CastleGate 2007

*not to be confused with the Turkey Riot of 2004 or the Teacup Riots of 2005


I’ll swear more, for real, in a few paragraphs, but first let’s travel back several weeks to this family’s brush with the Southern California wildfires.

We evacuated. We hung out with Nana and Gramps. We came home.

Somewhere in between hanging out and coming home, we made our way through Orlando International Airport.

Orlando International Airport has TWO Disney Stores. Not one, but TWO. One in Terminal A and one in Terminal B. I’ll give OIA two. I mean, Mickey lives in that there city…I’ll give them TWO.

Anyway, on our way back to Los Angeles (which was no longer ON FIRE) I hastily stopped in Terminal A’s Disney store to buy a few small things to occupy my children on the very long flight home. A nice Princess set. Maybe some Mickey coloring books. A few Goofy cookies. You get the idea.

Princess Peanut Punk as Fuck entered said Disney store and IMMEDIATELY flipped out over this:

Mind you, in real life, this box is rather large. About as BIG as she is. There is no way I’m getting this on the plane and certainly no way I’m forking out $80 for plane ride distractions. Cue Princess Peanut meltdown. Of EPIC proportions.

I try and explain this won’t fit on the plane. I try and explain she’s NOT getting this toy. Maybe Santa can bring it? Maybe Christmas is coming and this can be on her “list?”

There is no getting through to her. At all. She’s on the floor screaming and we have to get through security like NOW.

Always thinking, I ask a nice saleswoman if they have a smaller castle. Maybe a picture of one. Maybe some little trinket. She calmly (which was pretty good considering the screaming child on my leg) says there is another Disney store in Terminal B, and they have a castle bank.

A bank. That might work.

So with both kids, and two carry ons, we run to Terminal B. Go ahead and stop and imagine what that looks like. No no, don’t stop to see the fishies…come on…we have to go…no, hold my hand….I see the big Mickey, yes…but we need to get down this hallway…

We make it to Terminal B’s store and low and behold Princess Peanut thinks the castle bank is SHIT and won’t even look at it. Now I’m thinking it’s time to get ugly. It’s time to just grab a random coloring book and the screaming toddler and the 4.5year old and the two carry-ons and run back to Terminal A and through security and onto our soon-t0-be departing plane.

Instead my daughter, aka Sybil, decides she really likes this Little Mermaid backpack/doll set and happily skips to the check out. Happily skips to Terminal A. Happily skips through security and onto the plane.

Let’s catch up to present day, shall we? Our little peanut watches her Disney movies until we can ALL recite each line. And as many of you know, they all begin with a very nice animation of Cinderella’s castle. And each time, our little girl proclaims ” MY castle! MY castle!”

Yes, HER castle. Not Cinderella’s. Hers.

If asked about HER castle, she’ll tell you Santa is bringing it. It’s #2 on her Santa list (right after a HORSE) and she just knows it will come. Just knows.

Now Princess Peanut’s Nana, being the NANA she is (that’s capital N-A-N-A) says she will find said castle and get it for our darling. Turns out houseboy (my brother) and his girlfriend have a connection at Disneyland who can get said castle at a discount.

Said connection checks out the situation in Anaheim. Guess what? They only sell SLEEPING BEAUTY’S castle there. And they are ONLY selling these castles at the PARKS THEMSELVES (or ebay) and it’s Cinderella’s in Orlando and Sleeping Beauty in Anaheim.


Now, I really can’t ask my Mom to pay $115 on ebay for a play castle. I’m still hoping we don’t have to pay admission to the park in ORLANDO (um, hi, mom, can you drive to Disney World for me?) but we’ll see. Of course I’m calling the airport store in the morning to figure out how the fuck THEY got them and if they can SHIP one.

Bottom line here…Santa is trying to deliver. Maybe Santa should just go ahead with some doll or coloring book and not get caught up in making sure we get the Castle. Maybe the castle isn’t meant to be. Maybe the castle is a lesson for Princess to learn.

Or maybe I need to get on the phone and online.

What say you? Castle? Or No castle?


  1. Ouch. If Christmas isn’t about wild pursuits of specific items of children’s affections, I don’t know what it’s about. Do you think this difficulties is some sort of conspiracy because you wrote that letter to Pixar?

