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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5 Reasons to Make a Trip to Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

5 Reasons to Make a Trip to Renaissance Indian Wells Resort

By Erin

Located in the heart of the prestigious desert community of Indian Wells is the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort and Spa. 13 miles from Palm Springs and nestled at the foot of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains, makes for an easy getaway weekend for those in Southern California. For those outside that area, Palm Springs International Airport is a quick 16 miles away. I was invited to come and stay here for the weekend to check it out, share my thoughts and show you my favorite spots. I hope you enjoy this beautiful property as much as I did!

 

Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

The Pools 

One of the biggest draws for me to want to stay at a hotel or resort has always been the pools! As soon as I saw what the pools here looked like at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa , I could not wait to get here. The resort boasts the largest hotel swimming pool complex in the desert region including three distinct pools, a pool bar, cabanas, a waterfall and hot tubs. A poolside sandy beach entrance is perfect for traveling families–It is a special favorite among families/children and beach lovers. An amazing pool cabana experience featuring flat-screen TV’s, sofas, loungers, ceiling fans, personal coolers and refreshments.

Our cabana for the day and refreshments. It was so relaxing to just sit by the pool and enjoy the beautiful day with family.

The pool is just as beautiful at night and perfect for some hot tub time!

Room with a View

Very spacious, modern, upscale guest rooms – among the largest and most comfortable in the area. The best part I think is, those VIEWS! How amazing is it to wake up in the morning or go out at night and see THIS view from your room???

The rooms are very spacious and comfortable. As you can tell by the views above, I especially loved our patio!

Star Suites, featuring specially commissioned celebrity artwork and retro decor inspired by legends of Hollywood including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Bing Crosby to name a few. Our room had some neat artwork in the bathroom on the wall.

The bathrooms were very spacious as well, more than one person can get ready at a time. All the amenities you could possible need are here.

The Spa

Spa Esmeralda, features both indoor and outdoor treatment and spa pool offerings, as well as a salon and fitness facilities. The spa is beautiful and the perfect place to get away to relax and enjoy a facial, massage, body scrub or wrap, waxing and nail care. I enjoyed a luxurious facial during my time here and enjoyed every second of it.

One of my favorite places at the spas was outdoors. Such a beautiful outdoor spa. Very private, quite and serene.

The Food

There are numerous food and beverage locations and dining experiences throughout the resort – including amazing sushi, SPC serving casual, modern Italian cuisine, and Cava – serving a broad menu of American and family favorites. Vegan and gluten-free options are available.

During my stay here we tried the seafood buffet that they serve at Cava on Friday nights. We also had breakfast here both mornings during our stay.

Just a few of the many options to enjoy at the seafood buffet. Everything is served up super fresh and was oh so delicious.

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Classic Afternoon Tea at the Disneyland Hotel

Classic Afternoon Tea at the Disneyland Hotel

By Erin

Recently a friend and I enjoyed the Premium Classic Afternoon Tea Party at Steakhouse 55 inside the Disneyland Hotel. Afternoon tea is available Friday-Sunday from 12pm-3pm. I’ve been anxious to have a tea party at Disneyland ever since they first started having these, so I was thrilled to finally be able to get a reservation for one (they are not always easy to get, especially around holidays!). We were extra lucky and were able to come during the Valentine’s Day tea for some extra magic! We had a fabulous time and I am so excited to share this with you.

Dining at the Steakhouse 55 restaurant at the Disneyland Hotel is an amazing experience in itself if you are as big a steak lover as I am. It was even more amazing to come here for a magical tea party! It is a bit pricey but well worth it; don’t forget if you have your annual Disney pass, you can use your discount for the tea party, which will help quite a bit. You also will feel like Disney Royalty here with all the fancy plates and silverware and farewell gifts. Be ready to experience an elegant afternoon complete with sweets, savories and a lovely selection of teas.

The menu includes traditional scones, tea sandwiches, desserts and more. Aperitifs, wines by the glass, ports and cordials are also available for an additional charge. The glamorous Hollywood-style setting of Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel, is the perfect setting to enjoy afternoon tea. Originally introduced to European high society in the 1800s, this relaxing respite promises to forge unforgettable memories with family and friends.

Choose from 3 distinct tea parties:

Classic Tea Party- $50

  • Traditional Scones
  • Tea Sandwiches
  • Desserts
  • Teas and Herbal Infusions

Premium Tea Party-$65

  • Sparkling Wine
  • Traditional Scones
  • Salad
  • Tea Sandwiches
  • Desserts
  • Farewell Truffle
  • Teas and Herbal Infusions

Kids Tea Party- $35

  • Traditional Scones
  • Tea Sandwiches
  • Desserts
  • Herbal Infusions, Juices, Milk or Hot Chocolate

Please Note: Gluten-free and vegan options are available upon request.

*I highly recommend getting the premium tea party package to make your experience a total dream come true. If you have a pass, for the premium tea party with tax it comes to just under $60 per person.*

After you order the kind of tea party you wish to enjoy and pick out your teas, the tea is brewed and served to you in your own cute adorable tea pot.  You have a choice of either hot or cold tea and

each person in your party can choose a different kind of tea so that your party can enjoy a variety of different kinds of teas. This is a great way to try out some different teas that you may not have had before as well as your favorites. We went with the Redbush Caramel Velvet ( Reminiscent of a luxurious Dulce de Leche with a light, refreshing aftertaste. Caffeine-Free, Herbal) and the Eros (a black sweet orange and creamy vanilla bean blended with medium bodied Ceylon leaves). Both of the teas were delicious and came with honey, lemon, cream and your choice of sugar, calorie free sweeteners, or some cool rock sugar candy sticks to dip into your tea!

 First the salads came out. Very light and refreshing; Rose Wine poached pears, edible flowers, with a strawberry vinaigrette.

With the premium tea, you also get a glass of sparkling wine; Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvee Brut. It was great to have a little bit of bubbly with our tea party!

Our tiered tea party came out with all the goodies! Yum yum, so much food!