Ralph Breaks the Internet–a Review and Bonus DIY No-Sew Vanellope Costume Tutorial

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck it Ralph 2 is hitting theaters on November 21!  If you haven’t seen the sneak peek yet, here it is:

 

We had the extreme pleasure of previewing the movie a few days ago at El Capitan Theater.  If you’ve never seen a movie at El Capitan, you’re missing out!  I wrote about how to visit Hollywood with kids and this was at the top of my list.  This historic movie theater is right on Hollywood Blvd across the street from the Dolby Theater.  The girls love to sit in the balcony for a unique experience to view a movie.  The view is perfect and it feels like you’re the only person in the theater.  Before Ralph Breaks the Internet, guests can “step inside the world of the internet” with living internet projections inside the theater as well as enjoy immersive photo ops in the lobby.  For tickets, you can call 1-800-DISNEY6 or buy tickets online at www.elcapitantickets.com.

 

Do you need to see Wreck it Ralph before seeing Ralph Breaks the Internet?  No!  Even though Wreck it Ralph is one of our favorite movies, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen it.  You just need to go into the movie knowing that Ralph and Vanellope are best friends.  Ralph Breaks the Internet starts six years after the previous movie ends so it can also function as a standalone movie.

Is it age appropriate?  Ralph Breaks the Internet is rated PG for “some action and rude humor”.  LittleSage is 3 and sat through the entire movie without a problem.  The movie was highly entertaining and kept the attention of both of the girls.  There’s also the classic Disney Princess scene that had everyone in stitches!

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Surprisingly, LittleGray (6) got super scared during one of the scenes towards the end and was actually crying.  This might have been because I wasn’t sitting right by her, but she was definitely scared.  I asked her what was scary, and she said it was the loud noises.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but feel free to send me a message and I’ll tell you what it was!

This movie will make you think. I was surprised how much this movie spoke to my soul.  As soon as it was over, I wanted to call my best friend and discuss everything about life with her.  Without giving too much away, this might change the way you view friendships and reevaluate what type of friend you are.

Ralph and Vanellope are currently meeting guests in Hollywoodland at Disney California Adventure!  In preparation, I made these super easy no-sew DIYs using clothing basics from Primary.com.  You can view a collection of my favorite Primary.com pieces on my ambassador page (I will receive a small credit if you choose to shop through that link).

Supplies for Vanellope:

Directions:  Cut pieces of the pink ribbon to match the details of the hoodie.  Fold the ends under and hot glue gun down to prevent fraying.  Glue the pieces in place (you can arc the pieces slightly to give it some dimension.  For the leggings, wrap the athletic tape around your child’s leg while she is wearing the leggings.  I cut the tape in half for the thinner side.  Hot glue gun the pink ribbon around the wider pieces.  To create the hair gems, hot glue gun the candy pieces to the rough side of velcro.

If you can’t wait until November 21, you can also see an extended 3-D preview at the Starcade Theater in Tomorrowland at Disneyland.  Don’t worry, there are no spoilers!

You can find more information about Ralph Breaks the Internet on facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  For more of our adventures at Disneyland, you can find us here.  Thank you Disney Studios for invited us to a free advance screening of Ralph Break the Internet!  I received the Primary.com clothing items for free to review and to transform into a costume piece.  All opinions are my own.

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Toy Story 4 to hit Theaters in June 2019!

It’ll be a happy birthday to me, because Toy Story 4 has just been announced to hit theaters on June 21, 2019!

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This brand new trailer is said to be shown before Ralph Breaks the Internet, but you can view it now!

Toy Story 4 takes off where Woody is now the new kid in a brand new room. I’m most excited about the new character “Forky” which is a creation that Bonnie made out of a plastic spork.

