Monday, September 30, 2013

A New Circus Visits the Queen Mary: Dark Harbor! | @TheQueenMary @QMDarkHarbor

The Queen Mary’s Annual Dark Harbor Introduces 
The New Ringmaster’s Circus Freak Show 
New Spirits, Mazes, Freaks and Frights 
Inspired by the Real-Life Hauntings on the Queen Mary 

The air is starting to cool(at least for a couple days) and the leaves are turning... well as much as they do in California. But the kids are back in school and everywhere I go, I am starting to see Halloween and even Christmas(bite my tongue!) decorations!

All of these changes means that Halloween and all its scary goodness is getting nearer. One of the scariest event that happen locally is the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor!

I have never been and this year is the year! I received an invite to test out the Queen Mary's Haunted waters!

I love Halloween (Sahmain) and all that comes with it. I just returned from previewing a couple other scary venues and I have high hopes for Dark Harbor! 
Dark Harbor runs from October 3 through November 2, 2013. For 17 haunted evenings guests will experience the deadliest show on earth featuring a new horrific circus of spectacles, freaks and sideshows inspired by some of the ship’s most infamously haunted spirits and tales.

Staying with the Circus theme, Dark Harbor is pleased to introduce the newest spirit character, The Ringmaster. She orchestrates the freaks and monsters through the nightmare of evil. The Ringmaster, The Captain and their gaggle of ghosts including Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry and Scary Mary have conjured up an all-new bloodcurdling vintage circus under the big top tent inside the deadly dome.

“Through the actual haunted history of the ship we are able to increase the fright factor for Dark Harbor each year,” “With the new Ringmaster spirit and her cast of freaks leading the circus- inspired festivities, this season’s event is sure to be the scariest yet”, commented JJ Wickham, production designer and art director of Dark Harbor.

An all-new circus maze featuring a terrifying MAD house will disorient guest’s illusions through fatally horrific magic, paranormal wonders and spirited thrills like never before seen. A new freak show of devilish entertainers invites guests to “step right up” and experience fierce and terrifying freaks from beyond the grave. The new Coney Island inspired vintage circus ride “ferris-squel,” mini mazes and chilling side shows will have visitors shocked in awe.

The Queen Mary is often cited as one of the most haunted places in the world. This gives the Dark Harbor event an authentic atmosphere unlike any other theme-park haunt.

I personally know a few psychics that will not step foot onto the gangway of the Queen Mary and I personally can't wait!

Dark Harbor is not only the most unique haunted experience in Southern California but also the best value with ticket prices starting at just $20 online, with Fast Fright, VIP Passes and lodging packages also available. Want more Dark Harbor? Season passes include a General Admission and Fast Fright Pass and are currently available for just $50 through August 19th and $65 after August 19th (restrictions apply). Dark Harbor will be open October 3-5; 11-13; 17-20, 24-27 and Oct 31 – November 2 from 7 p.m. to midnight. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit

About the Queen Mary:

Located in the Port of Long Beach, the Queen Mary features a rich maritime history, authentic Art Deco d├ęcor, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Long Beach city skyline. At the time of her maiden voyage in May of 1936, she was considered the grandest ocean liner ever built. The Queen Mary’s signature restaurants include the award-winning Sir Winston’s and Chelsea Chowder House & Bar as well as a weekly Champagne Sunday Brunch served in the ship’s Grand Salon. History buffs enjoy the ship’s museum and Glory Days tour, guests of all ages love the Ghosts and Legends show, and the ship is currently featuring the renowned Diana: Legacy of a Princess exhibit and Tea Room. The Queen Mary features 80,000 square feet of event space in 17 remarkable Art Deco salons as well as a tri-level, 45,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall. The Queen Mary boasts 314 staterooms including nine full suites. For more information or for reservations, see or call (800) 437-2934. 

The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach. 

DISCLAIMER:  I was offered tickets to a media night to share my experiences.  All thoughts and ideas are my own. Do not use any pictures without permission.

