*This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions remain my own and we all know I love Disney anyways! :)*
Not far from Disneyland is The Outlets at Orange. Just a mere 3.5 miles from Disneyland Park, California Adventure and Downtown Disney, The Outlets offer a wide range of restaurants, making it an ideal stop for a bite to eat either before or after your Disney visit. Looking for souvenirs or some Disney gear to wear? They’ve got that too! Several retailers at The Outlets at Orange carry Disney themed products, including: Hot Topic, H&M, Tilly’s, and Claire’s. So you can take a break, shop or fuel up before or after your next Disney adventure. All things Disney can be found at half the cost of park prices. Parking is free too! In addition, the Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) Route #16 will take you from The Outlets at Orange to Disneyland.
In addition to fabulous shopping, this beautiful open-air center also offers fun and entertainment for the entire family with over 25 incredible restaurants & cafes, plus an indoor Vans SkatePark, Dave & Buster’s, Lucky Strike Bowling and a huge AMC 30 movie theatre with IMAX. There is something for everyone to enjoy here. You can definitely feel the Disney Magic here and find some pixie dust. 😉
The Outlets at Orangeis on The City Drive just off the I-5 in Orange, California and serves nearby communities including Anaheim, Costa Mesa, and Buena Park. Here are some of my favorite things that I found on my visit to The Outlets at Orange.
Hot Topic had the largest selection of Disney items that I loved. They had all my favorites: Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch, Alice in Wonder Land, Marvel and so much more!
Look at all the adorable Lilo and Stitch items! I had to grab a few for myself.
Lots of Marvel shirts and other items too! PERFECT to wear for the Summer of Heroes Showcase going on at the Disney California Adventure Park through September 10th. I LOVE the Groot T-shirts!
“Focus. Speed. I am speed. One winner, forty-two losers.”
Cars 3 comes out to theaters today, June 16th, and if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you need to. This movie is the third installment in the Cars series, focused especially around a steadfast racecar named Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson). Throughout the series, we’ve seen Lightning grow and associate with his friends down in Radiator Springs; now, in this third movie, we meet several more new characters.
The storyline of the movie begins in a celebrated montage of Lightning winning between first and second place repeatedly alongside his friends Bobby Swift and Cal Weathers. During one particular race, a new, never-before-seen car whizzes past them, taking first place without even blinking. This new high-tech car is introduced to us as condescending Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), who is part of the next generation of racers. Lightning quickly learns that with this new generation of racers, he is slowly having a harder and harder time keeping up, let alone winning races against Storm, and the growing number of new-gen rookies joining the competitions.
Fast forward through a few months, more losses on the racetrack, and an accident that left him less motivated than ever. Lightning has now regained his ambition through the help and pep talks from his friends in Radiator Springs. Now, we’re also introduced to his new sponsor and superfan, Sterling (Nathan Fillion), along with his new trainer with racing dreams of her own, Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo).
Cars 3 is definitely my favorite out of the series, especially seeing it go back to the roots of what really set this series apart, but delving into a deeper, more Pixar-like meaning to the story. We watch as Lightning struggles to learn the new, high-tech ways of preparing for a race, and understanding just why it’s not necessarily for him. Instead, he goes back to some of the racers of the generations to learn their secrets of the trade. While he’s learning and trying out all of these techniques for himself, he’s also getting to know Cruz more as she’s learning all of this herself. Cruz ends up revealing to Lightning that her dream is to be a racer, and she looked up to Lightning as she was growing up.
Not to mention, the Fabulous Doc Hudson is often referenced to throughout the movie, being Lightning’s biggest mentor for his entire racing career. Even though Doc is gone, Lightning meets other racers from the generations of racing before him, including Smokey, who was once Doc’s trainer. Lightning talks to him about what’s going on and Smokey agrees to help. Side by side, Lightning and Cruz both learn ways of practicing for a race, including driving within a herd of “cow-cars.” They both struggle at first, but with some practice and learning to work together, they both end up more ready than ever. That’s one of the most important themes within this movie, is that by working together, you can succeed more than you’d ever dreamed.
The movie is animated as beautifully as always – bright, awe-inspiring colors, relatable plotlines, and a fitting soundtrack that gets you in the mood for wherever the movie is about to take you. Cars 3 is a wonderful movie that will have people of all ages intrigued, so even if you don’t have children, this is definitely another one of the many amazing Pixar movies you will want to see.
