Disney+ Summer Days

August 14, 2021

We headed to the Santa Monica Pier on a beautiful August day to check out the Disney Plus Summer Days pop-up event.  We arrived a little early, but we were able to do a virtual check-in which would send a text to our phones when we able to go in. 

We walked around the pier while we waited for the Disney Plus event and got a coffee near the carnival rides.  We only waited about thirty minutes before we received the notification that we could enter the pop-up. 

The pop-up was small, but they had a few costumes and props on display.  There were a couple of lounge areas where you could relax and watch some Disney Plus.  They had themed water bottles available, too.  If you signed up for Disney Plus or showed the app on your phone (you needed to be logged in) you could spin a wheel for prizes where I won a small inflatable beach ball.  You could also get a special embroidered hat if you purchased, or upgraded to, the Disney Plus, ESPN, Hulu package, but we didn’t want to upgrade so we didn’t get the hats.  There was a live mural painting which was fundraising for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica which was nice to watch for a few minutes.

There was a photo op where you could also pick up a promotional booklet which had different covers to choose from.  I chose the Loki cover and my partner chose the Mandalorian cover.  The entire experience took about 30 minutes, although we could have hung out in the lounge areas, so it was a little bit of a letdown. 

As we exited the Disney Plus event area we saw an ABC pop-up about 20 yards away.  The ABC event was promoting The Ultimate Surfer and Bachelor in Paradise.  I’m quite honestly not remotely interested in either show, but we went in to see what they had going on.  There were a few photo ops, including a GIF opportunity for Bachelor in Paradise.  There was an area where there would be surfing lessons, and a few games such as cornhole you could play.  There were double-sided hand fans and carabiners holding a travel sized bottle of sunscreen and a lip balm giveaways. 

There was also an area to get tote bag silkscreened, but the line was cut off while we were there.  Just outside of this area was a straw hut where they were giving away long-stemmed red roses as part of the Bachelor in Paradise promotion.  I picked up a rose and we decided to leave rather than wait to watch the surfing lessons or for the silkscreening station line to re-open.  The ABC promotion had more interactives and fun photo-ops than the Disney Plus event which is surprising and disappointing.

The Disney+ Summer Days was part of a four-city tour.  Did you attend?  What did you think of the event?

Primetime Emmy’s 2018 Red Carpet Bleachers

September 17, 2018

I’ve been lucky enough to get to sit in the bleachers of the Primetime Emmy’s red carpet.  It was a very hot September day in downtown Los Angeles when I was in the bleachers for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards.  The staff for the bleachers made sure to have water available for us to drink to stay hydrated in the intense heat.  The bleachers are also partially shaded so most of us aren’t in the direct sunlight. 

If you ever get the chance to sit in the bleacher for the Emmy’s be sure to bring a small handheld fan and a phone charger or two.  They only allowed us to bring a small clutch or a medium sized clear bag, and no “professional” cameras.  If the lens can be removed, they consider that a “professional” camera.  Some fixed lens non-SLR cameras they didn’t allow, either, but there’s some inconsistency there.  I apologize in advance as I only had my older model smartphone to take photos with. 

It can be very slow for about an hour or so once you are seated in the bleachers, and I highly suggest charging your phone and not using it during this lull.  You are given a swag bag when you arrive at the bleachers which usually contains a People Magazine as they are usually one of the sponsors for the bleachers experience so you’ll have something to read.  There will also be a camera crew or two filming the fans in the bleachers, often asking you to hold up a particular item from your swag bag for the sponsors or to just stand up and cheer excitedly for the cameras. 

The bleachers are situated at the end of the red carpet so you are seeing the celebrities just before they enter the venue. It will start as a trickle, then it gets really crazy about thirty minutes before the telecast is scheduled to begin.  Quite a few celebrities will wave and say hi to the fans when the fans start screaming their names.  If it’s not during the rush, many celebrities will stop and say hi.  Selfies are difficult because the bleachers are set quite high up.  Some of the celebrities are willing (this was pre-COVID) to take your phone and do a selfie to get you in the background.  I really enjoy watching the celebrities meet the people they are fans of.  At this show the Queer Eye guys were really excited to meet Sandra Oh who was there with her parents, and they all took a photo together.  It was great to watch them, and I don’t think Sandra Oh’s parents had any clue who these men were.

Visiting Planet Vought

June 4, 2021

Planet Vought in Hollywood, California

We visited the Planet Vought pop-up in June not knowing what to expect. We knew there would be food and we would be in our cars during the entire experience. The entire experience was set up in the parking lot of the Hollywood Palladium.


Upon check-in we were given a card to view the menu items, and our orders were taken by Planet Vought staff prior to entering Planet Vought. Once inside, we saw the chaos as The Boys had destroyed Planet Vought.


The first stop was a photo op from our vehicles then we drove to the merchandise area where I was given and balloon Homelander figure and a balloon headband. At each stop we could watch the actors reacting to the destruction The Boys caused, and it was really entertaining. We were directed to a parking space where our food would be delivered car hop style. Included with our meals were vials of Compound V to enjoy.

The experience was part of The Boys’ Emmy campaign, and though it was fairly brief it was very well done and entertaining. Be sure to watch The Boys on Amazon Prime as it’s a crazy, violent, and extremely entertaining series.

You can watch my short video here of the Planet Vought experience.

SiliConSJ 2021

August 28-29, 2021

SiliCon SJ 2021

SiliConSJ (formerly Silicon Valley Comic Con) is the first convention we’ve attended since Vegas ToyCon in March 2020.  Although at its heart SiliConSJ is the same as Silicon Valley Comic Con there is a distinct emphasis on creators and makers.  We were very excited and a bit apprehensive of attending a large event, but everyone was very good at wearing their masks appropriately with the exception of the panelists. All in all it was great to attend our first convention in seventeen months. 

As Adam Savage is now the “Creative Director” of SiliConSJ, and he was everywhere.  He hosted the traditional Opening Keynote panel along on Saturday morning, opened the costume contest Saturday afternoon/evening, and he had his own panel on Sunday morning. 

A few of the panels we attended included Bruce Boxleitner, Mark Sheppard, Jim Cummings, and Denise Crosby.  The Costume Contest showcased some amazing costumes.  Unfortunately it was very difficult to take photos of all of the costumes, because many of the cosplayers zoomed across the stage with hardly a one or two second pause at center stage.  I don’t know if it was a lack of instruction to the competitors to stop and pose to show off their costumes or if was due to the nervousness of the competitors participating.  After all of the competitors crossed the stage, the judges had to take several minutes to go and talk to the competitors and take a good look at the costumes before they could make their decisions.  I had seen a few of these costumes up close around the convention center and these deservedly won prizes in various categories. 

You can check out a video slideshow of most of the costume contest participants on my YouTube channel here.

There was a feeling of excitement in the air at SiliConSJ.  We were all happy to be back at a convention, and I feel that there was a sense of hope that we are getting back to “normal” after a long hibernation.  Adam Savage was certainly contributing to the feeling of happiness around the convention, and he was quite exhilarated to be back at conventions and being able to meet and talk to people in person again.  I’m looking forward to attending a few more conventions this year, including San Diego Comic-Con: Special Edition this November and LA Comic Con in December.