The Pumpkin Train is Here! Orange Empire Railway Museum | @OrangeEmpireRailway #PERRIS

Do your children love all things trains?  Have you taken them on the Pumpkin Train?

The Pumpkin Train is an experience that your children will love and cherish!  The train brings you to the pumpkin patch where you can pick out and decorate your own pumpkin!  

On Oct. 12 and Oct. 13, ride the Pumpkin Train to the pumpkin patch where you can pick out and decorate your own pumpkin. Then ride the train back to the museum for more fun activities.
You then hop back on the train back to the station at the museum for fun fall activities.  

Pumpkin Train is a Fall tradition not to be missed at Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris.

Other fun activities:
  • Trolley rides
  • Bounce House
  • Children's games
  • Spooky Caboose
  • more for the whole family
Please call the museum to make your reservations at 951-943-3020. Trains depart from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ages 12 and up $18.00, ages 5 to 11, $14.00 (includes pumpkin). Ages 4 and under are free. Member tickets are half price. Each paid ticket includes a free, locally grown good-sized pumpkin. 

The non-profit Orange Empire Railway Museum, 2201 S. "A" St., Perris, CA, has been preserving Southern California's railway history since 1956. Home to over 200 historic railway cars and locomotives from Los Angeles and the West, the museum's 90-acre site in Perris, California is open to the public 363 days a year. Railway trains operate every weekend. Come experience a day of family fun exploring the large grounds and riding the trains and trolleys that helped create the Southern California we know today. Check out our calendar for a listing of special events, including steam train operations.

DISCLAIMER:  This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts and ideas are my own.  Do not use any pictures without permission.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Free LEGOLAND Tickets! Calling All Vampires! | @LEGOLAND_CA #WorldRecord

VAMPIRES wanted!  


WHY:  LEGOLAND California Resort is inviting children and their families to break a World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as vampires! 

Brick-or-Treat is LEGOLAND California's month long not so scary Halloween party!  Every weekend in October, (Oct. 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20, 26 & 27), children 12 and under can trick-or-treat on the new ten station Brick or Treat trail gathering goodies and surprises.  The LEGO themed treat stations off a safe, fun and entertaining trick or treating experience for all to enjoy.  

Also new, the Park's Coast Cruise boat ride becomes the "Ghost Cruise", featuring a special LEGO Monsters Scavenger Hunt and storytelling experience.

In addition, every Saturday in October from 5-9pm, the park transforms into a not-so-spooky Halloween celebration.  Brick-or-Treat Party Nights features costume contests, nighttime trick-or-treating, festive music, entertainment and interaction with the "Boo Crew", the animated light show "Spirits of Halloween" after sundown and fireworks cap off the night at 9:00pm.

DETAILS:  As part of LEGOLAND California's Brick-or-Treat Halloween celebration, the Park is inviting children and their parents to participate in the World Record Attempt.  All kids dressed as vampires receive a free ticket to return to the Park between Oct. 5 and Oct. 31, 2013.  All participants, including adults will be entered into a raffle to win a family four-pack of tickets and a $100 LEGOLAND gift card!

So what do you need to wear?

Black cape
Black trousers
White shirt
Vest (black, gray or red)
Neck frill or neck tie (black, gray or red)
Black shoes
Vampire teeth

Black or red dress
Dark eye makeup
Red lips
Black shoes
Vampire teeth

Some of the things to expect:
  • Hundreds of kids and parents dressed as vampires!!!   
  • 10 foot Lord Vampyre LEGO model
  • A Giant LEGO jack-o-lantern made of more than 22,000 DUPLO bricks and a 21-foot-tall ghost lantern
Live entertainment:
  • "Mail Order Monsters"
  • Members of the "Boo Crew"
  • Stilt walking vampires
  • Tap dancing skeletons
  • Ball walking juggler
Check out last years attempt!

DISCLAIMER:  This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts and ideas are my own.  

