always thought the only parents without brains were those that hurled insults at others under the cover of "anonymous."

  8. Waaa ! It seems so COOL !
    I'm french , and I'm searching the Miley's purple cupcake ^0^



  9. Miley Cyrus Dead, Miley Cyrus Died HOAX - Miley Cyrus dead video has surfaced on Youtube.R.I.P. Miley Cyrus was uploaded to MileyandMandy ’s youtube channel by a hacker.Miley is fine but some people are really evil out there.

    Was she died?

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