The site was Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim, CA. The event was ABC Super Soap Weekend for AMC and OLTL stars and fans. The weather was perfect with sunny skies and moderate temperatures. Yes, I was there on Saturday, May 31st, and able to enjoy it all once again.
It is a five hour drive from my home in Las Vegas to Orange County, CA. The plan was to have my good friend, Ofelia, from CT who has attended the last two SSWs in Florida with me to fly in, rent a min-van, pick up my friend Julia here, and drive over to meet two other soap pals. We headed out early on Friday morning, my birthday, and were able to check in to our nearby hotel (between Disneyland and the Adventure Park) by noon. We planned to meet Marge from Corona, CA who had the package deal for the weekend and was at Susan Lucci's "tea" for dinner. Also arriving from Chicago was Bill who had also met us in Florida six months prior. The five of us did have a nice dinner and visit together and made our plans for the next day to be at the park upon opening. There was no way we were going to be turned away due to overcrowding like they have had in Florida. Julia had never attended one of these events and was a big fan of both shows, so was anxious to get started. She went to the park at 6 AM to get a wristband to ensure meeting Susan Lucci at the 3:45 PM autograph session. La Lucci and Maurice Benard (Sonny) from GH are the only two stars that have required this process during SSW in either state.
True to our plan, we were there upon opening of the park, got our maps and strategy together, and instantly separated to see whom we wanted to at various stations and times. We relied on our cell phones to stay in touch and meet up periodically. Since I have done this quite a few times and prefer not standing in lines, I avoid the autograph lines. Unfortunately, this park did not give out the autographed pictures of each star, so you either had to settle for the photos you could take from a distance or meet them personally. One plus to the way this park is set up versus MGM in Orlando, FL is that the stars could actually walk around and semi-mingle as they headed for their destinations. We were able to say hello or chat with various AMC stars as they passed by. I did this with David, Michael (a very handsome and pleasant guy walking with his girlfriend), Bianca (looks like a porcelain doll), Greenlee, Opal (even more attractive in person and so social), and Kendall. Bill and I also saw Boyd but were disappointed how rude he was and in too big a hurry to even smile or acknowledge us. Fortunately, another plus was this park has the stars ride in the motorcade once a day at the same time. Thus, you get to see ALL of them in case you missed one or more during your day. The ones in attendance for AMC by character name were: Erica, Carlos, Brooke, Greenlee, Edmund, Michael, Mia, Maggie, Anna, David, Reggie, Opal, Maria, Boyd, Kendall, Bianca, and Aidan. There were at least a dozen OLTL stars also. Our only disappointment besides not getting the signed pictures was that they didn't do the Dancing In The Streets finale. It was always a treat to hear Walt Willey's voice throughout the Disney World park and then hear the stars sing their chosen tunes as you danced in the night before exiting the event.
My favorite part is to attend the special events where you hear the stars interviewed or there is a game to play. This year they had Casting Call with Walt Willey, Coffee Talk with Linda Dano, and the Celebrity Edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Unfortunately these fill up fast and if you don't get to where the tickets are distributed right away, you don't get in. That was my dilemma......I was unable to attend the game show and didn't make it to the Casting Call for Aidan until the doors had been closed. Julia was lucky enough to get in the last one of the day for an OLTL star and was chosen to do a scene with Walt. He was impressed with her and even gave her a copy of the video. Since I wasn't there for the taping, we watched it as soon as we got home on Sunday evening. Walt found her such a hoot, he literally fell on the stage floor laughing. Needless-to-say, it was a memorable day for Julia as she met him and Susan Lucci up close and personal.
My highlight was attending two of the three Coffee Talks with Linda Dano. It was on an open stage and will be taped for Soap Net. The first one had Maggie, Anna, David, Reggie, and Opal. Fans from the audience were able to ask them questions about themselves personally or their show character. I always find these very entertaining and enlightening. A big surprise was Michael Jordan's (Reggie) age, he is only 16. I know he is playing close to that age on the show, but he seemed older. He is a very personable guy and is happy to be aboard. Opal is very bright and fun to listen to. Maggie is as cute as you would think. I was most impressed with David and Anna, as they are quite intelligent and fan-friendly. They verbalized how they had a gut feeling something would happen with Leora as they felt the name was jinxed. Neither of them liked the name and when they read the script they begged the writers to change the name. They enjoy working together and you could tell there was a lot of admiration and respect between them.
The second one was Brooke, Mia, Aidan, Edmund, and Maria. There was a lot of talk about the way their stories have crossed over with the heartbreak of the Grey's inevitable reunion. Mia let it slip that there is a scene where she kisses Aidan, so there's a spoiler for you. Everyone was raving about the little actress playing Maddie, can you believe she is only 7 years old? John Callahan (Edmund) says she is truly amazing as she is so professional, always ready and not only knows her lines but everyone else's, including the blocking of scenes. They feel she will go a long way in the business. Julia Barr feels the best stuff Brooke did was with David Canary as Adam in the past year. She likes the change in her character. Eva La Rue (Maria) feels like their happiness will be short-lived as either she will be pregnant by Aidan or Mia by Edmund. I guess we have all wondered that due to the circumstances and being the soap world. Aiden Turner (Aidan) introduced his girlfriend, a beautiful blonde he has been seriously dating recently, after fending off female fans in love with his accent or persona. Linda Dano is always a good host for this forum and keeps it moving. Plus with her being on these shows, she knows the stories and the real actors. She and Walt were to run these shows for the GH/PC event on June 7th and 8th also. Hopefully the weather was just as gorgeous. I would love to hear from any of you fans out there who attended either of these events as to what you did and thought of it all. It was yet another great chapter in my book of memories for soap-related events and spending time with my dear new and old friends. I can't say it enough, do try to attend one of these East or West, as you won't regret it!!!