Disneyland, a Netflix Hub and a WB Tour… Oh My!

18 Oct

{This post is not sponsored, but the trip was paid for by Netflix DVD… so I want to put that out front and center for transparency. I was not required to blog about the trip, or Instagram it, or tweet it, but I did anyways because it was AWESOME and how could I not share it with you all?!}

I blogged last week that I was leaving on a jet plane to take part in an incredible trip to California. I’ve been working as a DVD Director with Netflix DVD for the past couple years (I write for their blog, Inside the Envelope) and they invited seven of us to join them on this amazing ‘thank you’ trip.

Here are the lucky 7 DVD Directors who attended and quick links to their Inside the Envelope posts: me, Bean Miller, Amy Chesler, Linda Shortman, Ann Silverthorn, Raquel Stecher, and David Raether.

Although I’ve been blogging here at Pocketful of Joules for almost 8 years, I purposefully don’t work with a ton of companies/sponsors… so this trip was something totally out of the ordinary for me. The ladies from Netflix DVD, Vanessa and Annie, totally spoiled us all with the trip and gifts and I am totally honored to have been invited to go!

Tuesday
I had an early flight out – and there is also a 3-hour time difference between Maryland and California – so I knew Tuesday was going to be a looooooong day! I woke up at 2:50 am. Yeah. That hurt a bit. I successfully rubbed the sleep from my eyes, got dressed, drove to the airport, bought a super-sized Starbucks drink, and got on my first plane. On that flight I ended up chatting with the lady in the seat next to me, she was a total sweetheart (hi Misty!) and it helped the 3 hours go by quickly. I had a short layover in Houston and then hopped back on another plane. I arrived in California around lunch-time and after picking everyone up at the airport, Vanessa and Annie took us to lunch at a nearby restaurant.

As soon as the hotel texted me that my room was ready, I basically ran across the parking lot, booked it up to my room, threw off clothing and took a 45-minute power-nap. My allergies had started to act up — apparently I’m allergic to California in the fall – and I knew I wouldn’t survive without a little rest. As soon as my alarm went off, I did a ninja-roll off the bed, threw on my Disney outfit and met up with the rest of the group in the lobby to Uber over to Disneyland.

DISNEYLAND!

I had never been to Disneyland before (only Disney World in Florida) and was so incredibly excited! Literally my only goal was to ride the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride. Oh, and wear my adorable Minnie Mouse-inspired outfit.

We ended up breaking into two groups, with me, Bean, Annie and Amy heading straight to the Guardian’s Ride.

It’s lucky that we did, because they literally shut the line after our group! I would have been so disappointed if I had missed that ride and it was AWESOME. SO much fun!

By the way, while all the ladies (and David) were fabulous… I just LOVE Bean. Like I wish she lived closer so that we could drink and thrift shop and cross-stitch together. Is that weird? Anywhoo she basically jumped into my lap on the Guardian’s ride and so that obviously started a friendship-bond.

We had 5:00 reservations at Tortilla Joe’s in Downtown Disney, so we all enjoyed a delicious dinner of Mexican food and tequila. As you do.

Photo credit: Raquel Stecher 

 

You may be thinking ‘um, Joules… you really thought it was a good idea to drink tequila and then return to the parks?” and yes. I did.

Mickey’s Halloween Party was so much fun! The entire park was decorated for Halloween and there was even trick-or-treating for so much candy. We rode a few more rides, including the Haunted Mansion, where the theme had been switched over to The Nightmare Before Christmas. We somehow missed the light up parade, but the fireworks were some of the best I’ve seen in my whole life. And I’m a bit of a fireworks connoisseur! Our friends at Netflix DVD gifted us each with a gift card to buy some souvenirs, so I made sure to grab a few things so I could spoil Jack. We left the park and got back to our hotel around 11:30 ish, so considering the time change I had been up and going for 24 hours straight.

Obviously, I crashed basically the moment my head hit the pillow.

