Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We're going to Disneyland!!

That’s right, folks. In just three days the Lathan family will be entering through the gates into the Magic Kingdom for four fun-filled days! We are so excited! More so than ever before and here is why:

I grew up in the general southern California area, so have been going to Disneyland since I was a toddler. I remember when there were individual tickets for each attraction. Anyone else remember the days of divvying up the lettered tickets to make sure you got to ride the best attractions? I remember when there wasn’t a California Adventures, when Space Mountain was built, when the Isle of Monsanto was the coolest experience, when Critter Country did not exist, and…. OK, I am old and you get the idea.

My point is that over the, ahem, decades, I have tromped the streets of the Happiest Place On Earth more times than I can recollect. BUT, I have NEVER visited during the Christmas holiday season! Gasp! I know! It truly is a tragedy that needed to be remedied. So, with this idea in mind, we sat down and voted as a family. The loudly unanimous decision was to take our Christmas celebration (and money), and do it up right at Disneyland.

OK! With that agreement I purchased annual passes and booked a family suite at the Camelot Hotel (Not fancy, I know, but the history & King Arthur lover in me has always wanted to stay there, and it is directly across the boulevard!) On top of that, we made reservations for dinner at the Blue Bayou inside the Pirates of the Caribbean – never eaten there! – booked the 3-hour Holiday Tour, and purchased riverside seating for Fantasmic. Whoo Hoo!! I really can’t type enough exclamation points to convey how ecstatic we all are.

Happy dancing aside, deciding to leave home during the holidays, even for something this exciting, was a little tough to do for 2 reasons. Never, in all my life have I spent Christmas away from our house. Nor have we ever not had a massive pile of presents to unwrap on Christmas morning. But, we all agreed that it was worth it to see Sleeping Beauty’s castle draped in snow and feel the fake-snow falling on our faces. It will be a family memory treasured forever. My other concern was the responsibilities and events surrounding the release of my third novel, “My Dearest Mr. Darcy” on January 1. Family comes first, so sacrifices would be willingly made, but it certainly was a relief when Danielle announced that due to the upcoming holidays the blog tour would commence in January. Whew! I’ll be blogging again on Dec. 27 to share my scheduled appearances with you all… and probably sharing a few Disneyland photos!

Today, as I am running about getting packed and finishing the Christmas shopping and baking cookies, here is a fun Christmas quiz. I’ll post the answers tomorrow. Have fun!

1. What were the first tree ornaments?
a. Apples and fruit
b. Glass balls
c. Tinsel
d. Strings of lights

2. Advent is traditionally symbolized by what icon of ongoing life?

a. poinsettia

b. evergreen wreath and candles 

c. fireplace 

d. Christmas tree

3. Now a Christmas custom, what plant did the Druids first hang in hopes of peace and good fortune?

a. mistletoe 

b. poinsettia

c. holly

d. evergreen

4. What is the shape of the candy cane modeled after?

a. fish hook

b. constellation of stars

c. cane St. Nicholas used

d. shepherd’s crook

5. What was the name of the dog that belonged to the Grinch in Dr. Seuss' book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"?

a. Rudolph

b. Toto

c. Max

d. Cerberus

6. What was the name of Scrooges' dead business partner in "A Christmas Carol"?

a. Jacob Marley

b. Bob Cratchit

c. Tiny Tim

d. Bill Sykes

7. What was pictured on the first stamp printed for the Christmas season?

a. Santa Claus

b. An Angel

c. A Star

d. A Rose

8. The poem commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas" was originally titled:

a. The Night Before Christmas

b. Santa Claus is Coming to Town

c. A Visit From Saint Nicholas

d. The Night Visitor



  1. I was a kid when I lived in Sacramento and went to see Disneyland with my crazy aunt. She got on the Mad Hatter Teacup ride and wouldn't quit riding it. :) My dad, her younger brother, threatened to leave her at Disneyland. All in fun of course. Then we lived in Florida and of course, Disneyworld was the place to go. We got stuck in the Haunted Mansion. Listening to the narrator telling us the same story in a spooky closet filled with spooky portraits while we were squished together with a lot of other people we didn't know, wasn't much fun!!! Especially when the people running the place finally gave up and had to take us out an emergency exit and we never got to ride the ride! But we loved the theme parks.

  2. We spent two Thanksgivings in Florida at DisneyWorld and SeaWorld and while it was odd to not be spending those holidays with extended family, it was GREAT spending it with our immediate one! If we could afford it, we'd do it every year. Have a blast!

