Thank you to Disney and The Geekly show for the opportunity to attend!
Have you ever stood in your own way of something so unbelievably amazing because you underestimated your gift and purpose? If you can relate, I'm sure looking back you've either kicked yourself repeatedly out of regret or you rose to the occasion and listened to the sirens of the universe pulling you towards greatness. When the application went out to attend the first-ever Geekly Retreat, I had such a surge of feelings that fluttered between excitement and self-doubt.
Fast forward to months later and I'm so glad that I pushed fear aside and applied. I've always been a true believer that "what's meant for you, will always be for you". Now I'm sitting here pinching myself while thinking of the many incredible moments we just experienced during a whirlwind 4 days this week in California. It's kind of surreal that as part of our retreat itinerary we attended Disney's Frozen 2 red carpet world premiere and after-party all thanks to the ladies of The Geekly Show.
Living in NYC as a freelance family and lifestyle writer, I have been honored to attend advanced movie screenings and to receive opportunities to interview celebrities and directors during press junkets over the last 5 years. Where we've been invited to a few movie premieres in the past, I'd never been invited to actually walk the red carpet.
What Dreams are Made of:
The morning of the Frozen 2 premiere I was way calmer than I had expected I would possibly be. With a jam-packed morning on the Disney Studios Lot and just ninety minutes to get ready, I swore I'd be freaking out. Alongside the inspiring five women of The Geekly Show, 20+ creatives and I ventured off into the unknown (well really it was the iconic Dolby Theater) to not only walk the red carpet amongst the stellar cast and the who's who of Hollywood, but we also viewed the film in 2nd-row orchestra seats and celebrated amongst the stars, movie makers and their loved ones at the glitzy afterparty.
Red Carpet Ready
It's not often that I get all glammed up but when I do, a girl has got to SPARKLE! If you know me then you know I'm not afraid to rock sequins during the daytime and I firmly believe that black is not a color and you can never go wrong with a print.
I had been swooning over some of the gorgeous looks that the other writers had been sharing in our group chat: everything from floor-length gowns with pockets to statement-making pantsuits in bold pops of color (You have to see Lizz's fabulous jumpsuit) 24 hours before my flight to Cali and I found myself running from each major department store fitting room to the next to find "the dress". Thanks to a $100 purchase and free express shipping, I ended up accepting packages with back up choices like a green lace and tulle option from SHEIN that I packed just in case.
Unfortunately, most of my dress selections either didn't fit the way I liked or just didn't have that wow factor I was hoping for. Surprisingly I found the winning dress, (one I wore 2 years ago for my birthday) in my very own closet. I guess I have to publicly admit that my hubby was right and I should've gone with his suggestion from the very start.
Thanks to Toyota we all cruised to L.A from the Safari Inn in their latest fleet of vehicles (Rav 4, Sienna, Land Cruiser) and once we arrived at Hollywood Blvd. we headed towards the theater to check-in for our media credentials. Catching a glimpse of the Hollywood Stars of icons like Michael Jackson, John Singleton, Drew Barrymore and of course, Mickey Mouse beneath my shoes made me realize just how special the evening was going to be.
Disney Mom Bloggers of Color, of course, had to represent on the red carpet!
Security at these types of events is no joke! They'll try to rush you along even when you're an "influencer" invited to attend and take pictures of your experience. Feeling like a million bucks we slowly inched our way to the end of the red carpet, cheeseball smiling, posing and snapping pics of each other while trying to savor every single fleeting moment.
Another really unique part of this trip was that I was able to experience it with women I had met for the very first time but who shared similar aspirations and were awesome to hang with. ( Read their posts // Back, L to R: Monica, Meg, Renee // Front L: Angie)
Fans were adorably dressed up as their favorite characters, with Elsa's and Anna's twirling about and adorable Olaf's all waiting to catch a glimpse of the stunning real-life Disney princesses themselves and their favorite snowman Josh Gad.
Every seat in the house was filled and applause echoed throughout the theater as each cast member was announced and made their way across the stage. Naturally, as Sterling walked by our aisle one of my blogger babes shouted from her seat "We love you Sterling!" he smiled and shouted, " I love you right back." Priceless!
We can't dish on our thoughts of Frozen 2 just yet but I will say you'll instantly find yourself belting out the catchy new song "Into the Unknown" repeatedly (you've been warned!) and everyone's loving the Panic of the Disco Version. The lyrics of the song seemed so timely and poignant to how I think many of us felt about attending The Geekly Retreat: The importance of believing in ourselves and growth on our journey while honing in on our gifts.
"are you someone out here who's a little bit like me?
Who knows deep down I'm not where I'm meant to be
Every day's a little harder as I feel my power grow
Don't you know there's part of me that longs to go
Into the unknown.........."
As an event producer, I was completely mesmerized by all of the details sprinkled with Pixie Dust during the Frozen 2 after-party. Not that I'd expect anything less than captivating from team Disney! With icy blue and purple uplighting to set the mood and family-friendly activations at every turn, the night was really such a good time.
Funny enough though, there were quite a few kids that I overheard were way too tired too party. Seeing as soirees like these are pretty normal for them I'm sure they become a bit overwhelming or overrated. Personally, I was frozen from sitting in the theater and couldn't wait to walk around, but first I knew I needed a big ole' warm hug from Olaf!
I didn't have any real expectations going into all of this but I guess I thought it would be more of a party vibe with upbeat music to dance to. Instead, it was more laid back and chill with mingling, photo-ops, and activities for kids of all ages.
Having cut back on meat at home I welcomed the yummy veggie dishes being served alongside kid-friendly eats like sweet potato tater tots and hot dogs. I tried my best not to salivate over the delish sweets and treats.
Can you imagine being a little girl at one of these fancy-schmancy Disney parties? As a mom of boys, I totally appreciated the Royal Treatment offered at the ColourPop makeup stations and all the cute shimmery outfits these young girls, fearlessly rocked.
Grabbing pics with celebrities is highly coveted as a content creator and influencer, especially within the entertainment industry but approaching folks at events like these are normally not my cup of tea. The universe wanted us to redeem ourselves after our missed chance to snap a photo with Sterling K. Brown. We chatted briefly about how much he enjoyed recording (even though he was solo) and he'd be completely open to doing another animated movie. However, celebs like Idina Menzel had their security guard stationed close by to keep fans at bay.
Stay tuned for my official review of Disney's Frozen 2 and mark your calendars because it hits theaters on Nov. 22nd.