What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is a little departure – please to enjoy some sarcasm as a Disneyland coping skill from my friend Wendy Hagen.
Ariel's Grotto. Heard of it? Maybe you know it as "Ariel's Burrito" as my three-year-old called it. Ariel's Grotto is a restaurant in California Adventure (next to Disneyland) where select princesses roam, prom dinners are served, and money disappears.
Here's what I want you to know about Ariel's Grotto:
1. It's is not just for rich people. It's for people with rich grandparents who give them money to take their kids there (us). It's also for people who are rich in Disneyland lanyards and pins (Kristen). For one adult and one child to dine at the Grotto it costs $68.97. The good news? That includes the tip, drinks, and crayons.
2. Even though you pay big bucks and make a reservation, you still get to wait in a line. For about 30 minutes. Then all the kids in your party (so don't bring Creepy Cousin Craig if you don't want him in your picture) take a picture with Ariel before you are seated. It is herGrotto after all.
3. If you never went to prom here's your chance. There are a handful of choices on the menu all of which make you feel like you are at a prom dinner. Tri-tip, herb-crusted chicken breast, and a seafood dish filled with all of Ariel's best seafood friends. Similar choices for the kids - tri-tip, pasta shells with plastic cheese. I mean, Velveeta. Nice and light before you walk around the parks for eight hours. Before your prom meal there is a triple-teared appetizer dealio and sourdough bread, which ensures your children will only eat two bites of food (under duress) when their entree arrives.
My daughter's "finished" plate.
4. The princesses who come from two-parent families (Tiana) or have been kidnapped from their parents (Rapunzel) will not be there. Only princesses with dead mothers, dead fathers, or absentee parents make appearances.
5. Don't judge people's daughters who were really excited about seeing the princesses . . . until they actually showed up. My daughter has a condition called "three years old" and is really quite unpredictable.
Jordis was over-the-moon when she saw Cinderella.
"It's not you Snow White. It's Tri-Tip."
6. Please don't judge moms who think the cost of the Grotto was worth it just for the dessert plate. Oh and the free crayons.
Seriously, don't judge me but, what I want you to know about Ariel's Grotto is that I would return to the Grotto again and I would recommend it for anyone who thinks their daughters love princesses. I would return with the hopes that my daughter would embrace the princesses if given another chance. You know, the way I had envisioned that she would this time? I also wouldn't feed myself or my daughter for two days beforehand so we could really appreciate the prom food. This is shaping up to be a reality show . . . Look for Jordis and I on TLC in the fall lineup!!! Grotto Girls . . . and Their Moms.