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NEW TOY? – Everyone’s favorite pull-string cowboy sheriff Woody, along with his best friends Buzz Lightyear and Jessie, are happy taking care of their kid, Bonnie, until a new toy called “Forky” arrives in her room. According to Forky, a spork-turned-craft-project, he’s not a toy at all—and he’d rather skip this big adventure completely, if only they’d let him. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack return as the voices of Woody, Buzz and Jessie, and comedian Tony Hale lends his voice to Forky. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”) and produced by Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”) and Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”), “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

The gifts keep coming because “Toy Story 4” just released a teaser of a couple of new characters!  Meet Ducky and Bunny, two carnival prizes who are eager to be won. But when their plans are rudely interrupted by Woody and his friends, they find themselves on an unexpected adventure with a group of toys who have no idea what it feels like to be tacked to a prize wall.

You can find Toy Story 4 on facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Hunt for the Perfect Disneyland Stroller: The UPPAbaby CRUZ with Piggy Back

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I have been looking for an updated Disneyland stroller to meet my needs since my girls are no longer babies.  My ideal stroller would be (1) single width, (2) have a huge basket, and (3) have some sort of option for my oldest daughter to ride if she’s exhausted.  After many months of window shopping and people watching at Disneyland, I decided on the UPPAbaby CRUZ.

Unboxing and Putting it Together

The UPPAbaby CRUZ stroller ($549.99) and the Piggy Back ride-on board ($99) are sold separately.  You can also purchase a bassinet ($189.00) which would be ideal for kids up to 25″ long AND it can be used as a secure overnight sleep solution.  I was a little overwhelmed when I took all the pieces out of the box, but I quickly found out how easy it was to snap everything together.  The Piggy Back board comes with easy to snap on clam shells which slides the board into place.

My favorite part of the stroller is the reversible seat.  I used to think that removeable seats were a pain to switch to switch around, but the UPPAbaby CRUZ had me change my tune.  The seat is so light that I can carry it with one hand.  LittleSage discovered that she LOVES sitting so she’s facing me.  The seat has multiple recline options including laying completely flat.  This has allowed LittleSage to take naps in the parks again!  She loves curling up, getting cozy in her seat, and pulling the huge sunshade over for privacy.

The Piggy Back

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The Piggy Back can be unhooked easily when your child wants to hop on, and folds neatly out of the way of your footpath.  To use the Piggy Back, the stroller handle must be extended all the way out so the child can fit in between the handlebar (this is easy to do with one hand).  The best part is that the entire stroller can be folded without having to remove the Piggy Back.  An added bonus is that when LittleGray is on the Piggy Back, the girls can entertain each other.  Both girls are comfortable using the Piggy Back  so sometimes LittleSage will hop on the back leaving the main street open for additional storage.

The Huge Basket

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A huge draw for this stroller is the huge basket.  When I go to Disneyland, I usually bring a few costume changes.  It’s not uncommon for me to bring ten outfits in a single trip.  I stuff all my costumes into my Jujube Starlet and store the bag in the basket.  Going through security is a breeze because I just have the one bag for them to check.  Even with the huge bag of costumes, I still have room to store my essentials like a towel to reserve parade seating or extra jackets for chilly California evenings.

Age and Weight Limits

The included toddler seat is compatible for kids up to about 40″ tall and 50 pounds.  LittleSage is about 36″ and still fits in the seat comfortably.  When she curls up for her naps when the seat is reclined 180 degrees, her head touches the top of the hood canopy and her feet fit under the parent console.  The canopy is adjustable for taller kids and can extend a few more inches.  There is also a vent on the canopy that I flip open to allow for more air flow.  She usually moves her feet so they go around the parent console, or she tucks her legs in and sleeps on her side.  I was worried that she wouldn’t be able to get in and out herself since the seat is a big higher, but she was able to climb in and out without a problem.  She is able to attach the bumper bar herself and loves buckling herself in.

Parent Console and Organization

The one thing I missed from my previous stroller is the built in cup holder (I ordered the official UPPAbaby cup holders so I’ll let you know how they work).  I transferred over my stroller organizer from my old stroller, but I noticed that it was getting smashed when the seat is in the forward facing position.  When the seat is rear facing, it allows for more room on the handle bars for storage. I have the UPPAbaby carry-all parent organizer on order which is a sleeker design, so I’m excited to try that out!

Huge thank you to UPPAbaby for sending me the UPPAbaby CRUZ to review.  It has quickly become my holy grail stroller.  To see more of the stroller in action, visit us on our instagram page here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.

