Stranger Things Secret Cinema Experience – Welcome to The 80’s

Stranger Things Secret Cinema Experience

Do you copy?? The 80’s arrived back in town for an exclusive Secret Cinema experience in London. There have been a few productions in the past of much-beloved films. Most recently Secret Cinema has adapted to TV, with the Netflix hit Stranger Things. Based on the third season on 4th July, a school reunion was taking place. With a visit to the funfair and Starcourt Mall, you were in Hawkins for the evening.

Having recently gotten into the series last summer, it has quickly become one of my favourites. I’ve fallen in love with the characters and the aesthetic, as I’m a huge fan of the ’80s. We decided to book the Secret Cinema experience and found our best 80’s look to wear. We got to choose from a range of styles when we signed up. I chose to dress as a Punk Rocker (I basically own this style of clothing already!) and wore my Bruce Springsteen Born in The USA top. This was the theme for the evening of course. I put on my fishnet tights, a leather jacket and skater skirt and was set to go. Oh and I bought hair crimpers – can this be a thing again, please?!

Stranger Things Secret Cinema Experience
Choosing an early timeslot helped us make the most of the evening. There was so much to see! The arrival time was 17:45 and we got given the secret location in our email. You also received a login to a portal, which, was set up as a student database with emails that included clues and tips. It also had a fun yearbook page where you could upload your own photo too. Here is where you got given your character name for the evening as well. Mine was Margarate Joyce and I was part of the drama club.

In the queue for the cinema, you are instantly transported to the Starcourt Mall. Here they had vintage cars out front and a wondering Billy. They checked our ID and bags and as we entered. There were lockers where we had to put our phones away for the night too.

It was really nice not having a phone on you for the evening. We really had been transported to the ’80s. Having no phones on us showed how much fun we were having without them.

As you entered, you found your representative, ours was Punk Rockers. You could choose from the movers and groovers to hip-hoppers, and they told us a story that we had to follow. You didn’t have to stick to just one storyline though. We ended up following a couple of different ones. After talking to our representative, we got told to find the Fortune Teller at the Funfair (Magenta Nevada). She was to give us the next clue, which, included a famous character from the series Will Byers. We also had to listen out for Born in The USA, which was amazing.

Stranger Things Secret Cinema Experience

The music choices they were playing throughout the night were so nostalgic. Don’t Stop Believing, Footloose, Dancing in The Dark was some of the 80’s hits I heard. Everyone got in the mood and even the staff were singing along whilst they were serving us ice cream in Ahoy. Yes, that’s right! If you know the show, this place where Steve Harrington and Robyn work at the Mall. It was amazing and the ice cream itself tasted delicious. I had a Butterscotch flavoured one whilst singing along to Journey.

Steve was also working here throughout the night. At one point they both took us into the back storage room and acted out their famous scene. Robyn even “threw up” on my friend Sophie. They were so in character it was brilliant chatting to them! This was one of the secret rooms during the experience and we soon learnt that there was a few of these set up. 

They had a bar set up inside too, which was a lot of fun. We danced to Kids in America as part of the storyline before our encounter with Billy. The drinks weren’t badly priced either so, it was nice to chill in there for a while. The first thing I remember as we walked through the funfair was seeing Mike and Lucas sitting on the bench. I instantly felt like I was in the series as I saw Joyce run and hug Will as he joined them. We decided to say hello and I’m so glad we did. They asked us if we were having a great Fourth of July and enjoying the celebrations. The characters mannerisms were out of this world. They really made the experience.

We started to wonder if all the characters made an appearance and they absolutely did. From Max to Dustin, Nancy and Jonathan. Even Hopper was there too, oh and not forgetting Eleven. She appeared as we were working out one of the clues using the retro phone booth and she moved a Coke can with her powers. I was in such awe as she was wondering around. Throughout the evening, the characters changed into their parts later in the series. We noticed Steve had a black eye and Eleven had her long hair. Hopper even changed into his date nightshirt. The attention to detail really made this whole thing theatrical.

