Happy Friday! Today we've got a special treat planned! We're headed to Hollywood to the El Capitan Theater to watch The Little Mermaid!
Timing was such that we made reservations for the 4pm showing. Traffic is always nuts going through downtown, so after lunch we headed up early. Right beside the El Capitan is a Disney Studio Store that's combined with a Ghirardelli Chocolate shop.
And even though the Ghirardelli shop at Disneyland has stopped giving out chocolates, this shop was giving everyone 2 squares of Peppermint Bark. Yum!
They've got a full menu with lots of tasty treats. What sounds good guys?
After getting our treats, we pulled a couple tables together to enjoy them.
The kids both wanted scoops of ice cream.
Theresa and I shared a banana split.
And Rich and Chi loved their vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate fudge sauce.
And being a Disney Store, the kids had to go around looking at all the merchandise, giving hugs to the plushes.
Of course with Ariel playing right next door, it's no surprise that there's lots of merchandise featuring her.
Smile in front of the dirty Disneyland Walk of Fame star! Nearby they found stars for Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Donald Duck, the Sherman Brothers, and Roy O Disney.
With a little time to kill, we looked through the nearby shops. This little boy, whose favorite color is gold, was loving this section.
Our tickets said to arrive no later than 30 minutes before showtime, so I wanted to make sure we got to the theater with plenty of time to look around. Our clan was first in the line to go inside at 3:05pm.
For the movie, Ian is wearing a very appropriate Flounder hat that I got from Tokyo. Alli is wearing an Ariel dress that she uses when she plays dress-up at home.
They're excited to see the movie!
We waited and waited for them to open the theater. Around 3:10, a guard came out and said we'd get to go in soon. But still we waited and waited until finally at 3:30pm they opened the doors.
While we waited I kept "mistaking" Alli for Ariel. She'd tell me "I'm not really Ariel, daddy." but she enjoyed it.
Time to go inside! And waiting for us is Ariel! The kids introduced themselves.
And got a photo.
Then we all got a photo together.
I just had to say, the guy doing the Icees at the concession stand did a very good job mixing two colors. Look at those blue and red layers.
Downstairs was another photo opportunity that I ran Ian down to see. Alli got her picture in front of the poster posing as Ariel. Time for Ian to do the same with Flounder.
Downstairs they had a rock similar to the one you see Ariel on, in front of a green screen. They also had an iPad system set up that will take your photo in front of a green screen.
And when they email you the photo, the green screen is replaced. This time with crashing ocean waves.
Back upstairs it was almost time for the movie to start. Everyone was settled in with their popcorn and Icees.
There were 3 previews for upcoming Disney movies. I think we're all most excited about Toy Story 4.
Before the movie, Ariel came back out and danced on stage while music from the film played. And about halfway through, a huge shower of confetti shot out over the entire auditorium.
The movie was just as good as ever. I looked over at the kids every once in a while to see how they were liking it. I saw lots of big smiles, especially during the songs. And it wasn't just the kids. The adults had big smiles too.
Yesterday, when T and I told the kids we were going to see The Little Mermaid, one of the first things they asked was "Is Ursula going to be in the movie?" Alli wanted to be sure she could shut her eyes if she didn't like her. After watching the whole thing though, Ursula wasn't as scary as they were thinking. And while Alli might have leaned over and held onto Theresa's arm, she kept watching the whole time.
After the movie, the Flowers family headed downstairs for one more photo op.
Thanks El Capitan! We had fun!
Perhaps we'll be back again for either the Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, or Lady and the Tramp. Perhaps.
Because I didn't feel like driving home in rush-hour traffic, dinner was going to be up in Hollywood too. Johnny Rockets had the kind of soda-shop vibe I was hoping for, so everyone enjoyed burgers, french fries and tater tots before the long drive home.
The El Capitan was great to go visit. I'd definitely go back again. Tickets were $12 a piece, plus we got to meet a princess and do some photo ops.
But that's just the start of the weekend! Let's see what else we can do!