Yup, you read that right. I was at the red carpet Pirates of the Caribbean Premiere at Disneyland, Anaheim in May of 2007. I was on this adventure with my sister.
It was for the third movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End. We arrived at Disneyland on Friday which was the day before the actual premiere. We spent all afternoon there until it was closing time at midnight. As we left the park we noticed that the line to get into the park for red carpet the next day was already forming. We got in this line and proceeded to lay our blankets down and relax a bit. It was about 1 a.m.
I then decided that I would move my car out of the parking lot (as I didn’t want Disney to tow it for overnight parking in their garage) and onto a side street. I proceeded to do this, walked to my car, parked it and walked back, through the streets of Anaheim.
When I got back, the sidewalk that was full of people had disappeared and the line and my sister were gone!
I turned the corner from where I last saw my sister and blanket and it was then that I noticed the line had moved closer to the front gate. I walked along this line, looking for my sister, not really panicking but thinking “well it would suck if we didn’t get to enjoy this adventure together”, and that is when I saw her. She looked like a frazzled porcupine.
She then told me that just after I left to go move my car and just after we had laid out our blankets, small radio (it was going to be a long wait) and game of Uno down, the line moved. She grabbed the four corners of the blanket, with all mentioned items inside, and slung that thing over her shoulder like a hobo and followed the crowd hoping to get the best spot in this newly created line.
In this adventure, I will say 2 good things happened to get us to the happy final result. The first was what my sister did. She invented a new type of “bag lady in 2.5 seconds” routine to get us about 10 people away from the front gate. She won that battle.
The second win comes later.
So now, we are at the gates just before the actual entrance to Disneyland.
It is now about 3am and we decide to take tiny naps. There is some sleep and randomness between 3 and 5:30 am. Then around 5:45 it is announced that lines can form just in front of the gates, right at the turnstiles. We all get up, no “bag lady” act needed, there was no rush, as the lines promptly move past the outside gate to just outside the Disneyland entrance turnstiles.
At 6:30, another announcement is made that the entrance will be opened at 7am.
7am – the gates open and it’s “RELEASE THE KRACKEN!!!”
Upon entering the park, they announce, that there will be no running or pushing. Oh I won’t push. I don’t want to see Orlando THAT bad…mmm hmmm.
Well, it wasn’t as bad as a Walmart Black Friday. There was a decent amount of courtesy and no one was trampled or killed.
So, my sister and I made this plan. Before the gates were opened, we had our cells in our hands and both called each other. Then, we walked through the gates. I went to the left of the train station and she went to the right.
At that point, we both staked spots that we deemed best. I walked up in front of City Hall.
I ended up right next to that lamp post on the left, just behind one woman from the gate lining the red carpet.
I told my sister on the phone my location and how close I was to the red carpet. She said on her side was ALL media and there was no where for people to stand. So I had the best spot. While she was on her way over to my side, the lady in front of me was being told by someone on her phone that they had a better spot and she left. Hence, I got the second win in this adventure, even if by default.
We were right at the red carpet.
My sister came over and then the waiting began. It was 7:15 am.
At first, it wasn’t to bad. We were all packed in that small area in front of the City Hall like sardines in a can. They had blocked off all the normal walk ways as most of the walk ways were obstructed by media booths and of course, the Red Carpet. So, we basically were stuck pretty much side by side to the person next to us. Luckily, we got right in front of the lamp post, so we were able to switch off leaning on it to put our head back for some shut eye.
This lasted 8 hours…yes, you read that right. 8 HOURS!
2 hours before the first stars started walking the carpet, they told us to stand up. And we stood, packed like sardines, for another 2 hours.
At around 4:30 the Red Carpet began to get walked upon.
There were some performers to entertain us because by this time, we were going on no sleep in over 48 hours and I was beginning to hallucinate. I will neither confirm nor deny that these performers were hallucinations as well.
They also gave all of us Pirate Mickey Ears.
Stars began to walk down. It wasn’t just the actors in the Pirates movie. I saw the likes of Kobe Bryant, Holly Lauren (and her adorable kid), Teri Hatcher, and many many more.
Below is a slide show of photos I found where I was actually in the background. I have circled where I and/or my sister are located in the photo.
You get get the point. As you can see, I had my camera in front of me the whole time. I brought two cameras.
So its getting later in the evening and bigger stars from the movie begin to come out such as Geoffrey Rush and Bill Nighy. We got pretty much the whole cast of the movie to sign our photo book.
Then it was time for Orlando and Johnny.
So, after many stars come waltzing down the carpet, I notice Orlando Bloom being interviewed in one of the media booths. E Online I believe it was. I knew it was time. At this point, we were pretty much being shoved into the metal railings they had set up because we had about 100 people behind us. (refer to the gallery above, there were alot of people behind us).
Finally, he begins his walk past all the photographers for their photos. Then he goes back up the Red Carpet and down the railing where we can all get his signature and a hand shake.
Below is the actual video I took, no zoom, he was that close. (videos are very grainy…)
Again, we are getting pummeled with sharpies and posters from behind our heads but I manage to get my Pirate Mickey Ears in front of him and he signs them and my sister had the photo book, and that is signed as well.
I said “thank you and God Bless”
He then looked at me, winked at me and said “Thank you, Sweetie”
This photo below was taken about 1 second after he said that.
And then he was gone…
What happened next? I CRIED!
Yup! I cried like I was a baby with no bottle!
I would like to point out the tears might have occurred because of the following:
a) Lack of sleep, we had been up for the past 50+ hours.
b) Exhaustion, not just lack of sleep though. We had been standing and being pushed by the mob for the past 4 hours.
So, that part was over. Onto the next big star.
Cue Johnny Depp:
Now my sister is proud of what I’m about to tell you.
Johnny Depp comes walking down the Red Carpet and did the same routine as Orlando. He went down the aisle with all the photographers first, getting his photo taken. Alot of those photos you will see in the gallery above.
The Sharpies and posters and people pushing behind us were worse than with Orlando. Or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention during Orlando’s signature walk because I to busy contemplating whether to ask Orlando to sign my cleavage but decided that wouldn’t have been a kid friendly thing to do in a kid friendly environment like Disneyland.
So! Johnny makes his way down the line, scribbling away at posters and books and Mickey Ears.
He then finally makes it to us.
He signs my book then my sister’s Pirate Mickey Ears (I later found out SHE was also contemplating asking Johnny to sign her cleavage…but like me, decided that was not a kid friendly request). Then I felt the flood of Sharpies threatening to mark me up coming from all sides. The people from behind were pushing quite alot and for a moment, it felt like I was about to give Johnny a forced hug as I was being pushed into him.
My sister was also trying to keep on her feet and dodge the sea of Sharpies that hated us. She was also being threatened of giving Johnny a forced hug (maybe we should have had him sign the cleavage!). We were getting pushed pretty bad. Then we both just kind of ducked down, beneath the sea of sharpies.
It was then that my sister said “Wow..I feel so insignificant”
That comment produced the photo you see below.
Johnny got a quick little giggle at my sisters’ comment and the both of us simultaneously ducking down to dodge the killer Sharpies. (Maybe there is more to Johnny that just getting him to possible sign cleavage)
Then it was all over.
After 50+ hours of no sleep and about 5 hours of straight standing, we finally went home. I had enough photos to last a life time. I took 265 of them.
And I had the best souvenirs
I hope that this little celebrity adventure in my life was entertaining. It is something I will always remember.