The Lessons Learned from Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

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On November 4, 2018, the temple at Tomorrowland Terrace was risen by the force for the last time. After a 12 year run, the Jedi Training show has come to a close.  This was more than just a Disneyland show for our family, and I have learned many lessons along the way because of it.

LittleGray was recruited into Jedi Training by a very special Jedi almost 2 years ago.  Star Wars holds a very special place in our hearts and Princess Leia is her all time favorite character.  Through the years, many Jedis have touched our hearts and have come into our lives.  When we found out that Jedi Training was coming to a close, LittleSage was able to join the battle a few times.  Since the girls are so young, the lessons that we have learned might not be remembered.  I wanted to write them down when I’m good and emotional so they can read this when they are grown and realize what an amazing experience they once had.

Girls can be Jedis too. At least half of the Jedi apprentices were women.  The first time LittleSage enrolled in Jedi Training, she was a little nervous, but both of the Jedis who were helping with robes were women and took her under her wing.  It also helped that she had met both of them before and she was already comfortable with them.  The girls are too little to know about the gender inequalities in the workforce, and my hope is that by the time they are in the working world, it will be a thing of the past.  Until then, I am happy that women are getting equal representation in the Jedi world.  Star Wars is no longer just a “boy thing” and this show played a huge part in conveying this message.

Jedis come in all colors.  The past few times the girls have trained with the Jedi apprentice Nedriss, she was half-Asian.  I’ve touched on the topic of representation in the past.  This is one of those lessons that is slowly infiltrating their minds.  For my daughters, they aren’t particularly cognizant of representation in the media.  As an adult, my hope is that my daughters grow up in a world where they are not put in a deficit because of their race or gender.  On this level, I am excited that people of all races are given equal opportunities to play these roles.  I’m thrilled that my daughters get to see people who look just like them succeed and things that they love doing.  I love that they can see themselves playing their favorite characters and I hope that deep down inside it lets them know that they can accomplish anything regardless of what their race.  As they get older, I’m proud that they can look back at this point in history and see equal representation in this show.

Fear has no power over us.  In the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show, the overarching lesson is how to overcome fear.  The Temple is supposed to hold the Jedi’s fears, which is embodied in Darth Vader and Kylo Ren (and the Sixth Sister RIP).  Even after the student Jedis battle Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, they don’t go away.  It is then that Nedriss battles her own fears and realizes that the fear only exists in her head.  The kids even chant, “We are not afraid!” and “You can do it, Nedriss!”  Once Nedriss chooses to not give into the fear in her mind and releases her fears, it is then that Kylo Ren goes away for good.  I’m relieved that my children don’t have a lot of fears, but when they do develop them as they get older, I hope they look back on this lesson.  I feel like it’s a lesson that I am continually trying to learn in my adult life.  Fear in our mind is only fear if we give it the power to affect us.

Not all Jedis wear robes.  After the final battle, LittleGray began to cry because she was sad that the show wasn’t coming back and that the Jedis were going away.  I reminded her that even though the show wasn’t going to continue, the Jedis are still going to exist around us.  We might not see them in their khaki vests, olive green shirts and robes, but we will hopefully still see them around Disneyland (and Star Wars Land Galaxy’s Edge is scheduled to open Summer 2019!).  My hope is that she will continue to have these special connections with these people.  Maybe they can throw up a force push every once in awhile as their secret handshake.

I’m so grateful for the two years our family got to experience Jedi Training.  There has been no announcement whether or not a similar show will exist in Star Wars Land, but we are still excited to see what the Imagineers come up with.  For more on our adventures as Jedis, you can view our instastories highlights here.

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Halloween at Paradise Pier Hotel and Donald’s Seaside Character Breakfast at the Disneyland Resort

In celebration of Halloween, my best friend Jo and I ventured out to the Paradise Pier Hotel to the newly rethemed Donald’s Seaside Character Breakfast (formally Disney’s PCH Grill) on behalf of Howard Johnson Hotel and Waterpark.  The Paradise Pier Hotel is located on the Disneyland Resort and this year it was decorated with a pirate theme for Halloween!  The pirate displays were amazing and Pirate Minnie and Pirate Donald even stopped by to visit with guests on select days.  Cast members were handing out pirate rubber duckies and complimentary chocolate drizzled churros.

