My dad and I arrived at Disneyland a little past 4:30 am. There were about 200 people there already…I couldn?t believe it! A Disney employee gave a big speech for about 10 minutes with instructions on how the red carpet arrivals would work. I looked in all the lines for people from the Zone until 6:30, and I looked again later on in the day by the barricades near the red carpet, but I couldn?t find anyone with the Zone ?identifier?, so I gave up eventually. I am really disappointed that I didn?t get to meet any Zoners! I was able to meet up with some fellow Johnny fans from JDR though.
By the time the gates opened at 6:30, there were hundreds of people in line behind us. At 6:30, once the gates opened, people started going crazy. We were told repeatedly by Disney employees ?not to run,? but nobody listened. Everyone was running! We found a spot by the red carpet that was right next to the barricades, relatively close to the main entrance of the park. A couple hours later, we realized that we would be directly in front of all of the TV cameras! MTV, VH1, The Insider, E!, Access Hollywood, CNN, etc. were all located right across from us. Throughout the (LONG!) afternoon, camera crews were going up and down the red carpet, interviewing fans and taping us screaming as loud as we could. I was only interviewed by one TV crew, but they asked me if I preferred Depp or Bloom (a really common question that day), and I yelled ?Depp!? at the top of my lungs. I felt bad though, being forced to choose between Johnny and Orlando, since I am such a huge fan of both of them.
It?s amazing how many friends you make when you stay in the same spot for 17 hours. Everyone in our little section became close right away, and we all saved spots for each other throughout the day, when people needed to go eat or use the restroom. In our little section of about 30 people, there were only a few Orlando fans, including me. The rest were all die-hard Johnny fans! I was a little nervous that maybe Orlando wouldn?t come over to our section if he realized that most of us were Johnny fans, but luckily I didn?t have to worry about that at all (more about that later?) I also noticed that there were some people at Disneyland that day who knew barely anything about Johnny or Orlando and had barely seen any of their movies?they were only there, and I am quoting the people we were talking to here, because they thought they were ?really hot.? It?s people like that who just really irritate the heck out of me because they?re preventing other true fans of Johnny and Orlando from possibly getting to meet them or getting an autograph from them.
The afternoon went by so slowly. I swear it seemed that it took two hours for the clock to go from 2:00 to 2:30?that?s how slowly time dragged by. Luckily, it was cool in the morning, but by 1:00 the sun came out, and then it started getting hot. I was already completely sunburned from the previous days in California anyway, so I was already used to the sun by that point. Our group of Johnny fans became friends with an extremely friendly Disney employee named Bonnie. She was the Cast Member in charge of our section for that day, and she talked to us all day long. She even had a Barbershop Quartet perform a song for us. It was pretty neat. We cheered for Bonnie every time she came over to our section. We were hoping that maybe if she liked us enough she could get us into the premiere, but no luck! We heard that 7 tickets were given out to the premiere that day though, to fans by the red carpet. So I guess you didn?t have to be a person in the film industry or with connections after all!
Around 5:00, the red carpet festivities began. Several entertainers dressed like pirates started making their way down the red carpet, performing stunts for us. There were jugglers, stilt-walkers, and all kinds of pirate-y people doing pirate-y things. After a while, I?ll admit it started getting boring though, and I just wanted Johnny and Orlando to arrive! The fans in my section grew so bored that we started chanting the name of this one Disney security guard every time he walked by for two hours. lol We tried sucking up to him too, in order to see if he could help us get hugs from Johnny, but again no luck! All of the fans by the red carpet were given Pirate Mickey Mouse Ears to wear. We were also given POTC: DMC pins earlier in the morning and a Disneyland park map with the DMC skull logo on it.
I can?t remember the exact time the celebrities started arriving, but I think it was around 6:00. The first celebrity we saw was Martin Klebba from POTC! He came back later to sign autographs for us. He?s not a star from POTC, but I did get to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger?I even got to shake his hand!! lol I also had Jerry Bruckheimer sign my DMC Disneyland map. I was hoping to have Gore Verbinski sign it too, but I never saw him come by our area. I saw Kevin McNally, Mackenzie Crook, Lee Arenberg, and Martin Klebba sign autographs for fans in our section. All of them are so friendly, and they all spent a lot of time with fans. Keira also signed several autographs in my section, and I was luckily able to get her autograph. I wanted to get my picture taken with her, but she was signing autographs so fast that there really wasn?t enough time to ask for that.
