Monday, November 7, 2011

Winnie the Pooh (and Breakfast, Too!) at the El Capitan Theatre

Who knew my teenagers would be so excited to meet Winnie-The-Pooh? I was invited to a screening of Disney's new Winnie the Pooh movie at the El Capitan Theater as well as a pre-show character breakfast at the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store and I had initially thought I would pass it up – while my girls are still very much into Disneyland, I thought they'd roll their eyes at seeing an animated movie and the prospect of meeting a big, sweet bear in a red shirt.

Boy, was I wrong.

The last time I saw them this excited was when they discovered that the local high school's boy's cross country team runs right through our neighborhood, shirtless. They didn't even balk when I told them we'd have to get up early on a Saturday in order to make it to the breakfast by 9:15. Who knew that Winnie the Pooh was such a chick magnet?

Seriously, when they saw him appear in the doorway, they started squealing like a couple of - well, girls. It was as if they'd spotted the boy's cross country team running behind him.

Hipper than the average bear.
The pre-show Breakfast With Pooh was a huge hit with my girls. Along with getting their famous Mickey Mouse Belgium Waffle, they were genuinely excited when Pooh came around to our table and greeted them personally. I'm not kidding, my 13-year-old said, with all sincerity, "This is better than the time I met Miley Cyrus." Sorry, Miley, but you've been trumped by a bear.

Here's the menu – I had the scrambled eggs and bacon. Confession: I couldn't decide between the bacon and sausage so I had my 15-year-old, who doesn't eat meat, order the sausage and then I took it. Stop looking at me like that.

Bacon or sausage? It was like Sophie's Choice.

Here's an added bonus: According to our waitress, anything you order from the Disney Soda Fountain can be taken into the El Capitan Theater. So of course I had my coffee refill put into a to-go cup. I would have done the same with the waffle but it was gone shortly after I snapped this photo.

Get yer coffee and Mickey Waffle to go.
Seeing any movie at the El Capitan is a unique experience, and this was no different. It started off with an organist playing a medley of Disney tunes followed by a little pre-show by that stud himself, Winnie-The-Pooh.

I'm telling you, he's got the teenage girls wrapped around his paw.
The movie itself is sweet and lovely to look at, just what you'd expect from a story about Christopher Robin and all his friends in the Hundred-Acre-Wood. This is a brand-new movie that will have a limited run at the El Capitan and is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

And here's the kicker – as if my teens needed yet another reason to love it - it features the music of their absolute favorite person, Zooey Deschanel. I know, right? So now my girls are hooked on the song, 'So Long' that Zooey sings in the closing credits. Man, now Pooh's a teen dream and has indie cred. Put a hoodie on him and next he'll be headlining at Coachella.

This was a great experience all around. While it's perfect for families with younger kids, I was excited to find something I could do with my teens that was fun for them and nostalgic for me. It once again proves how timeless Disney is, and I have to give them kudos for providing entertainment that's wholesome while still managing to pique the interest of older kids. And for proving a silly old bear can even hold his own against Hannah Montana. And maybe even a pack of sprinting, skinny high school boys.

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Winnie The Pooh is at the El Capitan Theater from Nov. 4 - Nov. 20. The pre-show Breakfast With Pooh is only offered on select days, so check the website for availability (I found it fairly confusing to figure out the breakfast/movie tickets on the website – you might be better off calling the box office at 818-845-3110.)

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