Monday, May 09, 2011

POTC 4 Premiere at Disneyland Report

For the last week, Disneyland became a construction zone to rival the action going on over at California Adventure. The impending showing of “Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides” meant a huge 3D movie screen and theater seats had to be built for the May 7th black (yes, black...not red) carpet premiere.

Last minute adjustments were being made even on the day of the premiere:

New Orleans was decked out with pirate-themed decor and photo stations:

Main Street was strewn with banners celebrating the 4th installment of the popular series:

The iconic Jolly Roger logo for the film franchise got a last minute cleaning:

Bleachers were built for the fans starved for a peak at Johnny Depp (I believe the first arrived at 3am to stake out their seats):

Meanwhile, back at the Grand Californian, comedian Adam Sandler survived bag check for a trip into Disney California Adventure:

And then finally around 5:30pm, the first guests were allowed to make the trek down the black carpet to enjoy the Gala Premiere:

Mickey, in full pirate regalia, graciously agreed to pose with everyone:

Pirates on stilts kept the fans entertained:

The black carpet wound around Central Plaza and took guests through the Frontierland gates:

Once inside the premiere area, there were a number of dinner buffet areas. Minnie was camped out at The Riverbelle Terrace:

A lego version of Jack Sparrow stood near The Haunted Mansion:

Over at the Hungry Bear Restaurant dinner station, a pirate band serenaded guests. The trombone player may look familiar to you; he's the leader of the Disneyland Marching Band.

The food was creatively themed and DELICIOUS!

Back in Frontierland, I stood along the Black Carpet to see the evening’s attendees as they made their way to the movie. From “All My Children,” Cameron Mathison:

Nick Simmons (without the Family Jewels):

Ashley Benson (“Pretty Little Liars”):

Joey Lawrence:

Many of the “Dancing With The Stars” participants were there; first one I saw was Anna Trebunskaya:

Tony Dovolani:

Dmitry Chaplin:

From “High School Musical” Vanessa Hudgens:

Andy Garcia:

Lorenzo Lamas:

Teri Hatcher:

Another DWTS dancer: Chelsie Hightower.

Rick Fox (DWTS alum and former LA Lakers player):

Colorful DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli:

Last shot before I had to check my camera in was of the actual movie screen and the pre-show warmup band:

Just as the band was finishing up, mist started coming down from the sky. Intermittently throughout the night it came and went, but never enough to spoil the fun. Before the movie itself began, the stars of the movie (Depp, Penelope Cruz, Keith Richards, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush, and more) along with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Director Rob Marshall appeared on the stage constructed on Tom Sawyer's Island before crossing over the River to join the rest of us in their seats. Penelope Cruz was absolutely stunning; she was channeling Sophia Loren in a beautiful black floor-length feathery concoction that showed off all of her curves.

As for the movie? I would say it was at least on par with Part 1 and a HUGE improvement over “At Worlds End.” As is typical with most of Bruckheimer's movies, it still had plenty of unnecessary complications and undisciplined rambling, but this time I at least stayed awake and felt entertained.

Mercifully, the Orlando Bloom & Keira Knightley love story was gone, and replaced with the more interesting combo of Sam Claflin as Philip Swift (a missionary) and Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey as Syrena (a mermaid). There were PLENTY of breathtaking chase scenes, rendered even more exciting by the 3D:

And Penelope Cruz made a good love interest/adversary for Depp:

Ian McShane's Blackbeard character was fantastic and a welcome addition to the franchise after too many lackluster ones had been thrown in during the previous snoozer, “At World's End."

After the conclusion of the movie, the fun continued as guests were able to enjoy a number of the attractions that were still open. Imagine being able to ride Indiana Jones Adventure...and then being asked at the end of the ride, “Would you like to ride through again?” Most of the other people in my vehicle sat in shock; I immediately shouted “Yes!”

For the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, the water mist screen effect had been changed from Davy Jones to Blackbeard; maybe there is hope that the original Blackbeard animatronic will be returning soon!

On "POTC," I ran into Matthew Cole Weiss, part of the crew from TMZ, with a buddy:

Naturally, I took a number of photos of the park itself, but those will have to wait until another post. I'll close this post out with photos of some of the banners along Main Street, shot while I exited:

Kudos to Disneyland for pulling off this event in such a smooth manner; the complicated logistics and planning that went on behind-the-scenes were unnoticeable to most of us who attended.

See more Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides premiere photos at my main website.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Awesome post! Now I know why you were at the Park :-)!

Lorenzo Lamas is looking good, but is his hair really that black???

Bring Blackbeard back to POTC!!!!

So tell us, how exactly did get to attend this event?

Major Pepperidge said...

I would not have recognized 99% of those people! Where's Evel Knievel? Now that's a celebrity! (Oh yeah, he's dead).

Why don't they have a Lego version of YOU, Dave??

TokyoMagic! said...

Thank you for the excellent report, Dave! What's going on with Teri Hatcher's dress? Did it get caught on the turnstiles as she was coming in through the front gate?

Daveland said...

Tim - I made a deal with Davy Jones. Expect me to start growing tentacles soon. Major - I am sure if Evel were still alive that he'd be there...right along with The Captain & Tennille. I'll start working on that Lego statue.

Chris - I thought it, but decided not to say it. Perhaps she was on the Jungle Cruise and got mauled by a Rhino.

Melissa said...

Great pictures and story - next best thing to being there myself!

I do hope the Blackbeard projection in the ride is temporary. While I completely understand the motivation - get the new villain into the ride as quickly and cheaply as possible - it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense in context. Jones is a supernatural sea creature; I can easily accept his giant face appearing in a waterfall. Not so Blackbeard.

Skinny Arbuckle said...

fantastic post, dave! i'm going to dland tomorrow. :-)

Mike, Studio City said...

That was fun. You are a lucky guy.

Connie Moreno said...

WOW! I have to admit, I had my doubts about them making such a huge production out of having the movie at the Park but they pulled it off. Your photos are great! Like Major, I had no idea who most of those people were (even with you supplying the information, LOL!). Again, wow!

On Sunday, my son and I watched the workers take apart the bleachers and I told him you were going to write a report on the premiere. I'm really sorry I couldn't meet you on Saturday but once I get one of those damn headaches, my day is pretty much ruined.

Anonymous said...

Everything they just said up there and thanks for sharing all that fun! Now looking forward to the movie here in Indiana as well :) Love Minnie's outfit!!