Swim Along With Me to the Finding Dory Event in Monterey Bay! | #FindingDoryEvent

Swim Along With Me to Monterey Bay!

By Erin

*I have been invited by Disney to cover this media event. All expenses and materials for this event have been provided courtesy of Walt Disney Studios, but all opinions remain my own.*

(Pictured) DORY. ©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

DORY. ©2013 Disney•Pixar

Have you seen her? Come take a deep dive with Dory and I as we swim along with 24 other swimmingly amazing bloggers to the #FindingDoryEvent! It all starts bright and early Monday morning, as I’ll be flying into San Jose. Throughout the event, we will be meeting a ton of amazing filmmakers, including 2-time Oscar-winning Director Andrew Stanton, and animators, and I am so excited! One of the other major highlights of the trip that I cannot wait for, is that we will be spending some time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! I have had a lifelong love of sea life, at one time wanting to be a marine biologist, and even earned a special medal for Marine Biology and the Life Sciences my senior year in high school. I also have logged in hundreds of volunteer hours at our local aquarium, the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, so you can say I am just a little excited to get to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium again! 🙂

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The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean. Having the opportunity to learn so much about the follow-up to Disney’s 2003 Finding Nemo at the Monterey Bay Aquarium makes for the perfect setting, going behind the scenes to learn of all the research that went into the making of Finding Dory.

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Photo @Monterey Bay Aquarium

 The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a showcase for the habitats and sea life of one of the world’s richest marine regions. Housing more than 35,000 creatures and representing over 550 species fill 34 major galleries. With nearly 200 exhibits in all, the Aquarium is a window to the wonders of the ocean.

Dory returns to the big screen in Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory”—in theaters Nov. 25, 2015. ©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Dory returns to the big screen in Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory”

Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory reunites everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, with her friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale? Directed by Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”) and produced by Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”), the film features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton. Finding Dory swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

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Have you seen the new trailer yet? You will fall in love with Dory and Nemo all over again! Follow this famous fish with a big heart and a bad memory in her journey to find her family. Just keep on swimming and watch the adventure unfold!

For all the action, make sure to check out all of the Finding Dory  links below to follow along! Finding Dory swims into theaters June 17th!

Also be sure to follow the fun of the #FindingDoryEvent hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for some amazing photos and for the latest information about the movie and some cool facts about the sea life in the film!

The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur

By Erin

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, comes an unlikely tale about a dinosaur named Arlo and his human companion, Spot. Disney*Pixar takes us on another emotional roller coaster with this one, so be sure to have some tissue on hand because you will need it. This movie will bring up all the emotions from Pixar’s previous hit, “Inside Out” as we watch and feel for Arlo as he goes through events bringing up feelings of Fear, Sadness, Anger, Joy and Disgust. Messages of family, friendship, facing your fears and making your mark on the world in your own way can be taken away from seeing this heartfelt film that is bound to steal your heart.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – SEEING THE LIGHT — An Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend in Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.” Directed by Peter Sohn, “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – SEEING THE LIGHT — An Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend in Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.” Directed by Peter Sohn, “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015. ©2015 Disney•Pixar.

Inspired by the American Northwest, filmmakers found that even towering dinosaurs could feel small in the right surroundings, which worked to intensify Arlo’s fears. According to producer Denise Ream, the stunning and often overwhelming landscape that artists created ultimately played an important role in the story that is set in a beautiful world untouched by a meteor and extinction. The graphics are beyond stunning and do a fabulous job of bringing the dinosaur landscape to life. Jackson Hole, Wyoming was used as the inspiration for all of the landscaping in “The Good Dinosaur.

AN UNLIKELY PAIR - In Disney•Pixar's THE GOOD DINOSAUR, Arlo, an Apatosaurus, encounters a human named Spot. Together, they brave an epic journey through a harsh and mysterious landscape. Directed by Peter Sohn, THE GOOD DINOSAUR opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

AN UNLIKELY PAIR – In Disney•Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR, Arlo, an Apatosaurus, encounters a human named Spot. Together, they brave an epic journey through a harsh and mysterious landscape. Directed by Peter Sohn, THE GOOD DINOSAUR opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015. ©2015 Disney•Pixar.

