Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Advance Screening

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I was chosen by and DreamWorks Animation to attend an advance screening of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.  The movie will be released nationwide on Friday, June 8th, but we were given the opportunity to see the movie about a week earlier at a special screening held on Saturday, June 2nd, at various locations around the country.

We were told we could bring one friend or family member with us to the screening.  Unfortunately, I have a 5 year old son and 7 year old daughter who both like the Madagascar movies!  It was so hard to try and choose which child to take!  I knew one of them would end up being so disappointed and crazy jealous of the other.

I was also picked by Crowdtap to host a Madagascar 3 party (I'll post about that once the party happens) and so the kids have had "Madagascar on the brain."  (Did you get that?  It's a line from Madagascar 2!)  I even bought a copy of both the first and second Madagascar movies to show at the party and the kids have been watching them over and over.  Plus, the trailers for the movie have been all over TV.  My kids have been quoting lines from the trailers and of course singing "Afro Circus!"

To complicate things even more,  the screening was to be held sometime between 10 AM - 2 PM on June 2nd.  But we were going to be vacationing in the Outer Banks from May 26 to June 2nd.  So we had to leave a day early to get to the movie screening in Washington, DC.

All week while we were in the Outer Banks, I was stressing about which kid to take with me to the screening.  Luckily, a few days before the screening, I got an email saying they were going to have an extra pair of tickets for some people.  And yay, I scored another set  and so we were able to take both my older kids and my husband could come with me instead of him just dropping me and whichever child I ended up taking off at the theater.

The screening was to be held at the AMC theater at the Mazza Gallerie mall.  It's a bougie mall in the rich part of Northwest DC that I've only been inside of once when they had a Filene's Basement.  It's a little over an hour's drive from where I live, but this was a great opportunity to see a movie for free!

I told my kids about the screening the day we were supposed to be leaving the Outer Banks.  They were disappointed they weren't going to be able to stay as long as the rest of the family at the beach house so I told them that we were leaving early because we were going to go see Madagascar 3 before everyone else in the world (I had to make it sound extra special).  That got them pretty excited.  We left the Outer Banks a little after 6 pm on June 1st.  It was kind of overcast in North Carolina when we were leaving.  But we were heading towards bad weather.  There were severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado warnings all along our route back home!  We got back around midnight.  I found out later that there were 9 confirmed tornadoes in Maryland!

The next morning we were all up around 6:30 AM.  My sister and her husband were driving out to our house to watch the baby while we watched the movie.  They didn't get to the house till almost 9:00 though and we were advised by Crowdtap to arrive at least half an hour before the start of the movie, which was at 10:30.  I was nervous about getting there late because Crowdtap had threatened to penalize the accounts of those who didn't show up.  My husband drove and had a general idea on how he was going to get to the theater but didn't really have an exact plan.  The GPS said to take one way but my husband didn't want to go that way!  So I was pretty stressing out in the car while we were driving there.  We didn't get to the theater till about 10:00.  There was parking in the garage but OMG the ceilings in that garage were so low!  I thought we were going to hit them with our minivan!  It cost us $9 to park in the garage.

The elevators in the parking garage took us to the main level of the mall.  Then we had to walk over to the escalators to get to the AMC Theater, which was on the third floor.  Here's a picture of my husband and my two kids on the escalators as we were going up to the theater.  My daughter wanted to wear the Madagascar long-sleeve T-shirt that she got when she went to the ICE! show at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel last Christmas.  My son wanted to wear his shirt too, but sadly, he outgrew it.

When we got to the theater, I could see a bunch of people lining up for popcorn and snacks at the concession stand and there was a small table set up outside of the theaters.  We decided to go ahead and get our popcorn first.  We had planned to sneak in drinks but doh, we left them in the car!  So we had to buy a bottle of water.  In total, our medium popcorn and a bottle of Dasani was $11!  $4 for a 20 oz bottle of water!  Crazy.  Once we got that, we walked up to the table.  I asked if this was where we checked in for Crowdtap.  The girl didn't really say anything but handed us each 3D glasses.

I totally wasn't expecting that they were going to show us the 3D version!  I've never seen a 3D movie before, just 3D shows at Disney World!  I was afraid I was going to get dizzy or nauseous, but it was fine.  It was actually done really well.  When we walked into the theater, there were already a bunch of people there.  There were about 3 rows reserved in the middle of the tiered rows.  Not for Crowdtap though.  No clue who they were for.  We ended up sitting near the front on the floor, about 4 rows back.  I was afraid it was going to be hard to watch, but it was totally fine.

Here's a picture of the kids in their 3D glasses.  They were super excited!  This was the fourth time seeing a movie in a theater for my daughter and the third time for my son.

Shortly before the movie started, the same girl who had given us our 3D glasses made an announcement about a costume contest that was going on for the kids.  The child with the best costume won a prize.  There were only three kids in costume.  One kid was wearing black and white and had her face painted like a zebra.  Another kid wearing a sparkly dress and was wearing a rainbow afro wig.  And another cute little boy wearing a penguin costume.  He won.  But they should have had prizes for all three of them.  The girl ended up asking the parents of the other two kids to leave their email address so she could send prizes for the other two kids.

The movie was awesome!  I had no problems at all with the 3D.  It was funny though!  My kids were constantly reaching out to try and grab things!  Numerous times throughout the movie, my kids were just laughing out loud!  It was great to see them having such a fun time.

I would definitely watch this movie again.  In fact, it might even be better than the first two movies!  After the movie was over, we didn't really hang out at the mall.  The stores were all expensive and we had to get back to the baby.  On the way home we stopped at McDonald's because we were all starving.  We originally planned to pick up some Chick-Fil-A but the drive though line there was insane!  The nice thing though about us getting our lunch at McDonald's instead was they had Madagascar Happy Meals and Madagascar toys!  I might go back again just to get more of the toys! =)  Thanks Crowdtap and Dreamworks for this great event!  I hope to participate in more things like this!

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