Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We Spent Three Days in a Row at Disneyland But Still Don't Know if Walt is Frozen.

(That's our cat Milkshake over there in the snowglobe. For details on how to make a snowglobe with your own cat or other photogenic family member, read on.)

I went to Disneyland three days in a row. I like to say this to people, and then watch as their eyes grow wide with amazement and they shake their heads in disbelief. Then come the inevitable questions, things like, "Why?" and "Have you lost your mind?" But I'm here to tell you that not only did I survive, but it was one of the more leisurely trips there I've had.

First off let me tell you that it makes all the difference that my girls are older, and don't require strollers or snacks every five seconds or diaper changes in public restrooms. They're tweens now, and have the capacity to go for hours at a time without food and have enough energy (and patience) to wait in long lines. Also? My girls have inherited their parents' night-owl tendencies and can stay up late without having tantrums or melting down in the car on the ride home. Unfortunately, Rigel and I are the ones who can't hold it together but we're working on taking turns so that at least one person isn't crying while they're driving.

Our three day Disneyland marathon started a couple of Fridays ago when we were invited to a blogging event held at Disneyland's Grand Californian. I'm always looking for an excuse to visit this beautiful hotel - in the past I've pretended that I'm a lost tourist from Japan, just for an excuse to sit in the lobby. But this time I was actually invited and enjoyed valet parking, a wonderful buffet meal, photo ops with Disney characters, cookie decorating for the kids, a special presentation by Disneyland PR for the bloggers AND 3-day park hopper tickets - and I didn't even have to use broken English and pantomime to ask where the bathroom was.

After that we were escorted to a private area to watch the fireworks. Being escorted through Disneyland is the best - I couldn't help but feel super important, and I had to stifle the urge to hand out my autograph and say things like, "I really love what Walt did with this place" just to be obnoxious. It was while watching the fireworks that I called Rigel with my brilliant idea: Why not get a hotel for Saturday night, so that we could spread our Disneyland and California Adventure experience over two days? I have to admit he wasn't immediately receptive, but he came around when I told him that spending two whole days with his kids at Disneyland and treating his wife to a night in a hotel might be a good way to bank some karma for that ski trip he was planning on taking with the guys.

Sure it was exhausting, but I'd say our plan worked out great. We were able to leisurely check into our hotel on Saturday and then make our way over to the parks without feeling like we had to fit everything in by midnight. Although I didn't get to ride my favorite ride of all, we did finally get to check out the winery in California Adventure, which I highly recommend - we had a nice glass of wine, and then had a relaxing dinner on the patio. The menu is limited but surprisingly good, and a nice break from the usual pizza and hot dogs we usually have. And once again - they have WINE.

I have to admit our desire to sit in a dark room for a few minutes led us to main Street to view Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years, but the film ended up being interesting for the kids as well. It's narrated by Steve Martin and has some great film clips showing the history of Disneyland; Walt walking through the orange grove that would become his theme park, opening day ceremonies in 1955 (hey - there's Sammy Davis, Jr.!) and a glimpse of how the park looked in its early days. Unfortunately, it didn't address the rumor that Walt is cryogenically frozen somewhere waiting to be revived - we had just told the kids about that the week before - but perhaps that's coming in the sequel.

Some may argue that billions of twinkling lights and fake snow is a poor substitute for real holiday cheer, but I say seeing my kids crazy-happy and squealing as they race towards the Matterhorn in their Santa hats is real enough for me. And while I thought that three days in a row would satiate them, Kiyomi woke up on that following Monday and said, "Any day we're not going to Disneyland is not a good day" so I'm thinking she could have gone for a few more but I'll leave that for when she's old enough to go on her own. I think she's starting her own blog now.

View an exciting, animated, musical version of my Milkshake snowglobe here. If you'd like to make your own awesome snowglobe, read this to find out how. I only used our cat because my girls have forbid me to post any pictures of them online. Well, that and the fact that he's the only one that still smiles on cue.

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Thanks to Michelle Himmelberg in Disney PR for a memorable weekend and for giving us an excuse to stay in a hotel.
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  1. how am i NOT invited to all things disney dammit?!?! where is the justice?!

  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Sometimes (In fact, all the time) I wish we lived in California instead of Scotland.

  3. I know I bitch about it all the time, but why the hell am I not invited to stuff like this? Maybe your PR person will read this and take a hint.

    That said, we just spent 3 days at Disneyland as well and while my kids still need a bit of snack, stroller and diaper time (well, one does), we have a blast every time. Staying on property helps. We just take our time and go whichever way the wind blows.

    The Grand Californian is awesome.

  4. I hope you enjoyed a lot. Disney is the place, Kids love a lot.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi

    Wish I could get an invitation to this. Despite all, disneyland is an amazing place to be.our family is planning to visit this year.

    Thanks for the post


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