Saturday, September 5, 2015

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015 at D23 Expo

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015
By Zach
On Friday, August 14th, a new set of Disney Legends were awarded during the 2015 D23 Expo. The expo ran from Friday, August 14th to the 16th at the Anaheim Convention Center.

With an award once held annually with a small private ceremony is now one of the major highlights of the D23 Expo.

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015

That morning, fans packed inside Hall D23, seating 7,500. Unlike previous years (in the D23 Arena), the Hall was completely leveled seating, but luckily had a much higher capacity. Several screens allowed the best viewing throughout the ceremony.

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015

Before the ceremony began, spotted in the audience were many celebrities including Disney Legend Tony Baxter.

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015

Disney Legend Marty Sklar was also spotted taking his seat. 

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015

The ceremony opened with Bob Iger, Chairman & CEO of the Walt Disney Company, welcoming fans to the 2015 D23 Expo. Iger went on as host of the ceremony.

First on the list of receivers was Julie Reihm Casaletto. Julie was the first Disneyland Ambassador, working alongside Walt Disney in representing outside of the park.

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015

After a great speech by Julie, Bob Iger welcomed Disney songwriter Richard Sherman to the stage.  To the crowd, Sherman talked of a special song he had written last year, inspired by a story of Walt Disney's enjoyment of fireworks as a young child.

With a couple of versus song by Sherman on the piano, he invited up the original Mary Poppins on Broadway Ashley Brown to the stage to sing it. The song "Kiss Goodnight" can be heard during the end of the Disneyland Forever fireworks nightly.

Next on the list was the awarding to ESPN's George Bodenheimer

Dancing to the 'Sleeping Beauty Waltz' was "Dancing with the Stars" Valentin Cherkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd. This was in honor of the late Eyvind Earle.

In honor of Eyvind Earle, his daughter Kristin Thompson came up to receive the award.

Television actress Susan Lucci (All My Children) received her award after.

Next, artist Carson Van Osten took the stage to receive his award.

After, a couple minutes of video played, recognizing all of the Disney Legends, who had most recently passed away, including Robin Williams.

The video immediately led to a special performance of "You'll Be In My Heart" with Josh Strickland. Strickland played Tarzan on the Disney Broadway stage.

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015

Next, Iger welcomed up Grammy artist Ne-Yo to preform the song "Never Had a Friend Like Me", a special tribute to Robin Williams.

After, Iger welcomed up animator Andreas Deja as the next recipient of the Disney Legend award.

Before the next recipient, Tony Award winning actor James Monroe Iglehart took the stage to preform the Oogie Boogie song. (In honor of Danny Elfman)

Next, composer Danny Elfman (Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland...) received his award.

What we thought was the last, George Lucas received his award with a roar of applause from the crowd. He was also greeted by R2-D2 & C-3PO.

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015

Which we thought was a closing became an opening. Bob Iger mentioned that he knows D23 fans love surprises. Lights went out and clips of Johnny Depp, in different movie roles, appeared on screen. Fans went wild. 

Minutes later, Johnny Depp walked out, just finishing Pirates of the Carribbean 5: Dead Man Tell No Tales weeks earlier.

Disney Legends Ceremony 2015

Excitement among the crowds was high during Depp's speech. After a fan shouted out "palay", Johnny went into "Pirates of the Caribbean" mode, which was great to see. 

After Depp's speech, Bob Iger closed the ceremony with a goodbye.

It was an incredible Disney Legends Ceremony. I throughly enjoyed every part of it. The Musical performances were spot on and great to watch.  Depp's surprise appearance was very unexpected and great! It was a great start to the D23 Expo! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Waterworld California: Review & Trip Report

By Kyle
Waterworld California is truly an amazing place to go and relax.  It is located just 30 minutes East of San Francisco. There is so much to offer such as rides, drinks, stores, and food.  The staff is very friendly as well.  You can easily get help with anything.  During most of the summer, and other select dates, Waterworld California is bustling with families and other waterpark seekers. 



The Park rents out private Cabanas for the day to provide protection from the sun.  You also get private restaurant style waiting while in the cabana. Cabanas can be reserved directly from their website. They have two different kinds: a Calypso Cabana and a Poolside Tiki Calypso Cabana
There is a variety of rides to explore for all ages and thrill levels.  