Wednesday
Wednesday was going to be another crazy exciting day, so even though I didn’t get a ton of sleep, I was ready to GO. We met in the lobby at 7:15 to go tour the nearby Netflix hub. We drove to a somewhat unassuming office park where the hub was hidden. Fun fact: they keep the hubs on the down-low, otherwise people tend to show up at their door and try to exchange their movies for the next one in their queue!

They provided us with a delicious breakfast spread (which included Krispy Kreme donuts!) and then we had a cool tour where we learned all about how the hub worked. Notice the fabulous Netflix DVD jackets — I LOVE mine and wore it most of the time because I somehow forgot to pack anything heavier than a lightweight cardigan. Oopsie!

Photo credit: Annie Jung

 

A few fun facts I learned:

  • Each cart has 45,000 disks on it and there are about 335 different titles in each box. The warehouse we toured had about 3.25 MILLION disks.
  • The day that we visited, they shipped 42,000 disks out to Netflix DVD subscribers.
  • About 5% of the inventory gets relabeled every week due to dirty or worn disk sleeves.
  • People will accidentally mail their own DVD disks (or PlayStation disks) to Netflix DVD. When this happens, the machine knows and spits it into a special bin so that they can track down where it came from and return it!

At the hub they also displayed a bunch of Netflix DVD envelope art!

After our tour, we had the opportunity have a writer’s meeting with fellow DVD Director, David Raether. David worked as a writer on Rosanne for 111 episodes and you can read a really cool Q&A with him here: Spotlight on David Raether.

After our meeting, we returned to our hotel and had another delicious lunch. At that lunch, Vanessa awarded Amy and I prizes for having “The most Disney Spirit”!

And yes, Jack loves my Halloween Mickey!

After lunch, we took a limo bus to the Warner Brothers Studios, which was about an hour away from where we were staying. I actually did a Warner Brothers Tour back in 2016 (you can read about it here: Exploring LA) but this one was a private tour, so it was much more inclusive. We had our own tour guide, who led us to a viewing room with personal sized champagne bottles.

After watching an intro movie and enjoying our bubbly, we loaded up onto a cart and explored the WB lot. Our tour guide was a wealth of information as we went through all sorts of sets.

Photo credit: Linda Shortman

 

My favorites were Miss Patty’s dance studio from Gilmore Girls:

I also loved the Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts collection on display:

We even had the opportunity to go through the Prop House, which was so freaking cool. The second I entered, I saw a prop being held for an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is one of my current favorite shows!

Here are a bunch of Agent Smith’s from the Matrix:

After our amazingly thorough tour, we had dinner reservations at Santuari. The restaurant was absolutely gorgeous inside and the food was amazing! My allergies were sneaking up on me though, so I was pretty much ready to return to my room and put on some pajamas!

Photo credit: Vanessa Fiske

 

We returned to the hotel around 11pm and I basically fell into bed and then woke up with just enough time to pack in the morning. Bean and I took one last photo before taking an Uber to the airport. We can’t thank Netflix DVD enough for making us feel like total rockstars!

We both ended up on the same flight to Chicago, so I got to spend a little extra time with one of my new favorite people! I landed in Chicago and then hopped back on another plane to get to Baltimore, and returned home a bit before midnight (darn that time change!).

The entire trip was absolutely wonderful. Vanessa and Anne could not have made us feel more special and appreciated. I had a fantastic time and it was totally worth the lack of sleep!

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2 Responses to “Disneyland, a Netflix Hub and a WB Tour… Oh My!”

  1. Nancy Rowlinson October 18, 2018 at 11:03 am #

    What a great trip! Wonderful pictures, as well. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Melissa October 18, 2018 at 4:30 pm #

    This made me laugh out loud: “Fun fact: they keep the hubs on the down-low, otherwise people tend to show up at their door and try to exchange their movies for the next one in their queue!”

    That’s hilarious. Looks like an awesome trip!
    Melissa recently posted…School is in! and halfway done!My Profile

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