Children's Story-time at the Fullerton Arboretum | @fullarboretum #Gardening


This fall the Fullerton Arboretum launches a BRAND NEW children's story time series, for ages 4 to 7, which will be held in our fabulous Children's Garden! These story time programs will occur several Saturdays a month. During each program, we will read a story (sometimes two!) relating to the topic of the day. We will also do activities that match the topic, like games, crafts and projects. And of course, we will explore the children's garden and other neat parts of the the Fullerton Arboretum and learn about plants, animals and nature! Check out the topics and dates of the fall series of children's story time programs below and sign up today!

The stories told and activities explored will be geared at ages 4 to 7.

Children must be accompanied by a guardian. Check in at the Fullerton Arboretum Nature Center building.

Price: $10/ per child for non members. $8/ per child for Fullerton Arboretum members.

Any child participating and doing the activities must pay for the class. Non participating stroller kids or babes-in-arms will not be charged.

Fall 2013 Children's Story Time Series, bi-monthly at the Fullerton Arboretum on Saturday's at 10:00 a.m.

9/14/13: Pizza, Pizza, Pizza Garden

Discover pizza's magic ingredients- straight from the garden! Gather 'round the Pizza Garden Box in the Children's Garden, and experience the smells of delicious ingredients in the making. We'll even embellish the garden box with artwork, and plant our own herb to take home.

9/28/2013: Butterflies!

Explore how caterpillars live and transform into delicate-winged butterflies! While we visit the Perennial Garden, we'll discover the important role our gardens play in the butterfly's life cycle. There's sure to be butterfly-themed crafts to delight and inspire!

10/12/2013: Sunflowers for Everyone!

These magical giants of the flower world delight both children and artists alike! Inspired by Van Gogh's famous “Sunflowers,” we'll have a mini painting lesson with a local artist, and learn how sunflowers welcome our feathered friends to the Children's Garden!

10/26/2013: Pumpkins & Gourds

How many ways can we use a gourd? Visit our wondrous Gourd Tunnel and learn the creative ways they are used around the world. Enjoy a hike to the pumpkin patch and discover what is growing there! We'll also decorate our very own gourd birdhouses.

11/9/2013: Autumn Leaves

The fall season gives us treasures galore - come find, collect, and learn to identify fallen leaves in the Deciduous Forest of the Arboretum! Explore the Children's Garden and create your very own leaf painting to display at home.

11/23/2013: What are Biomes?

Explore the different biomes of the Arboretum, and create a rock painting to beautify our Children's Garden!

12/14/2013: Gifts of Nature

The best gifts of the season can be found in the natural wonders around us! Inspired by Sarah Stewart's The Gardener, we'll create our own potted gifts from repurposed containers found in your own homes- your imagination is the only limit! Make a gift for the wildlife in your own backyard, and enjoy creating a nature-inspired craft that will bring a festive spirit to your home.

DISCLAIMER:  This is not a sponsored post.  This post is for informational purposes only.  Do not use any pictures without permission.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Interact Now w/ The Little Mermaid Second Screen Live! | @DisneyPictures @DisneyApp #LittleMermaid

Second Screen Live is the new interactive way to watch your favorite movies in a new way!  Second Screen Live is not for everyone.  In fact if you are not familiar with the movie, I would recommend waiting until the movie comes out to DVD.   I got the chance to watch it in the theaters last week and here are my thoughts.

Why do I say it is not for everyone?  My family absolutely loved it!  My children have never seen Little Mermaid but they have heard the sound track at least a hundred times and have been on the Disney CA Adventure ride too many times to count.  The Little Mermaid happens to be one of my favorite Disney movies of all time!  

So what exactly is Second Screen Live?  It is a new way to enjoy old favorites in an interactive way that helps share the love of a movie with the whole audience.   

First thing you will notice when you look into seeing a Second Screen Live movie is that they recommend bringing your fully charged iPad.  Say what?  Don't they usually ask us to turn off all electronics so they don't bother your neighbors?  Yes... but not here.  The Second Screen Live movies have free apps to download before you arrive at the theater.