Welcome Donald and Daisy!

Donald and Daisy Duck are new to the Paradise Pier Hotel Character breakfast and looked adorable in their beach wear!  Upon entry, you can take photos with Donald which are available for purchase or on photopass.  Daisy, Minnie and Stitch make their way around to greet guests at the tables.  Every half hour or so, everyone congregates on the dance floor for a quick dance party.

The Food

So on to the main event:  the food!  The breakfast is served buffet style with a variety of drinks that can be ordered at the table.  At one time, we all had glasses of orange juice, kids waters with fancy straws, chocolate milk, coffe and hot chocolate.  In addition to the traditional breakfast fare of eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatoes, they also offered a made to order omelet bar, eggs benedict, and biscuits and gravy.  The kid favorites were of course the Mickey waffles, but they also enjoyed the banana french toast and Mickey pancakes.  They also had assorted pastries (we ate so many chocolate muffins), a cereal bar and yogurt parfait station.

Is it worth it?

I always suggest to book a character meal on a day you don’t plan to go into Disneyland or Disney California Adventure.  This way, you have an opportunity to interact and play with the characters without having a to pay for a day ticket.  Booking a character breakfast on the day you check out of your hotel is a great way to get over the Disney Blues and say one last goodbye to Disneyland.

You don’t need to be staying at the Paradise Pier Hotel to make reservations.  While the Howard Johnson Hotel is just a 7 minute walk from Disneyland gates, the Paradise Pier Hotel is at the very far end of the opposite side of Downtown Disney.  We opted to drive and park at the Paradise Pier Hotel.  They offer 3 hours of complementary valet or self parking which is ample time to enjoy breakfast.  Just be careful because any time after 3 hours automatically jumps to $30 an hour.  We made sure to bring our Stitch Sunstaches for the occasion!

What if I’m an Annual Passholder?

Since we are also Annual Passholders, we save character dining for special occasions like birthdays.  The characters have different outfits for each costume so its considered a “rare” sighting.  Even though we can see Donald, Daisy, Minnie and Stitch in Disneyland, it’s an extra special experience during character dining.  Our reservations allowed us to stay until they closed around 12 which meant we got all the characters to ourselves!  The girls loved playing games with Stitch and being silly with Daisy.  Annual Pass Discounts also apply!

Other Character Dining Experiences

There are four character dining options at the Disneyland Resort.  The only breakfast inside Disneyland Park is Minnie and Friends Breakfast in the park at Plaza Inn on the Disneyland side, which does require theme park admission.   As mentioned here, Donald’s Seaside Breakfast is at the Paradise Pier Hotel.  Goofy’s Kitchen is at the Disneyland Hotel and also offers a character dining dinner experience.  Storytellers Cafe in the Grand Californian also recently rethemed it’s character breakfast “Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet” to include Adventure Mickey and Minnie.

The only character dining I haven’t personally tried is the Minnie and Friends Plaza Inn breakfast.    In terms of the food, I feel like Goofy’s Kitchen offers the most unique foods especially with the themed pizzas.  I can honestly say that this past breakfast has been the most relaxing and enjoyable experience.  All of the cast members were so courteous and never rushed us, even though we were there for almost three hours.  Alternatively, they kept checking in on us, getting more beverages for the girls, and making sure that we knew where to go to meet the characters.  For pricing, adults were about $35 and kids were $20 before AP discount, which is the same for most of the character dining experiences.

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Huge thank you to Howard Johnson Hotel and Waterpark for sponsoring this outing.  To see more of our day, you can see our instastories highlights here.  You can also follow Jo.Noodle, LittleGrayThread and HoJoAnaheim on instagram for more Disneyland adventures.