    I’m thinking you are going to find the freakin’ castle because you invoked the Santa wish, and you won’t be able to leave it dangling there. Hope the quest is successful!

  2. Oh, if it was me, I would move heaven and earth. I can’t believe the Disneyworld gift shop wouldn’t sell you one somehow. Maybe you could call the airport gift shop and talk to the manager. Does your husband know someone who might know someone who might etc. etc. at Disney?

    They are only young for such a short time, and I believe in making Christmas dreams come true! Good luck!

  3. Life is full of disappointment. That’s what Christmas is all about, said the girl who got knitted socks.

  4. Um, me personally…
    Cammy and I have an agreement – if you want it you won’t scream and cry cause you can’t have it right now.. so the tantrum woiuld have solidified that said castle would never see the inside of chez henderson.
    but normally just the treat of those consequences means she puts the tantrum away for later and i would probably be moving heaven and earth to get it.
    so good luck on the hunt, and I’m sure the store near you can probably work something out with the store in the airport.

  5. I would try to find it for Christmas. No doubt. Have you tried the huge Disney store in Downtown Disney in Orlando? When we were there, I told my daughter she couldn’t have anything in the park, then we would go to the big store on the last day and pick out a special prize. They seem to have everything that is in the park, and then some.

  6. If one of my children behaved like that, I would’ve told them there was no freaking way they were EVER getting that toy. No placating, etc. When tantrums occur (which they seldom do), I put my foot down.

    However, you made the allusion to her that she would maybe/probably get it for Christmas. With that out there, and she has the idea that Santa is totally getting her a castle for Christmas, I’d say you are probably commited to trying your best to get her one.

  7. Having been in a similar situation in the past (Disn*yBastards!) I can tell you that if you call the airport they’ll offer to ship it for you. The shipping is about the same frigging price as a one-way ticket to Korea.

  8. I have this thing – if they whine and fuss and throw a fit that is a message to me that they don’t need it.

    I wouldn’t.

    I sound so sour, but seriously – fits? Nah, can’t jump through hoops for fits.

  9. Our kids understand how the whole Christmas budget thing works. You see, parents give Santa money to build/buy/make/whatever the gifts. So, that is why some kids get more or bigger gifts at Christmas. He’s not made of money, and he and the elves still have to buy the supplies for their workshop.

    My kids know how much can be spent every year. As they build their lists, it also includes the expense of each item. Helps them prioritize. We usually fudge down the amount a bit, so they get at least one surprise.

    It helps them battle the ever-present controversy: Do I want one expensive thing or a lot of crappy little things? It’s their choice. Takes the heat off of us completely.

    It has worked like a charm. My daughter wanted this RIDICULOUSLY expensive Barbie house one year, but looked at the price and said, “OH, that’s more than we can send to Santa. That’s a bummer.”

  10. Queen of Spain says:

    See now. Normally I would not give into this. She wouldn’t get it, period. But we were in a crowded airport late for a plane and my Mom game was not ON, as it were. And I said things to get her off the floor and onto that plane.

    Don’t look at me like that, you KNOW you have all done this once or twice. And it’s not like she threw this tantrum at Target where I would normally just leave the FULL shopping cart and go home. We had to get through SECURITY post 9-11. You know what I mean?

  11. Queen of Spain says:

    That being said, I was just told “yeah, you give in a lot” so maybe I do just suck and my kids are spoiled.

  12. Would it really be Christmas if we didn’t spend way to much, buy what we knew we shouldn’t, move the earth to get them a toy they will break/hate/forget about in a month??

    No. It wouldn’t.

    And there’s always next year to promise yourself you’ll teach them a moral lesson 😉

  13. Well… Last year I went to the ends of ebay and spent a boatload of money on the barbie castle.

    And it was all worth it.

  14. I would get it. I mean it is her Castle. and she will always remember that she got the thing she really wanted that year. Unlike how I never got my powerwheels and I still bug my parents about that to this day!! And you know what they are buying my little one, yup a powerwheel. Can someone go to the airport and buy it? Maybe that would be easier. Well, if you need help, let me know. We have disney stores here that I can check for you. Good Luck!!!