Let’s not forget the infamous Demogorgan’s of the series. They were there too and very scary indeed. I had an inkling they would be but I wasn’t sure how they’d pull it off. You may have heard of Erika who is Lucas’s sister in the series. She took us through the back of the Coach shop in the Mall and we had to climb through one of the vents. In here we had Alexi and another Russian guy locked in a room. A Demogorgan was trying to get us! They also ran through the Mall with flickering lights nearer the end of the night.

There was so much to see that we even missed Hopper’s house and Billy’s party. I think these had harder clues and were part of the VIP package which, I would definitely consider this if it came around again. They also had the arcade set up with Pacman and other vintage games. It was really cool to get to play them again!

Some of the other food and drink available were Hot Dogs, Mac and Cheese and the classic Coke Float which I tried. There was a variety of food stalls set up around the funfair and they were all set in Dollars. Everything was in such fine detail.

Near the end of the night, we had to wait for Billy to appear in the Mall. He took us into the bar and proceeded to take us into the Upside Down. This bit had me on edge and was the most intense part of the night but, it was amazing. There are alternative endings so I’d be curious to see what others there were too. 

Stranger Things Secret Cinema Experience

STRANGER THINGS PERFORMANCE

In the Upside Down, we all filed into this 360 theatre experience. The show was 30 minutes long and my jaw was dropped to the ground for most of it. I think this live performance of Stranger Things should be in the West End, it was incredible. They had doubles of the actors running around the top so everyone could see what was happening. The effects from Elle were stunning and it was really emotional to watch them re-enact the series. Everyone also got involved here shouting for Will and helping Elle. We really were in the Upside Down. Oh, there were a few surprise Demogorgan’s in here too for good measure!

The Stranger Things Secret Cinema experience was one of the best evenings I’ve ever had. It will stay with me forever as I look back through my reporters’ notebook scribbled with notes from the evening. Finding out clues and using old-style 80’s computers, which I remember using back in the ’90s. Talking to some of my favourite characters and dancing to classic 80’s hits. It really was such a fun event and I do hope it comes back to London one day soon.

Attending The Lion King Royal European Premiere in London a dream come true and film Review!

The Lion King Premiere Cast Beyoncé Elton John

On the 14th July, Leicester Square held the Royal European Premiere for Disney’s The Lion King. Some of those who attended were director Jon Favreau, Beyoncé, Elton John, Tim Rice, Lebo M, Bob Iger, Hans Zimmer Pharrell Williams oh and me!

It was a dream come true to attend this special premiere. The Lion King is my ultimate favourite film as I have a personal connection with it. When I heard it was going to be remade, I was very excited as I’ve always wanted to see the animals as realistic as possible. Jon Favreau was the man who made this happen and, I am very honored to have watched it with him.

I entered every competition I could find for tickets to the premiere and I wasn’t betting on winning anything. On Monday the 8th July, I listened out for Scala Radio’s competition, and at around 7 pm I received a call saying I had won two tickets! I was told it would be a black-tie event so I only had a few days to find an outfit and I searched on ASOS for a Lion King esque dress. 

I arrived around 4:15 pm to collect my tickets from one of the hotels on the square and the atmosphere was incredible! There was lots of noise from the crowd and the soundtrack playing with the trailer as stars started to arrive. It was blocked off a lot so I didn’t see much of it until I got onto the carpet. It took me by surprise as I walked around the corner as the set up was sensational! I have been to premieres before but only in the pens and my last was Harry Potter! Having never attended one as a guest before, attending this one was a dream come true and never thought I would!