Halloween “I Got a Rock” Shirt using Customized Images on the Silhouette Cameo 3

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One of my favorite features of the Silhouette Cameo 3 is that you can use any image in your designs.  You can literally take any photo (even from search engine images!) and turn them into vinyl cut designs.  In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to take a ghost image, add extra cut outs, and incorporate it into a text design.  Skills learned: importing a new image into the Silhouette Design Studio, trace tool, drawing tool, finding edges, and grouping.

Supplies Needed:

Step One:  Find your image

Use your favorite image search engine to find a photo of a ghost.  My best friend Jo (this post is dedicated to her because she practically held my hand through this DIY) gave me the great advice to search for coloring pages to get nice clean lines.  After you found your image, save it (remember where!), and open it in the Silhouette Design Studio.

Step Two:  Trace your image

After you image is opened in the Silhouette Design Studio, select the “trace” button on the right hand side which looks like a butterfly.  Select the area around the image, then select “trace outer edge”.  This means it will take the ghost as a whole, and not the existing eyes on the inside.  We will be making our own customized eyes for our ghost.

Step Three: Add eyes

 

Go to the drawing tool on the left and select the oval button.  Make an oval for an eye.  Click on “Edit Points” which looks like a line with a dot in the center.  This will bring extra dots around the oval, which you can then manipulate to make the eyes look more organic.  Once you have an oval that looks like a ghost eye, you can copy and past that oval to add other eyes.

Step Four:  Group and add text

 

Using the select tool (the arrow), click and drag so the entire ghost with new eyes is selected.  Right click and select “group” so it is now considered one cohesive piece.  This way, you can change the size of it and add it to your text.  I played around with the words “I got a rock” until it looked aesthetically pleasing.

Step Five:  Reverse image and send to Silhouette Cameo cutting machine

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Don’t forget to reverse your entire words and image (you can also group the text and image together to make it easier to “horizontally reverse”).  Load the glow in the dark heat transfer vinyl shiny side down into the Silhouette Cameo 3 cutting machine.  Click over the “send” tab in the Silhouette Design Studio, make sure that your selected material is “glow in the dark heat transfer vinyl”, and click “send”.  The cutting machine will automatically start cutting the vinyl.

After your designs are cut out, peel off the excess vinyl from the plastic backing.  Use a hook to help you get the tiny pieces out.  This process is called weeding.

Step six:  Iron on the design to your shirt

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Using a ruler, center your design and place it down.  Cover with a cloth and iron on the highest dry heat setting for about 30 seconds.  If the edges are still lifting, you can iron over the area again.  Peel off the plastic when it is cool to the touch, and you are done!  The glow-in-the-dark vinyl is very light responsive and glows a beautiful greenish color in the dark.

 

I was gifted the Silhouette Cameo 3 in exchange for an honest review.  You can find out more information about the Silhouette Cameo 3 here.  For more step by step DIYS, you can find us on instagram.  You can see what REALLY happened during this tutorial here.

 

Kids Guide to Legoland Brick or Treat Halloween Party

We’ve been coming to Legoland since LittleSage was barely walking, and I’m lowkey proud to say that the costumes that I first made them still fit!  It’s been a personal goal of mine to work with Legoland so our most recent visit to the Brick or Treat Halloween Party was extra special!  Huge thank you to Legoland for providing my family with tickets for the day and for the Brick or Treat Party at night!

Tickets: The Brick or Treat Halloween Party is a separate ticketed event that happens after park close at 5:00-9:00 on the last Saturday in September, and all Saturdays in October.  Some Annual Passes cover the cost of the Brick or Treat party (the Merlin Annual Pass Premium) but you can also add on the cost of the party for around $20 if your pass doesn’t cover it.  If you’re in the market for buying new Annual Passes, double check to see if the pass you want covers the Brick or Treat Party–right now they’re having a promotion where you buy 3 get one free.  If you don’t have a pass, you can just buy a ticket to the Brick or Treat party which also includes admission to the park during the day.

New Legoland Attractions:  It’s been awhile since we’ve been back to Legoland, so I was excited to see what was new!  LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure is Legoland’s newest submarine ride which features a journey through the water with real fish and sharks!  Firstly, there is a huge LEGO building area built in to the line, so the kids are free to play during the wait.  During the ride, there is also an interactive element where you can look for sunken LEGO treasure and log it on a touchscreen.  I was floored by this ride and wanted to do it over and over!  This is a slow moving ride suitable for all ages.  At the exit of the ride, you can build and design a fish on a touchpad and and see your creation come to life in a communal big screen aquarium.