As we begin this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, we meet an Apatosaurus couple who are awaiting the arrival of their little ones. We see the cracking of three eggs, one of them being significantly smaller despite hatching out of the largest egg. Arlo is born the runt of the litter. A bit different from his other two siblings, he needs to learn to get over fears that keep getting in the way of living life as he needs to in order to survive. Dad tries so hard to help him out, but tragedy strikes and Arlo has to find his own way home. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of as he learns to forgive and find it in his heart to make friends with a creature that he feels has caused him so much pain in order to be able to survive in this great big world.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured: Spot. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – Pictured: Spot. ©2015 Disney•Pixar.

On his journey Arlo encounters a variety of unique personalities who all contribute to his evolution. But the friendship he builds with Spot has the biggest impact. Although Spot cannot speak, he gives Arlo the kind of loyalty and unconditional love that fuels his self-discovery, even in the beginning when he wants nothing to do with Spot. His father always knew what he was capable of achieving, but it’ll take this emotional journey for Arlo to realize it. Funny and clever and filled with a lot of deep emotions. You will fall in love with Spot right along with Arlo. Their bond is interesting and unique. It’s a very special movie.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured (L-R): Arlo, Forrest Woodbush (aka: The Pet Collector). ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – Pictured (L-R): Arlo, Forrest Woodbush (aka: The Pet Collector). ©2015 Disney•Pixar.

This one may be a bit too scary and sad for the really young ones out there, but only you know if they are able to handle it or not. It’s a very real world movie, with events that happen in real life. So it has lots of life lessons for us all about the circle of life. The message that family isn’t just who you are born with or who you create a family with, but it’s who you make it with that is important and is something I can completely relate to, not really having a family of my own (ie: husband/children of my own, that I’d so love to have). Friends are largely who I consider my family and who are the ones that are there for me the most when I need someone. Spot and Arlo’s relationship doesn’t start out on the greatest of terms but, Arlo ultimately realizes that he needs Spot to survive. Arlo’s fearfulness also shows us all that we can get over our fears and that being a little bit different is ok. Being different isn’t wrong and should be embraced. Arlo made his mark in his own time. It took a lot longer than the rest, but he kept preserving and he was successful. Success comes at different times for each one of us, and that’s ok. Hard work does pay off.

Also, as a special treat, Pixar has placed an amazing short that shows right before the film, called “Sanjay’s Super Team.” The very accomplished artist, Sanjay Patel uses his own experience to tell the story of a young, first-generation Indian-American boy whose love for western pop culture comes into conflict with his father’s traditions. We watch as Sanjay is completely absorbed in the world of cartoons and comics like many children do, while his father tries desperately to draw him into the traditions of his Hindu practice. Reluctantly Sanjay gives into his father, then we quickly turn into an awe-inspiring adventure as the boy embarks on a journey he never imagined, returning with a new perspective that they can both embrace. Directed by Sanjay Patel and produced by Nicole Paradis Grindle, “Sanjay’s Super Team” opens in theaters on November 25, 2015, in front of Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.”

"Sanjay's Super Team" Comes to the Con — Director Sanjay Patel and producer Nicole Grindle are taking Pixar Animation Studios' new short to San Diego's Comic-Con International next month for its North American premiere and a peek behind the scenes of the production process. The Super Story Behind the Pixar Short "Sanjay's Super Team," slated for Thurs., July 9 at 11 a.m. in the Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront, reveals the unique inspiration for this incredibly personal film that features superheroes like never before. The short debuts in U.S. theaters in front of Disney-Pixar's "The Good Dinosaur" on Nov. 25, 2015.

“Sanjay’s Super Team” Disney*Pixar

The Good Dinosaur is out in Theaters now, so be sure to go see it with the ones you love this Thanksgiving! 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hard Hat Tour at the Great Wolf Lodge near Disneyland! | #GWLSoCal @GreatWolfLodge

Hard Hat Tour at the Great Wolf Lodge near Disneyland!

