Showing posts with label California. Show all posts
Showing posts with label California. Show all posts

Disneyland Reopening in July!!!

Photo Courtesy of Get Away Today

We've got ears, say cheers!!!

Disney fans can rejoice once again as news of another Disney destination reopening has broken.  Pending approval from local and state government, Disneyland in Anaheim, California plans to begin a phased reopening on July 9th.  Much like their counterparts in Florida, the first area to open will be Downtown Disney District on July 9th followed shortly after by Disneyland Park and Disney's California Adventure Park.  Both parks are slated to open on July 17th - and Disney historians will recognize that as the 65th anniversary of the original opening of Disneyland. . .now THAT's practically perfect in every way!  Lastly, hotels are scheduled to resume operations on July 26th.

**Update - As of June 24, Disneyland announced that they have delayed their reopening.  Stay tuned to the Disney Parks social channels for the latest updates**

Disneyland seems to be following many of the reopening details that have already been shared by Walt Disney World Resort including the use of masks, social distancing markers, increased cleaning procedures, health screenings, limited capacity and more.  Advanced reservations will also be required to enter the parks - whether you have a day ticket or an annual pass.

To read more about Walt Disney World Resort's reopening, click here!

In addition to practices within the parks, Disneyland will also be following suit with Walt Disney World's restriction on purchasing new tickets and Annual Passes at this time in order to honor existing reservations and those cancelled by COVID-19.  But no need to fear, if you want to visit Disneyland and don't have a ticket in hand already, my friends at Get Away Today may be able to help!  They have a very limited amount of tickets available that you can purchase from them to use during this time.  To check availability, visit their website here! (Affiliate Link)

As always, for the most up-to-date information keep your eyes on Disney's official outlets including the Disneyland website and the Disney Parks Blog.  

Disneyland Tickets - Beat the Price Increase!

In case you missed it, tickets for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort increased overnight and those who have been thinking about planning a vacation may now be second guessing themselves.

But, have no fear - my friends at Get Away Today are here to save your vacation budgets!  For a limited time you can buy your Disneyland tickets at the old prices.  That's right. . .get your tickets by February 20th and you can beat the price increase.  That's up to a $75 savings PER TICKET.  Let's break it down:


Celebrity Treatment in Burbank, California

The Geekly Retreat was my first visit to California and what a memorable experience it was! We had some amazing times during the retreat and it all took place in and around fabulous Burbank.  Visit Burbank was one of the sponsors of our retreat and they treated us well from beginning to end.  Let's take a look at some of the places we enjoyed while in town.

Safari Inn 

Feel like you've seen the Safari Inn before?  Well, you probably have!  This hotel has been used in a number of blockbuster Hollywood films and television shows.  I instantly recognized the Safari Inn from two of my favorite movies when we received details about our stay.  The first film I recognized the hotel from was Apollo 13.  Remember the scene on launch day when Lovell's wife is at the hotel and drops her ring in the drain?  Yep, the outside footage there is of the Safari Inn.  It may also look familiar from Incredibles 2 when the protection program for supers is dissolved and they are forced to figure out their next steps.  There are also many more Hollywood cameos for this famous location too.

Inside the room at Safari Inn
The hotel itself combines a classic feel with some modern upgrades. While the exterior probably hasn't changed much over the years, the rooms themselves have clearly been renovated in recent years, featuring a clean and contemporary color scheme.  The room we were in featured two double beds, a sink and vanity in a dressing area, and a separate bathroom.  There is no official closet in the room, but there is a rack that you can hang clothes on if you need to during your stay.  There is a restaurant "on-site" at the neighboring partner hotel, Olive's Bistro.  From there you can order room service or take the few steps to enjoy a meal in the restaurant.  Another great perk is the free Burbank shuttle.  You need to prearrange your time and destination, but you can get service to a number of area destinations including the airport.  You'll also find a small pool on property along the road and located right next to the parking lot.  To learn more about staying at the Safari Inn Burbank, check out their website here!