  15. Try calling Disney Mail Order. The Cast Members have always been very helpful for me.

    Mail Order at:
    Telephone: 407-363-6200
    Fax: 407-352-6369

    Hours: Monday through Friday 9 am to 8 pm. All times Eastern time zone. Email inquiries tend to be quite a bit slower, so you will probably want to call them. Just give them as much detail as you possibly can. You will only be charged the actual retail price in the store plus shipping. Definitely worth a shot!

  16. Tough situation. Pre-kids, I would have said no way! But now I’ve been on the hunt for the “big gift” for my own itty bit, I can totally see getting swept away.

    I actually bought the “big gift” twice this year. He’s getting the Plan Toys airport AND the Ryan’s Room dollhouse. Because I believe in genderless gifts and I like to spoil him. Totally. So if you go to extremes for the castle, not only will I politely look the other way, I think the kid inside me will applaud!

  17. I’m like so many of the others who have commented and I say buy the castle! That’s half the fun of playing Santa and you don’t want to ruin that for her yet. I still haven’t found Santa’s gift yet, either, so I guess we’re both going to be racing to get it done!

  18. canoe chick says:

    Your Majesty,
    I think it depends a little bit on what you actually said in the airport. But at my house, the list can be as long as you like, you know that you are only getting one thing on it from Santa. You give Santa 20 or 6 or 130 options, and he brings you one thing. Which is helpful because my 3 year old cannot even remember half the things she has said she “really really really” wanted in the last 3 months, and I know exactly what will make her happy on Christmas Day anyway. And while I totally understand about saying just about anything to end a tantrum at the airport, I don’t think Santa has to bring it. It is not just about giving in to tantrums, it is also that maybe heaven and earth don’t need to get moved, and budgets over-extended, just to satisfy our desires to make our kids happy happy happy all the time. I think it is okay to say “maybe Santa couldn’t find one” or something… because let’s face it, life is not actually made better by having more toys. Instead of spending all this time, energy and money on getting the castle, maybe expend it on something worthwhile? Get your kids to help you pick out a gifts for needy kids, or buy a goat for a family in Africa so the kids can eat and go to school? I think we underestimate our kids’ capacity for generosity and selflessness, if we model it. And we might be surprised by how much they don’t need the castle, when viewed through a different lens.

  19. If only you had told me last week! We bought one while we were there and they are shipping it to us so that we didn’t have to carry it on the plane. Maybe I could give you the phone number of the resort we stayed at and you could call them and they could send you one also? If you need me to call since I just stayed there and order it for you, I’d be glad to help. I bet they would ship me/you another one if I called. Let me know ASAP and I will take care of that for you.

  20. I heart Suebob. ha ha ha!

    I don’t know what I would do in your situation… I guess that if I thought she would REALLY love the castle as much as she insists, I would probably try really hard to get it for her. I so totally understand not having your Mom game “on” and making comments you wouldn’t normally under such stressful circumstances. But I am also told that I give in too often, so maybe…

  21. Okay, seriously don’t mean to be laughing because REALLY, my daughter is 20 and I HAVE been there. But some of these comments are killing me. “You invoked the Santa wish” and then Suebob… oh my.

    But yeah, you DID put it out there with the whole wish list thing. When we did that to our kid we basically signed our death warrant to get the damn gift, too… Good luck.

  22. This is just me, but…

    Santa does NOT let little two-year-old girls down. Not when promises have been made.

    Because it is expensive, I’d suck it up and buy the thing myself. (Probably on eBay, if the other options mentioned above don’t pan out.)

    As a way of compensating for the price, maybe the princess can just get fewer presents this year?

  23. You need to call me. I might have a promising lead on the castle…


  24. Does Fuck enhance this post or am I missing something !

  25. You mean Princess Peanut Punk As Fuck? That’s her nickname. Given to her in the womb. Because her dad is Punk as Fuck, as are our friends…who named her. It’s a legacy name really.

    And yes, I’m a mother AND I swear. Of course that doesn’t happen in front of the kids (unless it slips, but that’s rare) but just because I gave birth does not mean I suddenly am a saint.

    I have tattoos too.

    Oh, and I don’t bake.

  26. btw…we got one.

    and the reason the airport store has one is because they are a disney park store, NOT a disney store. if that makes sense.

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