A few weeks ago, The Walt Disney Company raised the standard price of admission to Disneyland. Since May 18th, it presently costs $96.00 for single day adult admission to both the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks. ($92.00 for child’s admission.) Parking will now cost $17.00 per standard vehicle. For an annual pass that will allow unlimited entry to both parks (not counting blackout dates), that will set one back $519.00 per pass. These price increases that were not announced in advance, average around 4% from the previous amount, and will remain unless noted.
     In a press release statement issued by The Walt Disney Company, it said, “Like any business, we periodically evaluate our pricing and make adjustments based on a variety of factors. A ticket to our theme parks represents a great value, particularly when you look at the breadth and quality of attractions and entertainment we offer and the special moments guests experience with our cast.”
     To point out the “great value” that the above quote offered, let’s do the math. We’ll use as an example, a so-called traditional family situation; Parents (two adults) and two kids under the age of eighteen. They arrive in one passenger car at $17.00. The two adult  admissions ($96.00 each) comes to $192.00. The pair of kids’ tickets at $92.00 each, totals $184.00, Add everything together, and one has the total of $393.00. This doesn’t include any taxes, surcharges (if applicable), or any other in-park purchases. For the nearly four hundred dollars, that family of four can have at it at the happiest place on earth in one day! And that doesn’t include the price of gas to get to the park location, depending on where one came from, and anything else!
     Let’s face it. There is no other place in the Los Angeles area, or anywhere else for that matter, that offers the same amusement opportunities as Disneyland. For nearly sixty years, Disneyland changed the scope of the nation, if not the world, when it comes to attractions. Millions of visitors from around the globe flock to the parks, not only in SoCal, but in the state of Florida that feeds the local and state economy. Tourism is big in Florida, and thanks to the efforts of The Walt Disney Company, it made Florida, especially the central part of state, a genuine mecca for travelers.
      Although there had been a rough spot thanks to the economic slowdown of recent years, people are coming back. A recent report made by the AAA stated that travelers over the recent Memorial Day weekend made efforts to travel away from their homesteads (fifty miles or more) than in the previous year in spite of the high(er) gas prices that as of this writing, are holding steady or are dropping slightly. And when it comes to visiting places to do things, noting beats heading over to the amusement parks that started the major attraction business those many years before.
     Of course, there are other mega amusements parks out there, such as the Six Flags collections of parks, as well as Universal Studios–Disney’s biggest competitor. Over at Universal Studio’s main park in Universal City, construction is currently taking place building The World of Harry Potter attraction, that’s been a big hit in Universal’s park located outside of Orlando. The Universal Amphitheater, a place that was around for some forty years, was raised last year so the park can accommodate this attraction. Unlike Florida where the two parks–Universal and Disney–are relativity close(er) to one another, the two parks in SoCal are some sixty or so miles apart, meaning that it can take as long as three hours to get from one park to the next. And since both places are smaller in size and scope, it’s quite possible to see everything at Universal Studios in one day. For Disney, not so much! But Florida is the place to go for tourism than SoCal, although there are a lot more things to do and places to go in LA. But that all depends on personal taste, location, and preference.
     However, there are too many places to search to find discounted tickets and offers. A simple “Google” peek can find dozens of place to find such discounts. There are plenty of apps one can get to find such offers with the flick of a thumb on one’s phone. (You already knew of this–right??) So if that family of four coughed up nearly four hundred skins to spend the day at Disneyland, they didn’t really seem to do their homework! And in today’s post modern society, that kind of family would be wired to the max, so there’s no excuse!
     However, there are other places where a family used as our example can go and partake in for a whole lot less. However, if legacy amusement parks are one’s destination, nobody can come close to what Disneyland has to offer. It’s there for the taking, but there’s going to be a lot of take from the provider. One is paying for the experience, and that might hold for the value of admission as that stands!
     Theatre 68 presents DROP DEAD, Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore’s comedy about a theater group presenting a murder mystery that turns into a real murder mystery, while the survivors attempt to save their own lives as well as their careers.
     The setting is a far away off off off Broadway playhouse located within the Big Apple. A team of rat tag players are in the rehearsal stages for some whodunit called “Drop Dead”, featuring a cast of thespians that had seen their better days both on and off the floorboards. Director Victor Le Pewe (Cy Creamer) calling himself “The Wonder Child of the Broadway Stage” is attempting to get this show on the road. The plot itself takes place within a home in the woods somewhere where a murder takes place. It has a butler named “Drools” played by Chaz Looney (Eddie Liu), its two leading leads Candy Apples (Shelly Hacco) and Brent Reynolds (Bill Doherty) as Penelope and Alexander respectfully, Dick Scoresese (Mark Vazquez) as Inspector Mounds, a police inspector present to inspect a  murder, Mona Monet (Claudine Claudio) as Bette, a possible suspect, and Constance Crawford (Mews Small) as Lady Barrington, whose spouse was Lord Barrington (played by nobody), the owner of the estate. During its rehearsal stage, things don’t seem to fall into place. It’s not pleasing for the producer P.G.. “Piggy” Banks (Barry Brisco) who’s funding this showcase, as well as for the playwright himself, Alabama Miller (Gray Rodriguez), who insists that his inner meaning medifores he created in his work shows more of itself off on stage. Leading up to the behind the scenes people is stage manager Philip (Timothy Alonzo) that tries to keep up the pace to what the directors says–something that is to Phillip’s liking! (And that liking doesn’t have anything to do with theater!) As with rehearsals, cues are missed, props don’t seem to work, and then a real murder takes place at its opening night performance. Who is behind the bumping off? Who gets murdered? Whodunnit? Will the show go on? Will these thespians receive their comeback? Did they ever had a career to begin with?
     This play written by the writing team of Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore is very in line to a British comic farce, where people are running in and out of doors, a cast member (female ‘natch) become scantly clad, but no mistaken identities play a part here! The production itself is very funny in terms of wackiness where the action speaks faster than the words uttered! Although it shows plenty of frenzy movement, it tends to keep its head in gear–enough to where the audience can keep at its pace. Billy Van Vandt directs his own work that focuses upon the notion that cheesy theater is funny, if not for real!
    And speaking of realism, Danny Cistone’s set design consists of a painted backdrop loaded with painted furnishings, props, and other scenic antics resembling a background found in a cheap looking cartoon. This kind of scenery only makes this show even funnier as the actors themselves are rather cartoonish as they stand and fall! (There are a few real furnishing used, but that’s beside the point!) Crystal K Craft’s costuming only enhances the bafoonery style slapstick that bounds about!
     DROP DEAD is fast, funny, and is ideal to perform in a tight theater space where the action almost aligns with the audience, nearly giving it a “3-D” look. There aren’t many shows out there that can boast this fact. And will the murder itself be solved? Since this is a comedy, what difference does that make??

