Our Disney Week

This was the reluctant week of Disney for my two boys. It started when I dragged them to see the Princess and the Frog and ended at the Staples Center watching Disney on Ice.

It was not easy to get my boys to these two events. I really, really wanted to see the Princess and the Frog. I had read that it was like an old-school Disney movie with hand-drawn animation and great music. I showed my boys a preview online and the 4-year-old laughed hysterically. The 5-year-old was not impressed. “I don’t want to see it,” he declared with a vehemence he usually reserves for talking about Star Wars. “I only like Red Eyed Tree Frogs.”

Translation: “I don’t like Princesses.” But he knew better than to say that he doesn’t like girls, or even princesses in front of me. I knew they would like it if I just got them into the theater.

So I did what any loving mother would do: I tricked them. They got out early from school one day last week and I surprised them with a trip to The Grove to see Santa. If you’ve never been to The Grove, it’s an over-the-top so-totally-LA outdoor shopping mall. It has had more visitors per year than Disneyland (in 2006 according to LA Magazine) and the Christmas Tree sitting in the faux park is the tallest in LA. Santa’s house is fabulous and has about the same square footage as mine. We were lucky enough to be the third group in line and it took us only about 10 minutes to see Santa, spend too much money buying pictures and a video (why did I buy the video? why?), and get a complimentary mini bag of mini marshmallows.

That left us the rest of the afternoon. “Look, a movie theater,” I said to them in a surprised voice. “I..am..not..seeing..that..movie,” my 5-year-old said. Come on! It’s going to be great. There are alligators, fireflies, Cajun music, voodoo. It’s going to be great!! I bought a giant bag of popcorn and dragged them kicking and whining into the movie. The first 15 minutes the whining continued but by the end, both boys were laughing and they both said they loved it. And so did I.

By Thursday, our crazy week of holiday activity was literally making me ill. I had baked all night Saturday, did a farmers market and catered a party Sunday, made 150 cookies on Monday, did a cooking demo at 5-year-old’s school Tuesday, tried to clean my house and get work done on Wednesday. On Thursday, I was sick.

But I was given 4 free tickets to see Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy at the Staples Center and had committed to going. Other than seeing Santa, we hadn’t had much holiday fun this season. I didn’t tell the boys what we were doing until that afternoon, but I said it was going to be great!! We listened to Christmas music during the long drive downtown and oohed and aahed at the holiday lights around the Staples Center.

I hadn’t been to an ice show in decades and I didn’t know what to expect, although I admit my expectations were pretty low. The show started with Mickey,Minnie, Goofy, and Donald skating and then the Cars drove onto the ice. There was a cute Little Mermaid segment and then came the best part of the whole show, The Lion King. The skating was amazing.

The second half was a bit confusing for me because I’ve never seen the Tinker Bell movies. I couldn’t figure out why Tinker Bell came out looking like a cross between Brittany Spears and a buxom Goldie Hawn from “Laugh In”. She eventually changed into Tinker Bell. None of that mattered because it made perfect sense to my boys. Near the end my 5-year-old yelled that he had to go to the bathroom and ended up getting sick (might have had something to do with the slushy and fries at 8:30 at night). When he came back I asked him if he was okay and all he could say was, “How did Tinker Bell save Spring?” Good Times.

Yes, our Disney week was a success.