Urban Press Winery

Our first night in Burbank, The Geekly Retreat attendees were hosted at Urban Press Winery for drinks and dinner.  Our evening began in the lower level tasting room which featured a bar and high top tables.  The room was equal parts cozy with warm colors and wood tones as well as contemporary with high ceilings and grand statements like the wine bottle doorway.  After enjoying tastes downstairs, we moved up to a private area overlooking the lower level where tables were set up for us to enjoy a speaker dinner.  Lastly, we moved out to the patio.  I know I was in California which was much warmer than Maryland in November, but I wads still happy to find they had portable heaters out there as it was chilly that evening.  The seating outside was more dining tables which allowed us to sit in large groups, mingle, and enjoy conversation with one another.
Enjoying the wine tasting at Urban Press Winery

So on to the important stuff - what about the food and wine?  Well. . .it was all delicious!  My husband and I enjoy visiting wineries around the Mid-Atlantic and I was very excited to visit my first California winery.  The wines were a bit drier than what I'm used to on the East Coast, but that's actually my preference so it was a rather enjoyable assortment - from the reds to the whites, and everything in between.  Quite surprisingly to me, my favorite wine of the night was the Rose.  I'm typically not a Rose fan, but this was made with Pinot which didn't make it as sweet as some others I've had.  The food was equally good.  My favorite was the simple meat, cheese, and bread that we had at the beginning.  That's always one of my favorite things to eat when enjoying a wine tasting!
If I find myself in the Burbank area again, I'd be happy to return to Urban Press Winery for more wine, food, and fun!  Check out more about this Burbank hot sport here!

Porto's Bakery & Cafe

I had heard that Porto's was THE place to go in Burbank when it comes to quality baked goods, but tasting truly was believing when we had the chance to experience Porto's on two different occasions.  During our work day at the Team Click offices, Porto's provided lunch to us which included sandwiches, salads, and sides.  The following morning, we had the chance to head to Porto's downtown Burbank location for a visit and to enjoy breakfast.  Now we had known how good Porto's was after the lunch on Friday, but seeing the line that had stretched outside of the building on Saturday morning let me know that the quality of their food was not a secret to the locals.
Lunch from Porto's Bakery - YUMMY!

When we entered the bakery, it was truly an overwhelming scene of people and pastries.  Our group was led upstairs to a conference room where we had our own assortment of breakfast waiting.  I selected a fruit topped pastry which looked (and tasted!) fabulous along with a fresh, delicious cup of orange juice.  While we ate, we had the chance to learn the history of Porto's.  What an incredible story!  The bakery was founded by Rosa Porto, an immigrant from Cuba who began baking prior to her arrival in the United States and then turned her passion into a business for her family.  Over the years, the family bakery has remained true to it's belief that "quality is the number one ingredient in everything we do."  To find out more about the story of the bakery and discover the menu, check them out here!

Visit Burbank

I'd like to thank them for being a sponsor of some of our activities during The Geekly Retreat!  For more information on planning your visit to Burbank, California, head on over to the Visit Burbank website.  Be sure to follow #VisitBurbank on social media for the latest and greatest news from this popular entertainment destination.


Give the Gift of a Family Vacation!

This holiday season, why not give the gift of a family vacation to the ones you love?  What better way is there to celebrate the season then creating family memories that will last a lifetime?? You've heard me share about the specials my friends at Get Away Today have had in the past, but Black Friday deals keep getting better and better!  Check out information below on specials for not only California, but Florida travel too.

Disneyland Travel - Get Away Today still has Adult's at Kid's prices on 3 day or longer tickets for Disneyland.  This is good on a variety of tickets including park hoppers or one park per day and can be used with or without MaxPass.  There are no blackout dates and they are good through the end of 2020!  Purchase your discount tickets to Disneyland Resort here.

Southern California Combo Ticket - Looking to plan a longer visit to Southern California?  You can combine the above Disneyland ticket deal with savings on other popular SoCal attractions like Universal Studios Hollywood and LEGOLAND, plus get an EXTRA combo discount to save even more on these tickets.  No promo code is required - you'll see the savings pile up in your cart! Check out the Southern California Combo savings here.