The Lion King Premiere Tickets

I collected my tickets and met up with Elliot who came with me and we started to walk around the barriers. It was mostly a blur because I was overwhelmed and did not think I’d get any red carpet (or should I say gold carpet) time at all because it was a Royal Premiere for the Duke and Duchess. They had two sides of the square, one for the celebrities and one for us guests. Both entrances just as grand as each other and the decoration was gorgeous. There were rocks and grass everywhere including cute paw prints on the carpet too! I didn’t realise we were on the big screen as well so I had to take a photo!

The Lion King Premiere

The Lion King Premiere Gold Carpet

The Lion King Premiere Odeon

 

The Lion King premiere was quite a long red carpet and I was very grateful. I got to sink it all in and stood by the stairs to watch some of them arrive. Jon Favreau and Billy Eichner arrived and then it was time to head in. We had to walk over these stairs which, I was dreading wearing heels. I later realised Prince Harry himself had also walked down these stairs too and at the same entrance as us which, was rather exciting!

Thankfully, we got to watch the rest of the interviews and celebrities arrive on the big screen inside the cinema. They had a snack bar set up upstairs and sold Prosecco and soft drinks too. We also got given free water.

We got to our seat at the top section of the Odeon and had around 40 minutes until the main event.

The interviews were interesting to watch as Jon Favreau explained his artistic vision for this remake and Lebo M discussed the new music too. It was also amazing to hear Elton John talk of returning to the red carpet 25 years later.

It was finally time for them to arrive. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived first and greeted all the head executives at The Walt Disney Company including Bob Iger also attended and watched the film. They received one of the limited edition Simbas as a gift which can be found on shopDisney. Prince Harry and Meghan are working on Protect the Pride Campaign, which plans to double the number of lions by 2050. As the Duke and Duchess entered the cinema, we stood up for them, which, was a great honor to do so. They sat down near to where we were too. 

Film and Music Review

Jon Favreau then introduced the film and the amazing cast and creative’s behind this spectacular remake. Some legends returned such as Tim Rice, Lebo M, Elton John and Hans Zimmer who worked on original and new music. I was worried about the new music but it is amazing to the point where it gives me goosebumps every time I listen. Pharrell Williams worked with Lebo M on some of the music too and he was also at The Lion King premiere. Beyoncé Knowles Carter is the role of Nala and she has released some new music as well, along with a completely separate album featuring snippets from the film itself. The main focus from her is Spirit which, is included in the film. Elton John has released music as well called Never Too Late and it is marvelous.

Of course, a few of the originals returned such as I Just Can’t Wait To Be King, Hakuna Matata, Be Prepared and Circle of Life including some of the original scores. The African vibes are incredible and I am very happy with the new soundtrack.The Lion King Premiere Cast Beyoncé Elton John

The film itself is breathtaking. I felt like I was in Africa for 2 and a half hours. Each scene is stunning and my jaw was dropped for most of the film. I also cried at several points just at what I was witnessing on screen. Jon Favreau has made a masterpiece here and has come a long way since The Jungle Book. The animals are right there in front of you. Sometimes I think why aren’t they dancing ontop of Giraffes but then this is a representation of real-life beauty. The Lion King has gotten a lot darker but still fun and carefree. The new scenes are awe-inspiring and give The Lion King new depth to the story.

Simba as a cub is the most adorable thing I have ever seen. Donald Glover also does a great job at playing Simba too. No need to worry over Timon and Pumbaa either.  Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner bring their own take and on the characters are hilarious and everyone was laughing at their new jokes and they go so well together as a comedic duo. Also, John Oliver who plays Zazu was fantastic.

Overall, I am very happy with this rendition of my favourite Disney film and it was an honor to watch it with so many legends.

Thank you Jon Favreau and Disney for making this dream a reality!

The Lion King Premiere

Thank you to Scala Radio for the tickets to this special day and The Walt Disney Company.

