Reviews of bucket-list-worthy things to do all over the world

Walking the Red Carpet at the World Premiere of Disney's Planes !

I stepped onto the red carpet feeling the way I feel every time that I step onto Main Street at Disneyland. I was bubbling with excitement and anticipation. My friend snapped a photo of me, but no photo could capture how giddy I felt. To my right was a wall speckled with the Disney Planes logo and Planes movie posters. To my left were loads of photographers, camera operators, and newsreporters behind barricades. Below my feet was a red carpet with a special, unusual feature: a runway!

Workers prepare the red carpet for the Planes premiere

My friend and I had arrived about two hours earlier, to watch the celebrities walk the red carpet. We tried out a few different vantage points along the barricades on Hollywood Boulevard, but our view was blocked by reporters and their cameras. We found that the best, most-uncrowded view of the carpet was from one of the upper levels of the Hollywood and Highland mall complex across the street.

We watched Catherine Bell (Army Wives, JAG) and her son and daughter, Charles Fleischer (the voice of Roger Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Peyton List (Jessie), Dane Cook (Planes), Skai Jackson (Jessie), and Bella Thorne (Shake it Up!) be photographed and interviewed. I was glad that my tiny point-and-shoot camera has fairly good zoom, but I wish I’d brought binoculars.

Peyton List on the Planes premiere red carpet
Peyton List

Dane Cook on the Planes premiere red carpet
Dane Cook

Bella Thorne on the Planes premiere red carpet
Bella Thorne

Jugglers on stilts, who were dressed to look like aircraft marshallers (the people who direct planes on the runway with their lighted sticks), and an airplane puppet made out of balloons moved up and down the red carpet, dodging celebrities and VIPs.

Some premiere guests wore flight suits, that I assume were costumes. There were a few guests who wore Navy uniforms, that I am sure were real. There was at least one little girl dressed like a Disney princess.

As premiere time approached, we headed to the Will Call tent where we picked up our tickets and wristbands. Then my friend and I stepped onto the red carpet ourselves. Photographers didn’t shout out my name, “Jen, over here! To your right! To your right!” but I felt like a celebrity anyway. A man at the celebrity check in area on the red carpet handed us each a Dusty handheld battery powered fan (with a secret compartment full of candy in the handle!).

After a few quick red carpet photos, we continued along. The red carpet ran down one side of the boulevard leading to a collection of tented booths where a party was being held for premiere guests. What I had thought was going to be an afterparty was actually a “preparty.” The party area was set up to look like a carnival. There were boardwalk games; food booths that served things like corn on the cob, cotton candy, and churros; a huge inflatable obstacle course featuring a Navy jet; and flight simulator machines. I posed for a photo with a real airplane and strolled among our fellow premiere guests, many of whom bore bags stuffed full of Planes merchandise from the premiere sponsor, Target.

When employees announced that the movie was about to start, the preparty area was cleared much like a Disney theme park at closing time, from back to front. We headed inside gorgeous El Capitan Theatre, picked up complimentary buckets of warm popcorn and bottled water, and found our assigned seats. The El Capitan organist played his final song and then disappeared into the stage below. The lights dimmed and glowing curtains parted, one by one. There was a buzz of excitment.

With a dark movie screen in front of us, we heard the voice of Planes' director, Klay Hall. Klay gave us a mock pre-flight, tray-tables-up, we-are-ready-for-takeoff announcement. We donned our Planes 3D glasses. And then, without any previews, the movie started.

Planes starts right in the middle of the action, without any opening credits, and so, other than some cheers when the title card was displayed, and aside from some laughing at jokes throughout the movie, the audience was quiet until the very end of the movie, when loud applause greeted the final cut to black. Wait … actually, there was one moment after a character, who only had one line, spoke when a few people, friends of the actress I assume, hooted and clapped. I hope to be as lucky as her someday and voice a role in a Disney movie.

After the movie, I met Skai Jackson (Jessie), Peyton List (Jessie), and Phoenix List (Rabbit Hole) and chatted with them about what's on their bucket lists.
I watched Alison Sweeney (The Biggest Loser, Days of Our Lives), Anthony Edwards (Planes, ER, Top Gun) and his daughter, and Dane Cook (Planes) emerge from the theater onto a still closed and carpeted Hollywood Boulevard. The press people and the barricades were gone, replaced by a few black, high-profile vehicles waiting to whisk the VIPs home. The rear windows of the limousines reflected the dazzling El Capitan Theatre marquee.

I posed for a few final nighttime photos on the red carpet and then my friend and I headed home … on the subway.

I did this on August 5th, 2013, in Hollywood, California, USA.

Jen (California, USA)*

You might also enjoy:

Jen's Disney bucket list

Jen's review of the premiere of Finding Dory

Jen's article: Top ten things you need to know before you hit the red carpet

Jen's review of the premiere of Disney's Frozen

Jen's article: Top seven things to know if you're going to a movie premiere without a ticket

* Jen attended the Planes premiere as a guest.