And For The East Coast - No need to fear!  We get included on the fun with this Black Friday Sale!  You can save an extra $10 off tickets for Florida attractions like Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando off of the already discounted prices offered through Get Away Today.  Use code BLACKFRIDAYFL to access this savings.  For more on Florida deals, click here.

Don't forget to use my special code PIXIEDUST to save even more when you book a vacation package including tickets and hotel stay.  Visit soon though!  There is limited availability on some of these deals and they ALL expire on December 2nd!  Happy traveling my friends!

I'm an affiliate partner with Get Away Today.  That means that while you're saving money on some amazing vacations, I may also earn a small commission.

Disneyland Black Friday Sale from Get Away Today!

Who doesn't love a vacation for the holidays?  Or giving a vacation as a special holiday surprise for your family?  If you're thinking of planning a trip to Disneyland, now is the perfect time to check out my friends over at Get Away Today!  They have an incredible Black Friday sale that starts next week for the public, but my readers get EARLY ACCESS to this incredible deal.  That means more availability to choose from when booking!

So what's the deal?? 

  • Adults at Kid's Prices on 3-Day and longer Disneyland tickets
  • No blackout dates!  Valid for travel through 12/31/2020
  • Valid on Park Hopper or one park per day tickets with or without Max Pass
  • Can also be combined with extra night free hotel deals and 25% off at Disneyland Resort Hotels (select dates)
  • Use promo code PIXIEDUST to save an additional $10 off your vacation package!
WOW!  For anyone looking to book this incredible deal, check out my affiliate link below to get started.  

I'm an affiliate partner with Get Away Today. You save money and I may earn a small commission - everyone wins!

Attending the Frozen 2 Red Carpet Premiere

Alright, somebody is really going to need to pinch me because I'm still in a fog wrapping my head around the fact that I was able to attend the Hollywood Premiere of Disney's Frozen 2 as part of The Geekly Retreat.  Seriously, y'all. . .as both a self-proclaimed DisNerd and blogger, this experience is one that will take a long time to top.  Let's start from the beginning and walk you through the night!

Prepping a Red Carpet Look

Deciding what to wear to the premiere was more stressful than I thought.  Never having been to an event like this before, I leaned heavily on the advice of my friends who had experienced a red carpet and after party before.  Blending comfort with style can sometimes be tricky, but I was able to find something that was truly me and also paid tribute to Frozen 2.  I'm definitely more of a short dress girl so I opted for a short dress with capped sleeves.  Since warm colors are more my thing, I went with a navy blue dress that had a bit of shimmer at the top - like the glitter you may expect from our favorite ice queen.  I paired the look with a silver bag and silver shoes to contrast the dark dress and trigger thoughts of snow and ice.  When I went shoe shopping, my youngest insisted that I buy the most shimmering pair of shoes they had - and I happily obligied!  I also added a snowflake broach to the dress which had extra special meaning.  The pin belonged to my grandmother who passed away nearly 5 years ago.  We were incredibly close in a number of ways, but especially in our love for Disney!  Grammie was with my on my first visit to Walt Disney World Resort in 1989 and I have vivid memories of singing, dancing, and acting out scenes from our favorite Disney films when I would spend time at her house. Having her with me on the red carpet meant a lot to me!

Walking the Red Carpet

The red carpet experience is every bit as insanely amazing as it looks on TV.  Lights, cameras, and celebrities are all around and there's a bunch of staff who are keeping the chaos as organized as possible.  We were behind where the stars walked the carpet so no one asked me who I was wearing (haha!), but I was able to watch all of that happening.  There were also plenty of photo opportunities along the carpet celebrating the premiere.  As you would expect the theming was spot on - from the colors, to the characters, to the fall leaves along the way. . .everywhere you looked it was Frozen fever!  I had my red carpet buddy, fellow Mid-Atlantic Mom-On-The-Go Rachel from Pretty in Baby Food, and we took turns snapping pictures of one another along the way.