 

Descendants 3 Disney Channel Trailer & Teaser Released

Descendants 3 Disney Channel

The Descendants is one of the most popular Disney Channel Original Movies since the likes of High School Musical. With two movies already, a third and final one has been announced which is set to be released in July this year. We recently got shown visuals of the cast on Valentine’s Day as the social media accounts dropped photos of Mal (Dove Cameron), Evie (Sofia Carson) and the rest of the Descendants. There was also a teaser trailer released showing a new Villain Hades who was a huge rumour to be in the latest instalment.

Descendants 3 Disney Channel Preview at Disneyland Paris’s Halloween Soirée

During the Halloween Soirée at Disneyland Paris last year, we had our first representation of The Descendants at any Disney Park. Of course, I had to check it out as I went dressed up as Mal and, I am glad I did. During this special one-off singalong show, they showed us the first-ever preview of the upcoming movie, featuring a special message from Dove Cameron herself.

Descendants 3 Dove Cameron

Descendants 3 Soirée Preview

Descendants Disneyland Paris

In this preview, it is clear that Hades will be making an appearance in the final movie. Theories have been going around saying that Hades will be Mal’s Dad and this is an interesting take as we have only seen the Villains Mums so far with Kristin Chenoweth playing the iconic Malificent. Lots of characters are to return with Uma and Harry Hook plus some new faces too.

On Friday the 15th of February, Disney Channel dropped the first teaser trailer on Twitter just a day after the cast visuals. It looks fantastic and it looks like Dr.Facilier will be making an appearance as well. Prince Ben will also return in the final movie with a big shock which is shown in the first trailer that was released.

A month later and we are given a closer look at the movie. It’s taken an even darker spin on the story so far and I cannot wait for this to be released in July.

In Photos: Pirates and Princess Festival 2019

Pirates and Princess Festival Cinderella

During FanDaze it was announced by Catherine Powell that the Festival of Pirates and Princesses will be returning in 2019. The audience reaction was fantastic as it had just ended two days before. I was very happy to hear it was coming back for another run as it is truly spectacular.

Pirates and Princesses 2019

Last year, the festival ran during Spring which, worked perfectly as it was on until the end of May and during a heatwave. This time, however, things are a little different as it is running from January 18th until March 17th. The cold does change things slightly.

The costumes have been altered with winter wear and the show has lesser dancers. This time the stages are slightly different too. The classic Princesses are now on the bigger main stage on Central Plaza, whilst the more modern Princesses are on the second stage. Team Pirates, however, are all as they were before.

Another thing to note that’s different this year is that it is only on three times a day instead of four. Disappointing but understandable due to weather conditions. The show remains at Castle Stage before the show stops, and the Pirates and Princess floats are back once again. Not forgetting hosts Betty Rose and Jimmy Ocean who teach you how to dance and pick your side.

It is still lacking any sort of merchandise which, is a shame. I know that a lot of us fans would pick up themed merchandise to support our team in seconds. It was a nice surprise, however, to find themed cocktails in the Newport Bay bar! (They are available in the other hotel bars onsite too!). I tried the L’or des Caraibes, which was a lovely rum and pineapple flavoured drink, with a cute little palm tree for Team Pirates! There was also a Hot Chocolate version available too. I hope these are around for the Annual Pass party in March, they would make a fantastic touch! There are also some themed snacks again for this year too.

Pirates and Princesses Themed Cocktails

Pirates and Princesses Themed Cocktails

One last change for 2019 is Ariel. Last year, she was on the Stars n Cars float in her Mermaid tail whereas this year, she joins the other Princess on Central Plaza and Castle Stage in a dress! This dress was debuted at the Press Event in Paris last January but, hadn’t been seen since until now. I got quite excited when I saw her arriving in her dress. It is fantastic seeing her more involved this time around and she definitely found her feet!

I am very glad this season is back once again and I am looking forward to what’s in store on the Annual Pass night!

