Toy Story 3 Fun Zone at El Capitan Theatre

Friday, June 18, 2010

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:


Midwest Mommy said...

What a perfect site for you! Awesome review.

Anne Elizabeth said...

That HAS to be the most fun theater ever! My kids would have LOVED all of that. Too bad I am not closer.

Anonymous said...

I received a brochure in the mail that looked interesting, but I couldn't tell too much about it. Your page is very beautifully done, and now I can't wait to take my grandkids, ages 5 and 3! Great pictures and clear captions,along with a reminder to check out the area you might not have went to for the picture in Andy's room. GREAT JOB!!! Thanks!