When you arrive at the theater, the movie screen will direct you to follow a couple simple directions to optimize your iPad interactions.  The iPad is synced through Bluetooth to the movie and it "listens" to the cues.  

What kind of interactions?  One of the things you are directed to do is, guess what happens next in the movie and tap the correct answer. 

When Ariel gets in trouble, help her by getting to a goal through the Mer-Mazes.

There are also Triton's Trivia, Scuttles Scope and of course my favorite, Crab-E-Okie.

Yes, you guessed it!  You are encouraged to sing in the movie!  If you are anything like me, you have every word memorized in all of the Disney movies.  Okay... maybe I am a little strange.  I always have the words running through my head and when I am alone, I sing.  Believe me, you don't want to hear me sing... 

HOWEVER, in Second Screen Live, I am allowed to sing (quietly so no one hears my horrible voice) and is encouraged so much that they put the words to all the songs on the movie screen and iPads to sing along.  Imagine a theater full of Disney nuts like me singing in a single voice to our favorite songs!  It was so cool!

This way of watching movies is definitely not for everyone.  I can see how it is very distracting.  However, my children adored it(except their mom singing)!  My 6 year old son played most of the games and my 4 year old watched her favorite princess on the screen.  My son did so well(with a little help from mom) that we got the top score that is kept by the iPads!  We won over 24,000 points!  As a result of winning, we received 2 very awesome limited edition Little Mermaid posters. 


The audience my family had were very interactive and had a blast!  Before you think that this is just for kids... 3/4 of the audience were children of the 70's and 80's that grew up believing in fairy tales. 

There are no worries if you do not have an iPad, it is not a requirement.  You can still sing along and answer questions, you just wont be able to keep track of your score and do most games.  

If you think that you or your children will love singing and interacting to your favorite movies, please give it a chance and soon!  The Little Mermaid Second Screen Live is only in theaters a couple weeks.  Check your local theaters for listings.

DISCLAIMER:  This is a sponsored post.  I received tickets to review Second Screen Live.  All thoughts and ideas are my own. Do not use any pictures without permission.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Disney Junior Live on Stage: Pirates and Princess Photo Review | @DisneyLive #DisneyLive


This last weekend my family was invited to see the new Disney Live Tour: Pirates and Princess!  As I have a pirate and princess at home, we were very excited!  

In our household, we have Sophia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirate episodes memorized!  My kids love to play dress-up and pirates and princesses happen to be their favorites.  When I surprised them with taking them to the Long Beach Terrace Theatre, they couldn't stop grinning and playing the parts.

Disney Live was a fun interactive show that was great for all Disney Junior Fans!   Doc McStuffins warmed up the audience with an entertaining skit.  Followed by Sophia the 1st, the audience was introduced to the royal family of Enchancia.  King Roland, Queen Miranda and Sophia's step-siblings, Amber and James,  dance into the audiences hearts!

King Roald surprises Sophia with the task of presenting the kingdom with a special gift of friendship.  What will Sophia choose?  Something from the heart.

Small cupcakes would never do for Princess Amber.  She suggests a larger surprise!

After a short intermission, Jake and his crew entertained the kids with a adventure to find the hidden volcano that erupts treasure!  Only the bravest and kindest pirate can make it erupt! Can Jake and his loyal friends find it in time or will Captain Hook get to it first?


Jake and his crew show what good hearts they have when they save O'l Hook from getting eaten by Tick Tock Crock.


Many of Peter Pan's loyal friends help Jake and his crew from the cheating Captain!  Even the dolphins get into the act when Captain Hook cheats!

Working together, there is enough treasure from the eruption for everyone!  Teamwork!

Don't miss out on bringing your family to this adorable show!  The next show will be at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood!

