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.

Nerd Expo 2019 Recap

Nerd Expo 2019 Recap

By Veronica Nunez
October 14, 2019

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Nerd Expo was held on September 21, 2019 at the Pasadena Convention Center.  I only stayed for a few hours, but I really enjoyed the live concert by Ragnarock on the lower level.  They played some great songs from the 80s including the theme to The Neverending Story which you can watch here.

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My primary intent for attending Nerd Expo this year was to add Ray Park’s autograph to my Darkside hockey jersey.  The room he was in for signings was on the lower level where the Nerf shooting was happening, too.  Some of the kids were rapid firing and hitting their targets with ease.  It was a very popular spot with the kids at the show.

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Matty Cardarople was another special guest doing signings and photos, but he also made an appearance on the Main Stage prior to Ragnarock’s performance.   You may have seen Matty on Stranger Things as the arcade attendant in season two and as the video store manager in season three.  He seemed as shy and awkward, but very nice, on the stage as he does on screen.

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Nerd Expo is organized by Nerd Bot, and it’s a small convention which had some good live music, special guests, and fun cosplays.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald Fan Event

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald Fan Event

By Veronica Nunez

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We got up at 3am on a Saturday morning to attend a special fan event at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park on November 3, 2018. We were wristbanded and given tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood upon check-in.

The event began with an Imax screening of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald at the AMC Theatre at Universal CityWalk.. There were donuts from Voodoo Donuts and coffee and tea available for us before the event as well as gorgeous tote bags containing buttons and keyrings.   There were costumes from the film’s characters on display while we waited to be allowed to enter the theater.

After the screening we walked to Universal Studios and enjoyed riding some rides prior to the press event with the cast members of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald being held in front of Hogwarts Castle. We had been told that our wristband may get us into a viewing area for the press event, but that wasn’t the case even though there was room in the roped off area.

I did get a few photos of Eddie Reddmayne while he was giving interviews in another area of Hogsmeade prior to the main press event.

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Eddie Reddmayne

We ended up leaving shortly after not getting into the press event as the weather had gotten warmer than we had expected and we were tired since we’d been up since 3am. It was a really fun fan event, and it was completely free!

 

FBF: Gilmore Girls Festival of Four Seasons

 

 

Gilmore Girls Festival of Four Seasons

by Veronica Nunez

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On November 19 and 20, 2016 Netflix hosted a free fan event for their “revival” of Gilmore Girls on the University of California Los Angeles campus.  I got there 2 hours early, but I still stood in a line which lasted over an hour.

You were checked in while in line which included being given a wristband and a map of the various activations.  My first stop was to take a photo in front of the gazebo, then I went to get some free coffee at Luke’s. My next stop was Taylor’s Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe where we were given backs of saltwater taffy and small candy stick pieces.

 

There was also “Kirk’s Button Emporium” where you could select a button of your choice, and this great sign was posted asking patrons to only take one button.

 

 

There were some black umbrellas hanging from a few trees for photo ops and they had umbrellas available for the fans to use because of the rain.  Each umbrella had “In Omhia Paratus” printed on one side so there were plenty of people taking fun photos.

 

There was a photo booth inside the Stars Hollow Gazette, and a large tent held “Kim’s Antiques” which contained various “antique” furniture as well as props from the original Gilmore Girls series.

 

It lightly rained sporadically throughout the day, but the event was a lot of fun and completely worth waiting in lines in the rain.