Showing newest 6 of 10 posts from June 2010. Show older posts
Showing newest 6 of 10 posts from June 2010. Show older posts

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

King Kong 360 3-D at Universal Studios Hollywood

King Kong 360 3-D opens tomorrow July 1st, but I got a preview on Tuesday.
I didn't know what to expect really as far as how I would like or dislike it. You see I've been a fan of the old King Kong ever since I was a little girl. Something about driving through the burning city and meeting up with King Kong in your face at the end was exciting. It seemed pretty real to me as a kid, but as I got older it had its cheese factor, yet it still was a classic.

When a fire broke out at Universal Studios backlot two years ago, it was so heart breaking to hear King Kong was a part of all the destruction.
Fast forward to now, the backlot has been rebuilt and King Kong is back and badder than ever.

King Kong is part of the Studio Tram tour, and since I had my 15-month-old son along for the ride I was a little nervous about whether the big ape would be too scary for a little guy...but you know I had to find out.

Our tram crept up the hill towards the entrance, and a little anxiety kicked in for me.

Then our tram turned right and headed inside a dark cave. "Here we go," I thought to myself and I started to feel a little excited and scared at the same time. I put on my 3-D glasses, and two large-screens on both sides of tram lit up. Instantly we were in the middle of Skull Island. Dinosaurs surrounded us, and all of the sudden the big bad ape himself came towards us from the right side. The dinosaurs and King Kong were battling each other and our tram was rocking.

You need your 3-D glasses to see this blurry image in focus.

And here was the thing, yes we were watching a movie screen, but it was more than a movie screen. I really felt like I was there in the moment. I was no longer scared. I was excited and I was loving it!

There are some really great effects, but I hesitate to give too much detail only because it will be much more exciting for you on your first time riding.

Wow. WOW. We drove away, and I couldn't help but wanting more.

So how did my son do? He wasn't scared at all. I thought maybe he would cling on to me with fear, but he never did. He sat there and watched with us.

The new King Kong is great, and now I'm not finding myself missing the old one. In fact I might be driving back to Universal again this week. I am just dying to see Kong again…and again.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Barbeque Cupcakes

The other day I decided to look at my June/July copy of Disney Family Fun magazine, and I came across these fun brownie cupcakes that look like a barbeque.
With candies, they were able to create hot dogs, pork chops, and kebabs. I looked at them thinking how cute the hot dog brownie cupcakes would be for 4th of July! We always have a barbeque pool party on the 4th, so I wanted to test these out before the big day. What I found, is that this is a really simple idea for a cute treat for the whole family.

Photo from Disney Family Fun

Here is a link to the online version of this page I found in the magazine. The recipe is included.

Orange sugar sprinkles for embers.

Hot Tamale "hot dogs".

Don't you just love these?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Camel Rides at the Santa Ana Zoo

I just love the Santa Ana Zoo! 
My son and I like to go for quick visits during the week, even if it's for thirty minutes. That's the best part about being a member of the zoo, you can swing by real quick while you are out running errands. 
If you haven't been to the Santa Ana Zoo, first you should know they are famous for their monkeys. The founder of the zoo, Joseph Prentice donated the land to the city with the stipulation that there must be 50 monkeys at all times, and the zoo still honors that request today.

They have a wonderful selection of monkeys to visit, and just a few months ago twin Golden Lion Tamarins were born. 

But there is much more to this zoo than monkeys. They have an aviary that is home to many exotic birds, a farm with goats that you can feed, and they have a Zoofari train ride (the train came from Santa's Village), that goes through the farm area and the northern part of the zoo. 

Just recently they opened a new area to the zoo called Tierra De Las Pampas that is home to Guanacos, Rheas, and two Giant Anteaters! This area alone is a great addition to the zoo, and visiting the Anteaters is one of our favorite things to do.

Giant Anteater

This past Saturday the Santa Ana Zoo welcomed a new addition, two camels named Noah and Kaleb.  Now on Saturdays and Sundays through the summer from 10:30-4:30 pm you can ride these beautiful camels for $5.00 per person. How many people can say they've been on a camel? 
The line was quite long on opening day, so we will have to go back for another visit, but here are some photos from the day. 

The Santa Ana Zoo is located at:

1801 East Chestnut Avenue 
 Santa Ana, CA 92701

Friday, June 25, 2010

Toy Story Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

 Look what I found at Target
Although we aren't big Kraft Macaroni and Cheese eaters here, I couldn't resist buying a box or two.
 It's the Green Alien that sold me.
I hear you can also buy these at Walmart.