Dolby Theatre

6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA
September 27th, 2013 (6:30pm),
September 28th, 2013 (10:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm)
September 29th, 2013 (1:30pm, 4:30pm)

Ticket Prices: $25.00 / $30.00 / $45.00/ $70.00
To order tickets by phone: 800-745-3000
 To find out more about Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure and to purchase tickets, visit, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.
DISCLAIMER:  This is not sponsored post.  I received ticket for my family to review the show for my post.  Do not use any pictures without permission.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Modern Family: 4th Season #Giveaway! @FoxHomeEnt @FHEInsiders #ModernFamily

The Modern Family is the #1 rated show on TV!  

The Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy series keep coming!  This is the 4th season about to be released to DVD/Blu-Ray on Septemeber 24!

The laughs — and the awards — just keep on coming for the #1-rated Modern Family,” winner of three consecutive Emmy®Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series! With Jay and Gloria’s baby on the way and Haley going off to college, the entire Pritchett/Dunphy clan faces some major surprises as they bicker and bond over house-flipping headaches, unwanted play dates, and everything from hot-tempered hormones to in utero karaoke.  Featuring a stellar array of guest stars including Matthew Broderick, Shelley Long and Elizabeth Banks, Season Four takes a heartfelt and laugh-out-loud hilarious look at what it means to be a Modern Family.” 

Special Features:
·         Deleted and Alternate Scenes
·         Commentary on “Party Crasher”
·         Commentary on “Fulgencio”
·         An Addition to the Family
·         A Day with Eric
·         Commentary on “Career Day”
·         Commentary on “Goodnight Gracie”
·         A Modern Guide to Parenting
·         “Modern Family” Writers
·         Gag Reel

I have a copy of the 4th Season of Modern Family to give away to to one lucky winner!

Enter below to win!

DISCLAIMER:  I received a copy of the DVD to review for the post. All thoughts and ideas are my own.  Do not use any pictures without permission.

Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Bitty Mysteries DVD @FoxHomeEnt #Giveaway

Strawberry Shortcake and her friends are at it again!

Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Bitty Mysteries
Get ready for mischief, mystery and marvelous good times in Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Bitty Mysteries.  You’ll follow the clues to fun and adventure as Strawberry and her pals learn to face their fears, become real-life heroines and find some missing VIP’s (Very Important Pets)!  It’s glimmery girl power to the rescue in these stories of friendship!      

Special Features
·       Printable Coloring Pages

Click on the picture below to print out a coloring page for your little ones.

Enter to win a Strawberry Shortcake: Itty Bitty Mysteries DVD.

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film, a News Corporation company. Representing over 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions as well as all third party distribution partners on DVD, Blu-ray™, Digital Copy, DigitalHD™, and VOD (video-on-demand). Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.

DISCLAIMER:  I was given a copy of the DVD for my family and giveaway.  All thoughts are my own. 

Fall Scents at Bath and Body Works! #Event @LuvBBW

On September 21, select Bath & Body Works stores will be transformed into festive county fairs, complete with Blue Ribbon interactive experiences.

Join Bath & Body Works for the Blue Ribbon Pumpkin Review—an activity where you’re the judge. Simply smell the range of NEW BBW Pumpkin candles and select your favorite. You can even take your top picks home! Next, visit the White Barn Home Fragrance area for the World’s Best Candle Challenge—take a trivia quiz to learn about all the ways Bath & Body Works’ superior candles enhance the home.

Those who make a home fragrance purchase will receive a FREE exclusive four-ounce preview edition of the Harvest Gathering Candle, complete with cello wrapping and tied with baker’s twine – the perfect housewarming gift for anyone this fall.

Discover what’s in store for fall at your local Bath & Body Works store this September.