By Erin

Get ready SoCal! Great Wolf Lodge Southern California is a first-class, full service, indoor water park resort that is in the works to open its doors in early 2016. The other week I was invited to participate in the Hard Hat Tour at the Great Wolf Lodge as it is currently under construction. We even had a very special tour guide… 😉

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Located on Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove, it’s just down the road from Disneyland. I am very happy to report that it is on schedule to open in February 2016. The first indoor water park resort in Southern California, it is designed to impress with a 105,000 square f00t water park including over 4,000 feet of water slides exclusive to resort guests in woodsy-themed rooms (some with bunk beds) sleeping anywhere from 4 to 8 guests.

Great Wolf Lodge So Cal

What can you expect during a stay at the Great Wolf Lodge?

Accommodations:

  • Family Suite – Sleeps up to 6 guests. The Family Suite features two queen beds and a full sofa sleeper.
  • Double Queen Suite – Sleeps up to 4 guests. The Double Queen Suite features two queen beds.

Kids Bunk Beds

  • Wolf Den Suite® – Sleeps up to 6 guests. The Wolf Den features a queen bed, full sofa sleeper and a themed Wolf Den, complete with a set of bunk beds.
  • KidCabin® Suite – Sleeps up to 7 guests. The KidCabin suite features a queen bed, full sofa sleeper and a Great Wolf Kids-themed KidCabin complete with bunk beds and a twin bed.

Great Wolf Lodge Rooms

  • Grizzly Bear Suite – Sleeps up to 8 guests. The Grizzly Bear Suite features two private bedrooms, one with a private master bedroom with a king bed and full bathroom and a second bedroom with two queen beds.The main area includes a full sleeper sofa and a second bathroom.
  • Grand Bear Suit-Sleeps up to 8 guests. The Grand Bear Suite features a private master bedroom with a king bed and a full bathroom. The main area includes two queen beds, a full sofa sleeper and a second bathroom.

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  • Great Bear Suit- Sleeps up to 6 guests. The Great Bear Suite features two queen beds and a semi-private living room complete with a private master bedroom with queen bed.
  • Great Bear King- Sleeps up to 6 guests. The Great Bear King Suite features two queen beds and a semi-private living room complete with a private master bedroom with king bed.

Indoor Waterpark

*Great Wolf Lodge Southern Califormia’s 105,000 square foot indoor water park is exclusive to resort guests.*

  • Fort Mackenzie® – Multi-level tree house water fort that combines suspension bridges, treetop slides, swinging cargo nets and spray stations. The park’s signature tipping bucket dumps one thousand gallons of water every four minutes.
  • Totem Towers – Five three-story body slides attached to Fort Mackenzie.
  • Wolf Tail™ – 360-degree thrill ride with a vertical plunge through a trapdoor into an enclosed tunnel.
  • Howlin’ Tornado™ – Six-story funnel slide.

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  • River Canyon Run™ – A 476 foot long family raft ride.
  • Alberta Falls® – Two four-story enclosed tube slides.
  • Coyote Cannon – Pipe-style spiral flume ride with a 40’ drop.
  • Mountain Edge Raceway® – Four-story water slide with body surfing mat allows riders to race one another as they slide down the hills.

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  • Whooping Hollow – Kiddie slides exclusively for guests under 48” tall.
  • Slap Tail Pond® – Gigantic wave pool complete with waves reaching up to three feet in height as they roll through every five minutes.
  • Chinook Cove – Water playground for children of all ages featuring basketball and floating obstacles.
  • Big Foot Pass – Unique water obstacle challenges kids and adults alike to balance on floating logs and lily pads and hold on to hanging nets as they try to get across the pool.
  • Crooked Creek – Winding lazy river.
  • Cub Paw Pool – Zero-depth entry children’s pool with water fountain features and spray-and-play adventures.
  • Raccoon Lagoon® – Zero-depth entry pool extends the water park fun outdoors.
  • Wolf Rider Wipeout – Double indoor surf simulator with ocean-like waves that reach five feet; perfect for knee-boarding and surfing.

Dining

It’s no secret that I enjoy checking out new places to dine at! I can’t wait to try all of these!

