Friday, December 4, 2009

The Holiday Celebration at Disneyland Saved My Family From A Day Of Angst

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving we were invited to Disneyland for the Holiday Celebration for Parent Bloggers. I know it sounds like a crazy time to go, but it actually worked in my favor since it prevented me from sitting around and obsessing about the 30 people that would be coming over to my house for turkey and the eight-pounds of mashed potatoes I was going to have to prepare.

Eight hours spent having fun instead of vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, barking at the kids to clean their room and nagging my husband to clean off the patio! I know they all missed that holiday tradition, but I got plenty of yelling in on Thanksgiving eve. Everyone wins!

This is our favorite time of year to go to Disneyland. Sure it's a little crowded, but it's worth it to see all the beautiful decorations and it really gets me into the holiday spirit. It's hard not to be festive when you're standing in front of a thousand-foot tree. This one is right at the entrance to Main Street, and there are tons of people in front of it posing and taking photos for their holiday cards. I tried to get my daughters to pose for one but they wouldn't, so I took a picture of some family from Iowa and they'll be on our card this year. I'm sure they won't mind.

Also, check out Sleeping Beauty's Castle that's all decked out for the holidays. It's even more breathtaking in person, and the best part is it's open for the walkthrough. This was the first time my daughters had been through it - the last time we were there the line was too long. Priceless Disneyland Tip That Makes Me Sound Like An Expert: Go towards the end of the evening, when Fantasyland seems to clear out.

We got a late start, mainly because we were exhausted from a party we threw at our house the night before. Have I told you we're insane? We like to plan multiple events, back-to-back, just to see if any of us will collapse from the frenzy. But it all worked out, because we had just enough time to ride a few rides before we headed on over to the banquet for the wonderful party the Disneyland people had put together for all of us. There was lots of amazing food, but I had to take a picture of the dessert tray. I'm not really even a big dessert fan, but I was fixated on these. After I took this picture I went over to the buffet table and had a huge slab of roast beef. I didn't take a picture of that.

I finally got to meet Allegra Gonzalez and her three beautiful daughters, the winners of my Disneyland VIP giveaway. A friend of mine knows Allegra, and she told me she knew we'd along and she was right. They're a great family, and it was good for me to see how cool, calm and collected someone with three teenagers can be - Allegra has 13-year-old twins and a 15-year-old. It gave me hope for my future after all.

One of the things my 11-year-old was the most excited about was a demonstration put on by Disneyland's pastry chef. I'm not kidding - she had talked about it ever since we got the invitation, and she probably would have gladly missed going into the park if that pastry demo had gone on all night. So you can imagine how excited she was when the chef invited her onstage to help make a yule log! Forget the Jonas Brothers - she was helping a real live pastry chef roll out dough. I'm sure this is how Rachael Ray got her start.

My girls were also treated to complimentary hair-makeovers at Studio 365. Twenty-five minutes, three packets of extensions and several gallons of hairspray later, they came out with truly glamorous, and big, hair. I had to break the news to them that not in a million years would I ever be able to re-create these hairstyles:

And what Disneyland visit would be complete without a ride on It's A Small World? It's been decorated inside and out for the holidays. Honestly, I never get tired of this ride, even though my girls insist it's only because it's air conditioned and I get to sit down for an extended period of time. Maybe so, but I seem to remember us all humming the theme song for the rest of the night.

The evening ended with one of Disneyland's impressive signature fireworks displays, and then 'snow' falling on Main Street as White Christmas played. What an awesome day. Thanks to Disneyland for treating my family and our guests to a magical, angst-free day! I didn't think once about those mashed potatoes.
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Chris Ford said...

We were in Disneyland for Thanksgiving (with the princesses in Ariel's Grotto), but alas, without a parent blogger invite! My girls are younger (3 and 5) but Small World is still a favorite with us too. And judging from your pictures, I'm thinking we should have kept the kids up a little later and walked around the park after dinner.

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