WHO: Bath & Body Works

WHAT: County Fair Event

WHEN: Saturday, September 21, 2013

12pm - 4pm

WHERE: Select Bath & Body Works stores nationwide
On September 21, select Bath & Body Works stores will be transformed into festive county fairs, complete with Blue Ribbon interactive experiences.
 Join Bath & Body Works for the Blue Ribbon Pumpkin Review—an activity where you’re the judge. Simply smell the range of NEW BBW Pumpkin candles and select your favorite. You can even take your top picks home! Next, visit the White Barn Home Fragrance area for the World’s Best Candle Challenge—take a trivia quiz to learn about all the ways Bath & Body Works’ superior candles enhance the home.

Those who make a home fragrance purchase will receive a FREE exclusive four-ounce preview edition of the Harvest Gathering Candle, complete with cello wrapping and tied with baker’s twine – the perfect housewarming gift for anyone this fall.
 Discover what’s in store for fall at your local Bath & Body Works store this September.
WHO:                    Bath & Body Works
WHAT:                  County Fair Event
WHEN:                 Saturday, September 21, 2013
                 12pm - 4pm
WHERE:                Select Bath & Body Works stores nationwide

DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts and ideas are my own.  Do not use any pictures without permission.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Are Your Kids Surfing Safely Online? #GrowingUpOnline #Giveaway #LoraxDVD

As my children enter school, they use computers more and more. It worries me that there are dangers in using the internet. I am not talking about catching a virus but the new growing problems of cyber-bullying and engaging in conversations with inappropriate people and content.
How do we keep our children safe? How can we be a watch dog and still give them the skills that are needed to survive in this technological age? My kids are still pretty young at 4 and 6 but you hand them cell phones/iPad/Computer... they already know how to play their favorite games and navigate through to the stuff they want.

It is impossible NOT to let them learn about technology. It would give them a disadvantage over the other kids in school and ultimately the work place. We monitor our children's play closely but even we have found them buying products on their games because it is so easy to click "buy".

What else do they do or can they do? Who are they talking to?
I keep wondering how to keep my kids safe online... I would like to say I never leave them alone with the phone while driving but that is just not true. It go me thinking... at what age should I start worrying?

Along with the email was a link that gives you a quiz on how safe your child really is... It is an eye opener!

Contents of the App:
  • Is Your Child Internet-Ready? QUIZ - Have you talked with your kids about online safety? Take the quiz to find out if your child is Internet-ready! 
  • Comic Book Videos - Watch all four comic book stories as a family to discuss real situations that may occur when your kids go online. 
  • DOWNLOAD the FREE eBook - Our kids have never known a world without the Internet. But that doesn’t mean they know how to behave online. Download the free eBook and start a conversation with your kids. 
  • Check out the free Blog App, take the quiz and ask yourself how ready you are. Watch the videos and get ideas on how you can talk to your kids and make them the safest they can be while still giving them the freedom to learn. 
What are some of your ways of keeping your children safe online? I would love to hear and get more ideas. Leave me a blog comment and give all of us parents much needed new ideas.

Everyone loves a giveaway. I was given a copy of The Lorax DVD/Blu-Ray to give away to my readers. You can take the chance to unwind and relax with the movie and during that time, ask your children about what they know about the internet. What sites they look at. Take every opportunity to protect your child from cyber-bullying and the other hazards of the Internet.

Enter the giveaway below.
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DISCLAIMER: I am promised a copy of The Lorax DVD/Blu-Ray as a thank you for this post. All ideas and thoughts are my own. Do not use any pictures without permission.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Croods: Behind the Scenes Tour of @DreamWorksAnimation #TheCroodsDVD #GIVEAWAY

Photo Courtesy: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
I think everyone at some point believes they could be a movie star, right? I have lived in California all my life and have lost track of how many times people have asked me if I see movie stars! 

Well, yes, I have seen movie stars in my life but it isn't like they live next door. A couple weeks ago, I got the opportunity to visit DreamWorks Animation Studio to check out the release for The Croods DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital HD through Fox Home Entertainment. I got the chance to go behind the scenes and see how some of the magic was created.