In addition to all that, there is also a short film placed at the beginning of the movie called Lou. This is easily one of my favorite Pixar shorts that have been released thus far. Lou explains the story of a young bully named J.J. on a school playground who likes to take toys away from the other kids on the playground. While he has been taking toys, the lost and found box has been gradually filling up. Slowly, all of the items in the box have begun producing a creature named Lou, built up of items such as a jacket for a body, baseballs as eyes, among other odd items. Lou’s goal is to persuade J.J. to return every lost and stolen item in return for something J.J. wants as well. The short film is absolutely adorable and especially relatable when you think of how prominent bullying is in today’s times; it’s definitely a must-see, and I’m looking forward to owning it one day.
Again, Cars 3 along with Lou both release in theaters today, June 16th and it’s a wonderful way to go spend some time this Father’s Day weekend! Watch the trailer below and have a wonderful weekend!
This past weekend, I got to meet with the cast of Cars 3, the third movie in the Cars film franchise. If you’ve already heard about the movie, then read ahead – you’ll understand why I’m so excited about it being released to theaters this Friday, June 16th. I’ll be posting a review about it on opening day (Spoiler alert: It’s amazing!) but until then, let’s talk about how my day was meeting with the fun cast!
· Owen Wilson (voice of “Lightning McQueen”)
· Kerry Washington (voice of “Natalie Certain”)
· Cristela Alonzo (voice of “Cruz Ramirez”)
· Armie Hammer (voice of “Jackson Storm”)
· Nathan Fillion (voice of “Sterling”)
· Larry the Cable Guy (voice of “Mater”)
· Lea DeLaria (voice of “Miss Fritter”)
· Isiah Whitlock Jr. (voice of “River Scott”)
· Director Brian Fee
· Producer Kevin Reher
· Dave Mullins (LOU Director)
· Dana Murray (LOU Producer)
Producer Dana Murray and director Dave Mullins present the short film “Lou” at the “Cars 3” Press Junket at Anaheim Convention Center. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez
Before we reached the press junket for Cars 3, we got to watch a presentation by the director and producer of Lou, a short film which will be released alongside Cars 3 on Friday. The director, Dave Mullins, both directed and wrote the short film, which is about a bully named J.J. who takes other kids’ toys away on the school playground, and Lou, who is constructed by the toys in the lost and found box. A review of this will also be included in my review post on Friday, so look forward to that! In the meantime, let’s talk about the presentation.
Dave explains to us that as a young kid, he always found it hard to make friends and be accepted by the other kids, so somewhere deep down, he always had the concept of this in his head. He explains that he was pitching ideas for short films since 2005 before this one was a hit. Throughout the presentation, he and producer Dana Murray go through the entire making of this film. From the designs, to storyboards, editing, color scripts, music composition, and tons more, they explained the entire process to us. Fun fact: the percussion for this movie was actually recorded in a circle! Each instrument was placed in a circle, and each would hit one note at a time, going to the next in a clockwise motion until the song was complete. Being a total chorus geek, I thought that was a really interesting concept.
A view of the atmosphere at the “Cars 3” Press Conference at Anaheim Convention Center. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez
Once the presentation for Lou was complete, we walked downstairs, across a red carpet for the Cars 3 press junket. Several fun photo props were set up, and we were told that this was the same red carpet that would be used later that night for the world premiere. And yes, I definitely felt like a celebrity as I got to walk across it.
Moderating the press junket was Ray Evernham, the former crew chief for Jeff Gordon in NASCAR. He was so fun to listen to talk about the whole movie, especially with his experience, he definitely knows what he’s talking about.
Recurring themes throughout this movie were the thoughts of mentors, in a way where one person mentors another, and the cycle continues. Several of the cast members came to a mutual agreement that their parents were some of their greatest mentors. Owen Wilson even told us that he tries to be a great mentor to his kids as well, joking that “some days I am, today is one of those days where I am.”
Owen Wilson speaks at the “Cars 3” Press Conference at Anaheim Convention Center. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez
At one point, the cast members were asked about the significance of the movie portraying how everyone deserves a chance. Kerry Washington’s answer to this really stuck with me; she explained that the way she sees it, people succeed by working together. Regardless of any prior experiences, when people really want something and work together for it, that’s what’s most important.
In this movie, we meet several new characters. Among them, we meet Cruz Ramirez, a feisty, young car who became a trainer for up-and-coming racers, while secretly dreams about becoming a racer herself. Cruz is voiced by Cristela Alonzo, who loves portraying a character who really overcomes her obstacles to follow her dreams. In the press junket, she talks to us about how in her own life, she faced many obstacles to get to where she is, but thanks to working hard alongside some of her own mentors, she’s been able to grow and achieve her goals.
Armie Hammer, Cristela Alonzo, and Owen Wilson. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez
Overall, meeting with the cast for Lou and Cars 3 was a totally fun time! Come back again for my review on both on this Friday, June 16th, and if you haven’t seen it already, check out the trailer for Cars 3 below!