  3. Okay, I'm the Grinch here. I'm not crazy about Disneyland. Stop throwing snowballs. Don't get me wrong, I like but I have never been able to ride most of the rides, vertigo I guess. Disneyland is a beautiful place.

    Guess I'll take a stab at the quiz. About half my answers are guesses so here goes:
    1-A, 2-D, 3-A, 4-D, 5-C, 6-A, 7-B, and 8-D.

  4. I was kinda relieved about the blog tour going through January, too, Sharon.

    I've never been to Disneyland, only Disney World, and as I recall, it was REALLY HOT!!! This time of year would probably be better.

    Hope you and the gang have a great time!

  5. My mom grew up in Florida about an hour away from Orlando, so I probably won't be returning to DisneyWorld until I have my own children (which won't be for a LONG time). We did spend one New Years there, and that was fun, but I've never been to DisneyWorld/Land during Christmas; I'm sure it will be a lot of fun!

    Oh, and your welcome for moving your blog tour to take place in January :)

  6. Doing Disneyland with your family would have to be special no matter when. Hope it's every bit as wonderful as you dream.

  7. I spent 10 years living in Florida about 2-hours away from Disney and was there the month it opened. I'm a child of the lettered tickets, I've eaten my way around the world at EPCOT more times than I care to admit, and never tire of going to the happiest place on earth. When DH and I were dating, we went for his birthday, it was just a few days later that he proposed.

    I've taken my kids three times, once when my eldest was 2, then when my second child was 3 and just a few years ago with all three old enough to enjoy the cool rides. Well, except for my son. He hates roller coasters and was forced to ride rockin' roller coaster because he was still to young to hang out outside alone. When the girls and I wanted to go again, he threatened to call child protective services.

    Have a great time. I wish I could go too!

  8. Sharon,

    Same here going to Disneyland since the beginning. Remember those air boat type things?

    Hug Mickey for me!

    I grew up in Huntington Beach and we went up there a lot during the holidays. Loved it then. Same with Knotts Berry Farm.


  9. Oh, Sharon, I'm so excited for you! I LOVE Disneyland, and Disneyworld even more. The few places on earth where you can truly experience magic! Have a great time!

  10. Hi all! As always, you folks are up and about way earlier than me. I seem to get lazier and lazier about my mornings. with each passing year! But today I must get busy with the final plans for our trip! Yeah baby!!

    Terry, I am happy to hear you have been to the 2 Disney places. Being a spoiled California native it sometimes is still hard for me to grasp that the vast majority of Americans live far away from the ocean or amusement parks like Disneyland. Here I am bemoaning not going over the holidays when there are so many who have never been at all. Tragic!

    Judi, I am wondering if we will get so hooked on spending the holiday there that it will become a new tradition! I can hang with that!

  11. Thats OK, Mason. Crowded amusement parks are not for everyone. I was just chatting with a friend yesterday who worked at Disneyland for several years while in college and now she can't go there at all! Ha! And thanks for trying the quiz! You are the only one so far feeling up to a challenge!

    Cheryl, Yes, it is usually hot when we go to Disneyland in So Cal during the summer. Now it should be pleasantly mild, but warmer than where we are now. Kinda nice. Enjoy your extra time getting prepared for the blog tour!

    Hey Danielle, don't be so sure on the no kids for a long time thing - they have a way of creeping up on ya! LOL! Thanks for arranging the tour as you did. It SO helps, especially since the killer flu virus decided to invade my life this month. :)

  12. Thanks Mary Margret. I know we will have a fabulous time. My kids are very excited!

    Ah Robin, you have fond memories too! I feel like much of my childhood memories involved trips to Disneyland and other California attractions. I also remember when Magic Mountain was built! Wow, I really am old.... My son hates coasters too. We can barely get him on the mild ones at D-land. He doesn't even like the "horrible death drop" in Pirates! LOL! Yeah, we razz him about that.

    Linda, you are a CA native like me. Funny how amusement parks are a way of life for us, isn't it? I'm not remembering the air boat things.... hmmm.... I remember Knotts when it truly was a berry farm! I remember touring the processing part and buying jelly. Ha! Don't think they even have that any more.

  13. Hi Kathryne. I have never been to Disney World. I really want to do that someday. I'll add that to my go-see list! After the Caribbean cruise and trip to England. :)