Johnny and Orlando didn?t arrive in our area until after 9:00 pm. By this time, it was completely dark out already. Everyone in my section was starting to worry, especially me, because it was getting so late that I was wondering if maybe they wouldn?t even come over to our section! We started hearing rumors that Johnny and Orlando were going to skip our section altogether, and that?s when I really started to panic! Luckily, we heard someone say ?Johnny?s right over there!? and then we saw him head over towards our section, signing autographs along the way. The first thing I saw of his was actually his hat! lol He went to do TV interviews with a few camera crews, and then he walked back over to our section. At this point, he was just three people away from me! I had to act fast, so I took my camera and began snapping pictures like crazy. He was so close that I knew these would be excellent shots (these actually ended up being some of the only photos I took that turned out well, so I?m glad I was able to take these!) Then, after snapping several pictures, I realized he was only one person away from me. This is when I really started to panic because he came over to me and stood right in front of me! I handed Johnny my Sharpie and a Captain Jack photo, and he signed it for me. You would think this whole time I would be focusing on his gorgeous face, but instead I was focusing on his beautiful hands! I have always had this fixation with Johnny?s hands, so I guess it?s not too surprising! lol I couldn?t stop staring at them as he signed my photo. His skin just looks so incredibly soft. He handed the photo and Sharpie back to me, and I looked him right in the eye and told him, ?Thank you.? He looked directly at me and gave me a huge grin. I swear I almost fainted right then and there. No kidding, I think my heart actually stopped beating for a few seconds there. There are truly no words to describe how wonderful it is to have the most gorgeous man in the world look directly at you and give you such a terrific smile. Just those precious few seconds made the entire 17 hours of waiting that day entirely worth it. And yes it?s true ladies, Johnny really does look so much more stunning in person. You have to see it to believe it?he literally looks 20 years younger. I?m not kidding! And those who have said that Johnny has this calmness about him are absolutely correct too. I couldn?t believe how calm he seemed, especially under the circumstances! There were so many screaming, crying, hyper people all around him, yet Johnny kept his composure and remained calm the entire time.
After signing for a few more people, Johnny went to do a couple of TV interviews. The whole time that he was being interviewed, the girls in my section and I were chanting Johnny?s name and screaming ?Johnny, we love you!? Yes, I know it was extremely immature, but it?s one of those things you feel like doing when you?re in the moment! You should have seen the Johnny fans in my section too?anything that kept us from getting to see Johnny up close really made us angry. You may think being right in front of the TV crews sounds pretty cool, but it?s really not as fun as it seems, to say the least. All of us were getting really frustrated with the media people because whenever Johnny tried to come over to his fans, the media people would rush over to Johnny and force him to come over to them to do interviews. Also, during his TV interviews, the Johnny fans in my section were trying to take photos of him and watch him interact with the person interviewing him, but usually there were a ton of people in front of us, completely blocking our view. A few fans started getting angry and yelled for them to get out of the way. I don?t blame them. It?s not too often that you?re that close to Johnny, so you want to enjoy it while it lasts! After he did his last TV interview, Johnny heard us yelling his name still, and he turned around, flashed us a huge, gold-toothed grin, waved at us, and then gave us his famous ?Namaste? gesture. It was so awesome. I really wish I had taken a picture of that.
Just when I thought things couldn?t possibly get even better?they did! Orlando came over to our section and started signing autographs. I find it extremely ironic that almost everyone in my section was a huge Johnny fan and didn?t have anything nice to say about Orlando all day?yet when Orlando came over to our section, everyone behind me pushed me and the other people in front right into the barricades. We didn?t even get pushed when Johnny came over to sign autographs! I didn?t get any really good close-up shots of Orlando before he came over to me, because I wanted to be ready with my photo and Sharpie! He signed my Will Turner photo, and then I thanked him and he smiled at me. Then I asked if he would take a photo with me (because the Disney security people didn?t have any rules about not taking photos with him?more about that later), and he said ?Sure.? Then after he finished signing an autograph for a girl next to me, he specifically came back over to me to have our photo taken together, which made me feel very special. lol He took my camera from me, told me where he would put the camera so that I would know where to look, and then he took our photo. He leaned in so close to me, and he was literally less than an inch away from me?I could have leaned over and kissed him if I wanted to! lol Then he handed the camera back to me, and I thanked him again, and that?s when he flashed me a huge grin and he WINKED AT ME!! Again, I almost died right then and there. I was just so happy. I snapped a few close-up photos of him when he was signing autographs further down. After that, I said ?Oh my god? and then burst into tears. I was just so overwhelmed with emotion that I had FINALLY met my idols, my two favorite actors. I have dreamed of this moment for years now, and now that it finally happened, I almost couldn?t believe it.