Over in the Sea Life Aquarium, the theater area is now the Sea at Life attraction.  This gorgeous attraction represents the ocean waves at night, and the waves react to the motion stomps of the kids.  There’s also a beautiful night star sky expanding over the waves.  The Sea Life Aquarium is separate from the main Legoland park so make sure your tickets include it.

Miniland:  You can’t visit Legoland without walking through the miniature city sized LEGO models!  Miniland has also expanded with the addition of Miniland inside of Miniland!  There was a huge LEGO Friends Ferris wheel and a huge Legowood backdrop.  Since it was still Halloween, the spiders had taken over “Boo Orleans” with huge webs and giant LEGO spiders.  It was so cute to see the little web decorations and ghosts and witches on all of the buildings.

Heartlake City:  Our trip isn’t complete without a visit to Heartlake City!  This is the homeplace of the LEGO Friends Stephanie, Mia, Andrea, Olivia, and Emma.  We’ve gotten to know some of the BFFs over the years so it really does feel like we’ve been reunited with our best friends.  The girls’ favorite part is their live BFF show.  The songs are catchy and the girls love dancing along.  Stick around because they do a quick meet and greet session directly after the show.  During the Brick or Treat party, the LEGO Friends returned to Heartlake City to lead craft time coloring crowns.  You could also follow the instructions to build a pumpkin in the stable building area and enjoy the music from The BOOgrass Band (I was dancing my little heart out to their rendition of “Everything is Awesome”).

Brick Or Treat Exclusive Shows:  There are three live shows that only occur during the Brick Or Treat Party.  The evening kicks off at 5:00 in the Courtyard Theater (right by the Royal Joust ride) with the Boo Crew Welcome.  All of the entertainers parade out and make their way into the park.  Directly following is the first showing of Mail Order Monsters.  This show is a funny show where Princess Penelope has troubles with her monsters being not scary enough for her party.  Every half hour, the show alternates to The Witchettes which featured Legoland’s youngest performers.  I was floored by the talent of this singing girl group!  Over on the Fun Town Stage is the Midnight Monster Jam.  This was our favorite show featuring the Legoland dancers, Lego Mummy and Lego Lord Vampyre.

Trick or Treat Stations:  There are several Trick or Treat Stations located throughout the park.  Four of the stations even opened up at 3:00 so you can start the fun a little early.  The lines were short and fast moving.  You could also pick up the commemorative Bride of Frankenstein Brick at the Sky Tower trick or treat station.  They also had challenges you could complete to collect pop badges (similar to collectable buttons) but we didn’t have time to find them.  We did take home the COOLEST trick or treat pumpkin buckets–they have a built in light to shine the way!  These were on clearance for $10, but I heard they originally selling for $15.

TL:DR

-Brick or Treat Halloween Parties are a separate ticketed event that occurs the last Saturday of September and every Saturday in October.

-The Merlin Annual Pass PREMIUM includes the Brick or Treat nights so if you are in the market for a new pass, get this one.

-New must see attractions: Lego City Deep Sea Adventure (in Legoland where the minigolf area used to be, near the Granny’s Apple stand) and Sea at Night (in Sea Life Aquarium).  Brick or Treat party nights includes admission to both the main park and the aquarium.

-Start your Brick or Treat evening at 5:00 in the Courtyard Theater near the Royal Joust Ride to catch the BOO Welcome crew.  Mail Order Monsters is on the same stage at 5, 6, 7, and 8 and The Witchettes are at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30.  The other live show, Midnight Monster Jam, is on the Fun Town Stage at 5:45, 6:45 and 8.

-Don’t forget to color and hang out with the BFF LEGO Friends in Heartlake City.  The BOOgrass band also plays here.

Huge thank you to Legoland for hosting us for the evening!  To see more from our night, you can view our instastory highlights here