Team Princess

Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel
Pirates and Princess Festival Jasmine
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel New Dress
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel
Pirates and Princess Festival Merida
Pirates and Princess Festival Cinderella
Pirates and Princess Festival Merida Dress
Pirates and Princess Festival Merida
Pirates and Princess Festival Moana
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel
Pirates and Princess Festival Rapunzel
Pirates and Princess Festival Belle
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel Dress
Pirates and Princess Festival Cinderella
Pirates and Princess Festival Aurora
Pirates and Princess Festival Moana
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel
Pirates and Princess Festival Cinderella
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel
Pirates and Princess Festival Jasmine
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel New Dress
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel
Pirates and Princess Festival Merida
Pirates and Princess Festival Cinderella
Pirates and Princess Festival Merida Dress
Pirates and Princess Festival Merida
Pirates and Princess Festival Moana
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel
Pirates and Princess Festival Rapunzel
Pirates and Princess Festival Belle
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel Dress
Pirates and Princess Festival Cinderella
Pirates and Princess Festival Aurora
Pirates and Princess Festival Moana
Pirates and Princess Festival Ariel
Pirates and Princess Festival Cinderella
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Ariel Pirates and Princess Festival

Pirates and Princess Festival Brave

Pirates and Princess Festival Moana and Merida

Pirates and Princess Festival Float Tiana

Team Pirates

Pirates and Princesses Peter and Wendy
Pirates and Princesses Peter Pan Team Pirates
Pirates and Princesses Captain Hook
Pirates and Princesses Peter Pan and Jimmy Ocean
Pirates and Princesses Jimmy Ocean
Pirates and Princesses Peter and Wendy
Pirates and Princesses Peter Pan Team Pirates
Pirates and Princesses Captain Hook
Pirates and Princesses Peter Pan and Jimmy Ocean
Pirates and Princesses Jimmy Ocean
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Pirates and Princesses Wendy

Disney On Ice – Dream Big with Ocean Florida!

Ocean Florida

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to a magical experience of Disney On Ice by Ocean Florida. Disney invites you on an adventure to Dream big with your favourite Princesses, and this show has something for every generation. Disney On Ice at the o2 has now finished its run of this particular theme, however, here’s my experience of the evening.

Disney On Ice Dream Big

I received an invitation to attend a performance of Disney On Ice by the amazing travel company Ocean Florida. On Saturday the 5th January, I travelled to the o2 to meet up with this fantastic company and other lovely Disney Bloggers and Vloggers. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone from the community. We met in All Bar One before we headed to Ocean Florida’s special VIP box which, was amazing. We had Disney themed Cocktails and Cupcakes and also got to keep a lovely souvenir ice cone cup. Of course, I got a Frozen themed one. It was really great chatting and meeting everyone and to discuss Disney.

Ocean Florida Disney On Ice Souvenir

Ocean Florida Disney Cupcakes

Disney On Ice With Ocean Florida

In the pre-show, they had a special performance for Mickey’s 90th Birthday. It was a lovely touch and Mickey and Minnie had some very sparkly outfits for the occasion. Also used was the song What We Got, which, has been featured in Disneyland Paris recently for the celebrations.

Featuring hits such as Frozen which, is the second half of the show and newcomer Moana with demigod Maui, there was a great mixture of stories. It was great to finally see Maui’s character on stage. The sets were brilliant although I do think the scenes were quite short in some parts, and it could have been longer but the dancers were very talented. The show also included classic Disney Princesses with Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent’s Dragon made a lasting impression. There were some great effects used too such as fire which really bought the story to life.

Disney On Ice Dream Big o2 Arena
Image Source: https://www.theo2.co.uk/events/detail/disney-on-ice-presents-dream-big

About Ocean Florida

Ocean Florida are a fabulous travel company who, specialise in holidays to Orlando. They have fantastic package deals for Walt Disney World for your trip and amazing accommodation. They also do holidays to New York and Las Vegas too. It was lovely to meet Ocean Florida, they are experts in everything related to theme parks and had an answer for every question. Thank you so much again for this amazing opportunity please go check them out!

You can check out my Instagram highlights of the evening here.