Seriously, I didn?t realize it until later, but I actually went into shock when Johnny and Orlando were that close to me. If you think about it, to have your idols mere inches away from you is pretty amazing. I had everything planned for what I would say to Johnny and Orlando when I met them, and then when it finally happened, I couldn?t say anything?I just froze! I kept joking all day that when I finally met Johnny and Orlando, I would be speechless, and it actually happened! At least I was able to say ?Thank you? because that?s how I got my smile from Johnny and my wink from Orlando! I also couldn?t even remember what Johnny and Orlando were wearing or what Johnny and Orlando said to people next to me. I had to ask the people around me afterwards! I guess I was just so overwhelmed with everything that was going on. I would rather go into shock than faint though because then I really would have missed everything that happened! lol I?m glad to hear that I?m not the only one who went into a daze whiel meeting him though, because I thought it was just me! lol
One of the most amazing things about the night of the premiere was getting to see Johnny and Orlando interact with their fans. You always hear so much about how nice and generous they are, and how much they appreciate their fans, and how much they love to sign autographs for them?but once you actually get to see it for yourself, that?s when you can truly appreciate it. There were a ton of other celebrities that came to the premiere and completely ignored the people by the barricades who were trying to get their autographs or who wanted to meet them. Johnny and Orlando didn?t ignore anybody. They signed for as many people in our area as they possibly could, and they even went across the street from us and signed for several people by the media outlets. They were absolute sweethearts, just being so polite and courteous to everybody?and it?s absolutely true what some people have said about how Johnny and Orlando make you feel like you?re the only person there when they talk to you. The eye contact and smile they give you makes you feel so special and important, and it?s just the best feeling in the world. Also, when Johnny and Orlando signed my photos, they actually took the time to find an area on the photo where their signature would show up, and their autographs were very neat and precise, not sloppy like some other signatures I saw from other celebrities. I really appreciated the time they took to make sure their signatures turned out perfectly (and you can bet I will be framing these photos immediately!) I also heard something else that was pretty cool. I don?t know how true it is, but I don?t see why someone would make this story up, so here it goes?a girl across the street from me gave Johnny a piece of jewelry that she had made for him, and he actually gave her a gift in return! He gave her a small leather pouch with miniature colored gemstones in it.
One thing that really annoyed me was that Disney had so many rules (or should that be ?guidelines??) for this event that really took the fun out of everything. First of all, they wouldn?t allow any fans to hold up signs. What was their reasoning behind this? They didn?t want any of their DMC banners to be blocked on the barricades. There were so many fans that had spent hours making these elaborately decorated signs for Johnny, and then nobody was allowed to put them up. We were actually told by a couple Disney employees at one point that if they even saw any of our signs, they would be taken away. How rude! And speaking of Disney employees, I remember saying right before I left for California how Disney lies to the public, and I still stand by that. Joanne from the JDR group was lied to by a Disney employee a few days before the premiere, and a Disney employee also lied to my dad the night before the premiere! Both Joanne and my dad were told by Disney employees that fans wouldn?t be allowed to watch the red carpet arrivals and would be kicked out of Disneyland at 5:00 pm. What bothers me is not only the fact that Disney is lying, but if they told someone who was considering coming to the park that day that they wouldn?t be allowed to watch the stars arrive, and then that person decided not to come to Disneyland because of the false information they were given, then they would miss out on the chance to see Johnny and Orlando. Is that fair? Absolutely not. The rule that infuriated everybody was when Johnny finally came over to our section, and all of the Johnny fans in my area were told that we were not allowed to ask Johnny to take a picture with us. All of the girls in our section, including me, were so disappointed because we had been counting on getting a photo with Johnny all day long, and then to be told that we weren?t allowed to do that was devastating. By the time Johnny came to our section, he was really being rushed by Disney employees and his security to get into the premiere. I?m grateful that I was able to get an autograph and smile from him. I noticed that after he passed our section, he didn?t have too much more time to sign autographs because at that point Disney really wanted to get him into that premiere. I feel sorry for any fans further on down the red carpet that didn?t get to have a special moment with Johnny. It?s not fair to them that he had to be rushed towards the end like that. I could tell that Johnny was trying really hard to sign autographs for as many fans as he could though.
So, after planning this trip for several months, and dreaming about the day when I would finally get to meet my two favorite actors in person, was it worth it? Definitely! I might not have had much time with either of them (thanks to the Disney security people rushing them away from their fans), but just getting to see them in person made everything worth it. Getting the autographs, smile from Johnny, and wink and photo from Orlando was the icing on the cake. I promised myself a million times leading up to the day of the premiere that I wouldn?t cry when I saw them. But after meeting both of them, I couldn?t stop crying for the rest of the night. No worries though because they were tears of joy (which felt strange since I am not used to crying when I am happy!) I was a little sorry that I didn?t have the chance to get a hug from Johnny or Orlando or that I wasn?t able to give them a note that I had written for them, but at least now I have something to save for another time! And next time, I will be more prepared too, so hopefully I won?t go into shock again! I truly thought it wasn?t possible to love Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom (the two men who changed my life and made it better, the most stunningly gorgeous, talented, friendly, generous, wonderful people in the entire world, and my heroes) even more than I already did?but after seeing them in person and seeing how gracious they are with their fans, I really do respect them even more.
Johnny and Orlando, I love you both so much. Don?t ever change!