The Rookie at @Disney’s #MillionDollarArmEvent

I was invited to Disney’s Million Dollar Event. It was an invitation that took my breath away and had me giddy for weeks. The itinerary was packed and I was enthusiastic as I arrived at my hometown airport, bound for LAX.

Out of Greensboro, I waited in line to clear security. It was cutting it close so I sighed with relief as I walked through TSA’s scanning machine. It was getting closer. I exited the scanner with a little more oomph in my step. This is when I learned I was randomly selected for the “pat down”. It took a few moments, which had me running for my gate, where the Delta agent was calling, “Last call”.

I took my seat on the flight and settled in. Then panic struck. My passport! Where was my passport? My brain raced and I KNOW I had it when I boarded the plane. I searched my purse, my pockets…nothing. So? I let the flight attendant know that I had lost my passport somewhere between the gate and my seat. He made an announcement and the WHOLE plane searched. We came up short and I had to admit defeat.

We were leaving.

Nothing was stopping me from getting to LAX.

About 20 minutes into my flight, the window seat needed to use the restroom, so the middle seat and I, filed out of our row to let her through. This is when the middle seat tapped my shoulder and when I turned, he was pointing to my seat. There it was. My passport! I had been sitting on it the entire time.

Undaunted, my flight arrived in LAX for my connection. I was smiling big and engaged in random conversation with people I had never met. We boarded Delta flight 1555 from Atlanta to LAX. It was starting to become real. I was really on my way!

I posted to Facebook:

So far today…I have been randomly selected for TSA pat down…lost my passport and alerted the entire flight I was on…found my passport (I was sitting on it)….wrestled my seatbelt…the woman next to me thought I should ask for an extender (I need the flight with vanity seatbelts)…lost my phone…woman next to me had to call my phone (I don’t think she wanted me to undo my seatbelt again)…no WiFi…dumping fuel so we can take off…and now we have an hour delay for take off. Whew! I feel like Obi-Wan Kanobi trying to escape on General Grieves’ star fleet!#StarWarsRebelsEvent

After a little more than 2 hours on the tarmac waiting for fuel to be removed from the plane, and a little Cocktail party on the tarmac, they sent us all into the gate area where I met Mary Jo Moesch from The Real Mommers blog. 

me and mary Jo

Awe. While the other bloggers are in the air or on the ground I and Mary Jo Moesch are getting some girl bonding in at Gate E12…

After more chaotic comedy, we were back on the plane and on our way. It was an exciting time.

Finally, we had landed in LAX.

As The Rookie at this event, I was bound and determined to capture every moment.

Here is the first picture I took after landing in LAX…apparently cup holders in LAX wow me more than any other automobile cupholders in the United States.


Then I took a selfie with my new Million Dollar Arm Event buddies, The Real Mommers and Koupon Karen.

#milliondollararmevent The Real Mommers, Koupon Karen

It was 2:30 in the afternoon in LAX–it just looks like we traveled through a galaxy far, far away and landed during the night….and Mary Jo really is so witty and bright that lightbulbs appear above her head when she has an idea!


This is “Dave”. He was our driver from the airport to the hotel. He had prime real estate next to those amazing cupholders that I debuted my arrival to Los Angeles with…and he’s handsome; don’t you think?


Here is a scenic picture. It is of the road in LA–notice they have a white road stripe similar to the ones where you live, probably. Also, there are mountains in the background.


It was very exciting when we arrived at the hotel. Don’t let the back of the seat and my Reebok have you thinking any differently.


My room at the Hilton Garden Inn was amazing. The room offered rich earth tones, a super comfy bed and more.


The first night we met the lovely and talented Vanessa Marshall at the Star Wars Rebels Event. She is the voice of Heda in the upcoming Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels. I couldn’t help but take a photo of her.


There were even Storm Troopers. They move FASTer than you might imagine.


The next day we headed to the Disney Legends Plaza. Here is a picture of Disney Nerd, Craig Yoshihara, our bus and the amazing building at the Legends Plaza.


After watching Million Dollar Arm, we headed over to the Disney Bungalow for the ABCTVEvent. Here we ate lunch. At the head of our table were these stunning Revenge Makeup Kits. They are available for a very limited time at Ulta.


During the ABCTVEvent we had the opportunity to interview Executive Producers and Writers of some of ABC’s hit shows. I was smitten with Sunil Nayar of Revenge. Luckily, I have this photo to preserve the amazing moment.


During the event we also had a surprise guest, Eric Close, who plays Teddy in the hit series Nashville. I couldn’t seem to capture a good picture of him, so I switched to “best photo mode” where the camera takes eight photos in rapid succession and picks the BEST one of the eight. I will tell you this was an embarassing moment for me, as I failed to turn the volume down on the device, so as the interview is in full swing, I pressed “go” and the room was filled with “CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!”. It was totally worth it because look at the BEST picture I got of him!


I was so impressed by “BEST MODE” that I used it to capture the Silverlake Room sign at the Disney Bungalow to remember the amazing moments that unfolded here, not just for Disney, but for me!


From the ABC Cinco De Mayo Mix and Mingle with producers and writers, we drove to the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show. Hollywood Blvd is a massive street. I took this picture so if you wanted to visit the set yourself, you’d easily be able to find the location.


We visited Jimmy Kimmel Live. The VIP Lounge was amazing. Just beyond the carpet the floor looks like this.


We watched the Jimmy Kimmel Live show from the VIP Lounge where we were served Steve’s Ice Cream. It’s available at Whole Foods and delicious. Be sure and print this picture so you can easily identify it in your store.


I want to close this post with the Oscar Steps. Don’t they leave you awe struck? Imagine, your favorite celebrities have walked down these steps!

This was truly an incredible trip where I met bloggers that knocked my socks off and saw truly magnificent places and people. I think I captured the moments like a true ROOKIE!

Million Dollar Arm opens in theaters everywhere May 16.


  1. says

    OMG I laughed just as hard reading this post as I did in the airport when you showed me all these amazing pictures. You truly captured a side of this trip that I don’t think anyone else could have. BRAVO! Xoxo

    • says

      I know. I’m an exclusive blogger–I get the stuff others consider “garbage”…one man’s junk photos are another man’s ONLY memories! XOXO I am so glad to have met you and now LOVE your blog Koupon Karen!