For your younger kids there is a tide pool and a kids play area.  For the older kids who want a heart pounding thrill slides, there is the Big Kahuna, the Break Point Plunge, and many more.  



COMPLETE LIST OF ATTRACTIONS: (Information copied directly from the park's official website)

-The Big Kahuna: Enjoy major "wall time" with the whole family on the largest slide of it's kind in the entire Bay Area! 

-Honolulu Halfpipe: Shoot the curl on four-and-a-half stories of a mammoth curved slide both forward and backward!

-Cliffhanger: Plummet 70 feet in under three seconds on the Park's signature speed slides!


-Hurricane Slide Complex: It's a category five... of fun! Choose either an open or enclosed slide on this surprisingly twisted four slide complex.

-Diablo Falls: Free fall six feet into a 10-foot deep catch pool on these "demonic" drop slides! Choose your poison between a dark tunnel or open air drop.

-Tornado: This six-story funnel of wet and wild excitement swirls riders 75 feet in the air. It's the only one of its kind in Northern California. 

-Dragon Tails: Once kids have traversed along the Wild Water Bridge, they will splish, splash and slide to their heart's content on these twisted family slides dropping into Diablo Lagoon.

-Typhoon Slide Complex: Swirl through the darkness on our double tube slide complex that provides four different ride experiences. Requires two riders, totaling under 400 lbs. 

-Breaker Beach Wave Pool: Catch a wave in our gigantic wave pool! No height restriction. Children and young adults under 48" are required to wear a coast guard approved life vest. Complimentary vests provided at the beach. 

-Wild Water Kingdom: Splash, play and explore in 20,000 gallons of fun designed for the younger set! Three sets of family slides dump into Diablo Lagoon (next to Lili Pad walk). The entire area is approved for all ages. 


-Kaanapali Kooler: Hop in and go with the flow on Northern California's longest lazy river! In the center of the park, surrounding Coco Island, this is the perfect spot to relax, enjoy the views, and float through the geyser waterfalls. 


-Treasure Island: A large, interactive water-powered playground built just for kids! Kids find hours of entertainment in tunnels, slides and interactive water obstacles. 

-Lil' Kahuna's Waterworks: This exciting "spray ground" features more than 15 wet-and-wild elements complete with giant waterfall archways, fountains, geysers, waterpower seesaws and swings, tipping buckets and pint-sized water slides. It's the perfect way for kids to 'splish and splash' to their heart's content! 


Break Point Plunge is Waterworld California’s newest ride. It also happens to be the worlds steepest body slide. Break Point Plunge opened in the Summer of 2014 and has been the most popular ride there since.  In this ride, you stand in a capsule 6 stories high and wait for the ride attendant to countdown from 3. From there you fall almost straight down and go through a sequence of loops until you reach the bottom. This is all in 270 feet of slide. 

Looking for a great deal? Waterworld California has a special promotional code, valid until September 27th, 2015! 

Discount: Save $13.00 on single-day General Admission! 

-Regular Price: $35.99 
-Discounted Price: $22.99

Use the promo code "20FamilyFun" on their website when purchasing General Admission tickets. 

This is an amazing park to go to with your family and have an adventure you will not soon forget. Be sure to visit for more details. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

D23 Expo 2015 Tips

The 2015 D23 Expo is just 1 week away from starting! It will run from August 14th to the 16th at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Is this your very first D23 Expo? With a few tips, you can make it the one of the best experiences you've ever had.

Arrive early: General admission into the show floor opens at 10am. Before then, there will be lines wrapped all around the front of the Anaheim Convention Center. You either can wait in those lines, or you can get in a relaxing way. Arrive around 9:30 and keep yourself occupied until about 10:30. Check in to a nearby coffee or bagel shop. By 10:30, there should be a very small, or no line. This allows you to walk right into the convention with ease. You won't be the first, but will be in very fast.

Snack, not eat: There are many different concession stands located around the show floor. There is also sit down dining locations inside. Lines are long and will easily take up a good chunk of your day. I recommend snacking on inside items or also going outside for a quick meal.

Manage your experience: If you are planning on seeing everything, and also possibly making a presentation, map out your day in advance. It will not take more than 45 minutes to walk around all the booths. Some pavilion lines will take longer than others, so take that into consideration. Download the official D23 Expo app for more.

Keep your eye out: You will never know you who could meet at D23! Celebrities are not just inside the presentations. Some are guests just like you! There are also numerous Disney Imagineers and Legends around.