After finishing our time on the carpet, we headed inside the Dolby Theater. . .yup, the same one that is used to host the Oscars.  I can't be sure, but I may have sat in a seat where Chris Hemsworth has sat.  Just that thought makes me a little happy!  I had an incredible seat - orchestra right, row C.  That's every bit as close as it sounds being just 3 rows from the stage.  I would have taken pictures inside the theater to share this incredible building, but phones go into a locked pouch during premiere events to keep anyone from sharing any part of the film early.  Prior to the movie starting, the live stream of the red carpet is playing for those inside to watch.

Before the movie started, the talented cast and crew took the stage for introductions.  Familiar Frozen talents like Indina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, and Jonathan Groff were joined by new cast members for this film including Sterling Brown, Jason Ritter, and Evan Rachel Wood.  Everyone on stage was simply glowing as they celebrated their big night!  When the cast was taking their seats, one of my friends gave Sterling Brown a "We love you!" shout out and he commented back "I love you too!"

The After Party

Once the movie ended, we headed upstairs to The Ray Dolby Ballroom for the after party.  What a whirlwind experience!! Before even entering the ballroom, you can tell this event is all about families and fun.  There were areas for photos outside the ballroom, a dance video game, and. . .get this. . .McDonald's Happy Meals!  The family friendly food continued inside with hot dogs and mac and cheese joining more sophisticated winter squash lasagna and carrots on the buffet.  Over at the dessert station, frozen themed cupcakes, cookies, and treats delighted both kids and adults!

Speaking of kids, it was clear from the start that Disney's Frozen 2 Premiere had kids and families in mind.  There were so many games and fun activities around the ballroom - very different than what I expected in a Hollywood After Party but also WAY more fun for the kid in me!  Throughout the evening they had charades at the Build-A-Bear table, build your own Olaf with Lego, cartoon drawing instruction, and much, much more.  One of my highlights of the night - hanging with Olaf.  I mean, I've met the snowman at Walt Disney World before, but being able to congratulate him on his big night in person was a pretty cool experience.

One of the highlights of the evening though was having a chance to say "hi" and celebrate this fabulous film with some of the talented actors that lend their voice talents to the cast.  First off, I had met up with Josh Gad, voice of Olaf in both the original Frozen and Frozen 2.  He couldn't have been nicer in person and carries just as big of warm smile as his character in the movie.  Later on, I ran into Sterling K. Brown as well.  You probably recognize him most for his lovable character Randall in This is Us, but you will also fall just as quickly in love with his character, Lieutenant Mattias in Frozen 2 and he is a wonderful addition to the Frozen 2 family.  As the night was winding down, I also had a chance to chat with Jason Ritter who voices another new character, Ryder, in Frozen 2.  I LOVED him as Mr. Cyr in the television series, Parenthood, and he was wonderful to talk with.  He shared his excitement about being part of this film and had a smile that echoed that feeling!

We closed down the after party, literally staying until the lights were back on full force in the ballroom as I wanted to soak in every last minute of this magical evening.  There were truly too many pictures and moments to share from the evening, so check out the YouTube video above for a quick recap of the night!

About Frozen 2

Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen 2,” she must hope they are enough. From the Academy Award®-winning team—directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez—and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen 2” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019.

Looking for more Frozen 2 fun?  Check out this trailer preview post including FREE downloads of activities for the whole family to enjoy!  And you can find my review posted now to find out what questions you'll have answered during this sequel!

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I'm Going! - The Geekly Retreat 2019

Whether we have heard that "a dream is wish your heart makes" or "dream big princess," I've always believed that anything is possible.  And this past week, I had some very exciting news land in my inbox!  Proving that dreams really do come true, I'm happy to share that I've been invited to attend the first ever Geekly Retreat.

So, what's the Geekly Retreat?  This is an incredible opportunity that was organized by the talented ladies over at The Geekly Show.  These women have joined forces to become a powerhouse group of bloggers and influencers when it comes to entertainment news.  They have put together a retreat that is allowing several lucky bloggers to join them on an adventure in California that will include networking, writing workshops, and some pretty incredible entertainment opportunities!