Now tell me, can you resist?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular

This past week, I had the pleasure of checking out "Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular" at Knott's Berry Farm.
This new addition is located throughout all of Camp Snoopy.
From 7:30- 10 pm each night through August 29th, all of Camp Snoopy comes alive with fun upbeat music, voice-overs of your favorite Peanuts characters, projected images on walls and the ground, brightly colored lights that move with the music, and different lighting effects.

As you walk through the entrance of Camp Snoopy you are greeted with Lucy's dream of being a Hollywood Starlet with a clever light screen. When the lights are off, it appears to be just strands of lights lined up together. But once those lights are turned on ... wow! Then images roll across each bulb creating a "movie screen" of pictures. This effect alone is fun to watch, I was amazed by the exploding fireworks effect achieved with what appear to be plain old strands of lights.

Continue down and you are caught up in the paparazzi world wind of flashing light bulbs, the red carpet in front of the Mann Chinese Theatre, and a filmstrip of Lucy's films. As Lucy is telling you how famous she is and to not forget to take her picture, you will come across a giant Lucy golden globe.

Moving on past Lucy's dream, you will find Schroeder playing music behind his beloved piano. Musical notes float all around you.

Next, it's time to encounter aliens and ghost with Snoopy and Charlie Brown. If you take your time looking at all the planets floating above your head, you might catch an alien space ship rising up above. Once the alien ship makes an appearance laser beams are shot all over the trees creating the prettiest effect on all the green leaves. Across from the aliens you will find Snoopy with Woodstock around a campfire, but if you look at their shadows across the way on the rock, you will see there are ghosts flying all around them too.

Next it's time to step into the groovy sixties with peace signs, flower power, and love.

The Ferris wheel is even adorned with color changing-lights, making it even more fun to ride at night.

Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular is an enhancement to the park. It's kind of like Christmas in the Summer without the Christmas theming. I liked it. One of the best things about Christmas is getting to drive around all the neighborhoods looking at everyone's lights. Now you can do it during the Summer without images of Santa and his reindeer.
The music is very upbeat, and you may find yourself bopping along and dancing with your kids.
Knotts has done a nice after dark enhancement to the park, that both kids and adults will enjoy!

For more information including admission prices (there is a reduced rate for admission after 4 pm) visit:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Toy Story 3 Fun Zone at El Capitan Theatre

Toy Story 3 is finally here!

As someone who has seen it already, I can tell you it's worth every penny you have to spend to take the kids to the movies!
You never know what you will get when you go see a sequel and more often than not another movie cannot out-do the original.
Then you have Toy Story 3, it not only delivers like the first two, but it may easily be my favorite of the three films.
With each movie you find yourself developing feelings for every character, in fact you may even find yourself talking to your kid's toys (and your own) as if they really are a part of your family after seeing the movies. You develop a soft spot for all the toys, and maybe even regret getting rid of some of your own old toys.
Toy Story 3 is no exception, but this time I found myself even more emotionally involved.
This is the final chapter of Andy and the Toy Story gang and now, it's time for Andy to go to college. He is too old to play with his once-beloved toys but it's also a little hard for him to say goodbye. And so the gang ends up in Sunnyside Day Care, where they meet all new toys and have new adventures.
Now this is where I end talking about the movie, except to say be prepared to get choked up and maybe shed a few tears. I know I did. And have no fear, you will not be getting sad over the outcome of the toys, but sad over the fact it's time to say goodbye to some dear old friends.

If you are going to see this movie anywhere, may I highly suggest taking the family to The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. I know going to the movies can get costly especially with kids, but you will not regret spending a dime seeing it at El Capitan. Not only is this theatre nice, but after the movie they have a whole Toy Story 3 Fun Zone planned for you.

Outside a carnival atmosphere awaits you with lots of activities for all ages, but mostly geared to the little ones. Right away you can't help but notice Rex's Races , where you race others on tricycles on a brightly colored track. Next to that is Bullseye's Bungee Jump, where you are attached to a giant bungee cord, and you can flip and jump as high as you can go.

All around these two events are little Toy Story-themed carnival games including, Barrel of Monkeys, Bean the Alien, Troll Train, Pea in a Pod, and Sunnyside Soakers. These are your typical toss a ball (or bean bag) at the target carnival games, but with the fun of a Toy Story theme behind them. Barrel of Monkeys is a little game like "Go Fish," but instead of fishing for fish, you are trying to hook on to a monkey. And it's always a blast shooting water at a target to make your Toy Story toy rise before the other toys in Sunnyside Soakers.