  • Lodge Wood Fired Grill® – Full service a la carte restaurant open for lunch and dinner with delectable shareables and unique signature items to create the perfect place to eat.
  • Hungry as a Wolf® – Family meals on the go for lunch and dinner featuring fresh made pizza, sandwiches, salads and pasta.
  • Bear Paw Sweets & Eats™ – Confectionary that offers a variety of treats, such as fresh-baked pastries, ice cream, lodge-made fudge and more.

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*Fresh made fudge from Bear Paw Sweets & Eats and Donuts from Dunkin Donuts. Yum!*

  • Buckets Incredible Craveables® – Located inside the water park, the casual menu offers burgers, hot dogs, French fries, cold beverages, ice cream and more.
  • Loose Moose Family Kitchen – Open for breakfast and dinner, this buffet style restaurant has options for the entire family.
  • Grizzly Jack’s Bar and Grill – Located by the outdoor water park and with a variety of food and drinks to choose from, this is the place to refuel for more fun in the sun.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts® – America’s favorite all-day stop for coffee and baked goods, right in the resort.

Attractions and Entertainment

  • Character Appearances – Daily appearances with Wiley® the Wolf and Violet® the Wolf.
  • Story Time – The entire family gathers in the Grand Lobby each evening to hear a story about the Great Wolf Kids characters before bedtime.
  • Wolf Walk™ – Learn about the many animals and wildlife living in the Northwoods, and make an origami wolf to take home.
  • MagiQuest® – Battle dragons, befriend a pixie and wave a magic wand in this live-action adventure game throughout the resort. The games features three unique chapters, each with their own challenges and quests.
  • The Great Wolf Kids® Program – Daily activities for kids that take place around the resort, including dance parties, face painting and games such as Wiley bingo, character floor memory and character trivia.
  • Howly Wood® XD Theater – This motion thrill ride transports riders directly into the movie action with every effect amplified creating an unforgettable experience.

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  • Howl at the Moon™ Mini Golf – 9-hole themed indoor miniature golf course.
  • Northern Lights™ Arcade – More than 100 interactive video and redemption games that allow guests to redeem points for prizes.
  • Scooops® Kid Spa – A unique spa created just for kids complete with ice cream-themed manicures, pedicures and more. Each service also includes a real ice cream treat.
  • Ten Paw Alley™ – Family-style bowling with pint-sized bowling balls.
  • Clubhouse Crew – Interactive scavenger hunt through the resort starring the Great Wolf Kids characters.  Perfect experience for the resort’s youngest guests.
  • Lazer Frenzy – Exciting arcade-style game with the latest in touch and LED technology. Players can see who is fastest as they dart between the “laser beams.”

Shopping

  • Buckhorn Exchange™ Gift Shop – Remember a Great Wolf Lodge adventure by taking home the perfect souvenir.
  • Bear Essentials™ Swim Shop – From flip flops to swimwear, Bear Essentials has it all and is conveniently located in the water park.
  • Great Wolf Kids® Store – Find a Great Wolf Kids character on an assortment of apparel, toys, drinkware and more.

Conference Center

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*Featuring over 20,000 sq. feet of meeting and banquet space with 12 separate and configurable meeting rooms.*

Seasonal Events

*Month-Long Seasonal Events*

  • Howl-O-Ween™ – October
  • Family-friendly Halloween celebration all month long featuring:
    • Trick-or-Treat Trail
    • Spooktacular Story Time
    • Daily Costume Parade
    • Monster Bash Dance Party
  • Snowland® – December
  • The resort is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with:
    • Daily snow showers in the Grand Lobby
    • Special appearances by Santa Claus
    • Dine in the life-size Gingerbread House
    • North Pole University

For more info  on Great Wolf Lodge– Garden Grove, CA click here

12681 Harbor Blvd. | Garden Grove, CA 92840

Reservations: greatwolf.com/southerncalifornia | 888.960.9653
I can’t wait until February to check the place out when it opens! The food, the waterpark, the rooms, glow golf, there are so many fun things here to look forward too! 🙂