As a little girl I dreamed of being an actress and going to movie premieres.
In college, I decided that I wanted to pursue marketing instead of theater, but my love for all things celebrity never went away.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Finding Dory world movie premiere in LA at the El Capitan Theatre. It was a dream come true, and I am still pinching myself that it happened.
I was attending with 24 other bloggers as a guest of Disney. My friend Colleen was also invited, and it was so fun to have a buddy for the premiere. We have known each other for years online, but never met in person until this event.
For the next two weeks I'll be sharing all about the experience – cast interviews, products and more. I hope you love the series and that it makes you feel like you were there with me.
For the premiere, we parked a few blocks away and walked down the steps of the Dolby Theatre to get to the El Capitan Theatre. Here’s a picture of our group on the steps, which are what you see on the Oscars every year (I'm in the second row, on the left).
As we walked to the El Capitan, I stopped to take a picture of one of the stars, in disbelief that I was seeing them in real life, on my way to a premiere!
We arrived at the blue carpet at 6 p.m. and had 30 minutes on the carpet before needing to go in the theatre. Celebrities were everywhere, hundreds of paparazzi and television outlets and a magical underwater world that only Disney can do.
We walked as slowly as they would allow, in an effort to take everything in. I was there as Ellen arrived, and the crowd erupted. She was happy and confident, just as you would expect.
I felt so pretty in a bright yellow dress, earrings and bracelet from Rent the Runway, along with a Dory blue clutch that I found on Amazon. If you haven't tried Rent the Runway, definitely check it out (new customers will get $30 off with this link). I know I could not have afforded a dress as pretty and fitting as this one if I had to pay full price.
Our group was seated in the front row of the theatre and Disney had an incredible piano player playing Disney hits as people filed in. While we waited, I enjoyed people watching. Ellen’s mom, the cast of the movie and many others were there.
The movie is incredible. This isn’t me saying that because I went on a press trip. It truly is. The animation is stunning. At times I thought, did they film actual water because it looks so real.
The story is fabulous. The characters are well-developed. The script is full of fun, tenderness and adventure. I laughed. I cried. I want to see it again.
Many have asked how it compares to Finding Nemo and the answer is – it can't! It is a totally new film and story and I believe it will be just as beloved. It definitely has more adventure than Finding Nemo, which I think children and adults will really love. Though obviously I expected a happy ending, I was on the edge of my seat several times!
After the movie a huge mob of people had gathered to meet Ellen. I somehow wiggled to the front and did my best to get a selfie. Unfortunately, fake nails + stressful selfie situations result in pictures that look like this – lol.
For the after party, Hollywood Boulevard was literally shut down. A live band was performing top 40 hits.Of course, there was tons of food as well. I ate before the premiere (I was still on central time), but I did have a few desserts.
Stations were set up with tons of crafts for kids including octopus art, sand art and seashell picture frames. I got lots of inspiration for Adeline's birthday party next weekend.
Sand was a big focal, with a huge Finding Dory sculpture near the center of the party.
We saw a lot of celebrities – members of the cast, as well as a few guests. (A lot of the Modern Family cast was there, as two cast members are voices in Finding Dory). I was delighted to meet John Lasseter who is the chief creative office of Pixar and well known for his directing of many Toy Story movies and Cars. He was so kind when we asked for a selfie.
The energy was the event was palpable. (Watch this LIVE video from the event that I shared on Facebook.) Everyone was having fun and full of joy. It was so incredible to experience and was something I will never forget.
Definitely plan to take your family to see Finding Dory when it opens this Friday, June 17. To add to the fun, print off these free Finding Dory coloring sheets and make these Finding Dory cereal treats.
Disclosure: Disney hosted me in LA in order to attend screenings and to participate in group interviews & media events. As always, all experiences, love of Disney and thoughts are my own.