Off to the side of Rex's Races, you will find Andy's Game Room. Here you can try the latest Toy Story 3 game for Xbox, and although that kind of thing doesn't intrigue me, there is one thing inside you will not want to skip. Along the back of the game room are three camera areas set up, sponsored by Kodak. It is here, where you can stand in front of a green screen, and have your picture taken with Buzz and Woody in Andy's room, or insert yourself into the group photo shot with all the toys in Toy Story 3. It's really simple too. You stand in front of the green screen, your photo is taken, and then you are handed a card with information on where you can download your image for free on the Internet. I thought this was a fun little souvenir to take home, just don't forget to download it because you will have 30 days to do so.

Across the way from Andy's Game Room, you will find the Buzz Bounce House. I don't know a single kid, who doesn't like jumping in a bounce house, and they've made it extra fun with giant balls inside to bounce along with. Now the kids can bounce to infinity and beyond!

In the back they have the Toy Story Ferris Wheel and Buttercup's Crafts. What's a carnival without a Ferris Wheel right? Buttercup's Crafts is where you can get your creativity on! You have a wide choice of materials to create with including, different colored pom-poms, feathers, stickers, glitter hearts, cut outs of butterflies, snails, dragonflies, and flowers. There are crayons, popsicle sticks, brightly colored pipe cleaners, and more. You can either decorate or color a picture of Woody and Buzz, or they have a template of a sun visor for you to create and decorate. There are also plenty of paper plates for you to have fun with too. It's nice that they included so many options to make stuff with instead of your typical crayons and coloring sheet.

Just when you thought your kids couldn't have any more fun, you head over to the next section of the Fun Zone into the Toy Zone. Here there is all sorts of fun stuff to do including a stage show, Dancing with the Toy's, with your favorite pals Woody, Buzz, and Jessie. And after the show, you will have a chance to get your photo taken with the gang.

But seeing the stage show isn't the only thing to do. You can take a look at the Toy Story Lego Mural and play with Legos at the Lego stations. There is a table, where you can play with first hand, the latest in all the Hasbro games, and a table for you to deck out Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head. They were also clever to set up rainbow-colored stair steps for you at Super Slinky Steps, where you can see if you can get a slinky to successfully climb all the way down the stairs. In the same area you can get your picture taken in a giant time out chair (when do you ever see a giant chair?!), and there is also a photo-op of cut-outs with Ken & Barbie, Bullseye, Jessie, Rex, and a Green Alien.

Have you seen those Toy Story 3 Mattel Action Links sets? I've noticed them a couple of times at my local Target, but I didn't fully understand what they did until I saw them set up in multiple tables for you to try. Basically it's like a domino set. There is Buzz Saves the Train Stunt set, Sunnyside Breakout Deluxe Playset, Jessie to the Rescue Stunt set, and Dr. Porkchop Attacks Stunt set. Each set is interchangeable, so you can re-create whole scenes from the movie, and once you have your desired scene set up, you activate it at the beginning, and the whole thing goes off like a domino set. For a little one, this could provide endless hours of playtime.

They have a couple of tables set up for you to try over and over again, and a big glass case with all of the sets on display for you to look at too. There is also a case set up of all the little figurines available to buy. I know I have my eyes on Big Baby.

When I was little, I had the Barbie Dream House that had the elevator that went up and down three stories. I just loved playing with it! Well guess what? They have one set up with Ken and Barbie dressed up in different scenes from the movie in each room. One of my favorite rooms is the kitchen/ dining room. The Green Aliens are busy cooking and baking in the kitchen. Seeing each room set up, made me wish I still had my Barbie Dream House!

The last thing to do in the Toy Zone is to play with oversized foam blocks. They have them scattered all over in a corner. I don't know about you, but I loved building forts, when I was little. Now you can safely build a fort with your kids, and leave the mess for someone else to pick up. Win win.

Sounds like a lot to do doesn't it? Well guess what? Now it's time to head out to the Sunnyside Day Care, where you can go through Stretch's Wacky Wall Walk Maze, end up in Big Baby's Bumpers, swing across Twitch's Ditch Rope Swing, try your luck across Chunk's Challenge Monkey Bars, and escape through the Dumpster Chute slide. Whew!

After you've left Sunnyside, head over to Bonnie's Backyard, where you can hop on her swing set, go down the slides, and play hopscotch.

As you can see there is lots to do, and your little ones will have a blast. Most of the Fun Zone is geared towards kids, but I even had fun as an adult.
Now don't forget to stop in The Toy Store on your way out. They have the latest in Toy Story 3 merchandise.

The Toy Story 3 Fun Zone is open June 18-Aug 29, 2010, after each showing of Toy Story 3. If you would like to purchase tickets visit: