Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge

Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge

By Kyla
Spring-a-Palooza is in full bloom at Great Wolf Lodge and guests are sure to have a howling good time celebrating the return of spring to the resort. Now through April 16 Great Wolf Lodge is rolling out the colorful spring decorations and making the Grand Lobby Spring-a-Palooza Central. There is even a special character-themed garden for the kids to explore!

Spring-a-Palooza not only means the Great Wolf Lodge will be decked out in all things spring, it also means spring themed entertainment options for guests to enjoy. There will be special spring-inspired activities and events taking place daily. They include Spring Picnic, Bubble Dance Party, Spring-a-Palooza Story Time, Spring Scavenger Hunts, Character Themed Flower Gardens, Jelly Bean Guessing Game, and Spring Themed Crafts.

During the Spring Picnic you can grab a blanket, spread it on the floor, and join Violet for an afternoon picnic in the Grand Lobby. Sip on a complimentary glass of lemonade from Violet’s Lemonade Stand and play a round of “Take a Wiley Guess” card game.

Put on your guessing goggles and check out the gigantic jar filled to the tippy top with jelly beans that sits in the Grand Lobby. Make your best guess for the Jelly Bean Guessing Game with how many candies you think fill up that giant jar. The guests with the guesses closest to the correct number (without going over) will be entered to win a $25 Great Wolf Lodge gift card!

The two Spring Scavenger Hunts will require your best detective skills to find all the items so you can claim your prizes! The “I Spy Spring” scavenger hunt will have you searching the entire Grand Lobby to find a dozen hidden objects. Once you’ve conquered that hunt, then the “Spring Sprint” scavenger hunt has ten clues for you to solve that will take you on a journey through the lodge and ends with a sweet prize!

Even the food is celebrating during Spring-a-Palooza! The new spring menu items features fresh and delicious spring vegetables, delicious honey glazed backed salmon, wild mushroom risotto, and stuffed chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and goat cheese. If you thought you were going to get chicken nuggets and french fries, you were sorely mistaken! Executive Chef Hany Ali has so much more planned for your palates and tummies!

Along with the Spring-a-Palooza beginning in March, Great Wolf Lodge Southern California also celebrate its first birthday!!! To commemorate this exciting occasion artist Linda Mihara was commissioned to create the world’s largest origami birthday cake! Standing 9 feet tall and taking more than 2 weeks to create, this work of art is topped with what else – a howling wolf!!!

General Manager Phillip Cunningham shared his gratitude for the Southern California community for making the Great Wolf Lodge’s first year such a success. He treated those in attendance to delicious cupcakes and the beautiful origami birthday cake. An origami cake was chosen because the first anniversary gift is supposed to be paper and what says paper better than a giant paper cake!

 There are so many fun things happening at Great Wolf Lodge during Spring-a-Palooza – you will definitely want to take your family to enjoy all spring fun the resort has waiting for you! It’s only here until April 10th, so grab your swimming suits, pack your bags, and spend your spring break at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Kyla Armstrong is the creator and writer of the Orange County crafty lifestyle blog Funky PolkaDot Giraffe. When she isn’t writing for her site, you can find her busy crafting, baking, juggling three kids, and trying to steal a moment for herself in the pages of a good book. You can keep up with her Southern California adventures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

By Erin

The day that’s been long-awaited is finally here. The classic tale of “Beauty and the Beast” – and its empowering message that true beauty comes from within – dates back to 18th century France and the first published version of the fairy tale, “La Belle et la Bête,” by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Today the story continues to enthrall storytellers, resulting in countless interpretations across all forms of media. One of Disney’s most treasured titles, this new live-action adaptation version is just as spellbindingly romantic as it is comedic and tells the unforgettable tale of love and friendship that transports readers to a magical fairy tale world where good triumphs over evil.

Enchanting audiences once again, and Emma Watson says it nicely, “Any time I hear music from ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ it connects me with that childlike feeling that everything is going to be okay and that there’s hope in the world, and it just gives me this sense that everything’s fine.”

By now I think most of us have seen the animated version of the film, so you already know what to expect and what will ultimately happen so I want to leave you with some fun facts about this new version and what new things to look out for.

*New songs!* The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast will still have the songs you know and love, but  there are a few new tunes as well. Composer Alan Menken, who worked on the original Beauty and the Beast with the late Howard Ashman, penned three new songs for the movie with composer Tim Rice. So look for these new numbers, “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” “For Evermore,” and “Days in the Sun.” Some of the original lyrics written by Howard Ashman for the songs “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast” that were not used in the animated film have been added to the live-action adaptation.

*So many Red Roses!* Approximately 1,500 red roses were grown or purchased during production for use as research or set decoration.

*Horse Doubles?*  Philippe, Belle (Emma Watson) and Maurice’s (Kevin Kline) horse, is played by three different horses, two of which had to be painted on a daily basis.

*The Enchanted Forest* Surrounds the Beast’s castle and features real trees, hedges, a frozen lake and 20,000 icicles, took 15 weeks to complete.

