We Opened our Hearts to Adventure

Singledom is nothing to be ashamed of – least of all on Valentine’s Day or White Day. (Particularly, we’re fond of the former because the day after, we drop so much paper on discounted chocolate.) When romantic holidays come around, we tend to celebrate in a way quite the opposite of what is expected of someone who is single af. We’re partial to throwing caution to the wind.

Now this V-Day wasn’t like the stunt we pulled last year in which we tried to find a date in 30 days via the Coffee Meets Bagel app. We just happened to come across an event on Facebook and did what any sane person would do – attend in hopes of meeting a “dearly beloved” by midnight. The evening didn’t play out that way, of course, but can you blame us? Production company Tiny Waves touted a night full of fun, dancing, and Kingdom Hearts-themed touches.

The Problem With Explaining Kingdom Hearts to People

Don’t even get us started on those mobile games… View “The Problem With Explaining Kingdom Hearts to People” and more funny posts on Dorkly

In case you never played Kingdom Hearts, here’s what you need to know. Kingdom Hearts is a unique series of role-playing games produced by Disney Interactive and Square Enix, featuring a boy, a keyblade, various Disney (Screw you Donald – Fox) and Final Fantasy characters in addition to a complicated never-ending story. There is much more to the Kingdom Hearts game than that, but we don’t have the patience to explain it tbh. Fortunately, YouTuber Frustrated Jacob offers a helpful summary of the decade-long franchise in about 20 minutes.

A few days before V-Day, Tiny Waves held their annual Kingdom Hearts: Love By Midnight dance at The Geek Easy in Orlando. To our surprise, the local nerd hot spot wasn’t saturated in traditional red hearts or mushy fanfare. Variations of the game’s iconic heart emblem charmingly hanged from the ceiling. Black silhouettes of popular Kingdom Hearts characters embellished the walls, accented by young wallflower patrons. Kingdom Hearts fans, cosplayers, furries, and other partygoers embraced the darkness all the while basking in the minute glow from the stage laser lights and PolyKarp’s trippy Kingdom Hearts/Disney/Square Enix visual mashup.

Although cosplay was highly encouraged, a dress code and weapons policy weren’t really publicized. There were a few disgruntled attendees due to the lack of communication on policies. Masks were prohibited. While some people dressed up for the occasion, the event was fairly casual.

Kingdom Hearts Paopu Fruit cave drawing
According to legend, “If two people share [a Paopu Fruit], their destinies become intertwined. They’ll remain a part of each other’s lives no matter what.” Credit: GIPHY
The night kicked off on a sour note, however. We knew of The Geek Easy by word of mouth from friends. The Geek Easy is a small dive bar tucked away in the back of a comic book store called A Comic Shop. Their menu consists of an affordable selection of beers as well as simple gourmet geek food like grilled cheese sandwiches and tots. Much to our dismay, the kitchen was closed for the event, and our group came extremely hungry and ready to throw down money for some grub, whether or not it was theme-related. A good amount of people attended were probably just as hungry as we were. It is a shame The Geek Easy did not take advantage of that.

Our consolation was the $6 BOGO deal on the event’s special star fruit lemonade cocktail. The drink was a unique spin on the Paopu Fruit mythology in the game. It could have used more alcohol and a presentable container though. The Igloo jug was an eyesore among the creative elements that the venue had going on. Perhaps a transparent cocktail dispenser with alcoholic infused star-shaped fruits would help pour in the dollars.

Kingdom Hearts Paopu Fruit drinks - We Tried to Find Love By Midnight | honeynfox.com
Tiny Waves offered a 2-4-1 special on their Paopu Fruit-inspired cocktails. Credit: Honey and Fox

We eventually hit the dance floor once our drinks lost their flavor and we got tired of shouting over the music. Swaying side to side by ourselves got old pretty quickly. Luckily, we had some friends willing to be our dance partners and properly lead us. It was slightly intimidating to break away from our group and explore new connections since everyone appeared to be paired off. We didn’t want to overstep our bounds.

Would you want someone to get in on your game with your sweetheart? Nah, we didn’t think so. A red light, green light type of system would have been preferable. Colored wristbands indicate an individual’s relationship status: green (single), yellow (maybe), and red (taken). Tiny Waves could consider Trinity mark colors to correspond with the theme.

Ralfington, Ben Briggs, Lotus Cloud, and Beachday also treated us to some good beats throughout. But come on! We didn’t get any remixes pertaining to the theme. What’s up with that? Music played a huge role in Kingdom Hearts. Disney has an extensive musical repertoire that could have been incorporated; we were hoping the DJs would go all out. This was a good opportunity to touch people’s hearts. (Note: We left about an hour before the event ended for zingers at Miller’s Ale House so we may have missed a grand music moment.)

Ok, we’ll cool it with the dramatics for now. Tiny Waves featured two new Kingdom Hearts remixes in an announcement on the Facebook event page a little after the V-day event. You can check out Tiny Waves and RoBKTA’s “Dearly Beloved” or Ben Briggs and Lotus Cloud’s “Simple and Clean” remixes on SoundCloud. The songs are available for free download.

Aside from the music, drinks, dance floor and casual conversations there wasn’t much to do. No cosplay contest, thank goodness. Cosplay contests have been tried and true, but those have been done to death. Yet with a theme like Kingdom Hearts at an establishment that boasts nerd culture, offering an engaging activity and additional entertainment seems possible.

Kingdom Hearts dj booth - We Tried to Find Love By Midnight | honeynfox.com
DJs set the mood with EDM and high-energy music. Credit: Honey and Fox

For instance, spotting a Hidden Mickey in a Disney attraction or property is a game many Disney fans are familiar with. If you were too busy showcasing your special abilities on the dance floor, you might have missed the Hidden Mickeys sprinkled throughout the room. It would have been cool to see a contest or scavenger hunt going on. How many Hidden Mickeys are there? Where are the Hidden Mickeys? Participants could submit their guesses on Tiny Waves’ social media platform of choice.

Overall, our V-Day adventure wasn’t a complete waste. Sure, we didn’t find love by midnight, but we tried something new and enjoyed ourselves. Good friends tagged along on our journey. We laughed at each other’s antics. We made precious memories, and that’s what counts.