     DROP DEAD, presented by Theatre 68, performs at The NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (off Lankershim Blvd.), North Hollywood, until June 28th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights @ 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. For reservations and information, call (323) 960-5068, or via online at http://www/Theatre68.com
     HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (Fox/Dreamworks Animation) continues the tale of young Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless (Randy Thom) where this boy and his faithful companion discover an ice cave that is the dwelling to a flock of wild dragons, lead by a rather mysterious dragon rider named Hoark the Haggard (Kieron Elliot) whose goal is to control all of the dragons within the kingdom through his own beast: A towering dragon that’s called the alpha dragon that can set mindset to the winged creatures, including Toothless! But the hero of this story encounters another person from his life. At first, it appears to be another dragon master donning a mask. But behind the costuming, it turns out to be his long lost mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) who left the family when Hiccup was just a babe. Between a family reunited and a super dragon master along with a super dragon, Toothless must prove that he can beat this threat, as well as catching up to the mother he hardly knew.
     This follow up to the 2010 release of nearly the same title (minus the “2”) has lots of action, thrills, and moves in a very fast pace, never letting down when such onset is required as the plot suggests. Most of the characters from the first feature–Gerard Butler as Stick, Craig Ferguson as Gobber, America Ferrera as Astrid, Johan Hill as Snotlout, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs, T.J. Miller as Tuffnut, and Kristen Wiig as Ruffnut–are all present. Some of the newer characters seen in this sequel are Kit Harington as Erit, Philip McGrade as Starkard, Andrew Ableson as Ug, Gideon Emery as Teeny, and Simon Kassianides as No-Name. What lacks for a mass of characters is the for noted action and adventure episodes. Dean DeBlois writes and directs this feature (based upon the “How To Train Your Dragon” series of books by Cressida Cowel) that is fun, exciting, even a bit sad and touching that keeps the sappy part far out of reach. And in spite of the film’s apparent content, it holds a pleasantry to it. There is little concern over anything scary for little kids or adults who might pose a fear toward computer generated imagery. That is the reason why this feature is rated “PG”–the level that was once held for “G” rated movies; A rarity in its own right!
     This title is Dreamworks Animation’s latest cash cow now that the Shrek franchise is over with–for now anyway! With a TV spinoff series in tow, along with the merchandising to follow, there is a very good chance that if this feature does well box office wise (and it most likely will), there will be a HTTYD “3” down the road. But that road will be a long one since four years passed between the original and this follow up. So as they say, stay tuned!
     Now playing at local multiplexes nationwide in 3-D.
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
Tonight I locked myself out of the house and that’s bad. But… I was on the phone with Moreen and that’s good. So I walked clear around my property and never lost the connection (can you believe it?) Felt so good to laugh. That Moreen, she’s a stitch. xxoo

Up early for a Saturday morning! Answering emails and then heading over to see Dad! Gotta stock him up on a treat or two!

The bad news: Insomnia sucks. Finally managed to sleep from 6 am to 1 pm
The good news: I read four books (including 3 by Karin Tabke)
The bad news: I didn’t get my first cup of coffee until 1:30 pm
The good news: The whole second pot is mine
The bad news: I’m over half a day behind in today’s schedule…
The good news: I don’t care

Pit stop at Target. Zackary  had a flip flop malfunction. Had to buy new ones. These have more tread on them. He should be able to go more miles with these on his feet.

We just saw a man in full Thor costume walking down the street
As of June 16th, Tiffi has 2,072 Facebook “friends” and counting!
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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