Bring a backpack: Throughout the booths and other areas, you can be loaded with different flyers, articles and even books! A backpack is great to hold it all.

Disneyland is your neighbor: Disneyland Resort is located just across the street from the Anaheim Convention Center. It is in an acceptable walking distance. Downtown Disney is a great place to relax after a long day inside the expo. With a ticket into the parks, take the Downtown Disney Monorail terminal into the park.

Have a good time: The D23 Expo only comes once every other year. Enjoy your trip and make the best of it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

LEGOLAND California Announces New LEGO NINJAGO Area & Attraction

By Zach

Today is a big day for LEGOLAND California Resort, with a special announcement. They are bringing LEGO NINJAGO to life in a new area, along with a special attraction. NINJAGO is a popular LEGO toy line, and also a television series on Cartoon Network.

LEGO NINJAGO follows the adventurers of four Ninja's named Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane. They are trained by Sensei Wu in Spinjitzu, as they battle villains such as skeletons, The Serpentine, Lord Garmadon and The Overlord.

The new area and attraction are set to debut in Spring of 2016.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Assassin's Creed Experience 2015 at San Diego Comic Con

By Zach Cooper
The Assassins Creed Experience once again dominated the outside fun at San Diego Comic Con. This year, the course was themed to the new game Assassin's Creed Syndicate, which is set in London at the time of The Industrial Revolution.

1The Assassins Creed Experience 2015 at San Diego Comic Con
The Assassin's Creed Experience was just to the side of the San Diego Convention Center.

This course was amazing! It started with going up a wall and gliding across on a zip line. You then had to shoot down a large bag of bricks. Next, you had to go through an "alleyway", with a large climbing rope at the end. After making your way up and down the rope, you had to head onto a spinning train. After fully completing that, you could hit the big buzzer. This sounded the train bell, releasing smoke up from the horn.







There was also the 'Leap of Faith', where fans jumped off a 25-foot platform, which was decorated as the 'Big Ben' tower in London.


The Assassin's Creed Experience is an amazing interactive obstacle course. Be sure to check it out next time your at San Diego Comic Con.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Walking Dead Escape 2015: Trip Report

By Zach Cooper
On the evening of July 10th and 11th, a zombie apocalypse spread wild through the stadium of Petco Park, which is across the street from San Diego Comic Con. At 6pm, the maze officially opened up to fans, and ran all the way until late that night.


This obstacle course is called The Walking Dead Escape and is based off of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead. This annual event is always held during the San Diego Comic Con festivities.

The Walking Dead Escape 2015

Earlier on both days, The Walker Stalker Fan Fest was also held at Petco Park. It included a large celebrity lineup from the show.


The synopsis was that its the Alexandria Safe Zone and more and more walkers are starting to appear. While along The Evacuation Route, you frequently become face-to-face with the infected and evil.

Clip #13

Once inside the stadium gates, the leader took the group directly to Douglass. There, he warned of danger.



Down some stairs, the group tried to pass an area that had not yet been cleared. With walkers fast approaching, everyone was forced to turn back. 



Going up the ramps, more walkers began to appear.






When everyone was up off the ramps, the group got to resituate. A Savior appeared, also warning of danger. Suddenly, walkers began to appear from the sides, causing a mad rush out of the area.


Through twists and turns around obstacles, the group was led up the escalators.


Even on the next floor, walkers were everywhere.


Conflict soon arose with more Saviors. With hardship at first, they led the group down another set of stairs.



People in the group were harshly told to hurry it up. 


With his large bat Lucille, Negan welcomed the group to the "Safe Zone". He explained that to be protected, everyone was required to pay. After fighting with the guide, Negan took over as leader. The former guide was left dead on the ground.


Continuing, Negan brought the group to a large tent, where he explained that each person now had to choose: either join the Saviors or be banished form The Safe Zone. The left side of the tent was for the Saviors, and the right side was dedicated to those of banishment.


About to start the first banishment, the ceremony was cut short with walkers intruding in.


Groups scrammed out, marking the official end of the journey.

The Walking Dead Escape is a great event for any fan of The Walking Dead. It does require a lot of running and strength. Especially at night, it can get very wild.

You can be apart of the experience many different ways. You can be a survivor, walker or a spectator from the sidelines.

Visit for more information.