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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Friday, January 11, 2013

Hakuna Matata...and Other Falsehoods

We had the great fortune of spending a day at Disneyland recently. While not exactly the Happiest Place On Earth, it was enough fun to keep me from going back during my lifetime us busy. I do have some observations that may prove helpful to those of you considering a trip to the Promised Land:

1. Get to know your inner extrovert. There are lots and lots and lots of people at the Happiest Place On Earth.  Many of them are not, in fact, happy. Keep in mind, too, that there are many cultures represented, some of which are comfortable abandoning the idea of personal space. I almost got into a fist fight with a tall European woman who was plastered to Marc's back. I may be short, but I'm scrappy, darn it. Back off.
2. Yes, you read that menu correctly. A corn dog really does cost six dollars.

3. Jasmine has become much more modest in her dressing habits, though she still does rock the gold curly-toed shoes. So if you're hoping for midriff, you'd be better off (and richer!) watching a marathon of Jersey Shore.
4. While you might be emotionally healthy, many people at Disneyland are not. Treat them with care, especially the woman who starts sobbing next to you when the man on the intercom announces the park is about to open for the day. Be ready, though, to explain to your children why the woman is weeping. You might want to start thinking about that well ahead of time so you don't accidentally use the words "freakazoid" and "weirdsmobile."

5. It is almost worth the time, effort, and GNP of a small nation to hear your kids squeal with glee and happy-terror all the way down the Matterhorn roller coaster. Try to embrace the moment, fork over the $75 for cotton candy, and whistle "It's A Small, Small World" on your way to the next ride. Heck, try holding hands with one of the bazillion people next to you. The world is small, and Walt, for one day, has brought you all together.


  1. Jasmine is quite modest these days! I barely recognize her! I have yet to take my children to a Disney theme park. Now I really want to go! ;)

  2. Oh, no ... I hate reading Disney trip stories that aren't great! We've been to Disney World (not Disneyland) three times and absolutely loved it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. We've found the secret is all in the planning. Yes, I make colored spreadsheets and spend months tracking crowd charts, but it is totally worth it! Trust me!! If you ever recover and decide to give it a second shot, please call or email me. I'll do the work for you! (It's an obsessive hobby of mine -- er, rather, my husband.) Seriously. I would be happy to plan your trip for you. For free. It's that worth it.

    My favorite quote: "Mom, I like this world better than earth!"
    Me, too, baby. Me, too.

    Oh, and modesty hasn't come to Jasmine in Florida yet. She still sports the jeweled bikini top there. ;)

  3. Tanya, I'm not the total hater it might seem. We did enjoy the day; I'm merely grateful it was only a day. ;)

    The weather was perfect, the Matterhorn and Space Mountain were revelations, and the kids had a great time. And I hear you on planning. We are devotees of The Unofficial Guide and HIGHLY recommend getting in touch with your inner neurotic before stepping foot inside the gates.

    I'm happy you're happy. You're a fantastic spokesperson...Have you considered consulting? ;)

  4. Did Disneyland Paris this past summer with four (yes, count them: FOUR) grandkids eight and under. Planned ahead a bit (the extent being we got our tickets online so we only had to stand in line an hour and a half, not three hours to get in). It was overwhelming. Hours of line-standing for 90-second blasts of riding bliss. Took me back 30+ years to our kids at Disney World, where we encountered a harried father, saying with clenched teeth: "We came here to have fun, and gawd-damn it, we're gonna have fun," (before slapping one of his whining kids. Ah, the joys of Disney...

  5. It's more fun when you're going with someone who's familiar with the park. My sister has been to Disney many times. Several years ago, she put together a trip for three of us. She traded airline buddy passes for Disney passes and got us one-day park hopper tickets free, and cheap flights. Then, when we got there, she had put together a guided tour, saying things like, "go this way, it's faster," "skip this one, the line is always long and it's boring," so we were never lost or confused. This would be funnier if you knew my sister, but she even planned a ride in the afternoon that was totally boring, but long and dark so we could catch a nap. I don't believe I'll ever go back, but I had fun on that trip.