While I had visited a couple movie studios in the past, I had never had the opportunity to visit Dream Works and frankly, I was excited! DreamWorks Animation Studios have given us children's masterpieces such as Ice Age, How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek, Madagascar, and more recently, Turbo and The Croods.

The Croods is scheduled to arrive on shelves on October 1st. For the first time watchers can enjoy "Belt"(the sloth), Dun Dun Duuuuuning in their own homes. In fact, watchers can watch it anywhere they want by downloading the Digital HD copy onto their tablet, laptop or phone! You can even download Belt's favorite saying as your ringtone!

When I arrived with Erin of Horsing Around in LA, I was instantly impressed! The grounds were beautiful! We arrived at our media table where we were greeted by Belt himself. After a couple of pictures, we were treated to breakfast by our hosts.

While we awaited others to arrive, we learned about the new Croods Movie StoryBook App which you can find in the App Store. This is a neat program that allows the artist to color the characters and background in choice colors, record your own voice and create your own story.

We filed into the screening theatre that is used for employees to watch upcoming films. The creators of The Croods (Chris Sanders & Kirk DeMicco) gave us a little behind the scenes 3D explanations of how The Croods came to be. Did you know that Belt wasn't supposed to be a big character? The Sabertooth Tiger got upstaged!

Next it was time for class! What kind of class would we attend at Dream Works Animation Studio? Drawing of course! Sean Sexton of the Croodaceous Creatures Illustration Master Class, turned our stick figures into realistic looking characters by drawing step by step. Here is one of my drawings, what do you think? Yeah, I won't quit my day job but it sure was fun!

A tour of the beautiful Dream Works grounds was next. WOW! If I ever get creative and think I have a chance at being an artist, I want to work here! All around the studio they seemed to take the beauty of the campus and match it with the imaginations of the creators. I can see how so many great movies come out of this campus.

We took a tour of the sound stage where so many voice actors had worked. What a cool place! There are up to 40 people working the technical side of it on any given movie! There were much fewer for The Croods.

My favorite part of the tour was Animation 101. In this class, we learned about the great motion capture tools. They use 53 markers on the actor's bodies to capture their natural movements. You can see the screen behind them capturing every move. In this scene, we watched Eep seeing fire for the first time as she meets Guy. WOW! I got the chance to be the "cameraman" to give movements and ideas to the "directors". The cameraman directs the actors into possible scenarios for the future film.

After our tour, we were treated to a "typical" employee lunch of Barbecued Buffalo Chicken, Tri-Tip, fresh vegetables, fruit, and salad. To top it off, there were s'mores for dessert! There is also a Taco stand to choose from as well.

After lunch, we had the opportunity to ask questions of Chris Sanders & Kirk DeMicco. As the creators of The Croods and many other movies, we were able to get an inside look on the dynamics of how The Croods came to be. The dysfunctional family dynamics that any and all families can relate to in some form! Long road trips as a child might have played a part in the movie's genetics.

As if our day wasn't spectacular enough, we had the opportunity to take more pictures with Belt and then learn about shoes from Eep's Shoe Clinic with Line Andersen, Mr. Kate and Ugg Australia! Mr. Kate is a design and craft artist who is a blogger in her own right. Thanks to Ugg Australia, we were provided with our own set of Ugg Boots to design any way we would like! We had a variety of beads, shells, stones, and paint to do what we pleased with a master craftswoman to assist. How do you think mine came out?


I cannot thank Fox Home Entertainment, Dream Works Animation Studio and Ugg Australia enough for the unbelievable memories I made that day! I had no idea of how much work went into the final cut of an hour and a half film! I hope to be able to visit their beautiful campus again in the future and until that happens, I will look at my beautiful Ugg Boots and remember this day.

Would you like to take The Croods DVD/Blu-Ray home with you? The winner of this giveaway will also receive a plush "Belt" to take home! Enter below.

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DISCLAIMER: We were invited to a special media event to celebrate the release of The Croods coming to Blu-Ray/DVD. All opinions are our own. All images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (unless where indicated) and used with permission.