How far would you travel to find Dory? Turns out, for me it was a quick plane ride just up the coast to Monterey Bay! Last month, I was asked to go on a whirlwind trip up to Monterey, CA to experience learn about the development and behind the scenes info on the long awaited (ask Ellen DeGeneres!) release of Finding Dory. While I can’t share what I learned quite yet (trust me, it is awesome!), I can show you what we got to experience at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as part of this amazing adventure.
PS- Lots of photos ahead!
Monterey as a city is gorgeous. It’s a small coastal town with great eats, and great views all around. It’s crown jewel is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. On our first night there, we were actually treated to a cocktail party in the Open Sea exhibit after watching clips from Finding Dory (more soon!).
It was pretty dark, but the food was delicious and you absolutely cannot beat the scenery. It was a good start to a very full press day the following day. Plus, we got to meet Oscar winning director Andrew Stanton before interviewing him the following day. It was most definitely a fun night.
The following day, after a long day of interviews and film information, we got to tour the Aquarium ourselves, with some special press only perks!
The Monterey Bay Aquarium has two floors and several exhibits spread out, so you will never be bored. Plus it has a deck that opens up to the ocean. Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, a Mama Sea Otter will give birth right there (it’s happened twice in a year!), and when we were there, the baby was only two days old and we were dying over how the mama otter and baby snuggled on the rock together.
Since they were wild, the staff didn’t attempt to move or touch them. In fact, the mama and baby left the day we did. I’m not sure if they came back since but, it was a cool sight to see.
But, that isn’t the only encounter with an otter. The aquarium has three resident otters, who, they actually rescued but couldn’t be released back into the wild, so they call the aquarium home. These three are hams! They are very curious and love to show off for an audience.
Since we were visiting press, we got a to go behind the curtain, so to speak, and throw in some food for the otters, and discovered that the staff at the aquarium actually freezes their food in colored blocks of ice so that the otters not only eat but use their instincts to problem solve and eat.
Another great press perk? We got to pet an octopus. I never ever thought I would say those words. The pics aren’t that great BUT… no pics, no proof right?
It was very slithery and slimy. Those tentacles can really suck onto your skin too. So wild! The octopus doesn’t change colors like Hank in Finding Dory does. Well, that we know of anyway! You never know!
We also got a very very early look at the exhibit that has since opened called “Viva Baja” which showcases the many beauties and aquatic wonders of Baja California.
This little grumpy guy was my favorite!!
They were still installing several exhibits, so I highly encourage you to check it out when you’re there and let me know what it looks like!
The Monterey Bay Aquarium was incredible, and everyone was so knowledgeable. I seriously cannot wait to visit once more. Oh…and yes, we found Dory. She’s doing just fine. You’ll see so for yourself when Finding Dory comes out on June 17th!