My blogging journey began almost 6 years ago (can that possibly be right?!?) and I never thought it would take me this far.  I began sharing as Adventures of a Disney Loving Mom in 2014 where I really created this space as purely a spot to share Disney vacation planning information and reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions at Disney Parks locations.  The first big boost for my blog was in 2015 when I was invited to a Disney Social Media Moms On-The-Road Celebration in New York City.  It was here that I heard from social media experts and met with a number of likeminded men and women who helped me see a bigger future for myself.  I decided to re-brand my blog as Running on Pixie Dust as my content began expanding to more than just Disney vacations which has brought me to where I am today - sharing all of my favorite details related to family, travel, fitness, and Disney!  Of course, entertainment content is a part of what I share and I look forward to learning more at this retreat to grow that area of my coverage even more!

And, now, here we are!  I am so humbled and honored to have been invited to this retreat and still find that I'm pinching myself waiting to wake up from this dream.  Just as incredible as the itinerary is the list of bloggers attending.  I've had the pleasure of meeting several of them in person, and have been excitedly following many others for years.  In fact, one of my fellow founders of the Mid-Atlantic Moms-On-The-Go Community is also attending!  Take a minute to meet Rachel over at Pretty in Baby Food!

I started blogging around 3 years ago. As a new mom, I needed a creative outlet, and I also wanted to help other parents who were just like me. It may surprise you but I started out writing about cloth diapers. Haha! As my blog grew, and I grew as a blogger, I branched out into more topics such as lifestyle, travel, and entertainment. Through the years my blog has expanded and now I am apart of the Mid-Atlantic Mom's and also an entertainment writer for Geek For E. My goal as a writer is still to help parents whether that be through travel and movie reviews or just talking about life. One day I hope to be invited to a Disney Social Media Moms On-The-Road Celebration as Kristi has and to continue to work with amazing brands as I have been. I am so humbled and excited about this Geekly Retreat opportunity, and I hope you will follow along with me over on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

I hope that you are as excited to follow our adventures as we are to grow, learn, and network with other amazing entertainment bloggers in California this November! Make sure you are following @thegeeklyshow and #thegeeklyretreat for all of the latest buzz!

Great Deals for Star Wars Fans at Disneyland Resort

The whole Star Wars fan universe has been waiting (with every ounce of patience we have!) for the exciting opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts this year.  While those of us on the East Coast still have a few more months to wait before experiencing the out-of-this-world excitement at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Southern California gets to enjoy what Black Spire Outpost has to offer beginning May 31.  Here's what you need to know in order to travel to a galaxy far, far away! Fuel up your Millennium Falcon, grab a Wookie, and let's go!

This post contains affiliate links. You save money and I earn a small commission - everyone wins!

From May 31 to June 23, guests wishing to enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at the Disneyland Resort will need a reservation at one of Disney's hotels to gain access.  My travel partner, Get Away Today, has a few reservations they can hook you up with if you're looking for a last minute opportunity to travel for the opening weeks:
If you can hold on to your lightsabers until June 24, more opportunities will open for locals and guests both on and off Disneyland Resort property to enter Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.  Disney is trying something out that is a great timesaver for guests, by allowing visitors to log into a virtual "queue" to wait to gain entrance for this popular land.  Once you enter Disneyland Park, you will be able to "get in line" while still enjoying all of the other great attractions at the park.  Get Away Today also has great deals going on throughout the summer months which you can learn more about by following the links below:
The Force is so strong with these deals, even the Dark Side can't resist joining in the fun! So what are you most excited about in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge?  Whether it's the rides, the food, the theming, or the character interactions, there will certainly be a lot to love!  I love the way that Disney immerses you in a story the moment you set foot in their parks and I'm sure Galaxy's Edge will not disappoint.  Don't miss out on your chance to experience it all!! Don't forget to use promo code PIXIEDUST when you visit Get Away Today to save even more money on your vacation package!