*The Ballroom Floor* Beast’s castle has a ballroom floor made from 12,000 square feet of faux marble and its design is based on a pattern found on the ceiling of the Benedictine Abbey in Braunau, Germany. The 10 glass chandeliers in the ballroom – each measuring 14 feet by 7 feet – are based on actual chandeliers from Versailles which were then frosted, covered in fabric and candlelit.

*Over 8,700 candles (or 104,400 inches of wax) were used as set decoration during production.

*Belle’s Dress*  Approximately 180 feet of feather light satin organza was used to create Belle’s yellow dress. The dress, which required 3,000 feet of thread and took over 12,000 hours to create, was accentuated with 2,160 Swarovski crystals.

*Emma Watson (Belle), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Luke Evans (Gaston) and Nathan Mack (Chip) all share the same birthday, April 14, which was also the date of the cast read through.

*Froufrou, the dog belonging to Madame de Garderobe (Audra McDonald) and Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci), is played by Gizmo, a rescue from one of the U.K.’s oldest and most famous animal rescue centers.

*The coat of arms in the Beast’s castle is a lion and a boar with a WD anagram (the WD is meant to represent a fictional character, William Devereaux, but could also stand for Walt Disney).

Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful movie filled with some catchy tunes both new and old. Audiences of all ages can enjoy this beloved classic. Be sure to go see it now! I know you’ll love it just as much as I do! Follow the magic at #BeautyAndTheBeast and #BeOurGuest.

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Meeting the Cast of Beauty and the Beast

Meeting the Cast of Beauty and the Beast

By Erin

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in Disney’s live-action adaptation “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. One of my all time favorite Disney movies ever, I am beyond excited for this movie to finally make it to theaters. Meeting the cast was a wonderful experience that I am happy to share about with you here. Before the junket started we got to view the costumes and the enchanted rose.

One of the best things about the film is the music, and the songs, wouldn’t you agree? Take a listen for yourself.

Now imagine getting to listen to  some of the music from the movie LIVE? As the junket got set to start, we enjoyed a beautiful musical presentation by Alan Menken himself. He created a gorgeous compilation from the songs of the movie to preform for us to enjoy. It was a treat to watch him perform and guess who joined in on the fun?

Once this fantastic presentation ended, everyone took their seats and it began.

Those in attendance were:

·         Emma Watson (“Belle”) 

·         Dan Stevens (“Beast / Prince Adam”)

·         Luke Evans (“Gaston”)

·         Josh Gad (“Le Fou”)

·         Audra McDonald (“Garderobe”)

·         Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Plumette”)

·         Bill Condon (Director)

·         Alan Menken (Music)

Some of the interesting facts we learned during this time were:

  • Bill Condon told us that when he was approached to adapt the movie for the live action film that he needed to “get over the terror first.” He knew he needed to investigate and learn more about the movie. “There are questions maybe you never asked before that you want to know about, like how did Belle and Maurice wind up in this village where they’re outsiders. That leads to new songs and suddenly you are creating something new.”
  • Alan Menken told us that he thinks he has benefited from his association with Disney and what it’s like to add songs into an animated film. “You look at it like architecture. Where do we need the emotional support? Sometimes the songs will respond to a moment. Sometimes you’ll go, I feel like we need a song in this spot, and we will massage the story so a song could fit there. I mean, I could spend five hours talking about this right now, but essentially a lot of thought and a lot – again, use the word collaboration – a lot of collaboration goes into what song is going to come, where’s it going to go, what does it need to accomplish and how will it interact with the song that preceded it and the song that came after it? What will be the overall effect of it? What character is underrepresented in songs? You know, and there’s so many factors.”

  • Audra McDonald told us that as a parent she thinks the Beauty and the Beast has a great message for kids. “When I heard Emma Watson was going to be Belle, and knowing how much Emma has affected girls of my daughter’s age, and my daughter is someone who now asks for people to donate money to charities for her birthday gifts instead of presents. And that’s because of you, Emma. And so knowing full well that Emma was going to make sure that Belle was somebody who was independent, who was strong, who was educated, who was sticking up for girls and women, and who does all the rescuing in the film. That’s why I knew it was going to be important for me to be a part of and for my kids to see.”
  • Emma Watson tells us how proud she was to be able to play a character like Belle. “I think that Belle is this ultimate kind of symbol of the fact that books can be rebellious, they can be incredibly empowering, liberating. They are a means to travel to – you can travel to places in the world that you would never be able to under other circumstances. I was just really proud to play a character that has a certain earnestness about her, honestly. She’s not in any way kind of ashamed of that, and it’s not easy being an outsider and it’s not easy to pick battles, it’s not easy to try to move and work against a system, to work against the grain, to move against the status quo. But she does so with kind of this amazing fearlessness. And you know, with the support of her father, but really I think it’s something that she weathers on her own, really, at the end of the day. I’m very grateful that this character exists and that I get to bring her to life. It’s fantastic.”

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