*We attended as media for purposes of this post. All thoughts and opinions remain our own.*
It’s Summer Time and for my family, that means making the rounds to our favorite theme parks! Thanks to my friend, Erin at Horsing Around in L.A. and Knott’s Berry Farm, my family was able to go earlier than planned.
What’s new at Knott’s? My family was invited to find out. Ghost Town Alive turns Calico Ghost Town into a lively party! Be careful though, there are shady horse rustlers ready to lead you astray! Through September 4th, Ghost Town Alive! returns to Knott’s Berry Farm for another action-packed summer complete with bandits, cowboys, robberies, judges, a good ol’ western hoedown, and much more! You can visit the beloved town of Calico and experience an authentic western adventure by becoming a star in this summer’s story of the Wild West, where the power to unlock adventures is in the hands of every guest.
My children were excited to see the characters in Ghost Town however, there was a stop that is a must in our family. One of their teachers instilled the love of Knott’s Berry Farm into them in preschool and she often spends her days in the Fossil and Mineral Store as you walk in. The geodes are stunning and can be cut right in front of your eyes.
If you have never been in this store, make it a point. The staff is knowledgeable and LOVE teaching their love of rocks and minerals. We had learned about the Magic Rock today! What is the Magic Rock? This boulder has a high magnetic content in it which causes metal to stand on end! Check this out!
My son had recently attended a field trip to Ghost Town with his 4th grade class and I was really impressed by how much he learned! We had our own tour and history guide with us.
My family moseyed along down the street and discovered that the Wild West Stunt Show was about to start, Knott’s Berry Farm’s stunt shows are so much fun! The story-line keeps the audience interested while the stunts take your breath away. You never know what will happen next! The characters may fall from a balcony or get shot with a Gatlin Gun, you never know!
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!
Knott’s Soak City Waterpark Kicks Off with a Splash!
*We were invited to the media day, courtesy of Knott’s Soak City for purposes of this post. All thoughts and opinions remain my own*
Last weekend was a scorcher! Good thing for us it was also the opening weekend for Knott’s Soak City . There’s no place I would have rather been than floating around the lazy river to keep cool. It was the perfect weekend for Knott’s Soak City Waterpark to kick off with a splash for the summer season to start an unforgettable summer season running through September 10th. It is Orange County’s largest waterpark and is the perfect destination to cool off during summer as it debuts two brand new water slide towers with seven new slides, Shore Break and The Wedge.Plus, Soak City has undergone a 2-acre expansion and thematic renovation, which includes new shaded seating areas, spacious cabanas and a newly remodeled Longboard’s Grill. So go grab your swimming trunks and sunscreen and plan a fun day at Knott’s Soak City Waterpark! Let’s take a look at what’s new and some of my favorite things to enjoy at Soak City!
Shore Break towers over seven stories high and offers six different thrilling water slide experiences. Four of the slides will have guests climbing into an exhilarating Aqua Launch chamber which will send riders on a vertical free fall through a series loops and curves. When you climb into the chamber you await the chamber’s floor dropping from beneath their feet sending you on a high-speed free fall down a 60-foot tall slide and through a series of exhilarating drops and daring loops. I was way to chicken to try this one.
Shore Breakalsooffers two dueling tube slides which riders go zipping through adventurous drops and turns as they soak up the warm summer sun. Now this one I can do!
The Wedge will take up to six riders on an exhilarating trip down on an open-raft ride as they descend down hair-raising twists, turns and unexpected dips. Now that one I’ll ride again and again. The Wedge was my favorite of the new additions.
Longboard’s Grill returns for the 2017 summer season after a complete remodeling and expansion which now offers a newly redesigned sleek restaurant layout. While Longboard’s theme remains the same, the menu includes new and delicious items such as fish & chips, hand breaded chicken tenders and assorted wraps. Classic favorites like grilled burgers and hot dogs are also available. A new shaded outdoor seating area has been added by the restaurant’s entrance, welcoming diners to fuel up with delicious meals as they take a break from the sun. I really love all the new shady spots at Soak City!
If you really want to get most out of your stay, you will want to rent one of these for the day! As part of the water park’s expansion, additional spacious cabanas and seating areas have been added to the park’s blueprint. Guests can relax and unwind in the new row of cabanas which will be conveniently located across the new Shore Break tower. A new seating area equipped with lounge chairs will allow guests to relax in the sun and is also located near the Shore Break complex.
The park has attractions for the whole family, from a fun zone for the little ones called Gremmie Lagoon to thrill slides for the adventurous and the Sunset River for the not so adventurous who just want to sit back and relax and float down the river. Make sure you don’t miss these fun attractions.